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A11.1: Main page

Detached duty, late working and home-to-workplace journeys

1. Detached duty in the UK

1.1. Definition and maximum period

‘Detached duty’ means any period of work away from the normal workplace, other than on permanent transfer. It can include fieldwork, conferences, seminars, work at other establishments and meetings where you are representing us.

The normal maximum period for detached duty is 3 years; however, the probable length of stay and the likelihood of return to the normal workplace will be discussed at the outset and reviewed at set intervals.

1.2. How you qualify for payment of expenses

We will reimburse you for reasonable expenses for travel, food and accommodation (excluding alcohol) incurred whilst on official business on behalf of your establishment, on the basis that:

  • you have prior approval for the official business – check your local establishment rules with your line manager
  • the official business is classified as ‘detached duty’ (see paragraph 1.1 above)
  • you keep the costs you incur to a minimum, having due regard to your own personal safety and security
  • actual costs are itemized and receipts attached to your claim.  Small amounts (to a total of £2) can be reimbursed without receipts if the establishment accepts that it was not possible to obtain them

1.3. What you can claim for

All costs will be met by your home establishment, unless stated otherwise.

1.3.1. Food and accommodation

  • For the first 4 weeks (subsistence allowance): you can claim for what you spend on overnight accommodation, breakfast, mid-day and evening meals*, plus a small fixed amount to cover your personal expenses. See appendix A11.1i for details. In case overnight accommodation is required, a list of suitable approved local accommodation is held by each establishment. ‘Suitable’ means reasonably priced 3-star en-suite accommodation where an evening meal can be purchased without leaving the premises and a telephone is available in the room.

    * If you are staying with friends or relatives overnight, you can only claim a fixed amount to cover all food and accommodation. See appendix A11.1i for details.

  • After 4 weeks (lodging allowance): you will be expected to find self-catering accommodation and so can no longer claim for what you spend on meals. You can claim for what you spend on accommodation and related expenses (e.g. service charges, council tax), plus a small fixed amount for personal expenses. See appendix A11.1i for rates and limits. The period of payment will not go beyond a date three years from the date detached duty begins.

1.3.2. Travel costs

You may claim for the cost of any necessary travelling whilst on detached duty. You are expected to use the most economical transport available. Use public transport wherever possible (but you may use your own car if you have a medical condition which prevents you using public transport). Medical conditions aside, if there is no suitable or economical public transport, then use an establishment vehicle if available. Otherwise, if local policy is to use hire cars rather than your own vehicle then you must comply.

Car travel. You can use your own vehicle if your line manager agrees. If you do so, then the following rules apply:

  • If public transport is available, you can claim mileage allowance at the lower rate, provided you hold third party insurance
  • If public transport is not available, you can claim the higher rate of mileage allowance provided you hold comprehensive insurance, but you cannot claim for more than 120 miles in a single day, including round trips (this limit does not apply if you have a medical condition which prevents you using public transport)
  • You can claim the mileage from your home to the destination or from the establishment to the destination, whichever is less
  • A supplement can be claimed if you carry official passengers or heavy items or equipment
  • Related costs (e.g. tolls, parking charges etc) may be claimed at management discretion
  • You must ensure that your motor insurance policy covers: a. bodily injury to or death of third parties or any passenger; b. damage to the property of third parties; and c. the use of the car in connection with the business of your employer (coverage should be at least £20M in respect of c.)

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2. Detached duty overseas

You may claim any reasonable expenses you incur as a result of detached duty overseas, as if you were in the UK (see paragraph 1 above as a guide) but, in addition, account will be taken of local circumstances and living costs (you should liaise with your HR department about this).

Medical insurance cover

Medical insurance cover may be available for staff travelling overseas. For details, see your local HR department.

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3. Late working

A flat-rate allowance is payable to an employee who is required to work late at night at their establishment in addition to ordinary day duty. See  appendix A11.1i for details.

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4. Home-to-workplace journeys

In general, the cost of travel between your home and your normal workplace is your own responsibility. Exceptionally, travel costs may be paid when you are required to make an additional attendance outside normal working hours or overtime, as follows:

  • where the journey can be made by public transport, actual fares are reimbursed, or, if you use your own private car, the lower rate of mileage allowance is paid. You must make use of a season ticket if you have one
  • where the journey cannot be made by public transport, the cost of taxi etc. fares is payable, or, if you use your own car, the higher rate of mileage allowance

See appendix A11.1i for mileage rates. Please note that the above travel expenses may be taxable according to Inland Revenue rules.

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Last updated 02/01/14
Amendment 167 - January 2014