Commuting and Work

Commuting and Work in Uganda, Commuting Costs, Commuting and Employers in Uganda, Commuting and Salaries and Wages and Safety and more on AfricaPay Uganda.

What is commuting?

It refers to an employee travelling from his/her place of residence to their place of work and back home from the place of work. An employee for this purpose means a person who is hired under a contract of service and includes a contract of apprenticeship or internship.

What are the different forms of commuting?

  • Using public means like boda bodas, taxis, trains and buses.
  • Walking to work.
  • Using private vehicles/cars.
  • The employer providing commuter buses/ taxis to transport employees to and from work.

Does continuous commuting attract any legal implications to the employer?

Yes. In some instances, it may attract legal responsibility (under the Workers’ Compensation Act 2000), especially in the case of an employee having an accident while travelling to or from the workplace.

What are the negative effects of commuting that the employer must be aware of?

  • Travelling long distances may be strenuous to the workforce, meaning that they will be stressed even before they start to work, hence low productivity.
  • A lot of time may be spent commuting, increasing the chances of employees arriving late at work.
  • There are risks of accidents while the employee is travelling from home to work or back home from work.
  • Employees may ask for a higher salary to cater for the cost of transport fares.
  • Sometimes employees may leave their work place earlier in order to avoid being caught up in a traffic jam.
  • Destruction of the environment through pollution by fumes that are released by moving taxis/ vehicles/ buses.

Does commuting have any challenges for the employer?

Yes, it does through the following ways:

  • It may promote absenteeism among the employees when they have to travel long distances.
  • Some of the employees may arrive late to work and yet leave early because of the long distance that they have to travel or to avoid traffic jams along the way.
  • It may lower the rate of concentration at work because employees are worried about the long journey that they have to make on a daily basis.
  • It may also increase the level of the workers’ compensation in case an employee has an accident en route.
  • Lastly, it may adversely affect the level of productivity at the workplace; therefore the employer may not be in position to meet his/her set targets.

How can the employer overcome such difficulties?

  • By introducing transportation benefits to the employees e.g. providing fuel cards to those that have private cars, cash benefits for transport in addition to one’s salary, or providing workplace buses/taxis which would help to reduce commuter expenses. This would motivate employees and also encourage them to keep coming to work even though they have to travel long distances.
  • If transportation benefits are offered to the employees, a deduction on taxes is made in case of expenses incurred by the employer and therefore there will be a reduction on the business tax.
  • The employer is at liberty to introduce flexible hours at the workplace. This means that some employees could stay at home and work from there, or they may only have to report to work at 9am instead of 8am for instance.
  • Workers' compensation can be taken care of through taking out insurance or providing medical cover to employees.

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