Commuting Time and Reimbursement

Do you get compensation for travel expenses at work? Commuting refers to a worker's travel from home to work and then back home. Commuting is one of the primary activities, attached to a job, but not necessarily part of it. Travel, to and from work to home, takes our most productive time.

What is commuting time?

Commuting time is the time spent to work from home and vice versa.

Do labour laws cover commuting time?

Labor law in Pakistan has no provision on payment for commuting time. There are no clear statistics on commuting time in Pakistan however it usually ranges between 1-3 hours for a round trip from home to work and then back home.

Does the commuting time form part of working hours?

The commuting period is not part of working hours and is thus not paid.

Are commuting hours paid?

Labor laws provide for commuting expenditures/conveyance allowance however there are no provisions stipulating payment for commuting periods. Labor law considers conveyance allowance as part of the wages. Employers can also deduct certain amount, from the wages of an employee, for providing transport service. For example, Government of Punjab authorizes employers to deduct Rs.39 per month from the wages of an unskilled worker. Minimum wage for unskilled workers in Punjab is Rs. 15,000 from July 01, 2017. Similarly, Federal Government has increased conveyance allowance for its employees during Budget 2012-13.

Conveyance allowance is not admissible if official transport is provided for travel between home and residence.

What if the commuting time takes up more than a working day?

There are no provisions in the labor law about this; however if it takes a worker more than a day to reach workplace, a company may use compressed workweek scheme, as explained above. Commuting in Pakistan takes a disproportionate part of the day and wages for millions of worker

What is the situation of commuting in big cities of Pakistan?

Karachi is the biggest city of Pakistan however it does not have a mass transit system for its inhabitants. Rather it has a bus network of 18,000 buses, coaches, wagons & mini wagons. Karachi is the only city of its size without a mass transit system.

Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan, recently had its first bus rapid transit system aka Metro bus at a cost of PKR 30 billion for a 27 km long line. In February 2013, more than 150,000  were traveling by the Metro bus every day.  Islamabad metro bus is being used by nearly 100,000 passengers everyday (April 2018 figures).