Travel Expenses- Business trips abroad

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Mrs Brightside Posts: 447
Hi Ladies, Not sure if anyone might be able to help. DH has recently moved into a new department within his company. The new role means he will have frequent business trips abroad in the next few months. Each will usually be 2-3 days minimum. Some will be day trips to the UK to meet customers. My question is about employment rights etc. The company are only branching into a new area and before this all their business was done here in Ireland. They dont seem to have a clue or policy about expenses. They have a milage rate for here but other than that nothing. They expect DH to put flights, accomodation on his credit card and claim back expenses but it will be 30 days after he puts them in meaning interest on our card. They gave him a €40 allowance for his hotel in a city in UK a few weeks ago but he couldnt get anywhere reasonable for that price where he needed to be. The will pay €20 for dinner but no other meals. What I'm wondering is are there guidelines for expenses and employee entitlement? Do you acrue extra holidays or overtime as he has been travelling to the airport at 4.30am for 6am flights and not getting out of meetings till 9pm so his hours are much longer than normal and he has to get the cheapest flights so never back home before 11pm. Just wondering is it an individual company policy or is there general guidelines for all employees and their rights. Thanks so much ladies
MrsGilhooley Posts: 1235
How big is his company? Does he have a good relationship with his boss / HR? I would try, in the first instance to address this in a non-confrontational way, for example maybe setting up a meeting with his boss to say "I think we need to have a re-think on how we go about arranging my travel. I'm concerned about being out of pocket and working longer hours and I have some suggestions from talking to other friends who travel alot with work" - so I wouldnt jump straight into "I'm entitled to x, y, z" at first I dont know the legal side, but form my experience company travel is either paid for by the employee on their personal card and re-embursed pretty quickly once claimed (e.g. 7 - 10 days) so interest charges don't occur or travel is paid for on a company card. An amount of travel time can be outside business hours and people aren't always compensated for it, but generally employers may be more flexible about late starts the day after etc. Most companies will have a limit on the cost per night but 40 is madness. In my place its 140 for the UK and I think 180 for london or new york / other international cities. Food allowance is 50 per day but all with receipts
Mrs Brightside Posts: 447
MrsGilhooley thanks for replying. Yeah he has a good relationship with his boss but its more that they don't have a clue how expenses work as its all new to them. He knows he has to talk to them but he is looking for info about the going rate for certain things. In the current climate you dont want to complain but at the same time if it starts off on the wrong foot like this it will end up worse in the long run. I used to work as a PA in a large company and I looked after travel arrangement for about 30 employess and clients. I had 5 company credit cards and everything from the flights, the taxi and the serviced apartments was looked after. I also input their expenses to accounts and they were paid the same week as long as they showed receipts. I remember the accounts girl saying you should never be out of pocket for anything that you pay for in order to do your job. Now I actually understand what she meant. The guys that had flights and did trips got a days holidays for every 3 they were away. It was a large US Multi though and it was during the good times. Dont want to rock the boat too much...
MrsGilhooley Posts: 1235
[quote="Mrs Brightside":2yllqg0z] The guys that had flights and did trips got a days holidays for every 3 they were away. It was a large US Multi though and it was during the good times. Dont want to rock the boat too much...[/quote:2yllqg0z] This was where the places I worked have not been so good, there's no formal arrangement for travelling in your own time. I haven't really come across that among any of my friends either. Though you do often get the choice of flying the night before and staying overnight so at least you're not so tired.
galwaygirl2010 Posts: 2447
[quote="Mrs Brightside":zv6i6lf3]Hi Ladies, Not sure if anyone might be able to help. DH has recently moved into a new department within his company. The new role means he will have frequent business trips abroad in the next few months. Each will usually be 2-3 days minimum. Some will be day trips to the UK to meet customers. My question is about employment rights etc. The company are only branching into a new area and before this all their business was done here in Ireland. They dont seem to have a clue or policy about expenses. They have a milage rate for here but other than that nothing. They expect DH to put flights, accomodation on his credit card and claim back expenses but it will be 30 days after he puts them in meaning interest on our card. They gave him a €40 allowance for his hotel in a city in UK a few weeks ago but he couldnt get anywhere reasonable for that price where he needed to be. The will pay €20 for dinner but no other meals. Thanks so much ladies[/quote:zv6i6lf3] Putting expenses on your credit card and claiming them back afterwards (usually after 30 days) is standard in my company and in the company my sister works for and we both regularly travel abroad. Paying just for dinner is also standard, breakfast would usually be covered on the hotel, lunch is something we would pay for in the normal working day anyway so they wont cover that, so they seem to just cover dinner as its the meal you would have at home normally but you cant when travelling (if that makes sense). As for travel days, we get days in lieu if travelling over a weekend, but generally nothing if travelling on a week day. This policy I think is dependant on the company to set I think.
zoesmama Posts: 2774
DH travels quite a bit for work and in his company this is how it works - the company book and pay for the flights, they also choose and book the hotel but he pays for it on his (personal) credit card on check-out, he gets set meal allowance, he pays cash for taxis, trains etc, he gets unsociable hours overtime ie if the flight is at 6am and if he has to go Sunday evening to be there for Mon morning. He submits his receipts on return and the money comes through with his next salary payment well in time for the credit card payment.
mshelly Posts: 746
I used to do a huge amount of travel with my company a couple of years ago. I had a work credit card that i used to book all flights (always economy), car hire, hotels and meals (dinners). I had to keep all my receipts and when the credit card bill came in I had to ensure I had a receipt to back up each expense and detail out the job I was on that incurred the expense. There was a policy for claiming cash expenses as well so long as you had receipts. €40 is a stupid budget to have for hotels as you can't get anything decent for that amount. If your husband is being sent to the UK for business then he should be staying in 3*+ quality accommodation. Also hotel costs are very much dependent on where the hotel is located so a blanket amount across a country is stupid. Booking later flights because they are cheaper and not related to the timing of meetings/workin is also not on unless the company are giving him time off in lieu of extended working/travelling hours. He needs to sit down with his boss and draft a travel policy that works for everyone. Your employer has a duty of care to you if they are sending you away on business. Your safety while abroad is paramount and they should be making every effort to ensure this. You don't need to stay in 5* accommodation, travel first class or eat in a posh restaurant but you would expect a certain standard of living while travelling.
Sue79 Posts: 175
Hey, I do a lot of European travel with my job. From day 1 I have had an issue with our Expenses policy as I (at the time) didn't have a personal Credit Card in my own name. I only was a named user on my hubby's and our company didn’t prepay/book anything for us on the Company credit card. I raised this as an issue when I started to lots of travel, as the first month I did lots of travelling and when asking for an advance (to pay hotels etc) I was questioned about it. I would have submitted receipts and everything but I was actually asked by the Finance controller at the time, could I not just use my laser card. It was in a January (when I was actually strapped for cash and wouldn’t have had €600 to cover 2 weeks travelling) and I still didn’t have a personal Credit Card. I went to my boss at the time about this- apart from the fact that she was DISGUSTED I was refused the advance, she advised to apply for a CC in my name for work, and to only use it for work use. I still had a bit of an issue with this, as I knew that I would have to cover the annual charges (stamp duty) for work purposes. Anyway, long story short – I did get the Credit card and this is the way I still now claim my travel expenses but one big thing changed since then and that’s, that the company now prebook flights and car rental so it is 2 large expenses that I don’t have to claim back. We don’t get any overnite allowance/overtime or meal allowance etc that woulds up our expenses when we are travelling and we don’t get the time back in lieu if we travel at the weekends. sue
Jane Smith Posts: 3158
Our travel expenses are put on our own credit cards and subsequently reimbursed upon submission of claim and receipts. I don't do much travelling but we do have a number of commercial guys who would be clocking up €10k-€20k per month individually. There's no set rule on flights or accommodation - sometimes the individual themselves will make the booking, other times their secretary might, especially if it's a longer or multi-stop trip. Hotels are usually 4* business orientated hotels, comfortable and functional and quite often airport hotels (for both flight convenience and it's where a lot of our business would be based). Business class might be used for long haul flights, providing the fare isn't excessive. We also tend to book the higher level fare that allows for ammendments and cancellations. This way if business finishes earlier or runs over, not all is lost completely. We don't have any official system of overtime or time in lieu so early / late trips to the airport would not be compensated financially but on the other end of the scale we are very flexible with holidays and time or days off. Everyone has their role and knows their responsibility and we trust that people are mature enough to not pull the pi$$.
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