New European court ruling to spell major changes for recruiters

EU ruling states employees with no fixed office, time spent travelling between the first and the last appointment considered as work

Recruiters should be prepared to change how they manage payments of freelance staff, or risk falling foul of new European court rulings, according to the managing Director of umbrella company Evergreen, Jovan Pavlicevic.

The recent EU ruling states that for employees with no fixed office, time spent travelling between the first and the last appointment should be considered as work. Whilst this is a welcome change for care home workers and sales representatives, when Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) are considered this undertaking becomes more complicated.

AWR is a directive designed to protect freelancers; after a period of 12 weeks, any agency worker is entitled to the same working conditions as a traditional employee.

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As a result, employers may have to rearrange the first and last appointment of a day to be close to a workers home, something which Evergreen director Jovan Pavlicevic believes shouldn’t be taken lightly.

“This ruling is definitely a step in the right direction, workers need a minimum rest time to be able to operate at peak efficiency. The worry is that AWR has just become significantly more complex. There comes a point where legislation becomes overly limiting, and we may be fast approaching that now.

“The legislation invites just as many questions as it answers. The recent travel and subsistence review, which stated that no tax relief shall be provided to employees under the IR35 system when they’re travelling to or from work, may well have to be altered to fit the new plans.

“These are certainly very interesting times for the freelance sector. Compliance of umbrella companies, as ever, is of vital importance, without the right checks in place, businesses could leave themselves open to significant financial losses.”

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