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Decision on “working time” for on-call staff
In Truslove and another v Scottish Ambulance Service the EAT has overturned a Tribunal decision that two ambulance paramedics who worked on-call shifts away from home and were required as part of their work to take accommodation within a 3 mile radius of the ambulance station while they were on-call, could not have the entirety of their time treated as working time for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations.
There have been a number of cases over the last several months concerning what constitutes working time for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations and the extent to which on-call time qualifies as working time. In this case the EAT considered that the Tribunal had not properly considered the wording of the regulations and the principles from EU case law in distinguishing “work” from “rest”. Its said that the central question is whether the individual is obliged to be present and remain available at a location decided by the employer. Since both the shift workers were required to reside within a 3 mile radiance of the ambulance station where they were on-call, the proper interpretation was that the entirety of their shift was on-call time and therefore should be working time for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations.
This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.
For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222.
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