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Travel claim guide

All travel should be approved in advance and employees have a responsibility to ensure that the cost to the council is kept to a minimum, co-ordinating travel, where possible, to keep the number of separate car journeys to a minimum.


Information on alternative and sustainable ways to travel, including the use of our fleet of electric pool vehicles (and electric bicycles for shorter journeys), is available on Our Derbyshire at Smarter Travel.

Employees must only submit claims for their own travel expenses and payment will only be made for journeys actually undertaken. Abuse of travel allowances will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure. Payment of travel expenses will be made with salary.

Business travel by electric pool car

You can register and book one of our electric pool cars for business travel.

Business travel by car

If an employee uses their own car for official journeys, they must ensure that their motor insurance policy covers them for 'business use' and indemnifies the council (as employer) against third party claims or policy excess charges. It should be noted that the whole of an employee's motor insurance cover would be invalidated if using the vehicle on council business when only covered for social and domestic purposes.

Employees using their cars on official business must also be in possession of a current full valid driving licence for the vehicle they are driving and ensure that the vehicle is in a roadworthy condition prior to the commencement of and during the journey. Where required the vehicle should have a current MOT certificate. Any reasonable parking fees etc, incurred during the journey will be reimbursed. Receipts should be retained in support of any claim. Further information on using your own vehicle is available on travelling to work.

Fines and penalties, like fixed penalty parking fines, are the sole responsibility of the employee.

On at least an annual basis, the employee will be required to produce their current driving licence, motor insurance policy, and evidence of their MOT for their manager to check and confirm validity.

If an employee wishes to suggest a reasonable alternative to providing a car for business use, this must be discussed with their line manager.

Mileage allowances for business fall into 2 categories:

  1. Journeys of less than 110 miles round trip. Authorised journeys which are less than 110 miles in total can be undertaken by the employee using their personal vehicle. However, alternatives to using their car (for example, public transport and electric pool cars) should be investigated to ensure travel in the most cost and time efficient way.

  2. More than 110 miles round trip. Where it is anticipated that a journey will be in excess of 110 miles, the employee should assess the most cost and time effective mode of travel (electric pool car, own car, train, hire car). Comparing the cost of mileage, hiring a car (including the cost of delivery) and train tickets will show you the most cost effective mode of travel for your journey.

Arrange car hire via the designated office and claim for any fuel purchased or travel by standard class rail, if appropriate. On occasions mileage may be reimbursed for journeys over 110 miles on the proviso that reasonable effort has been made to keep the mileage under 110 miles and electric pool car, car hire and other methods of transport have been considered.

Mileage claims

Travel from home to work

The council is not responsible for the cost incurred in travelling from home to work, except for excess travel where an employee has been relocated, or for journeys which take place outside contracted working hours.

Travel from work and returning to work

Where the journey starts and ends at work on the same day, the actual mileage incurred should be claimed.

Travel from and return to home

Where an employee travels directly from home to a place of duty and returns home directly without going to the normal place of work, the mileage to be claimed is the lower of:

  • home to duty to home
  • base to duty to base

Example:

  • home is Derby, base is Matlock, duty is Alfreton
    Derby to Matlock is 20 miles
    Matlock to Alfreton is 9 miles
    Derby to Alfreton is 15 miles
    therefore, home to duty to home (Derby to Alfreton to Derby) is 30 miles, whereas base to duty to base (Matlock to Alfreton to Matlock) is 18 miles
    the lesser value of 18 miles can be claimed

Travel on route to or from work

If an employee travels directly from home to a place of duty and then to the work base, the mileage to be claimed is the lower of:

  • home to duty to base
  • base to duty to base

The same principle applies where a journey is made from base to a place of duty and then directly to home.

Example:

  • home is Derby, base is Matlock, duty is Alfreton
    home to duty to base (Derby to Alfreton to Matlock) is 24 miles, whereas base to duty to base (Matlock to Alfreton to Matlock) is 18 miles
    the lesser value of 18 miles can be claimed

Travel from home outside normal working hours

Where a journey in the course of duty starts and ends at home because of work outside of normal contractual hours, or there is a requirement to return to work after a normal days work, the mileage to be claimed is the actual mileage from and return to home. This mileage is taxable and must be recorded separately. Employees with no fixed work base should check the arrangements with their line manager.

Calculation of mileage

Mileage claimed must be calculated on the basis of the most reasonable route for the journey. The following are some useful website links to help you plan your journey:

Excess mileage

If your base is changed by the council and you are relocated to a new place of work which falls outside of a 5 mile radius of your current base, you may claim the difference in mileage. This is the difference in travel from home to the new place of work less the mileage of home to the former place of work. Excess mileage is taxable and can be claimed for a maximum of 3 years. Once the 5 mile radius is exceeded all excess miles may be claimed including the first 5 miles.

Please ensure excess travel is claimed as taxable rather than business mileage on WorkPlace. Speak to HR Services for further advice.

Whilst it is not a council requirement for an employee to have 'business use' on their motor insurance policy to claim 'excess mileage' due to a change of base, the employee should check with their own motor insurance company prior to their relocation to a new place of work.

Excess travel time allowance

An excess travel time allowance is also payable for a period not exceeding 3 years, provided that the additional daily travelling time exceeds half an hour. The following rates are increased annually in line with the retail price index and are paid on a pro-rata basis for part time employees:

  • up to half hour a day - nil
  • up to 1 hour per day - £450 per year
  • over 1 hour to 1½ hours per day - £619 per year
  • over 1½ hours per day - £774 per year

Employees must ensure that they notify the employer of any change in circumstances, for example, home address, which occurs within the 3 year period.

Travel time for employees with no fixed base

If an employee does not have a fixed work base and is required to work at various locations, claims from home to their first point of call and from their last point of call to home are limited to the following:

  • time in excess of 30 minutes in a single journey
  • mileage in excess of 5 miles in a single journey

If an employee only travels from home to their first point of call and then returns home without doing any additional trips, then it is not a council requirement for an employee to have 'business use' on their motor insurance policy. However, the employee should check with their own motor insurance company prior to making the trip.

If an employee does additional miles to another place of work during the day then it is a council requirement for an employee to have 'business use' on their motor insurance policy, and that they have told their insurers that they use the vehicle for work and how they do so. This should ensure that in the event of an accident which occurs during these additional journeys, their insurer will deal with the claim rather than turning it down because they did not know the vehicle was being used for work.

How and when to make a mileage claim

All claims for car mileage should be submitted via WorkPlace at the end of each calendar month and authorised as appropriate. Claims must be submitted within 3 calendar months of undertaking the journey. A late claim will not be paid except in exceptional circumstances and with executive director approval. A guide on how to record travel claims on Workplace is available.

Employees who do not have access to WorkPlace should claim mileage by submitting the 'Employee Mileage Claim Form' (CO6(a) attached to this page, signed by their manager to HR Services (original forms are required). For those employees who submit their mileage on a 'craft timesheet' please ensure that you complete the latest version of the form and provide to your line manager for authorisation.

All claims submitted either via WorkPlace or by completion of the mileage form must record accurate vehicle details which include engine size and fuel type. If an employee changes their car then they will need to complete the 'Notification of a change of vehicle' form attached to this page and email to HR Services at pay@derbyshire.gov.uk to update their record. In the meantime, if an employee makes a claim on WorkPlace prior to the vehicle details being updated by HR Services the employee must manually adjust the vehicle details.

If you submit a paper mileage claim form and change your vehicle please tick the appropriate box on the mileage claim form and record the date of change.

Claims made electronically will be processed and paid with the next available salary payment. Claims submitted on paper forms will be processed and paid as soon as possible and no later than with the salary for the month following the submission of the form.

Current mileage rates are based on HMRC rates and are not liable for tax and national insurance:

  • 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles
  • 25p per mile after the first 10,000 miles

An extra 5p per mile can be claimed for carrying each approved passenger. An approved passenger is any elected member, a person employed by the council, an agency employee or volunteer who is working with and on behalf of the council and is travelling in a vehicle owned and driven by a council employee. The driver must be authorised to travel as part of their role and journeys must be for work purposes only.

For the purpose of claiming mileage allowance for approved passengers, the claimant must declare the name of each passenger as part of their mileage claim.

Service users and employees from partner organisations, contractors and other bodies are not approved passengers therefore the additional 5p per mile cannot be claimed.

VAT receipts

A VAT receipt for fuel used on work journeys must be obtained and kept by the employee in an orderly fashion for a period of 6 years after the end of the tax year to which they relate. Receipts must be available for inspection during this period.

Qualification courses and training

If you travel to an approved qualification course or exam, you can claim travel expenses for any miles travelled over and above your normal journey to work paid at public transport mileage rate. The current rate is available at travelling to work.

Employees can claim back other reasonable costs subject to the provisions of the Qualification Training Conditions of Assistance. For the purposes of this guide, the payment of course fees are separate.

Trade union duties

The accredited mileage rate for specific trade union duties is paid at the current public transport mileage rate available at travelling to work.

Public transport

The same principles apply to employees who incur travel fares in the course of undertaking their duties.

Where alternative means of public transport exist (for example bus or rail) the most suitable in terms of cost and time should be used and claimed accordingly. Cheap rate fares should be used where possible.

This is the rate that accredited trade union stewards are eligible to claim from the council in respect of trade union duties undertaken.

Rail travel

All employees will travel standard class unless specifically agreed by their executive director. Where possible, tickets should be purchased in advance. If travelling 'locally', like from Matlock to Derby, buy your ticket at the station and reclaim through WorkPlace – this saves the £1.50 printing and booking charge.

Taxi fares

The cost of hiring a taxi will only be reimbursed where it is absolutely necessary and in the interests of the council, or where it is otherwise reasonable, for example if public transport is not available. Receipts are required.