UNISON wrote to the council in July with a number of demands, including a call for a halt to the practice of requiring staff to deduct their commuting mileage from their travel before making a claim.
As a result, the council undertook a review of the Travel & Subsistence procedure in relation to the reimbursement of business mileage for employees who have had to work at home as a direct result of the pandemic and agreed a temporary cessation of this practice, enabling staff to claim their full mileage for reimbursement.
The email below will go out to employees and line managers within the next few days.
The Travel & Subsistence Procedure currently requires employees to deduct their normal commuting mileage when claiming for business journeys. However, as a result of the pandemic many employees have had to work from home on a full-time basis and it is anticipated that this will continue to at least the end of the calendar year.
Therefore, the Strategic Leadership Team have agreed that for those employees who are continuing to work from home due to the pandemic, there will be a temporary cessation of the requirement to deduct their normal commuting mileage. This cessation will apply in cases where an employee is required to undertake a business journey to a location other than their normal work base.
This will be implemented for an initial period of 4 months, commencing for any business journeys claimed on or after 1 September. A further review will be undertaken in December 2020 to determine whether there is a requirement to extend this arrangement.
Please note that the employees affected by this decision will not require to be re-designated as “home workers” at this time.
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Branch secretary, Inez Kirk said, “We are very pleased that the council has come to this decision.
“We had pointed out that many staff have had no choice whether to work from home or not, they have nonetheless had to continue to deliver their services to the community, many having to go out and visit clients/establishments for which they no longer have access to pool cars.
“Staff are using their own vehicles that have to be insured appropriately but are still having to deduct ‘commuting mileage’ from their claims, despite the employer not allowing them to work from their base.
“It is only right that whilst staff are required to continue to work from their homes that mileage be paid as incurred and from their ‘designated’ base which is their home.”
Inez added, “We will continue to press our other claims for home working allowance and laundry allowance until the employers see sense.”