Court backs interpretation of working timeOn 1 Nov 2000 in Personnel Today UK employers can breathe a sigh of relief after the European Court ofJustice endorsed their approach to the working time directive. The SIMAP judgement concerned the interpretation of the directive’s keyconcept – what counts as working time. This is defined in the directive as when a worker is “working, at hisemployer’s disposal and carrying out his activities and duties”. The ECJsaid on-call hours spent away from the workplace did not count because althoughthe worker was at the employer’s disposal, he was not “working” or”carrying out activities or duties”. “This decision will come as an enormous relief to employers and theDTI,” said Christopher Mordue, an employment solicitor at Pinsent Curtis.If the decision had gone the other way, he said, “the UK’s approach toworking time would have been thrown entirely into disarray and working timecould have returned as a major issue for employers”. But Mordue said other aspects of the judgement were not so good foremployers. For instance, on-call workers may qualify as night workers and besubject to further limits on their hours, as well as being entitled to healthassessments and transfers to suitable day work in certain circumstances. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.