international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

France: Mobile employees: the home-client commute is not paid as working time

In 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union considered that in the absence of a fixed place of work, the daily commuting time between home and the employee’s first and last place of work for the day must be considered as work time. The decision raised many an eyebrow to the extent that French law provides for exactly the opposite rule.

However, the French Supreme Court was faced with a similar case. In its decision it recalled that the CJEU clarified that the method of remuneration of workers in such a situation was not a matter of the directive but of the relevant provisions of national law. The Supreme Court therefore applied the terms of the Labor Code: the commuting time to travel to the place of performance of the employment contract is not actual working time and does not have to be remunerated as such. It can give rise only to a compensation, in financial form or in rest, if it exceeds the normal travel time.