Businesses rush to prepare for new EU Working Time Directive
Written by staff reporter
UK businesses are thought to be lagging behind the rest of Europe when it comes to its preparedness for the European Court of Justice’s latest ruling on the Working Time Directive (WTD).
Announced in September 2015, new regulations falling within the existing WTD, which rule the time taken to travel to and from work at the beginning and end of each day should count as working time, are expected to be implemented by 2019.
But, according to a survey of over 300 senior business leaders across Europe, over a third (36%) of UK businesses will not be ready when the latest WTD regulation comes into force. The research also found that more than one in 10 companies are not even aware of the ruling. Across Europe, only Germany (69%) and Italy (72%) felt confident they would be completely ready.
The report also found that businesses expect the new ruling to have a significant impact, with 60% planning to change the way they operate, and nearly seven in ten (68%), indicating that they will or may have to change the way they schedule resources in the field. Cost is the biggest concern around the new law, according to 29% of respondents, while around one in five businesses (19%) were concerned about unknowingly breaking the rules.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Claudine Bianchi, CMO of ClickSoftware, which commissioned the research, said it is vitally important that businesses know what the new regulations mean and what they will be required to do. "Containing the cost of service delivery without sacrificing quality is critical for service-centric businesses. Most field service workers are mobile, outside the office, and travel time takes up a large part of their day. The cost implications are huge. Whether or not the UK decides to adopt the law post-Brexit, British businesses will have to adapt their practices if they operate in multiple countries across Europe.”
According to the report, the new WTD ruling is expected to significantly impact the lives of workers in the field. Three in 10 businesses (30%) anticipate having to reduce the number of jobs a field service employee can do in a day. However, the report also found that the same level of employers are bracing themselves to have to pay more overtime to these employees to factor in for cost of travel. To cope with this change, just under one in five (19%) businesses expect to take on more staff to be able to cope with the demand for field based work at its current level.
Preparing for the WTD (Source: ClickSoftware)
• The UK and France are the least prepared for the latest WTD regulation, with 42% (UK) and 48% (France) of respondents claiming they will not be completely ready
• One in 10 European businesses are still unaware of the latest European Court Justice ruling on WTD
• Sixty percent of European companies will have to make changes to their business
• Thirty percent will need to cut the number of planned daily jobs, but expect to pay
staff more for overtime
• Nearly one in five companies (19%) will need to hire more employees to complete field-based work, highest in Italy (39%) and Germany (41%)