The case of A retained Firefighter v A Local Authority is a very useful (and detailed) summary of the law in Ireland around working time under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 ( as amended) and related regulations.

In this case the Complainant was a Retained Firefighter and lived a quarter of a mile from the fire station and that he has a 98% attendance record for attending calls and attending training. He stated that he was seeking permission to leave the general area from the Fire Station. He stated that his current situation was severely restrictive on him. He also stated that he was required to attend training drills 85% of the time and the minimum requirement for attending “call outs” was 75% of the time.

In accordance with European caselaw the employee argued that the time spent “on call” constituted “working time” for the purposes of the Working Time Act.

The Workplace Relations Commission disagreed and set out a detailed analysis of the caselaw including the key case of Ville de Nivelles v Rudy Matzak Case C-518/15

It found that time on “standby” did not constitute working time.