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The employee’s transportation time in the airport’s safety area where their place of work is located should not be considered as effective working time

French Supreme Court, 9 mai 2019, n° 17-20.740 FS-PB

In accordance with the legal principle according to which the effective working time is the time during which the employee is at the employer’s disposal and complies with its directives without being able to have personal activities, transportation time to the employee’s place of work is not considered as effective working time.

In a decision of 9 May 2019, the French Supreme Court confirmed this principle, making it clear that particular constraints when the employee arrives on the company’s premises are not sufficient to consider transportation time as effective working time.

Employees of a company dedicated to the distribution of fuel to aircraft at the Orly airport argued that their transportation time in the safety area of the airport should be considered as effective working time and paid as such, claiming that they have to undergo security screening and use a specific shuttle to reach their place of work, on the runways.

The French Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Court of Appeal which had upheld their request by considering that the waiting time for the shuttle and the transport action time should be considered as effective working time.

Indeed, the French Supreme Court considered that the fact that the employee has to move within the safety area of the airport with a shuttle is not sufficient to consider that this transportation time is effective working time insofar as it is not demonstrated that the employee is then at the employer’s disposal and that he must comply with its directives without being able to have personal activities.