8. Subsistence

See also:

8.2 Hotels and accommodation in the course of travel

(a) Expenses allowed

All overnight accommodation in the course of business travel should be obtained in a reasonable quality hotel, see rates in section 8.2(b). Wherever possible, hotel bookings should be made in advance through one of the University's approved travel agents and paid for directly by the department.

The University will pay for the cost of the room and meals taken during the course of the stay. All claims for reimbursement must be supported by documentary evidence in the form of a bill or similar. Where meals are not taken in the hotel, the rules on meals and refreshments described in section 8.1 above apply.

The following incidental expenses are allowed in relation to overnight stays.

Permitted incidental expenses:

  • Personal telephone calls;
  • Refreshments (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) not taken with a meal;
  • Newspapers, journals, etc.

All incidental expenses must be supported by receipts (or bills) and must not exceed in total.

Limits on Permitted incidental expenses:

  • £5 per night for stays anywhere within the UK;
  • £10 per night for stays anywhere in the rest of the world.

Thus, an individual who is required to stay in the US for 3 nights may claim up to a maximum of £30 of incidental expenses.

(b) Rates payable

Reasonable rates for overnight accommodation (including meals but excluding permitted incidental expenses) within the UK are considered to be:

Guideline Rates for Overnight Accommodation within the UK:

  • Up to £150 per night in London;
  • Up to £100 per night elsewhere.

For overseas accommodation reference should be made to the benchmark rates published by HMRC.

Note: These rates are provided for guidance in determining whether accommodation provides Value for Money. Payments or claims that exceed these values may be queried and could be refused if costs are considered unreasonable.

The University does not use scale rates for reimbursement of overnight hotel expenses and in all cases receipts must be provided.

(c) Expenses not allowed

Items of a personal nature, except those permitted as ‘incidental expenses’, will not be paid for by the University. Any expenditure within the fairly modest limits published should be allowable.

Where such items are included in a bill, personal costs should be deducted from any amount paid for by the University or claimed by the individual concerned.

Where an individual stays at the home of a friend or family member rather than at a hotel or similar establishment, no payment can be made to contribute to the costs of accommodation.

(d) Long-term arrangements

Where individuals are required to work overseas for extended periods, the same general principles defined in these rules apply. Arrangements for accommodation and living expenses may vary, however, and so where it is proposed to take a different approach from that given here, advice must be sought in advance from the Payroll Manager to ensure that income tax and National Insurance requirements are correctly covered.