NEC3 ECC: Is travel time between Working Areas recoverable under ECC Option C?

My company is the main contractor for a small project located 100 miles away from our head office. In addition to the site boundary an area of our head office is classified as a Working Area for the purposes of delivering this project.

The Employer’s PM is deducting the hours of People’s travel time between these Working Areas i.e. Head Office to Site. but is paying the travel costs e.g. train fare.

I don’t believe he is correct in deducting these hours spent traveling as my company still incur the cost for People’s time while traveling.

The SCC does not specifically include nor exclude travel time.


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This is a difficult questions as it turns on how you interpret 11 of the SCC.

One way of reading it is that you pay the proportion of salary related to time spent in the working area. The other way is that you pay the full salary as long as that salary is based on time spent in the working area (ie to distinguish from an overhead).

There is no definitive answer to this and therefore some more of the background to how the contract was set up etc may be relevant. Without that, I would say that the choice of the contractor to use geographically distant staff and thus incur unproductive working is an overhead and therefore part of the fee.