A new ruling from Europe could have massive implications for workers and small firms, UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott, warned today.
The European Court of Justice has ruled that time spent travelling to and from appointments by workers with no fixed office should be classed as working time.
“This time has previously not been regarded as work and it means firms such as those employing care workers, sales reps and gas fitters could be in breach of the EU working time regulations,” said Mr Arnott, North East Euro-MP.
“This could hit thousands of small businesses and employees who could find themselves actually below the minimum wage level depending on their hourly wage.
“The Working Time Directive is designed to protect workers from exploitation by employers and one of its aims is to ensure that no employee in the EU is obliged to work more than an average of 48 hours a week.
“The court says its judgment is about protecting the “health and safety” of workers.
What it is more likely to mean is that they exceed 48 hours hours a week and this could cause massive financial headaches for employers.
“This is more unnecessary red tape from the EU which will hamper small businesses which in reality need help not hindrance. While we remain in the EU the ECJ is the final arbiter of our laws. A vote to leave the EU will help businesses flourish and all the necessary safeguards for workers and management alike emanate from our own parliament,” he said.