August 31, 2018
A call for employers to pay staff for the time they spend emailing while commuting has opened up the debate on what constitutes working time for employees. Researchers from the University of the West of England who found that commuters used free Wi-Fi provision on their journey to and from work to ‘catch up’ with work emails, have argued this supported the argument that the commute be counted as work. Until now, there has been little research to evaluate the impact free Wi-Fi provision has had in the UK, despite government encouragement for companies to provide access on transport networks. Traditionally, the government has been more concerned about the benefits of free Wi-Fi for business travellers, but the research team believe that the impact on commuters may be more important. When the researchers looked to Scandinavia to see how commuting time could be measured differently, they found that in Norway some commuters are able to count travel time as part of their working day.