Uniforms, vehicle & travel entitlements

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.

Plumbing Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award [MA000036].

Uniform entitlements

An employee may have to do work that requires special clothing. 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 or equipment, the employer has to:

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

All uniforms have to be replaced by the employer where necessary and returned when employment ends.

Damage to clothing and equipment

An employee may have to do work that damages their clothing or personal equipment such as spectacles or hearing aid. The damage may be caused by:

  • acid
  • sulphur or other substances

If an employee has to do work that damages their clothing or personal equipment, the employer has to reimburse them for an amount to cover the loss suffered by the employee. This amount must be agreed upon, taking into account how the clothing and equipment was damaged.

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

Vehicle and travel entitlements

Travel costs and travel time

An employee will be paid travelling time and fares allowances:

  • when they are required to start or finish a job using their own vehicle or public transport
  • for an RDO where the employee normally gets these allowances.

When an employee is required to start or finish a job and is provided with or offered transport they’re only paid the travelling time allowance, not the fares allowance.

An employee isn't paid for time spent travelling or the fares allowance:

  • when they're required to start and finish at the workshop
  • they're provided with or offered accommodation at the job site
  • while they're on annual leave, public holidays or sick leave.

For travelling time and fares allowance amounts, go to Penalty rates and allowances.

Employees are entitled to a travel time allowance when they’re working at a location within a 50 km radius (as determined by the employer) of either:

  • the employer's normal base establishment or workshop
  • the General Post Office in their capital city
  • the Principal Post Office of a regional city or town
  • the local Post Office closest to the employer's establishment or workshop beyond the defined radius of the Post Office listed above
  • for distant workers, the place where employees are housed by their employer.

Additional travelling time allowance

Employees are entitled to an additional travelling time allowance every time they have to travel outside the 50km radius. This is on top of the travelling time allowance above.

The additional travelling time allowance is the higher of:

  • an extra 25% of the employee's minimum hourly wage
  • the employee's hourly rate for the actual time spent travelling between the edge of the 50km radius and the job site and back.

Employees who use their own vehicle for travel outside the 50km radius are also entitled to a vehicle allowance. This is paid for the distance from the 50km radius to the job site and back to the defined radius. For allowance amounts, go to Penalty rates and allowances.

Travel between job sites

Employees travelling between job sites during work hours for work purposes have to be paid for all time spent travelling at the ordinary rate of pay. They also have to be:

  • reimbursed for the reasonable cost of public transport or
  • paid a vehicle allowance when they agree to use their own vehicle at the request of their employer.

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.

For information on living away from home distant work payments and allowances check clause 21.10 of the Plumbing Award.

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

Source reference: Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award [MA000036] clauses 21.8(d), 21.9 and 21.10 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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