Reclaimable expenditure

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1 Essex County Council promotes sustainable business travel and has set out how this is achieved in practise through its Sustainable Business Travel policy (SBT). Each department and individual should therefore consider whether it is necessary to travel, how much business value is added by taking the proposed trip, and whether alternatives such as teleconferencing are appropriate by referring to the business travel decision tree included in the SBT. Accommodation Overnight accommodation Where an overnight stay is required to enable an employee to carry out their official duties fully, the actual cost of the room and breakfast may be claimed (and an evening meal if necessary). Upper limits for bed and breakfast accommodation are expected to be in the region of: Main cities in the UK per night Elsewhere in the UK per night For foreign travel, at least 3 quotes should be obtained from reasonable, but not luxury hotels. The overnight stay must be necessary to enable the employee to carry out their official duties and It must be cheaper to stay overnight than to incur travel costs on both days. Supporting VAT invoices/ receipts must always be provided. Foreign visits must be authorised using by the relevant Executive Director before any travel or accommodation is booked, To reclaim overnight accommodation through an expense claim, the overnight stay must have been arranged at short notice in response to an emergency or other exceptional circumstance. Where sharing accommodation with someone who is not an ECC employee, ECC will reimburse only their employee s portion of the cost and a VAT receipt must be provided. Where possible, hotel accommodation must be booked in Advance using the authority s travel management agents. In most situations when overnight accommodation is shared, hotels will split the bill at checkout, and this is the preferred way of handling the expense. Where this is not possible, parties should agree between them which organisation should be charged initially with the full cost, and appropriate arrangements should be put in place to recharge the second organisation. If ECC is recharged by another organisation, a VAT invoice and a copy of the original receipt is required. Accommodation Overnight accommodation associated with attendance at an event Upper limits for bed and breakfast accommodation associated with attendance at an event are expected to be in the region of: Main cities in the UK per night (see notes) Elsewhere in the UK per night (see notes) Where accommodation is included within the standard price of an event being attended, the limits above do not apply It must be cheaper to stay overnight than to incur travel costs on both days. Supporting s must always be provided Where sharing accommodation with someone who is not an ECC employee, ECC will reimburse only their employee s portion of the cost and a VAT receipt must be provided. When accommodation is not included in the cost of the event but is offered at the same location at higher prices than the limits stated, expenditure above the limit is permitted provided that the saving on travel costs between the event location and alternative accommodation means that the higher accommodation cost still delivers overall value for money. Evidence of the value for money comparison must be provided. When all hotel prices in the area have been inflated for the period of the event to a level above the normal limits, expenditure above the limit is permitted provided that the rates normally charged for the accommodation (as published on the internet) are within the limit. Evidence of the normal rates must be provided. Food and nonalcoholic drink Breakfast No more than 5 per person Employee has a fixed base or spends 50% or more Where no additional cost is incurred from an employee s Accommodation associated with attendance at events must be booked through Inntel unless event organisers have negotiated special rates or accommodation is included within the standard price of an event. There must be benefit to ECC from attendance at the event. Where the employee s contractual hours or normal working pattern is not 9am-5.30pm, these rates may not apply.

2 of their working time at their base and The morning has been immediately preceded by an overnight stay which complies with the conditions for overnight accommodation documented above or Both the destination establishment and the establishment where the food was purchased are more than five miles from the employee s work base and Employee is prevented by their duties from following their normal meal arrangements and The employee is required to undertake an official duty before 7.30am and Claim must include the start and finishing times of the duty normal meal arrangements; Food and drink for team awaydays or other teambuilding events must be procured and paid for through Marketplace or Inntel, not claimed on expenses. It is recognise that eating out is more expensive than a meal provided in an individual s home and that, in normal circumstances, an individual would meet their meal costs from their salary. This item is therefore not intended to fully reimburse costs incurred in restaurants etc. but to recompense for reasonable additional cost that may arise when work related activities do not permit normal work patterns. Food and nonalcoholic drink Food and nonalcoholic drink Lunch No more than 10 per person Employee has a fixed base or spends 50% or more of their working time at their base and Both the destination establishment and the establishment where the food was purchased are more than five miles from the employee s work base and Employee is prevented by their duties from following their normal meal arrangements and The employee is required to undertake an official duty from 12 noon or earlier and until 2.30pm or later and Dinner No more than 20 per person The evening is to be immediately followed by an overnight stay which Where no additional cost is incurred from an employee s normal meal arrangements; Food and drink for team awaydays or other teambuilding events must be procured and paid for through Marketplace or Inntel, not claimed on expenses. Where no additional cost is incurred from an employee s normal meal arrangements; Where the employee s contractual hours or normal working pattern is not 9am-5.30pm, these rates may not apply. It is recognise that eating out is more expensive than a meal provided in an individual s home and that, in normal circumstances, an individual would meet their meal costs from their salary. This item is therefore not intended to fully reimburse costs incurred in restaurants etc. but to recompense for the additional cost that may arise when work related activities do not permit normal work patterns. Where the employee s contractual hours or normal working pattern is not 9am-5.30pm, these rates may not apply.

3 complies with the conditions for Food and drink for team It is recognise that eating out is more expensive than a meal overnight accommodation awaydays or other teambuilding provided in an individual s home and that, in normal documented above or events must be procured and paid circumstances, an individual would meet their meal costs from Employee has a fixed base or for through Marketplace or Inntel, their salary. This item is therefore not intended to fully spends 50% or more of their not claimed on expenses. reimburse costs incurred in restaurants etc. but to recompense working time at their base and for reasonable additional cost that may arise when work Both the destination related activities do not permit normal work patterns. establishment and the establishment where the food was purchased are more than five miles from the employee s work base and Employee is prevented by their duties from following their normal meal arrangements and The employee is required to undertake an official duty which continues after 8pm and Travel Car parking Reasonable parking costs. Some areas have imposed a limit on the amount they will repay for car parking costs Only when it is necessary to use a car park as a result of an official journey away from base office. Where possible and cheaper, long stay car parks should be used. Travel Car parking - hotel n/a Must relate to hotel stay on official business Must be itemised separately on the bill Travel City congestion charges Travel Public transport air travel n/a n/a The journey must have been made at short notice in response to an emergency or other exceptional Parking associated with attendance at the employee s normal place of work. Parking costs incurred by CLT members. Parking costs of less than 2 incurred by DLT members. Parking costs incurred by CLT members. Employees who live within a congestion charge zone cannot claim for amounts they normally pay (the amount they would have paid if the business journey had not been undertaken). VAT can be reclaimed (where it is charged) on parking fees that cost less than 25, even if unable to obtain a. This rule applies to certain supplies only, but includes parking and toll charges. No VAT invoice is required and HMRC will normally accept the records (e.g. the actual expense claim) held as evidence to support the claim. Where employees are authorised to use ECC car parking (or to use the multi-storey, or other non-ecc car parking without incurring the usual charges), then that is permission and not an entitlement or contractual term of employment. The permission could be withdrawn at any time for any reason, and without compensation to the individual or financial assistance with the cost of alternative parking. See Inntel and Business travel decision tree Business travel decision tree Wherever possible, journeys must be planned in advance and booked through Inntel as this results in cheaper fares. The lowest fare for a journey must be obtained, and it is likely that this can only be achieved through the purchase of known

4 circumstances and the journey would take more than 5 hours by all other available forms of transport or it is cheaper than all other available forms of transport, or it avoids the need for an overnight stay which would create greater cost to the Council. A must accompany the claim. Foreign visits must by authorised using this form by the relevant Executive Director before any travel or accommodation is booked, flight arrival and departure times which cannot be changed. Where there is a business need for some flexibility in departure or arrival times, a different ticket option should be requested, stating reasons. All employees must travel economy class, unless accompanying a member, when one employee is permitted to accompany one member in business class travel, provided: the total flight time is longer than 4 hours, or the journey involves an overnight flight, or there are no economy seats available and it is not possible to travel on an alternative day when there are economy seats Travel Public transport except air travel n/a The journey must have been made at short notice in response to an emergency or other exceptional circumstances and The method used must be the cheapest reasonable manner of travelling and A receipt must accompany the claim. Where an official journey starts from and/or finishes at home (which is not the normal work base), home to a normal work base fares must be deducted from any claim; if it is a return journey, home to normal work base fares must be deducted from both legs of the journey. Wherever possible, train journeys must be planned in advance and booked through Inntel as this results in cheaper fares. As a general rule, employees should travel by the most economical means. For example, air travel may be used where the air fare is cheaper than other forms of transport and/or avoids the need for an overnight stay. In these circumstances, the claimant should be prepared to demonstrate that they have met these criteria. Receipts should be obtained from station ticket machines or from station staff at the time of purchase and submitted as evidence to support claims where tickets are retained by an automatic barrier at the end of a journey Original tickets or receipts from stations must be provided. Photocopies, credit or debit card statements will not be accepted. If a pay as you go London Transport Oyster card is being used for official journeys, enter the details of the trip(s) in the comments field, being specific about locations, date and times. Claims are accepted only for the relevant official journey, not the whole top-up. Where the Oyster card is used solely for official duties, a P-card can be used for payment of the whole top-up Staff who have a rail season ticket that enables them to use the Underground can only claim for travel if they incur extra expense on top of the season ticket and can provide a receipt as proof of the expense. Where an employee holds a season ticket purchased through the ECC season ticket loan/discount scheme/s which validates the business journey or part of, then this ticket should be used for travel, as detailed in the terms and conditions of the ECC Train Season Ticket Discount Form.

5 Travel Taxis n/a Taxi journeys must be approved in advance by the claimant s line manager and If the reason that no public transport is available is because the individual has left a

6 a receipt must accompany the claim and the site to be visited is inaccessible or is not served by public transport or where personal safety may be at risk or where the shared use of a taxi is cheaper than alternative methods of travel meeting/event too late and public transport is now closed, taxi fares will not be reimbursed. Travel Toll charges n/a Claim must include the name of the toll crossing or road Communications Telephone An itemised bill must be included The claim must specify the costs of business calls on a call by call basis, including VAT Communications Fax The cost of sending business faxes when out of the office, for example from a hotel. Claims must be supported by an itemised. Communications WiFi WiFi internet session fees, for example at airports and hotels, can be claimed where these facilities are used for business use Other expenditure Cancellation of personal arrangements The actual cancellation fee Where asked to cancel a prebooked holiday or a social event (for example theatre seats, etc) for urgent work reasons and with budget holder or line manager approval in advance No repayment will be made for business calls when the claimant has been provided with an ECC mobile phone. The following costs will not be repaid: Telephone line rental Standing charges Multi Media Messaging (MMS) General Packet Radio Switching (GPRS) No repayment will be made for business faxes when the claimant has been provided with an ECC Blackberry or Windows Mobile Device and the document can be reasonably accessed/ communicated by . The full cost must not be claimed unless the cancellation was so late that no portion could be recovered VAT can be reclaimed (where it is charged) on toll charges that cost less than 25, even if unable to obtain a. This rule applies to certain supplies only, but includes parking and toll charges. No VAT invoice is required and HMRC will normally accept the records (e.g. the actual expense claim) held as evidence to support the claim. The cost of sending business faxes may be reclaimed when the claimant has been provided with an ECC Blackberry or Windows Mobile Device but a hard copy of the document is necessary, for example, when a physical signature is required.

7 Other expenditure Washing or dry Must have been incurred during cleaning business business trips of five consecutive clothing (laundry) nights or more.

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