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Overtime Wage During Business Trips

2020-07-20

Translators: Normand Gauthier, Su Yiwei

RDL tips
Business trip is an abnormal working state. Workers may be particularly busy during the business trip, and there is a certain degree of overtime. Because working hours during business trips are not easy to quantify, it is recommended that employers establish relevant system of business trip subsidies and pay workers a certain amount of business trip subsidies to make up for the loss of related benefits during the business trip.

Introduction
Wang is the HR manager of a sales company. From October 2018 to January 2019, the sales company appointed Wang six times to travel to Jiangsu, Fujian, Xinjiang and other places to carry out recruitment duties. During the business trip, Wang worked in accordance with the company's regulations on working hours at the office and there was overtime. In March 2019, Wang resigned due to excessive overtime and applied for arbitration in the same month, requiring the sales company to pay overtime wages during the business trip. The sales company stated that it had paid Wang's travel allowance (80 yuan/day) in accordance with company regulations, so they did not want to pay Wang's overtime wages. The arbitration commission rejected Wang's arbitration request for overtime payment.

Legal Analysis
A business trip means that the employee is temporarily assigned to work or undertakes a temporary task by the employer outside the regular workplace, and the state of the business trip is not exactly the same as that of the laborer at the permanent workplace or work position. Working time is generally more flexible and is controlled by the individual worker. Meanwhile, it is necessary to take into account the time schedule of the business trip, as well as the actual situation of the worker's meal and rest. Business trips will inevitably affect the personal interests of workers, including departure or return on rest days, the absence of rest days or statutory holidays during business trips, impossibility to be with their families, certain restrictions on personal freedom, etc. However, this is determined by the nature of the business trip and is inevitable. In summary, the arbitration commission believes that the working status of employees during their business trips should be equivalent to a short-term flexible working system. The sales company in this case has already paid Wang’s business travel allowance at a rate of 80 yuan per day, so Wang has already been compensated for the aforementioned effect on his personal interest. The applicant request that the normal working days, rest days and statutory holidays involved in the business trip are counted as overtime is unreasonable and lacks basis. The committee finally refused to support it.

Case source
The top ten typical cases of labor and personnel dispute arbitration by the Ningbo Municipal Labor and Personnel Dispute Arbitration Institute in 2019, published December 31, 2019.

 

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