Careers

taking a company vehicle home / paid travel time / ministy investigation

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 1st, 2012 3:59 pm
Tags:
None
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 24, 2010
42 posts
2 upvotes

taking a company vehicle home / paid travel time / ministy investigation

I work in the service industry, and we take our company vehicles home everynight and leave for our job sites from our houses in the morning.
Our company refuses to pay our travel time. Our hours of work are 8am to 4pm. No matter where we work we are expected to be onsite for 8am. For example, if I live in Hamilton, and Im Expected to be in fort erie for 8, I would Leave at 630 am and eat the 1.5 hours travel. the Ministry says (in Print) that in certain circumstances when a company has an employee take vehicles home for the companies benefit, then travel time is paid, But is very vague on what constitutes company benefit or any other defining details. when contacted via phone, (which ive done at least 5 times just out of curiosity to get the opinions of 5 different people at the ministry) they have ALL said we should be getting paid travel time because we take the vehicles home for the company benefit because we dont have to go to the shop every morning for 8am to pick up the vans. If we had to be at the shop at 8am to start our day ( like you would if you worked at say Tim hortons) then we wouldnt get to our job sites untill 10am etc.. thus its the companies benefit and insures they get the most time out of us in a business day. The ministy will not give me anything in writing and say an investigation must be opened to ensure the company is doing whats right, but when an investigation is opened it Can NOT be annonymous, they must tell the employer who brought them in, which opens a can of worms to say the least..

so with that said, does anyone work for a company where you take a company vehicle home and get paid travel? or do you leave your driveway at your start time ) ie 8am etc) any other experiences relating to this?
5 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 1, 2004
12862 posts
1473 upvotes
Pickering
Been taking a van home for years with many different companies. One of them we still used to report to the work centre in the van because the payoff for them was that we agreed to work until our shift was over. This would enable us to do one extra job per day over dropping off the van. Other companies said we need to start at our jobs at 8:00 and work until our shift ends with a benefit of two jobs to the employer. Technically when you are in your van, you are at work. With one of the employers if you were at work, you needed to be wearing safety boots, so if you were driving their van, you had to have your boots on.

If you are judged on your start time, than technically in a federally (and most likely) provincially regulated company, by law they cannot hold you responsible if you are late. You do not control, the weather, construction, or the other drivers. You can only be judged ustilising statistics that give you a fair and equitable opportunity to meet your numbers. If you you received less pay (like a bonus) or got in trouble, you could argue your case easily.

If you drove to your work centre, you would being responsible for your tools, remove them and put them in a secure place in the building. Every day the company would have to pay you to check your truck to make sure it is safe and load your tools if you reported to a work centre. They should only be able to tell you you should be within a reasonable area by 8:00 AM, not at a job.

I have heard management threaten to take the vans in every night. This will cause:

1. The loss of at least 1-2 jobs per day per tech.
2. Cost money to warehouse and secure the vehicles
3. Cost them in OT to return the vans

I'd make enough OT to lease a car and free my driveway of the sticker-ed behemoth in OT, or I'd work 30% less and get home on time if someone forced the return of the vans. Occasionally the vans would get broken into all at once and we couldn't work the next day because all of are vans got robbed of tools and stock.

So no, we don't get paid to drive the van there and back and if we are outside a reasonable drive area, we won't be onsite at 8:00 and we can't be held accountable for not being onsite at 8:00. When you are in the van you are at work, so you have a case. There was one recent case from the CEP Union that was one where the technician claimed loading the tools and prepping at home before he left as time he should be paid for. He won.

The key for you is that you are at work when in the vehicle. If not then it is for personal use. When the vehicle is used for personal use, it would be a taxable benefit and you would pay the taxes on the kilometres you used the vehicle to benefit yourself. If this is the case then you can use the vehicle whenever you want and for whatever you want so long as you claim it. If you cannot use the vehicle for personal use and it is for business use only then when you are in it YOU ARE AT WORK.
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2009
819 posts
77 upvotes
705
I used to have a service truck. I took it home each night.
If I went in to head office in the morning, I traveled on my own time. It took me 30 minutes.
If I went to a customer's site further than that drive, I got paid for the extra travel time.
for e.g., if it was 90 min., I would charge 1 hour on my time card.

If the customer site was equal or less than the drive to head office, I did not get paid for travel.

It was an honour system, so of course some abused it... most didn't.

Yes, I was at work in the truck, and usually talking to co-workers, customers, or boss en-route, but the savings in gas and wear and tear on my car was worth something to me. plus, I like talking shop.

Our competitor had GPS tracking in all vehicles and the boss had a big screen monitor showing where everybody was... big brother-esque. We didn't want that.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
13841 posts
1337 upvotes
but when an investigation is opened it Can NOT be annonymous, they must tell the employer who brought them in
Why?
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
Banned
User avatar
Feb 15, 2008
26318 posts
3221 upvotes
Calgary
Syne wrote: Why?
Simply put, a criminal has the right to know who his accuser is.

To the OP: is your trade/profession in demand or not? Could you quit your job today, and find a new job tomorrow at compensation that would be equal to, or better than the compensation you're receiving today? If so, then maybe you want to avail yourself of such. If not, then, at some level, you have to accept that your employer is treating you in a manner that is consistent with the 'market' for your services, even if, strictly speaking, you're not getting paid for some travel time.
TodayHello wrote: ...The Banks are smarter than you - they have floors full of people whose job it is to read Mark77 posts...
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
13841 posts
1337 upvotes
Mark77 wrote: Simply put, a criminal has the right to know who his accuser is.
Wasn't there a big rigamarole these past couple years about making whistleblower laws that encourage, rather than discourage people from coming forward?

In this case, either the company is breaking labour laws or it isn't. There doesn't need to be an accuser. It's a black/white issue.
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.

Top