Uniforms, vehicle & travel entitlements

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.

Manufacturing Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010 [MA000010].

Uniform entitlements

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

Special clothing includes items worn for workplace health and safety reasons (eg. protective aprons and protective footwear).

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

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

An employee may have to do work that damages their clothing or personal equipment such as spectacles or hearing aid.

If the damage is caused by fire, molten metal or corrosive substances, the employer has to pay the employee to fix the damage. The employer doesn’t have to pay if the employee gets workers compensation for the damages.

If the damage is caused by the employer’s negligence while the employee was doing their job, the employer must pay to replace, fix or clean the clothing or personal equipment.

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

Vehicle costs

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

Travel costs and travel time

When an employee has to start and/or finish work away from their normal workplace they have to be paid:

  • ordinary time rates for reasonable travel time that is more than the time they normally spend travelling between their home and usual place of work (unless it’s a Sunday or public holiday and then they must be paid time and a half)
  • any fares reasonably incurred that are more than they would usually spend to get from their home to their normal workplace.

Excess fares aren’t paid if the employee is using their own means of transport and has an arrangement with the employer for a regular allowance.

When an employee is transferred from one locality to another temporarily, they have to be paid travelling time between the 2 localities and expenses. Expenses include all fares reasonably incurred, a meal amount and reasonable allowance for board and lodging.

After 4 weeks of working away, an employer has to pay for a return fare for personal travel between the locality and the employee’s home, unless working away is inherent to the normal work of the employee.

When an employee is transferred from 1 locality to another and this involves a change in residence, they have to be paid:

  • travelling time between the 2 localities
  • expenses.

Expenses include all fares reasonably incurred, a meal amount and reasonable allowance for board and lodging.

Expense payments stop:

  • after 3 months
  • after 6 months, when the employee is in the process of buying a new house at the new locality  or
  • when the employee has found permanent or other accommodation at the new location.

Time spent travelling is capped at:

  • 12 hours in 24 hours or
  • 8 hours in 24 hours when a sleeping berth is provided for night travel.

Check the Manufacturing 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 Manufacturing Award summary.

Source reference: Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010 [MA000010] clause 32.2(a), 32.2(d), 32.2(f) and 32.4 external-icon.png

You do not have javascript enabled. Please select your preferred industry from the links below, to view your tailored content for this section.

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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