How to get your boss to pay for your commute

People waiting for a train to arriveAs if the working day wasn’t challenging enough, many of us have a commute which can often be described as ‘hellish’. Sometimes crammed together shoulder-to-shoulder with people who have questionable body hygiene, it’s made even worse by the fact the majority of us do these journeys for about two hours every day.

The long journeys are bad enough – but have you thought about the cost?


According to research from TotalJobs, the average UK employee spends £146 per month on their commuting costs. Throughout their lifetimes, this figure adds up to more than £135,000.

You could buy a house for that!

Wouldn’t it be great if your employer could pay for your commute? You are, after all, travelling to work for them. While this idea may sound far-fetched to some, there are companies out there which do assist employees with their commuting costs. If you’re savvy enough, you might be able to convince yours to pick up the bill as well.

Companies which support their employees

There are a number of companies which help their staff members deal with commuting costs. Although we couldn’t list all of them here – you’d be reading this for ages – we’ve detailed a couple of examples below:

LendingHome provides a monthly commuting stipend

As well as supporting the everyday person, LendingHome also offers a range of benefits to its staff – one of which is “commuter benefits”.

Either through a monthly stipend or pre-tax deductions, LendingHome supports it’s employees by taking the commuting costs on themselves. You can see the details of this policy contained within their careers section.

Intuit provides a variety of commuting options

Business and financial software company, Intuit, recognises the effects of commuting on its staff members. Describing the act of driving to work as expensive and stressful, the company provides a series of alternatives as well as a no-interest season ticket loan.

Reportedly, these commuting options include carpooling, bicycle incentives, as well as a “guaranteed ride home” program.

Gartner provides a “cycle to work” scheme

A global research and advisory group, Gartner lists a “cycle to work scheme” on its job adverts as well as a number of additional benefits. However, some employees have also mentioned that the company reportedly offers a car allowance for certain staff members who regularly use vehicles.

Asana provides rideshare credits

Asana is renowned for producing task management software for businesses and individuals. In their San Francisco office, staff members can benefit from a series of commuter benefits as well as rideshare credits.

Consequently, while employees look like they still need to pay for their commutes, at least they’re protected from the full cost.

In Japan, paying for employees’ commute is the standard option

In Japan, it’s estimated that around 86% of companies pay their staff a “commuting allowance”. Covering up to a maximum of ¥100,000 per month (about £690), this stipend gives employees more freedom to spend their hard-earned cash how they see fit.

“For me as an employee coming from the uk and never getting an allowance it was a big surprise. I was quite happy when I first started working here” says Ricky Burnett, who’s now employed in Japan having previously worked in the UK.

“For me I would not consider working at another company without it now that I’ve had it. To have to pay from my own pay is not something I’d like to do.”


Smiling business person chatting with employee

How to convince your boss to pay for your commute

Unfortunately, bosses don’t have to pay for your commute. Generally speaking, they should pay if you’re travelling for work-related purposes, such as meetings, but as commuting involves travelling to and from home, employers don’t have a responsibility to reimburse you.

So, taking that angle will probably get you nowhere.

Instead, focus on solving a problem.

Lauren Smith, who works for a provider of electronic learning, says: “A number of our employees travel fairly far each morning, and providing this as a benefit helps our employees to feel valued and supported.”

Know your rights if you’re working late

If you work irregular late hours and are unable to get home in a ‘reasonably safe’ manner, your employer may have a legal duty of care to ensure your safety.

For example, if you commute in on public transport and your employer forces you to stay behind until all services have ceased, your boss might have to at least partially pay for a taxi to ensure you get home safely.

Alternatively, they may organise an alternative scheme, such as ensuring a colleague can drive you home.

While there is no specific area of law which states that employers should provide lifts during unsociable hours, it’s worth approaching the matter if making you work late could result in unpleasant or unsafe situations.

Discuss the benefits to the workplace

There’s no argument that helping staff with their commuting costs will make them feel more valued and supported. As a result, aspects such as employee retention should increase as well as productivity. You could even use the policy in company PR – after all, this is some great press your marketing team could use in recruitment.

“Introduce paying for staff commute when they hit a certain time period with the company, whether that’s 2 years or 5 years. Either way, this is an employee benefit that isn’t offered by many, but can really help your employees!”

Lauren Smith – works for a provider of electronic learning.

Sell as a reward for long-service

Typically, employees who stay with a company for a certain period of time gain access to a variety of benefits. Some of the most common being extra holiday, private healthcare, or additional pension contributions.

Paying for commuting costs – or covering a portion of these – could be a reward as well. It would certainly be a great incentive to stay with a firm.

Introduce as part of a contract

Probably a bit late for your current job but commuting costs can be negotiated as part of your contract – especially if you’re headhunted. If you’re in high enough demand, you can see if your prospective employer would be interested in this arrangement.

Did it work?

We’ll be the first to admit that it’s not easy convincing your boss to pay for your commute. However, if you’re successful, you can have significantly more disposable income so it’s certainly worth a try.

If that fails, and you’re still looking for an opportunity to save some extra cash, why not head back over to the Budget Buddy to try another option?

The post How to get your boss to pay for your commute appeared first on Buddy Loans Blog.

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