international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

Norway: Employee’s travel time was considered working time

In a recent judgement from the Norwegian Supreme Court, a police officer’s travel time was considered working time. A police officer who had traveled to different assignments considered his travel time as working hours and demanded overtime payment from the employer. The case concerned the interpretation of the notion “working time” within the meaning of Article 2 of The EU Directive on working time (2003/88/EC). The EFTA Court answered questions from the Norwegian Supreme Court. The EFTA Court noted that the concept of “working time” consists of three conditions, namely the employee must be: 1) carrying out his activity or duties; (2) at the employer’s disposal; and (3) working or at work. In their judgement, the EFTA Court considered the travel time as working time according to the directive, based on an individual assessment of the case. The Norwegian Court followed the EFTA court’s judgement, but did not grant the employee overtime payment for most of the assignments, based on an interpretation of the applicable collective agreement.