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 express terms specifying what expenses are to be reimbursed and in what circumstances.

It is usual and preferable for the employer to set out the expenses policy in a separate handbook, which contains the rules and procedure for claiming expenses. It is essential that receipts are obtained for reimbursable expenses. Among the examples often found in contracts of employment are:

  • travelling expenses to a location other than the normal place of work;
  • hotel accommodation when travelling on company business;
  • mileage expenses of using 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.

Where there is no express term in the contract, the law implies a term. But because this can be difficult to pursue in the event of a worker not being reimbursed, it is much better for all concerned to have a clearly stated expenses policy. Some expenses paid by the employer may be taxable.

You can find out more from the website of tax charities TaxAid or the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group.

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.