MMC Employment Law & Practice
N. Ireland Belfast
Pay for Travel Time & Expenses
Four in ten workers wrongly believe they are not entitled to a minimum wage for the time they spend travelling between assignments, highlighting the need for employers to check that they are fully compliant with wage rules Under Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998, section 21.
If you are an employee your employer must also pay you for any expenses incurred during working hours unless otherwise agreed by you in your Employee Contract. These may include accommodation, car or van fuel, public transport, uniforms, parking charges, phone if needed for work, tools and many more according to the nature of the business. Failure to pay wages for work done in law is an unauthorised deduction of wages. If the matter is not resolved by your employer and this behavior continues you are entitled to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal.
Failure to pay wages in full and on time is also a fundamental breach of the employment contract. The law also requires your employer to reimburse reasonable expenses necessarily incurred in the course of your employment and your written contract may contain written terms specifying what expenses are to be reimbursed and in what circumstances, for example; relocation expenses on transferring employment to a new location or hotel accommodation when staying away from home for work.
You should not be expected to pay for travelling expenses to a location other than your normal place of work. Even if there is no written term in your contract, the law still entitles you to be reimbursed. However, it can be time-consuming to resolve a dispute over expenses, so it is better for all concerned to have a clearly stated expenses policy.
If you feel that you are paying for something that your employer should be paying for, drop us an email and we will share our thoughts with you on the matter or direct you to other experts on this subject.