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Clucking Out Time

View profile for Darren Tibble
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Clucking Out Time
“This is really a lovely horse. I once rode her mother”                                               Ted Walsh (Racehorse Trainer/Jockey)


Well, what a busy couple of weeks it’s been for me at Dutton Gregory Solicitors!

I’ve been gallivanting all over the place to various meetings and events, including coffee meetings, lunches with barristers, lunches with insolvency practitioners and a day spent at TEDx Winchester (which Dutton Gregory sponsored) listening to some amazing speakers.

I have also been a guest at two horse-racing days and played croquet - not at the same time, I hasten to add. This is what was created when I told AI about it.

Thankfully, the grey matter has also been exercised with some actual employment law work, which leads me nicely into this…..



In this week’s case of Taylor’s Services Ltd v HMRC, the issue of whether travel time constitutes ‘time work’ under the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 (NMWR) was considered by the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The dispute involved zero-hours workers who travelled to farms across the country to provide poultry services. Their employer provided transportation to the workers via a minibus, picking them up and dropping them off at their home addresses. HMRC issued a notice of underpayments of national minimum wage (NMW) to the employer, arguing that the time spent by the workers travelling to and from their homes to various farms should be paid at the NMW rate. The Employment Tribunal agreed with HMRC’s stance.

Employment Appeal Tribunal’s Reversal

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) overturned the Employment Tribunal’s decision. It decided that time spent ‘just travelling’ does not qualify as ‘time work’ under Regulation 30 NMWR unless explicitly deemed so by Regulation 34 NMWR. According to Regulation 34, travel from home to a place of work is not considered ‘time work’. The EAT emphasised that unless actual work is performed during the travel, the time spent travelling does not count as ‘work’ for the purposes of the NMW.

The EAT highlighted the distinction between mandatory travel and time work, stating that even though the employer required the workers to travel to work using the minibus, this obligation did not transform ‘travel’ into ‘work’.

Perceived Injustice and Legal Interpretation

Despite its ruling, the EAT acknowledged the potential injustice in its decision, in that if an employer collects employees from their homes, the travel time is not ‘time work’ and therefore NMW is not payable. However, if employees are required to report to the employer’s premises first and then travel, this subsequent travel is considered ‘time’ work and NMW is payable.


This week I spotted a report from BBC News about a number of Wells Fargo employees who have been dismissed for faking keyboard activity to look busy while working from home. Apparently, you can buy a device called a ‘mouse jiggler’ which is designed to make a computer look as though it’s in active use while the ‘worker’ is doing something else.

It was reported that thousands of these devises are being sold every month, presumably for many home-based workers to try to outwit the ever-increasing sophisticated methods of monitoring being adopted by employers. Wonders will never cease.

Right then, it’s time for me to switch on my mouse jiggler and go for a nap.

Until next time.