Uniforms, vehicle & travel entitlements

Illustration of girl in fast food uniform surrounded by dollar amounts. Text Check your work uniform entitlements
Most awards require employers to pay for uniforms and protective clothing (like aprons and steel cap boots). Your employer may also need to pay an allowance to cover washing costs and replace uniforms due to normal wear and tear.

Uniform entitlements don’t stretch to include general dress standards required by an employer, like wearing clothes of a certain colour or that are clean and in good condition.

Before you spend your own money on the company shirt, check your award entitlements with the industry filter below. If you’re covered by an enterprise agreement you should check it instead.

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 2010 [MA000020].

Uniform entitlements

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

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 their clothing, 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

Some employees are entitled to a daily allowance when they’re working at a construction site that is located within a 50 km radius of either:

  • the General Post Office in their capital city, or
  • the principal post office of a regional city or town.

They’re entitled to this allowance when they drive their own vehicle, or when the employer:

  • provides them with a work vehicle free of charge and
  • requires them to drive this vehicle to and from their home to the job site.

This allowance isn’t paid if the employer provides the employee with transport to and from their home to the job site (eg. driving them in a work vehicle, or arranging to have them picked up by another driver).

The allowance is paid on rostered days off but it's not paid during periods of leave. However, it's included when calculating annual leave loading.

Employees in the metal and engineering construction sector who are required to start or finish work at a location that isn’t a construction site (eg. the employer’s workshop, yard or depot), aren’t entitled to this allowance.

Travelling to and from work - long distance

If an employee has to travel more than 50 kms from the GPO or principal post office, they are entitled to the daily travel allowance, plus:

  • payment for any time reasonably spent travelling beyond the 50 km boundary
  • 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 the employer provides the employee with transport or a vehicle free of charge to get to and from their home to the job site. An employer still needs to pay the daily travel allowance and ordinary wages for time reasonably spent travelling.

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 2010 [MA000020] clause 20.3, 24 and 25 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 Help resolving workplace issues 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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