I’m facing a longer commute. Should I ask for more pay?

Published Sunday, Jun. 08 2014

THE QUESTION

My employer is relocating offices in a few months and the new location will require that I commute an extra 45 kilometres every day. Is it reasonable to ask for more compensation for this? How do I determine how much more? And how do I go about asking for it?

The job is worth the commute, but I want to be compensated for it.

THE ANSWER

Your employer does not have to compensate you when they move offices. But it is worth asking for some assistance.

Your time will not be compensated, so there’s no point going down that road. If your transit fees will be higher, you could ask for the difference between what you pay now and what you will pay. If you are driving, calculate the added mileage at a minimum of 45 cents a kilometer to determine how much extra you’ll pay in gas and car maintenance.

Though there is no rule of thumb, the most common practice is to ask for compensation to defray the travelling expenses for the first three months. After the three months, you can decide to move closer to your new workplace or continue at your own expense. For some employees, this move may shorten their commute time and you can be sure that they aren’t being compensated for the longer distance they travel right now.

If you decide to move closer to the job, you could ask for assistance with your moving expenses. Your negotiating point would be that if you were being transferred to another city, the company would pay your expenses, so why not for being “transferred” 45 kilometres away?

Depending on your relationship with the decision maker, you can either write a request or present your case in a meeting. I would suggest a meeting, but it is up to your comfort level. Be prepared to be refused. Know in your mind what you will do if the company refuses your request.

Contact Colleen Clarke, your choice for career development and corporate training.

COLLEEN CLARKE is a highly recognized career specialist, corporate trainer, and public speaker in the areas of career management and transition, communication and networking. For the past 18 years she has motivated, inspired and counseled thousands of groups and individuals to maximize their career potential. Colleen is also a certified Workplace Coach with the Adler Institute. She is author of “Networking How To Build Relationships That Count” and “How To Get a Job and Keep It” and co-author of “The Power of Mentorship: The Mastermind Group”.