Transport workers exempt from working time

An opinion by the ECJ’s
advocate-general suggests that non-mobile workers in the transport sector are
also exempt from the Working Time Directive. 

The employer in the UK test
case of Bowden versus Tuffnels Parcels Express argued that all workers
in the transport sector – both mobile and non-mobile – are exempt from the
Working Time Regulations. These regulations give workers the right to four
weeks’ paid annual leave and impose restrictions on average weekly working
time.

The UK test case was referred
to the European Court of Justice by the UK Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Christopher Mordue, a partner
at law firm Pinsent Curtis Biddle explained, "Rulings on cases normally go
in favour of the advocate-general’s opinion. Transport employers will welcome
this opinion. "

The working time regulations
introduced in October 1998 excluded sectors of activity such as transport,
sea-fishing, other work at sea and activities of doctors in training.

The
final European Court of Justice ruling in this case is expected later this
year.

By Karen Higginbottom

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