Uniforms, vehicle & travel entitlements

There are new versions of several awards starting from 4 February 2020.

Check out Changes to awards in 2020 for more information.

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.

Building and Construction Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Building and Construction General On-site Award [MA000020].

Uniform entitlements

An employee may have to do work that damages their clothes, glasses, hearing aids or tools.

The damage may be caused by:

  • acid
  • sulphur or other deleterious substances
  • fire
  • molten metal or
  • corrosive substances.  

If an employee has to do work that damages these items, the employer has to reimburse them for an amount to cover the loss suffered by the employee. This amount must be agreed upon.

Check the Building and Construction Award for information on the maximum reimbursement amount for damage to clothing and loss or damage of tools.

Vehicle and travel entitlements

Travelling during work hours

Employees travelling between job sites during work hours in the course of their duties have to be paid for all time spent travelling. They should also be paid the reasonable cost of public transport between the sites if relevant.

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

This allowance isn’t paid if the employer provides transport or covers the cost of reasonable public transport.

Travelling to and from work

Employees are entitled to a daily travel allowance when they start and finish work at a construction site.

This allowance isn’t paid if the employer provides or offers to provide transport to and from the employee's home to the job site (for example, driving them in a work vehicle, or arranging to have them picked up by another driver), or

  • provides a fully maintained work vehicle free of charge.
  • Travelling to and from work - long distance

    If an employee has to travel to a construction site that is outside a 50 km radius of the GPO or principal post office where their home is, and they have to travel more than 50km by road from their home, then they are entitled to the daily travel allowance, plus:

    • payment for any time outside ordinary working hours reasonably spent travelling, calculated to the next quarter of an hour, and with a minimum payment of half an hour per day for each return trip
    • reimbursement for travel expenses that are reasonably incurred, including an amount per kilometre if the employee uses their own vehicle.

    This allowance isn’t paid if at the time the employee was employed, their home was more than 50km by road from the construction site where they first attended work.

    Apprentices get a percentage of the daily travel allowance. Go to our Pay and Conditions Tool for more information.

    Employees working and living outside radial areas

    Employees that live and work outside a radial area don't get the allowance.

    Check the Building and Construction Award external-icon.png for all payments that apply in certain situations.

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

    Source reference: Building and Construction General On-site Award [MA000020] clause 21.3 and 26 external-icon.png

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

    Think a mistake might have been made?

    Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

    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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