Ride a Bicycle to Work? Boss Still Owes Travel Pay

It's quite the done thing these days: Riding a bicycle to work, for the sport, the savings on gasoline or the clean air. Now, a panel of lawyers from business data firm Hashavim HPS says that anyone who walks or rides a bike to work is entitled to the same compensation from their employer for commute costs as those who use public transportation.

Employers must pay the equivalent of a worker's cost in travelling to work by public transportation. the panel says. That applies whether or not the worker takes the bus, drives a car, rides a bicycle or goes by shank's mare.

The actual amount of travel compensation, which is given through the payslip, depends on the cost of bus tickets.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor has announced that employers' maximum contribution to transportation costs are to be retroactively increased as of January 1, 2008, to NIS 21.56, up from the NIS 21.14 as designated in July of 2004.

However, Hashavim says that the ministry's notice has not been ratified by official order, and in practice, the rate remains unchanged. The Histadrut labor federation intends to demand that minister of Industry and Trade Eli Yishai issue the order immediately.