silly0ne · 01/11/2019 08:55
I have recently started work for a company on a 'Zero Hours' contract. The work involves travelling from home to see clients at various settings. At the interview and induction, I was told that travel expenses would be paid and I was supplied with claim forms to log the expenses.
Last month, I submitted the travel claims, complete with receipts. I do not drive, so the expenses are all pertaining to public transport. I received payment for the work, but not for travel. I queries this and the manager said he had signed off my expenses claim and there should be no problem. However, payment was no forthcoming.
I contacted pay roll and they told me that the claims were all 'on hold' because I was not a registered driver (for the company) and they had not seen my driving licence and so on. I told them that the expenses related to public transport and was told this was nothing to do with pay roll and I should contact my manager again.
I did this and he told me he would 'look into the matter'. I have still not been paid.
I am about to submit my time-sheets for this month and my travel expenses for this month. The expenses for travel this month are about £100, which is not a lot, but significant given the wage I am on.
I am not happy about not being paid for travel, but I can accept this if it is a company policy not to do so. However, I feel there is a little discrimination. If I drove to the settings (as many of my colleagues do) the expenses would be paid. However, I do not drive and feel whatever policy the company has with respect to travel, it puts non-drivers at a disadvantage.
What reasons could the company have for not refunding travel on public transport, whilst doing so for drivers?
maxelly · 01/11/2019 11:44
There's no reason why they wouldn't/shouldn't pay. It's not technically illegal discrimination (not being a driver is not a protected characteristic unless I suppose you don't drive because you are disabled). However IF the company had such a policy it would seem very unfair/unreasonable and not very environmentally friendly , unless you live in the kind of area where getting around on public transport takes so much longer than driving that it could be argued on grounds of business efficiency. Doesn't sound like this is the case for you though.
I highly doubt however that it is company policy not to pay public transport expenses. It sounds like what you have here is a 'computer says no' situation and that the payroll person you have spoken to is simply not used to paying non-driving expenses - they will have a standard process not to pay mileage without the proper paperwork/checks that the driver is registered and insured etc. completed by the manager as is perfectly proper, and s/he seems to have not twigged that this doesn't apply to non drivers. I know it seems obvious but where people are used to following a certain process they can refuse to deviate from it in any circumstances. They may not know what 'box' or field they need to complete at their end if they've never done it before etc., it will probably be different to paying mileage as they should be reimbursing you for actual expense not a rate p/mile. Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity!
I think you need to get back onto payroll, speak to a different person or if you get the same answer ask to speak to the payroll manager (or get your manager to do it). You def need to push to get this sorted - once you've done it once hopefully it will be sorted for the future, plus you will have benefited anyone else who wants to use public transport in the future!
silly0ne · 01/11/2019 15:07
Thank you. The situation has been resolved and I received payment the previous month's expenses this morning and will be paid for my current expenses once they are processed.
I will remember your phrase 'never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity!' It probably explains a lot of things.
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