What counts as working time?

Obviously work you do at your workplace under the direction of your employer counts as working time.

Working time does not include:

  • breaks;
  • time when you are on call, away from your employer's premises and not working (you are likely to be 'working' when on call if, for example, you are a relief ambulance driver, required to remain in a fixed geographical area away from home and ready to respond to an accident, emergency or other call out at short notice);
  • training at a college; or
  • time taken to travel to an occasional meeting away from your workplace (e.g. setting off half an hour early to get to the location of an awayday).

Working time does include:

  • paid overtime and unpaid overtime where the overtime is required as a part of the role;
  • time when you are on call at your employer's premises, but not working;
  • time spent travelling to the first and from the last appointment of the day when you are a mobile worker (i.e. when the travel and from work is part of the job);
  • time spent sleeping overnight, when 'being on the premises' is a requirement of your job, so that you could be disciplined if you left the premises without permission, for example, overnight careworkers or security guards);
  • training at the workplace arranged by the employer;
  • time taken travelling in between appointments (for example, the time spent by a domiciliary care worker travelling between the houses of different service users, providing community-based care services)
  • time spent by union officials during the working day on union duties (for example, attending meetings at the workplace with the employer's agreement to discuss pay negotiations or health and safety concerns); and
  • a working lunch.
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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