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Court rules that time spent commuting to and from work counts as ‘work’

Miserable on your morning commute? What if you were getting paid for your time?

According to Quartz, a European court has ruled that time traveling to and from work should count as actual work time on the clock. The ruling applies to people who work out in the filed as opposed to an office setting and will affect millions across the EU.

The European Court of Justice said that the ruling was designed to protect the health and safety of workers, which is a right protected by the Working Time Directive, which says that no person should work more than 48 hours per week.

From Quartz:

The ruling stems from a legal case in Spain involving Tyco, a company that installs security systems. Tyco shut down its regional offices in 2011, and so employees had to travel from home to work appointments.

“The fact that the workers begin and finish the journeys at their homes stems directly from the decision of their employer to abolish the regional offices and not from the desire of the workers themselves,” the Court said.

“Requiring them to bear the burden of their employer’s choice would be contrary to the objective of protecting the safety and health of workers pursued by the directive, which includes the necessity of guaranteeing workers a minimum rest period.”

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