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Do Companies Need to Provide Transport Home After Hours?

November 20 2021 - If an employee is working for your company, should you provide alternative transport for them at times where they are otherwise unable to arrange their own transport, such as for employees who do not drive or employees who work late at night when no public transport is available? While there is no legal requirement to provide transport for employees in these situations, if you know that where your business is located could leave certain staff members in an unsafe situation at night when finishing work, itís worth considering if there are any actions you can take as a duty of care to your employees.

Paying for Taxis

You may decide to pay for taxis from to get your employees home when they have been working late. There may be an exemption, in this case, from a benefit in kind charge that would normally arise when an employer pays for a late night taxi to enable an employee to safely travel home from work. This exemption will apply when the employee is required to work later than usual, at least until 9pm, and when it does not occur on a regular basis. The transport should be by taxi or similar, and it should be a situation where it would be unsafe, impossible or unreasonable to expect the employee to use public transport.

Find Out What Employees Need

As a business owner, if your employees sometimes stay late and you want to keep them safe, the best thing to do is talk to the people who will find themselves in this situation and see what steps they would prefer you to take to ensure that they are able to travel home safely. This might not always be in the form of providing taxi transport. For example, an employee who drives to work and works late might be willing to take employees home, or you could rearrange employee working hours to make sure that the only people working late are those who have the means to get home safely.

Exceptional Circumstances

Most of the time, the topic of providing transport for employees who work late is not one that comes up often. If there are exceptional circumstances where an employee has worked much later than usual, or in circumstances where they would normally drive but are having trouble with their car after finishing work, for example, you may consider paying for a taxi or providing transport yourself. Itís important to weigh up all the risks and practicalities, and keep a paper trail to make sure that you have evidence of carrying out such checks and financial evidence to ensure that you have treated the provision correctly and appropriately for tax purposes.

Providing Transport as an Employee Benefit

If your employees are regularly in a position where they are working late and struggling to get home lately, you can help by teaming up with a local taxi or transport company to provide discounted rides as an employee benefit.

While youíre not legally required to make sure that employees get home safely, most good employers are happy to consider their options as a duty of care towards their staff.

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