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View Full Version : Has anyone managed to claim 'train commuting' as part of the working day?


mrsurrey
27th Aug 2013, 23:13
Hello JB'ers,

At the moment I'm commuting 1 1/2 hours a day by train. I was thinking it would make more sense for me to travel 1st class (at my expense), work on the laptop and claim the time as 'work from home' or flexitime etc...

The employer gets a fresher worker working the same number of hours and I get an extra 1 1/2 hours leisure time per day.

What d'ya reckon? - has anyone here managed to pull this off? Any tips?

Cheers,

MrS

Checkboard
27th Aug 2013, 23:15
What's to stop you working on your computer in Economy class?


... and in any case, the general test is that an expense must be "wholly required in the pursuit of your employment". Travel to work is not permitted as an expense (one of the exceptions).

Airborne Aircrew
27th Aug 2013, 23:24
mrsurrey:

A lot is dependent upon the value of your work to your employer. Don't be trapped into believing your own feeling of self worth. Are you salaried or hourly is a very important question. A salaried worker already has some leverage while an hourly worker has little. I'm not going to pay you, as an hourly worker, to sit on a train doing nothing tangible.If you're salaried then sit on the train reading the Sporting Life, your work is usually intangible.

Depending on your situation feel free to negotiate with your employer - if you are a valuable employee they will be happy to negotiate.

Loose rivets
27th Aug 2013, 23:26
Yes, and the taxman guards that rule with a passion.


I won a case with the taxman, but it was hard fought and I left the town hall with a splitting headache. But it was nice to win for once. Since then, they've tightened up on the rules.

Loose rivets
27th Aug 2013, 23:28
Is anyone else seeing my time of posting as 17:XX? My computer clock is showing 23:XX:confused:

500N
27th Aug 2013, 23:30
LR

Your lats post was at 22.28

Checkboard
27th Aug 2013, 23:44
I show it as 23:28 - so perhaps you need to check you forum User CP (Control Panel), and see what time zone you have selected?

(User CP link is top left of the page, look on the left for "Settings and Options" and click "Edit Settings" for the time zone selected)

mrsurrey
27th Aug 2013, 23:46
I'm not looking to claim the train travel as an expense.

My only goal is to transfer 1 1/2 hours work from the office to the train. Any tips gratefully received :E:ok:

G-CPTN
27th Aug 2013, 23:47
23:28 for me (in the UK on BST).

If you have elected to be classified as being based in the US of A then your times will be shown accordingly.

Go to http://www.pprune.org/profile.php?do=editoptions to adjust your time.

Airborne Aircrew
27th Aug 2013, 23:49
I show all posts before 1845... But I'm in the USA...

Maybe O'Bummer has shifted time while he attacks Syria with a canoe, four rednecks with Bushmasters and a $49.99 drone off the internet...

mrsurrey
27th Aug 2013, 23:52
I'm not looking to claim train travel as an expense.

I just want to transfer 1 1/2 hours work from the office to the train. Any tips gratefully received :E:ok:

G-CPTN
27th Aug 2013, 23:52
I'm not looking to claim the train travel as an expense. My only goal is to transfer 1 1/2 hours work from the office to the train.

Are you fully available to your co-workers?

Krystal n chips
28th Aug 2013, 05:16
" I was thinking it would make more sense for me to travel 1st class (at my expense), work on the laptop "

Hmmm ?...your not related to a Nicholas Winterton who opined in a similar manner about 1st class travel are you?...and for 45 mins...or even if your commute is 1.5 hrs each way....other than to massage the ego, it's not worth the cost.

As far as I am aware, there is no electromagnetic field in cattle class that affects a lap-top.

I work with somebody who is frequently late due to late trains...this is factually correct...however, he refuses to catch an earlier train as it will inconvenience him....as for the return journey, always leaves early as the later train, the one he could catch if he left on time, would again inconvenience him.....and gets away with it !!..... as our " manager" is as lazy as he his...kindred spirits in fact.

SASless
28th Aug 2013, 05:47
US FAA FAR's require that Travel, not local in nature, be recorded as duty time.

It has to be required travel by the Operator for it to count as Duty time....not just mere commuting time to your normal work place.

Ancient Mariner
28th Aug 2013, 06:50
I had a friend who spent 4 hours/day in a train. Apart from being totally bonkers he was allowed by his employer to deduct half of that time from his scheduled hours. It depends of course on your value as employee.
Me, I have a 30 second commute, to the third floor of my house. Working from home is soooo nice. :E
Per

Krystal n chips
28th Aug 2013, 06:54
" US FAA FAR's require that Travel, not local in nature, be recorded as duty time"

Thus adding an entirely new dimension to......travel on the UK rail network.

VP959
28th Aug 2013, 08:33
When I was managing people who had long commutes I allowed some of their commuting time to be classed as working time if I was satisfied that they really were doing productive work.

One problem was that many found it near impossible to work in cattle class on the trains to London, due to the overcrowding and lack of space to work on a laptop with a reasonable degree of comfort (and the employer has to be satisfied that the employees agreed working environment is OK ergonomically). There's no way I would have authorised a first class travel payment, even if it was allowed under the tax rules (it isn't, as home to duty travel costs are the employees responsibility).

If an employee had come to me saying that they were prepared to ensure they had an adequate working environment when travelling, and convinced me that they were really going to be able to work on the journey, then I would probably have authorised a shorter working day to allow for the time spent working on the journey.

I'd have initially done this on a trial basis, say for three months, followed by a review to see whether or not this working scheme was OK.

ExXB
28th Aug 2013, 10:33
After I was promoted into management (Canada) I was informed that I was not being paid for the hours that I worked, but to get my job done. If I could do it in less than the standard work-week that would be a bonus.

However I don't think I ever worked a 37 1/2hr week, often over 60 and, more often than I like to remember, over 80. No overtime for management.

After coming to Switzerland the principle was the same - Not paid for a fixed period of time, paid to do the job. Was much less conscientious though. Never slacked, but never again killed myself - and it didn't impact on my career a bit.

So - If this principle applies to you, it doesn't matter how long you spend in the office. Good luck though. Bosses expectations have a way of growing if they perceive you to be slacking off. And if they can't see you ...

Loose rivets
28th Aug 2013, 10:34
Edit. Thanks for the heads-up about PPruNe having its own time settings. Never knew that.


One of my great regrets, and one that the Rivetess reminds me of very frequently, is that I wanted to live on the coast against all common sense. I was waiting for Stansted to open up, but I was sixty before a commuted to that sub-base. Still, little school 5 mins on foot from our front door, and train to big schools just another 3 mins away.

Tennis club with heated pool - and often just me in it - and 800 acres of farmland to the shore just feet away in the other direction. I can see why I liked it, but it had little to do with being a successful pilot. Time over, I'd concentrate on flying to the exclusion of (most) other things.:E

The commuting was an horrific waste of money, even at ten bob a gallon, but there, it's done, and written in stone how barmy I was.

Waking to the duties of my CAD specialist company was my dream. By the time I was in the bathroom, I'd often figured out how to handle the problems of the day. We were a limited company and travel to clients, and airlines alike for a bit of freelancing, was all claimable. A sweet few years.



.

G-CPTN
28th Aug 2013, 11:16
For a while I worked as a 'commercial traveller' (actually a technical sales engineer), living out of my car, travelling between customers whilst staying in contact with the office, my overseas headquarters and the customers via carphone.
The boot of the car was filled with literature about the company's products.
Although I had a rented cottage close to the UK base, my family were 250 miles away and most of my customers were spread widely across England, often requiring 3 to 4 hours drive (depending on traffic).

The boss (the MD) expected his sales team to be in the office on Monday mornings (often calling 9am meetings) and Friday afternoons (to submit their expenses), so arranging visits to customers close to my family base was often opposed. I complied by travelling to my cottage base on Sunday evenings (arriving late), but tried to avoid spending time in the office on Fridays.

There were regular trips to southern Germany, either for training or to accompany customers for technical presentations. Sometimes a private aircraft was chartered, sometimes I would fly and collect a rental car, and sometimes I would drive using my company car.

This was all before personal mobile phones, so communication whilst travelling was done via the carphone.

I expect that nowadays the employee would be contactable through their mobile phone, either by text or voice, so travelling by train would be easily extendible within the working day. If the company allows working from home then it would be a small step, though it could present problems with other employees who could claim their travelling time to work should also be counted as working time.

airship
28th Aug 2013, 14:08
mrsurrey wrote: I'm not looking to claim train travel as an expense.

I just want to transfer 1 1/2 hours work from the office to the train. Any tips gratefully received

Have you considered working for a rail company? Frankly though, "45 minutes each way" isn't too bad compared to some (especially those who work in the City) often leaving home at 6.30am and getting home at about 8.30pm. I once (back in the '80s) actually quite envied them (together with their London "weighting allowances" etc.), having read an article about how they sometimes distracted themselves with "group activities" involving the Daily Telegraph cryptic crossword, various discussion groups and even parties (on the return journeys). Me? It takes 3 minutes to walk to the office, and sometimes, even that's too long. I just use email...?! One idea though. If you (the company) were to have an important customer virtually on your door-step, whom you visited frequently (or even on an almost daily-basis), that might be sufficient to get around the "travel to work expenses hurdle". Provided the company goes along with it...

G-CPTN wrote: Are you fully available to your co-workers? Would you please care to re-phrase that?! :E

cattletruck
28th Aug 2013, 14:41
I was once told by someone that if you buy a pencil from a stationery shop on the way to work then that is a business transaction and your time from that point on becomes business related which includes the expense to commute from the stationery shop to your workplace.

The same person convinced me to use his tax agent who did these scary things with my tax obligations. I had to get rid of him or go to jail.

Last I heard of him he was doing business trips to Asia. Then he got sprung in Thailand doing the lady boys. When mummy and daddy started asking about his business trips and why he left marriage so late he purchased himself a Chinese bride and the rest is window dressing history.

er340790
28th Aug 2013, 16:25
You would need to check the latest I.R. rules, but back in the 1990s, the majority of my work was overseas, though I was required at Head Office between jobs.

To this end I was able to register as 'home-based' when in the UK. My travel time (and costs) could then be included as part of my work hours and expenses.

In reality, if based in just one UK location, it would be better to just get approval for something like this with your line-boss. With email etc, you can certainly show that the work was being done while travelling.

Good luck! :ok:

rigpiggy
28th Aug 2013, 20:55
My Sister is an ADM in the Justice Dept. She required her staff to be reachable at all hours, until one kept submitting Overtime claims for when she called when he was off. The LRB found for her Minion, her OT budget took a hit, and now she doesn't call after hours.:O

VP959
28th Aug 2013, 21:19
Frankly though, "45 minutes each way" isn't too bad compared to some (especially those who work in the City) often leaving home at 6.30am and getting home at about 8.30pm. I once (back in the '80s) actually quite envied them (together with their London "weighting allowances" etc.), having read an article about how they sometimes distracted themselves with "group activities" involving the Daily Telegraph cryptic crossword, various discussion groups and even parties (on the return journeys).

I spent much of my working life commuting for a fair bit more than 45 mins each way. For around five years my twice weekly (Tuesdays and Thursdays) commute to head office was a 1 1/2 hour drive to Glasgow airport, a 1 hr 15 min shuttle to Heathrow and a 45 min tube ride into central London, repeated in reverse in the evening.

Although my trip to work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays was a 30min each way rural drive to the airfield, the two days a week when I had around a 4 hours each way commute made my total commuting time around 19 hours a week.