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Employers must purchase travel time on the working job, German court rules

A businessman travelling for the work. Photo: depositphotos/VitalikRadko

If you travel for professional reasons, you might have your travel time remunerated like working hours – yet you need to purchase detours yourself, ruled Federal Labour Court.

According to a ruling this week by Federal Labour Court (BAG), employees who work in the field or frequently need to go abroad may in future demand extra pay from their employer, reported the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Wednesday.

“If the employer temporarily sends a worker abroad, the trips to and from the external workplace are created exclusively in the employer’s interest and so are therefore usually to be remunerated like work,” the Erfurt judges said.

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The decision was predicated on a case taken to the court by way of a technical employee from Rhineland-Palatinate whose boss sent him to China for the work. 

SEE ALSO: 5 key things you have to know about German working culture

The construction expert, who was simply visiting a building site with respect to his job, needed four days for the return flight. Each day yet his employer only wished to pay him for eight hours, compared to the extra 37 hours he previously requested rather.

However, the employee didn’t be successful along with his argumentation fully, because the court ruled that unnecessary stopovers shouldn’t qualify as “work time”.

The construction expert had asked his company to book him a flight on business class – and therefore a stopover in Dubai was necessary – as opposed to the economy class that your had originally planned.

Now the Rhineland-Palatinate State Labour Court must clarify if the continuing business class flight was necessary and, as a total result, if the employee can claim a complete 37 hours of pay, or arrives less.