Court rules that standby time can be working time


In a significant new judgement (Matzak, C-519/15), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that standby time away from the workplace may be counted as working time. In previous rulings the ECJ has said that on-call time at work should be counted as working time but normally if a worker is on standby away from the workplace this would not count as working time as they are not at the disposal of the employer. In the Matzak case involving a Belgian firefighter the Court found that the requirement to be at the workplace within eight minutes imposed a restriction on how the worker spent his time and therefore should be counted as working time.