Court in Europe Says Employees’ Travel Time Should Be Paid

November 7, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. ruling / ˈru lɪŋ / (n.) – a decision made by someone with authority (e.g. judge)
Example: The judge gave the ruling about the case.

2. union / ˈyun yən / (n.) – an organization whose members are workers or employees
Example: The members of the teachers’ union will meet tonight.

3. directive / dɪˈrɛk tɪv / (n.) – a command or order from someone with authority
Example: The mayor issued a new directive about the scholarship for poor kids.

4. caregiver / ˈkɛərˌgɪv ər / (n.) – someone who cares for a sick or old person
Example: My grandfather’s caregiver usually arrives at 9 o’clock in the morning.

5. reassured / ˌri əˈʃʊərd / (adj.) – free from doubt or worry
Example: I felt reassured after hearing that my sister was safe.


Read the text below.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that employees with no fixed offices should be paid for their travel time to and from appointments.

The CJEU came up with this ruling after a Spanish trade union filed a case against Tyco, a security company in Spain. Tyco does not pay the time used by employees to travel to their first appointment, as their working hours start only when they arrive at the location. However, the CJEU said that this travel time should be paid since traveling is required in doing the employees’ tasks.

According to the CJEU, this decision was based on the European Union’s Working Time Directive. This directive presents specific regulations about the employees’ working hours, break time, and paid leaves in hopes of protecting the health and security of employees.

All countries under the European Union are required to comply with this ruling, which was implemented immediately after the ruling was released. This specifically applies to employees with no physical offices, such as caregivers and sales representatives. 

This ruling is expected to have a positive impact on many workers in the region. In addition, many of the unions in the United Kingdom were happy to hear this news. Dave Prentis of the Unison union said that many caregivers in the country can finally earn more money because of this ruling. Kathleen Walker Shaw from the GMB general trade union also said that many of its members will feel reassured, thanks to the CJEU’s ruling.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you approve of this ruling? Why or why not?
·         Do you think this ruling can also be applied in your country? Why is that so?

Discussion B

·         How can employers guarantee the health and safety of their employees?
·         Do you think employers are the only ones responsible for their employees’ welfare? Why?

November 7, 2015