Reimbursement of Motor Vehicle Expenses and Use of Personal Vehicles - EB Update No. 5 - Assistants to MPs

17 May 2016

 

The PSA is seeking clarity in the wording about the use of private motor vehicles. We also confirm for members that they are entitled to claim reimbursement of motor vehicle expenses for legitimate use. 

 

Concerns have arisen from the wording at Clause 15 in the enterprise agreement, which states as follows:


“15. REIMBURSEMENT FOR USE IF PRIVATE VEHICLE FOR WORK RELATED BUSINESS

 

15.1 Employees will be entitled to reimbursement of mileage, and where incurred for parking fees, where the employee is directed by the Member to use their private vehicle for work related purposes.

 

15.2 Reimbursement of mileage will be paid upon approval by the Member in accordance with guidelines and rate determined from time to time by the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment.

 

15.3 Reimbursement of parking fees will be paid upon provision of a receipt and approval by the Member.”

 

The PSA has raised the concern that “where the employee is directed by the employer” could be interpreted to imply that a Member of Parliament has the right to direct an Assistant to use their private car - or even require that the employee has a car and uses it for work when requested.

 

This was clearly not the intent of the EA Clause. Commissioner for Public Sector Employment Determination 3.2 states that “no employee is required under any circumstances whatsoever to use their private vehicle for official purposes if they do not wish to do so”

 

The PSA has asked that Clause 15 be changed so that it is clear that Assistants cannot be required to have a car or to use it for business purposes.

 

Determination 3.2 also provides the guidelines and the rates (attached). Currently the rate is 87 cents per kilometre (will be increased on 1 July 2016 as determined by the State Wage Case).

 

This states that on the day the car is used for business purposes the employee will be paid from home to office one way up to 32kms and/ or the total kilometres travelled then on business.

 

Assistants on the EB Committee have stated that they are aware of Assistants not claiming their travel reimbursement because they were not sure their employer would agree.

 

The EA is clear that reimbursement is an entitlement and employees are not expected to pay for legitimate business expenses out of their own pocket.