What expenses should I be paid as a contractual right?

The law requires your employer to reimburse reasonable expenses necessarily incurred in the course of your employment. Your contract of employment may contain written terms specifying what expenses are to be reimbursed and in what circumstances, for example:

  • travelling expenses to a location other than the normal place of work;
  • hotel accommodation when staying away from home for work;
  • mileage expenses for use of a private car when travelling on company business;
  • petty expenses for materials necessarily purchased for the purpose of carrying out duties; and
  • relocation expenses on transferring employment to a new location.

It is essential that you get receipts for reimbursable expenses. Most employers will set out an expenses policy, with rules and procedures for claiming expenses.

Even if there is no written term in your contract, the law still entitles you to be reimbursed. However, it can be time-consuming to resolve a dispute over expenses, so it is better for all concerned to have a clearly stated expenses policy.

Some expenses paid by the employer may be taxable.

It is very important to follow any expenses policy carefully and to the letter, as any breach can have serious disciplinary consequences, including dismissal, with or without notice.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.