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.

Hospitality Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 [MA000009].

Uniform entitlements

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

Special clothing includes:

  • uniforms (eg. shirts with the company logo on them)
  • items worn for workplace health and safety reasons (eg. protective aprons and protective footwear).

It doesn't include neat casual clothing, black or white clothing, shoes, socks or stockings.

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 pay an employee an allowance each week to cover washing costs, where the employee has to wash any special clothing.

For allowance amounts, go to Penalty rates and allowances.

When special clothing is provided and is not returned at the end of the employment, an employer may be able to deduct the value from an employee's wages as long as:

  • the employee signed a receipt for the items when they commenced employment
  • the receipt specified the value of the items, and
  • the deduction is not due to genuine wear and tear, damage, loss or theft that is not the employee’s fault. 

Vehicle and transport costs

When a hotel manager employee is asked to use their own vehicle for work purposes they get a vehicle allowance. An employer can ask them to record all the details of their official travel in a log book as a condition of the allowance being paid. For allowance amounts, go to Penalty rates and allowances.

An employee has to be reimbursed the cost of any transport when they:

  • start earlier than their normal time and
    • their normal means of transport isn't available and
    • the employer doesn't provide suitable transport or
  • finish at a time when
    • their normal means of transport isn't available
    • it would be unreasonable to expect the employee to use their normal means of transport
    • the employer doesn't provide free accommodation or suitable transport.

Travel costs and travel time

When an employee (except a casual) has to work at a place more than 80 km away from their normal workplace they have to be paid an amount equal to the cost of fares reasonably spent in travelling from the normal workplace to the new workplace.

An employer can recover any of this amount when the employee resigns or is dismissed for misconduct within 3 months of it being paid.

Airport catering employees have to be paid a travelling allowance each day. For allowance amounts, go to Penalty rates and allowances.

Use the Property receipt template – Hospitality industry (DOC 50KB) to record any items of uniform or property provided to an employee.

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

Source reference: Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 [MA000009] clause 21.1 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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