This is an important question, as it impacts such issues as
whether travel time is paid, whether those hours factor into hours
of work restrictions, overtime calculations and determining
vacation pay. Surprisingly, the answer is not an easy one.
The issue often arises in determining whether travel time to
various job sites is captured as "hours worked".
Unfortunately, this is not clearly defined in the Employment
Standards Act, 2000 ("ESA") or its regulations. Labour
Board decisions, arbitral decisions and secondary materials assist
in investigating this issue.
Generally, this analysis is very fact specific and therefore
should be determined on a case by case basis. However, the
decisions and materials generally clarify that "commuting
time" including travelling to and from work is not seen as
compensable work (unless agreed upon otherwise), subject to some
exceptions. Travel to various job sites or to training is less
clear. Generally, the decisions and materials suggest that an
employee has a greater likelihood of having travel time viewed as
compensable work if she/he is travelling in an employer vehicle
from the employer's premises to a worksite (including from one
job site to another throughout the course of the day) and from the
last job site back to the employer's premises. If the employee
is being picked up at a central meeting location that is not on the
employer's premises, some decisions have used that feature to
distinguish the situation to being non-compensable working time. If
an employee drives themselves in their own vehicle to a worksite,
that time is less likely to be seen as compensable work. If
training is mandatory it is likely that travel time would be
captured, whereas it is less likely to be captured if it is
In conclusion, the issue is anything but straightforward and
requires a detailed analysis based on the particular
characteristics of your workplace travelling situation and
contrasting that to the divergent decisions on this topic.
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