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ECJ 4 March 2011, case C-258/10 (Nicusor Grigore – v – Regia Nationala a Padurilor Romsilva), Working time

Article 2(1) of the Directive is to be interpreted as meaning that a period during which a forest warden with a contractual eight-hour working day is responsible for supervising a certain area of forest qualifies as “working time” within the meaning of that provision, if the nature and extent of that supervision, combined with his responsibility, require his physical presence at work and if he is at his employer’s disposal during such presence. It is up to the referring court to determine whether this is the case.

The qualification of a period as “working time” does not depend on the availability of lodgings on site if such availability does not imply a requirement to be physically present at the work location. It is up to the referring court to determine whether this is the case.

Article 6 of the Directive precludes, in principle, a situation in which a forest warden, even though his contract stipulates an 8-hour work day and a 40-hour week, is actually forced to work in excess of those limits. It is for the referring court to examine whether this is the case and, if so, whether Romania has exercised its options to derogate from Article 6.

The employer’s obligation to pay salary for periods during which a forest warden is responsible for supervising an area of forest depends solely on domestic law. 

European Court of Justice (ECJ), 2011-03-04