Work-related travelling should be compensated for
By default, travel time is not working time based on the Working Hours Act unless the trip itself is regarded as a work performance. On the other hand, an employer cannot require that an employee spend his/her own time on work-related travelling.
Even if travel time is not compensated for based on the Working Hours Act as such, various remunerations can be paid for it based on the collective agreements of different fields and through local agreements. The Collective Agreement for Senior Salaried Employees contains few provisions on work-related travelling. Practices vary between fields and companies, and even within the different departments of a single company.
If the Working Hours Act and the applicable collective agreement do not clearly specify how work trips are compensated for, the rules must be agreed upon directly with the employer. Before signing an employment agreement, you should find out if the new work involves a lot of travelling and how these trips are compensated for.
At workplaces, it is useful to jointly agree upon the compensation for travel time and customer events and if, for example, it is necessary for an employee to come to the office early in the morning after arriving home late from work the previous night.
Economists travel a lot on business
Most economists travel on business. It is manageable every now and then, but travelling becomes stressful if there are dozens of long trips every year. Travel time is not merely a question of compensation – it is also a question of recovery. The recommended recovery time after flights across time zones can be checked with the calculation formula for travel time burden.
According to The Finnish Business School Graduates' Salary Level Survey (Salary Level Survey 2011), over 60 per cent of the members of The Finnish Association of Business School Graduates receive no compensation for their work trips or the compensation is regarded as included in the basic salary. More than 80 per cent of the members have travelled on business in their own time.