Should time spent travelling to work be paid?

31st October 2015 |   Journal Of Sales Transformation

Sales organisations in Europe may be facing the prospect of having to pay salespeople without an office base for the time they spend travelling to and from first and last appointments. This follows the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that journeys from home to work and back should be treated as working time.

The EJC ruling could mean some firms employing sales reps are in breach of EU working time regulations, designed to protect workers from exploitation and regulating how long employees work. The regulations say no employee should be obliged to work more than an average of 48 hours a week.

The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management says the ruling endangers small businesses. However, Andrew Hough, chief operating officer at the Association of Professional Sales, says the ruling should have little impact for B2B sales teams as the key measurement is hitting the numbers, and salespeople will work as long as necessary to achieve targets.

“Nearly all salespeople are expected to meet customers, to be self-motivated, self-reliant, self-managing and to manage their schedules accordingly. They expect to put in as many hours as required to be successful, and their contracts reflect this. If that means going home at 3pm because you travelled two hours that morning to a 9am appointment, that’s no problem.”