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The Government has updated its advice on calculating working hours to explain what constitutes a working week.
The Government says job-related training, time spent travelling as part of your job, working lunches, time spent working abroad, paid overtime, any unpaid overtime you’re asked to do, time spent on call at the workplace, any time that is treated as ‘working time’ under a contract and travel between home and work at the start and end of the working day (if you don’t have a fixed place of work) should all count as work.
However, a working week does not include: time spent on call away from the workplace; breaks when no work is done; travelling outside of normal working hours, unpaid overtime that’s volunteered for, such as staying late to finish something off, paid or unpaid holiday and travel to and from work if you have a fixed place of work.
The TUC said the judgement could have implications for many of the 951,000 employees who use home as a base.
But it will have the biggest impact on some 250,000 workers, including 37,000 skilled tradesmen, 13,000 professional drivers who take their vehicles home and 12,000 mobile carers.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that employees without a fixed or habitual office – so-called peripatetic workers – should include the time spent travelling between their homes and the premises of their first and last jobs as part of their working hours last year.
The ECJ ruling relates to the working time directive.
It gives workers the right to a minimum 28 days of paid holidays each year, a 20-minute rest break after six hours of work, rest of at least 11 hours in any 24 hours, 24 hours off after seven days of work, and provides for a right to work no more than 48 hours per week over a cycle. It also restricts excessive night work.
However, TUC policy officer Paul Sellers said: “To ensure changes comply, it is important to remember that individual opt-outs from the 48-hour week do not provide complete protection against this judgement, as it also affects the rest break entitlements in the directive.
“In addition, the 48-hour limit opt-out cannot be used by night workers.”
Tim Tozer, former Vauxhall Motors’ chairman, is to head up a new division at Vertu Motors.
Tozer will take on the position of group operations director from March 1 with a place on the AM100 dealer group’s main operational board.
The new division will incorporate the Vertu’s Hyundai, Fiat Group, Mazda and Peugeot outlets with the potential for further franchises that are new to the group to be added.
The business comprises 25 sales outlets from Scotland to Devon and revenues of around £220 million.
The new division will also see a number of promotions.
Rob Keenan becomes sales director and Ian Anderson will be aftersales director. Martin Welch will become finance director.
Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu Motors, said: “As the group expands it is one of my primary responsibilities to ensure that we have the right management structure and quality of management. We have to ensure that we have the capacity to continue to grow as a business.
“The appointment of Tim Tozer to lead this new division is a real statement of intent. Tim has a wealth of experience in the sector and has the leadership skills to add considerable value to the business as it continues to develop.
“I am convinced that this new structure, under Tim’s guidance, will provide the right level of management and focus to take the dealerships forward in financial performance and customer experience.”
]Volvo is recalling 7,000 cars in the UK because of a software fault that can briefly stop the engine.
The recall affects five-cylinder diesel models S60, V60, XC60, V70 and XC70 built from mid-2015. A total of 59,000 cars are thought to have the software problem in 40 markets.
A dealer fix is said to take 30-minutes.
Volvo spokesman Stefan Elfstrom said the glitch can be “unpleasant” but the company has no information about any accidents caused as a result.
He told Sky News that “the experience isn’t a nice one” for drivers who find their engine cuts out.
But he said it would be “barely noticeable” when travelling at speed because both the engine and the electric system would start up again straightaway.
A Volvo spokeswoman said: “A software issue in the electronic central module could cause the engine to momentarily cut out.
“Anybody who is affected will be asked to take it back to their Volvo dealer who will fix it free of charge
“There no reports of any accidents but we have had some drivers – not in the UK – who have contacted us to say an issue had arisen.”
Sales of used vehicles through the National Association of Motor Auction (NAMA) rose 6.1% in 2015.
The trade body said the market saw growing volumes of pre-registered cars in the market.
“Our preliminary analysis suggests that the used vehicle market rose by 8.1% with as many as an additional 500,000 vehicles sold during the year.
“In total, we estimate a total market of 7.8 million unit sales last year,” said NAMA head Louise Wallis.
Nada also noted a reduction in the average age of used cars.
“At auction, we have seen a surge in demand in the late and low category.
“This has largely been at the cost of cars in the 6.6 to 10.5-year category.
“Add this to self-registered vehicles and the slow but steady move to a younger parc is inevitable.
“The demand pull from consumers that is driving this trend is largely focused upon user costs like fuel, road tax and reduced maintenance costs,” said Wallis.
Research commissioned by the IMI last year revealed a concern amongst training providers and businesses with training academies in England regarding the Government’s plans to increase apprentice numbers by 2020.
The survey, conducted by the IMI found that the majority of training providers welcomed the government’s ambition to increase apprenticeships to three million but feared other policies will make it impossible to achieve.
78 per cent of respondents said that careers advice, which has been provided in schools on an ad hoc basis since 2012, is at best unhelpful.
Only ten per cent think advice offered by the National Careers Service has any impact on apprentice recruitment.
Car manufacturers are reassuring customers over supply of plug-in hybrids following reports that orders for some models have been cancelled.
It was reported last week that BMW’s new plug-in hybrid version of the 3 Series, the 330e, has already reached its UK allocation of 2,500 units for 2016, and some customers who believed they had placed orders for cars have now been told the car is sold out.
According to posts on the Pistonheads forum, one customer said: “I’ve had the dreaded phone call from the leasing company and I am one of those who has had the order cancelled.
“They mentioned they have about 65 orders that have been cancelled by BMW. I asked for alternatives and I was told most PHEV cars have really long lead times including the Mercedes-Benz C350e, expected delivery about July/August.”
BMW admitted it was experiencing high demand for the 330e, but two other plug-in hybrid cars recently introduced – the X5 xDrive40e SUV and 225xe MPV – were not subject to the same pressures.
Demand for all plug-in hybrids in the UK has been accelerated by changes to the plug-in car grant from March. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in his spending review in December that the maximum grant would be cut to £4,500, and some plug-in vehicles would only be eligible for a £2,500 grant.
Plug-in hybrids with prices exceeding £60,000 would no longer be eligible for help.