Uniforms, vehicle & travel entitlements

As part of their job, employees may be required to:

  • wear uniforms
  • drive vehicles and/or
  • travel to other locations.

In these situations, an employee may be entitled to a payment or repayment, depending on the industry and the job they do.

Employees required to buy work related items can’t be forced by their employer to use their wages to pay for these items, if the requirement is unreasonable.

If you're covered by an enterprise agreement or other registered agreement, payments for uniforms, vehicles and travel will be contained in your agreement. To find an agreement, go to the Fair Work Commission website external-icon.png .

Find more information about payments for uniforms, vehicles and travel in your award by selecting from the list below.

Retail Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the General Retail Industry Award [MA000004].

Uniform entitlements

An employee may have to do work that requires special clothing or work that damages their clothing.

Special clothing includes:

  • uniforms (eg. shirts with the company logo on them)
  • clothing from the floor stock in the store an employee works in.

Special clothing doesn't include general dress standards required by an employer. For example, an employer may require that clothing is clean, in good condition and appropriate, or must be certain colours an employee can be reasonably expected to already own such as black trousers and shoes, and this would not count as special clothing.

If an employee has to wear special or protective clothing, the employer has to:

  • provide the clothing, or
  • reimburse the employee for the cost of the clothing.

The employer also has to:

  • cover the cost of replacing the special or protective clothing due to normal wear and tear
  • pay an employee an allowance each week or shift to cover washing costs, where the employee has to wash any special clothing.

For allowance amounts, go to Penalty rates and allowances.

Vehicle and travel entitlements

When an employee is asked to use their own vehicle for work purposes they get a vehicle allowance. For allowance amounts, go to Penalty rates and allowances.

Transport costs

An employee (other than a shiftworker) has to be reimbursed the cost of their taxi, hire car or rideshare fare from the workplace to their home when:

  • they start or finish after 10pm or before 7am on any day
  • their regular means of transport isn't available
  • they aren't able to arrange their own alternative transport 
  • the employer doesn't provide suitable transport.

Travel costs and travel time

When an employee has to work away from their normal branch or shop temporarily (up to 3 weeks) they have to be reimbursed for all extra transport costs.

Employees travelling between their normal branch or shop and the temporary branch or shop have to be paid:

  • ordinary time rates for time spent travelling (when it's more than the time taken to get from their home to their normal branch or shop), unless it's a Sunday or a holiday
  • any fares reasonably incurred (when it’s more than what they spend to get from their home to their normal branch or shop).

When an employer provides transport from a pick up point, employees have to get paid ordinary time rates for time spent travelling to and from the pick up point.

To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Retail Award summary.

Source reference: General Retail Industry Award [MA000004] clause 19.3, 19.4, 19.5, 19.6, 19.7 and 19.8 external-icon.png

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Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 ss.325(1) external-icon.png

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Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical advice on:

  • figuring out if a mistake has been made
  • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
  • getting help from us if you can't resolve it.

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