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Staff on ‘stand by’ could be classed as ‘working time’

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In Ville de Nivelles v Matzak, the ECJ has held that time spent by firefighters where they are on “stand by” at home, but can be required to report for work within eight minutes, must be “working time”.
The court found that because the firefighters had to be in work within such a short amount of time, this effectively limited their ability to “devote” themselves to their personal and social interests and therefore this time must be paid for by the employer. This is different to the situation of a worker who, during stand-by duty, simply remains contactable by his employer; in such circumstances, this may not be classed as “working time”.
If you have members of your team who are required to be on stand-by, take advice from a member of the Howarths team to ensure that you are fulfilling your employment law obligations.

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