Do workers ‘on-call’, but not working, need to actually be at the workplace for the purposes of calculating working time, and therefore entitlement to pay, rest, holiday etc.?

No, according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case of Truslove and another v Scottish Ambulance Service UKEAT/00534/13. Follow link here for details of the full case


Mr Truslove and Miss Wood were ambulance paramedics. They were required to be on-call to provide nightly relief to various ambulance stations. Whilst on-call they were allowed to stay in accommodation of their choice within a three-mile radius of the station, and they were given a target to respond to any emergency call within three minutes.

The EAT decided that in the above circumstances the workers were working the entire period of their on-call shift. The Ambulance Service’s requirement for Ms Truslove and Miss Wood to be in a specific location (albeit relatively wide in scope) resulted in a lack of freedom justifying the characterisation of this time as ‘work’.


This case widens the scope of ‘on call’ periods, where the entire shift must be classed as ‘working time’.

Now, employers will need to consider granting compensatory rest equivalent to the entire on-call shift:

  • to workers who have to be at the workplace and ready and willing to work (e.g. sleeping at care homes); and
  • to workers who have to be at a location specified by their employer and ready and willing to work.

Follow link here for details of the full case

Published in…

Updates: For employers: Holiday and working time | Pay and pensions |
Tagged with: Minimum wage | Working time |

Share this update on

Contact Us

  • Drop files here or