Travel Directive

Given the pandemic, many employees have been working remotely or teleworking whenever and wherever possible. These work arrangements have also raised questions regarding government travel when employees are working in another location. Below you will find several frequently asked questions that may assist you with applying the provisions of the Travel Directive.

  1. What is the difference between remote work and telework?

    Remote work –when employees who normally work in a permanent or regular workplace are asked by their employer to perform their duties in another location for health, safety, or other reasons. For example, to work from home during the pandemic. Remote work is normally performed from the principal residence, however, with authorization from the manager, it may be conducted from other locations temporarily. This is an employer driven process.

    Telework - when an employee would like to perform work on a full time, part time or ad hoc basis in a different location than the employee’s permanent or regular workplace. A telework agreement is signed between the employee and the employer which outlines the terms of the flexible work agreement. For example, when an employee wants to work from home 2 days per week. This is an employee driven process.

    The remote work location and the telework location are treated the same when applying the provisions of the Travel Directive. Important considerations are:

    • Is the employee authorized to travel to a location other than the regular/permanent workplace?

    • Where did the employee begin and end their travel (telework location, remote work location or regular workplace)?
  2. What location should be used (i.e. employee’s telework location, the remote work location or the employee’s regular workplace) to determine the applicable travel module when an employee is on authorized travel?

    It depends on where the employer has authorized travel from.

    • If the employee is working from home (telework location or remote work location) and is authorized to travel on government business to a workplace other than the permanent/regular workplace, then the employee would be on travel status from their home and be eligible for the provisions in the Travel Directive under Module 1, 2, 3 or 4 depending on where they need to travel.

    • If there is a valid reason for the employee to report to the office before they travel, then their travel status could begin from the regular workplace. However, if there is not a valid reason to have the employee report to the workplace, and the only reason for the employee going to the workplace is to save on travel costs, then travel should be authorized from the telework/remote work location.

    • If at any time the employee has to report to their regular workplace, they are not on travel status and cannot claim expenses for travel to and from the workplace. Employees are to report to their workplace on their own time and at their own expense. This is true regardless of the distance between the telework or remote work location and the regular/permanent workplace.

    N.B.  3.1.11 When authorized travel or overtime causes a disruption in the employee's regular commuting pattern, the employee shall be reimbursed […] additional transportation costs incurred between the residence and the workplace. (See the applicable Module for precise language.)
  3. Is it possible to put a limit on the distance an employee can be on travel status from their telework/remote work location?

    No, it is not possible to put a limit on the distance of the travel status from the telework/remote location. The employee would be entitled to reimbursement of the kilometric rate for all authorized distances driven for government business while on travel status. Employees commuting to their workplace are not on travel status.

    N.B.  3.1.11 When authorized travel or overtime causes a disruption in the employee's regular commuting pattern, the employee shall be reimbursed […] additional transportation costs incurred between the residence and the workplace. (See the applicable Module for precise language.)
  4. If an employee is teleworking, relocates to a location that is not considered a commutable distance from their regular workplace and is then required to attend training at a location other than their regular workplace, are they on travel status from their new telework location?

    If the employee is authorized to travel for the training, then the employee could be on travel status from their new telework location. However, if the employee needs to report to the workplace for a valid reason before the training, then the travel could be authorized from the regular workplace.

For more information on the transportation costs for various scenarios, please see Frequently Asked Questions – Travel Directive (2017).