Normally, employees are responsible for getting to work on their own and are not entitled to be paid for commuting. However, when an employee travels under the direction or control of an employer or is performing work for the employer, the time is considered time worked and the employee must be paid.
Employees who earn wages for time spent travelling do not have to be paid their usual wage rate, but must be paid at least minimum wage.
The trip from home to work is normally a commute. It is done on the employee’s own time, as no service or labour is performed until after the employee arrives at work. This remains the case even if the employer provides a vehicle for the employee’s use.
Sometimes, employees meet at a designated place at a specific time to get a ride to the worksite. If they prefer, they can make their own way to the worksite. The meeting place is a rendezvous, and the trip to the worksite is still a commute.
If employees work at a remote work site which is only accessible by employer-arranged transportation, the employer may designate a marshalling point where the employees meet to make the trip to the worksite. The trip from the marshalling point to the worksite is paid travel time.
Employees must be at the airport by
5:30 a.m. for a flight into a logging site. There is no other way to get to the worksite. The airport is the marshalling point. The trip from home to the airport is a commute; the trip from the airport to the worksite is paid travel time.
Farm workers meet at a marshalling point, from which they are driven to a worksite. They may not know where they will be working from day to day. The trip from the marshalling point to the worksite and back is paid travel time.
If an employee is required to provide a service to the
employer on the way to or from a worksite by bringing employer-provided tools or equipment, picking up supplies or bringing material between home or another location and the worksite, that trip is paid travel time.
Travelling to different job sites
Some employees work at different job sites; either several on the same day, or different sites on different days. Time spent driving to the first site before reporting for work is a commute. Time spent going from one job site to another during the course of a working day is work time and must be paid.
If an employer requires an employee to go to an out-of-town location which is not normally required for the job, the employer may have to pay for the travel time if it can be shown that the travel ought to be considered as labour or service for the employer.
An employee, who lives and works in Burnaby, is sent to a sales meeting in Kelowna. The trip, from home and return, is paid travel time.
Ministry of Labour
Employment Standards Branch
Province of British Columbia
This factsheet has been prepared for general information purposes. It is not a legal document. Please refer to the Employment Standards Act and Regulation for purposes of interpretation and application of the law. December 2009
For more information, please contact the Employment Standards Branch.