Commission grants employee request to vary travel time provisions in Modern real estate award

Commission grants employee request to vary travel time provisions in Modern real estate award

Commission grants employee request to vary travel time provisions in Modern real estate award

The Fair Work Commission has granted an employee’s request to clarify and amend provisions of the Modern real estate award relating to excess travel entitlements.

The employee is currently engaged by a real estate firm as a casual, subject to the provisions of the Real Estate Industry Award 2020 (the Award). This modern Award covers the provision of services associated with sales, acquisitions, leasing and/or management of residential, commercial and other properties.

The employee was seeking to address what entitlements employees should receive in respect of wages and motor vehicle allowances in circumstances where they are required to start or finish work at locations other than the employee’s office or business premises.

In submissions before Deputy President Ingrid Asbury, the employee cited various experiences he had encountered, including not having a regular place of work, being required to open houses for inspection often at locations up to 100 km away from his home, or simply being required to work at distant locations.

In each of the situations, the employee stated that payment for each shift started when he arrived at the first open for inspection and finished when his last open for inspection concluded. In other words, there was no additional compensation for any excess time travelling to or from his house.

The majority of submissions, in this case, agreed that the Award, while providing reimbursement to employees who used their own vehicles based on a per-kilometre rate, did not specifically address the issue of employees required to commence or finish work away from their normal office.

The Deputy President rejected a submission that the casual loading paid to the employee was sufficient to compensate for any additional travel incurred.

The Deputy President accepted as a starting point that it was logical that employees attended other premises “at the direction of their employer”.

The major variation that she proposed to insert into the Award states, “If an employer requires the employee to start or finish at a location other than the employee’s business or office premises, the employee must be paid for time reasonably spent by the employee travelling to or from the location which is in excess of the time normally spent by the employee travelling between the employee’s usual residence and the employer’s business or office premises”.

In other words, if an employee normally takes 30 minutes to get to work and is required to commence work at a location 45 minutes away, they would be entitled to an additional 15 minutes.

The entitlement is paid at ordinary time rates and is counted for the purpose of ensuring minimum engagement for casual employees.

Obviously, the amount of the entitlement will vary according to where an individual employee lives.

It should be noted that this decision solely applies to this Award, and for employees engaged under other industrial instruments, those separate provisions should be considered.

NAP [2024] FWC 8 (2 January 2024)

For queries about casuals, travelling time, award provisions, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 0417 622 178, 1300 WAL LAW or via email to dean.cameron@workforceadvisory.com.au

Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

 

 

 

 

Ref: 414.0324

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