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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Deirdre McCann

McCann, Deirdre (2016). Travel time as working time: Tyco, the unitary model and the route to casualization. Industrial Law Journal 45(2): 244-250.

Author(s) from Durham


As casualisation strategies have proliferated in the wake of the global crisis, techniques to exclude discrete time periods from the working day are increasingly being devised. Vulnerable periods are targeted and configured as regulatory no-man’s lands that encircle disjointed episodes of protected work. Travel time is one such disputed site. These periods are especially fraught at the lower end of the labour market, perhaps most prominently in the signs of unacceptably widespread non-payment of travel time in the home care sector.1

Such temporal fragmentation strategies are beginning to be tested before the courts.2 In the recent Tyco judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for the first time addressed the status of travel time under the Working Time Directive (WTD).3 In doing so, the Court reasserted a unitary model of working time and stressed that this model can embrace travel periods. It also identified remuneration as the plane on which temporal fragmentation of jobs can be reconciled with the EU legal order. The judgment in Tyco therefore offers an opportunity to reflect on the evolving role of legal regulation in structuring the temporal dimension of casualisation.