My partner works at an audit company and sometimes has to travel to clients. These are usually near where she works and does not significantly increase her travel time. Occasionally they will find a hotel for her to stay in.

She has just been told to go to a client 2.5hours from where she lives and has not been booked to a hotel.

This is over an hour each way more than her usual commute and will mean she's travelling for at least 5 hours each day for 8 days.

She would (unhappily) stay in a hotel but has been told no. Is there any legal protection for this in the UK?

I've tried looking online but I'm not sure how to word what I'm looking for.

added commute timing

10min Bus
 1min walk
11min train
 6min train
48min train
 1min walk
 9min bus
 6min bus
15min walk

1 Answer 1


I don't see the problem. Driving to a client is working time. She leaves from home, drives 2.5 hours to the client, works 3 hours, drives 2.5 hours back home, and her 8 hours working day is done. Then she fills out her travel expenses which should generously cover her expenses for wear and tear on the car and for fuel.

Driving from home to work and back is your problem. Any other travel is work which counts as part of your working time and for which expenses are paid.

  • She can't drive, see the commute in the question above, though that doesn't include waiting. They expect her to work 8 hours on top of the commute.
    – DanielM
    Dec 4, 2015 at 22:27
  • My advice to her is she needs to tell them they have to pay TOIL, or they get her a hotel, or she works a 5 hour day. My question is, is she legally protected to do this?
    – DanielM
    Dec 4, 2015 at 22:32
  • That of course is not on. Any travelling time other than travelling from home to a fixed workplace and from fixed workplace back home is work. And as it is work, it needs to get paid as overtime. The point is: All the things you called "commute" are not "commute", they are work.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 5, 2015 at 15:21
  • 1
    So you are asserting that UK law requires: (1) a maximum 8-hour workday; (2) travel time from home to work site is included in the work day, (3) employer is obligated to reimburse travel expenses. Can you provide references? Under US law, for instance, for an "exempt" salaried employee (which I think an auditor would typically be), AFAIK none of these would be required. Dec 5, 2015 at 15:25
  • 1
    @Nate: UK law says that in most cases weekly working time is fixed in your contract. According to the UK government, she doesn't have to work any overtime unless her contract says so. Even if her contract says so, she cannot be forced to work more than 48 hours a week.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 6, 2015 at 21:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .