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Monday, March 16, 2009

Compensating Field Work

Here's a question from Aileen:

Dear Ed,

I have a couple of questions regarding computation of OT and meal allowance during Field work.
Please refer below for sample IT:
Day 1 -8am-2pm Travel from Manila to Provincial Site1
2pm- 6am of Day 2 - Inventory for Branch A
6am-9am travel to Provincial Site 2
9am-6pm- Hotel Check-in, rest/ sleep
6pm-6am of Day 3 - Inventory for Branch B
6am- 9am- rest , fix things
9am- 3pm travel back to Manila
Day 4- plan of offset

1. How do we compute total worked hours?Which ones do we include? Which are the OTs?
2. If he does not go to work the next day after travel, can he offset?

Please enlighten.

thanks, aileen

Hi Aileen,

I've been away from time keeping and payrolling for such a long time that some of my experience are already a bit hazy to me, but I'll give your request try. To all other HR Managers who know better, I welcome your input.

There are so many ways to treat this. Here are some of the things I've seen others do:

1. Some compensate the travel separately by giving travel allowance and per diem and then compute the actual hours worked doing the inventory as "the" hours worked. They have a complete scheme on how to compute the allowances and per diem based on distance and days away from home office. I'm not sure if there are any rules on this but as a rule of thumb, we should look at the fairness of compensation considering the cost of inconvenience on the side of the employee as a minimum.

2. Some don't have elaborate travel allowance scheme but start counting the hours worked the moment the employee left for the site and up to the time he goes back while others pause the time while the employee is at rest.

3. Can the employee offset if he does not report for work the following day? Does that mean he will have to give up his overtime pay? It will save the company some amount but will make him lose the premium pay due to overtime work. I suggest that the employee be allowed to take a leave of absence to recuperate from the travel and then let him collect his well deserved overtime pay. It's a small price to pay to keep a hardworking employee happy. What do you think?

4. Which are OTs? If you are practicing my item#1, the employee worked 16 hours on the first day, worked 12 hours the second day, and the third day... is tricky! If it's up to me, I'll consider it a regular working hours.

Readers, please share your thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:30 AM

    Can somebody help me out?
    I’m working as a maritime security for an agency. The company where I was assigned to work suddenly cut my working hours. Before, I go on duty aboard this company’s vessel for about 3-4 days in a week when we deliver cargo to other islands. When I get back, I am assigned to do other duties within the company (ex. warehouse duty-I was told this when I got hired

    After 4mos. thougf, I was told not to report/time-in at HQ anymore- just to report for work when there’s a trip – which is only 3 or 4 days in a week. No-work, no-pay. So, I get paid about 6-7 days every payday (15 days). I was told it would only be for a month. But it will be 5 months now and I still work “part-time”. And my payslip is evidence that I’m also earning part-time salary- my usual pay is now half the amount it used to be. And the IRONY is, I was told that it would be killing the budget if I work regular hours at headquarters like I used to but they are allowing regular hours plus overtime at headquarters to OTHER EMPLOYEES (ex. driver can go on warehouse duty, cargo loader can work as warehousemen). I feel that this is so unfair.

    Is this legal? Can I demand to be on regular duty when I’m not on duty aboard a vessel? PLEASE HELP!



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