Real-time management is key to administering the new rule on time spent travelling to and from work, according to workforce management company AutoTime.

Employers are having to evaluate their management processes after the European Court of Justice ruled that time spent travelling to and from first and last appointments by workers without a fixed office should be regarded as working time. The ruling means that employers will have to pay staff in such situations.

It also presents a problem, not just in terms of the financial cost, but in terms of workers who travel as part of their jobs such as sales reps, care workers and utility engineers. Under the new rules, they may be in breach of EU working time regulations.

Christian Berenger, Operations Director at Auto Time, said: “The new ruling could leave contractors, already under pressure to deliver their services cost-effectively, confronted by increased labour costs and facing a tough battle to operate profitably within tight margins.

“To minimise compliance risk, employers need to put systems in place that will enable them to gain total transparency of their workforce, track their movements and plan staff workloads to coincide with their daily commute to minimise costs.”

Mr Berenger added: “The role of technology in supporting organisations to comply with the new EU ruling surrounding mobile workers should not be underestimated. With HR teams under increased pressure to keep up with changing employment regulations, employers must evaluate their business practices or risk falling foul of the law.

“By gaining instant visibility of their remote workers and streamlining compliance tasks, workforce management systems can not only meet their legal obligations but optimise their workforce for future bottom line growth.”