We often see in different sources that people ask about how the working hours shall be calculated. This questions may be very confusing for employees who work for instance in cleaning companies: cleaners travel from one client to another and they wonder if travel hours should be included in their pay or not.
You are welcome to read Lex Gaudius’ comment on this topic below.
Under the Working Hours Act Section 4. moment 1: “The time spent on work and the time an employee is required to be present at a place of work at the employer’s disposal are considered working hours.” In addition, under moment 3 of the same Section: “Travel time is not included in working hours if it does not constitute work performance.”
Under Section 4 of the Act, it is questionable whether or not the workers’ time spend during transitions from the place of performance to another place of performance is counted as working time within the meaning of the Working Hours Act. The Act itself does not contain any detailed information when travel time constitutes work performance.
The Government’s proposal for the Working Hours Act (HE 34/1996) does, however, shed some light on the issue. Under the proposal, the time spend on transitions between the places of performances counts as working time if it is part of the work performance or forms an integral part of the work performance. Under the proposal, this is the case e.g. when a mechanic or a domestic worker transitions multiple times within a day from one place to another to perform his/her work duties. By analogy, the prior would also apply to workers in the cleaning service sector. The proposal does, however, leave room for discretion in individual cases.
Under the proposal, another fact that influences, whether travel time and transitions are considered to constitute characteristics of work performance, depends on whether the employee has to carry other employees or the employer’s equipment in the vehicle. If the worker carries employer’s equipment or other employees to the place of performance, which would have been the employer’s obligation if the employee would use public transportation or his/her own vehicle, travel time can constitute part of the work performance.