With many businesses still operating a full-time work from home approach, what kind of trips are allowed for staff to network?
Despite the success of the vaccine rollout and subsequent easing of Coronavirus restrictions, it looks like working from home is set to continue for many. In May 2022 The Office for National Statistics found that 14% of workers were still working exclusively from home and the number hybrid working, a mix of home and office, actually increased from 13% in February 2022 to 24% in May 2022.
This means that there are now certain expenses involved, such as travel, subsistence and room hire, that were previously not necessary in a purely office based role. So, what are allowable expenses for staff to meet?
According to HMRC any business expenses claimed must be ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily for the purpose of carrying out employment duties’. As long as the expense is purely for business, it can be claimed. That includes the cost of train tickets, hotel rooms, temporary office hire, team building, meals etc.
This also applies to international travel. Where some businesses may have a number of internationally based staff it would not be unreasonable to have meetings in a third party country that is convenient for all staff to reach. The expense of this, again as long as it was purely for business, can be claimed.
You must keep proof of your purchases, in the form of receipts or purchase invoices to include in your accounts.
It is worth noting that some rules regarding travel relate to the employee’s place of work as stated in their contract. If an employee’s place of work is the office they cannot claim expenses on travel to the office. But the business can claim the expense of travel to a third site for meetings etc.
Personal expenses are not allowable.