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.

Vehicle Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award [MA000089].

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).

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

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

The employer also has to:

  • cover the cost of replacing the special or protective clothing if it is damaged
  • pay an employee each week to cover washing costs, where the employee has to wash any special clothing.

Use our pay calculator for allowance amounts.

Vehicle and travel entitlements

Vehicle costs

When an employee is asked to use their own vehicle for work purposes they get a vehicle allowance. Use our pay calculator for allowance amounts.

Travel costs and travel time

When an employee has to work away from their normal workplace they have to be paid:

  • ordinary time rates for all travel time that is more than the time they normally spend travelling between their home and usual place of work (unless it’s a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday which are paid at time and a half)
  • ordinary time rates for time spent travelling during business time
  • excess fares for public transport, if:
  • the employee is using their own means of transport with the approval of the employer  
  • there is no arrangement for a regular allowance for this transport
  • a vehicle allowance, when an employee is asked to use their own vehicle for work purposes.

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.

Use our pay calculator for allowance amounts.

This payment doesn't apply to people principally employed to perform vehicle sales related duties.

When an employee is transferred from one locality to another, they have to be paid:

  • travelling time between the two localities
  • expenses, if the move is expected to be permanent and the employee has to move house.

These payments stop:

  • after 3 months or
  • when the employee has found permanent or other accommodation at the new location.

When an employee has to work and sleep away from home they have to be reimbursed for all reasonable expenses incurred for accommodation and meals. Expenses include a meal amount and reasonable allowance for board and lodging.

This reimbursement isn't paid where the arrangements have been made to charge the expenses to the employer.

Use our pay calculator for allowance amounts.

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

Source reference: Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award [MA000089] clauses 19 and 28 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.

Help for small business

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