Travelling to work

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Autotime is urging UK employers to evaluate their management processes after the European Court of Justice ruled that time spent travelling to work by workers without a fixed office should be regarded as working time.

Previously this travelling time has not been regarded as work by most employers.

It means that employers with workers who travel as part of their jobs such as sales reps, cleaners, care workers and utility engineers may be in breach of EU working time regulations.

The court says the ruling has been enforced to protect the health and safety of mobile workers as set out in the European Union’s working time directive, which stipulates that they cannot work more than 48 hours in a week unless they opt out.

Christian Berenger, Operations Director at Auto Time says: “The new ruling could leave contractors, already under pressure to deliver their services cost-effectively, confronted by increased labour costs and facing a tough battle to operate profitably within tight margins.

“To minimise compliance risk, employers need to put systems in place that will enable them to gain total transparency of their workforce and track their movements.”

Administration implications

Factoring travel time and more hours into workers’ timesheets is expected to place more workload on the shoulders of HR and payroll teams. But this is impossible without visibility of staff movements.

The latest cloud-based workforce management solutions provide the transparency and tools they need to administer the new EU ruling and efficiently manage remote workers.

Empowering staff to verify their start and finish times from any location using a smartphone and tablet means the system can integrate seamlessly into their daily working routine.

Real-time verification of staff attendance allows managers to track the whereabouts of their workforce, calculate the ‘actual hours’ worked and respond to operational issues as they happen with better informed decisions.

Optimised work schedules

Integration with scheduling functions enables managers to better plan staff shifts, ensuring assignments at the start and end of the day are located near employees’ homes.

‘Live’ adjustments can be made to staff schedules throughout the day to meet the demands of the business should workers be required to carry out emergency work or respond urgently to issues as part of client SLA’s.

Alert notifications can also be configured to highlight when workers are approaching the 48 hour threshold as part of Working Time Directive.

Meet legal obligations

Christian Berenger adds: “The role of technology in supporting organisations to comply with the new EU ‘travelling to work’ ruling surrounding mobile workers should not be underestimated.  With HR teams under increased pressure to keep up with changing employment regulations, employers must evaluate their business practices or risk falling foul of the law.

“By gaining instant visibility of their remote workers and streamlining compliance tasks, workforce management systems can not only meet their legal obligations but optimise their workforce for future bottom line growth.”

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