Expense Policy

Our expense policy is generous and easy to understand. You get tax reductions for a large range of expenses. It’s also wholly compliant with UK legislation.

Due to the ‘Agency Regulations Legislation’, recruitment agencies may have expense claims restrictions placed on them; these do not apply to us.

How to claim your expenses

Once you’ve registered with us, the process is simple:

  1. We will email you an expense claim form. Please fill it in and email it to us.
  2. Please send us copies of your original receipts relating to your expense claims.

Please note that:

  • All expenses claimed must be wholly and exclusively incurred for business purposes.
  • Your name should appear on the receipt where applicable.
  • For expenses to be added to your next payment, they need to be submitted at the same time as your timesheets.

Which expenses you can claim for


Business trips

You may claim for any business trips where you are required to work and stay away from your usual base and travel more than 2 hours to get to the temporary work place.


You may claim for business-related accommodation, provided you claim for yourself alone and that it was strictly a business requirement.


While you’re on a business trip, all meals can be claimed.

  • Breakfast rate: If you leave home earlier than usual or before 6am, and you incur a breakfast cost away from home, a rate of up to £5 may be paid. If, however, you regularly leave home before 6am (for example you work early shifts), you would not be entitled to use this breakfast benchmark scale rate.
  • One meal rate: If you have been away from home or your normal place of work for a period of at least five hours, and you’ve incurred a cost on a meal, a rate of up to £5 may be paid.
  • Two meal rate: If you have been away from home or your normal place of work for a period of at least ten hours, and you’ve incurred a cost on meals, a rate of up to £10 may be paid.
  • Late evening meal rate: If you have had to work later than usual, finished work after 8pm after working your normal hours and you’ve had to buy a meal which you’d have had at home under normal circumstances, a rate of up to £15 may be paid.


You can claim for:

  • Plane/train/bus/boat tickets that are purely business-related
  • Any business travel during the trip (e.g. taxis to and from meetings)

You may however not claim for any travel for personal reasons (sightseeing, shopping, visiting friends/family, etc.)

Incidental overnight expenses

Incidental expenses are expenses you incurred over and above the accommodation and food costs of your business trip, for instance having your trousers pressed at the hotel. These expenses are limited to £5 per night within the UK and £10 per night internationally.


You may claim for protective or specialised clothing that you are required to wear in order to do your job. Examples include waterproofs, high visibility clothing, overalls, work boots and hard hats. You may also claim for the costs associated with cleaning and maintaining the items.


Computer hardware

You may claim for computer hardware that you bought after registering for our umbrella services.

  • Only one computer can be claimed for, to a max value of £1500.00.
  • The computer must be purchased strictly for business purposes, with personal use being incidental.

Computer software

You may claim for software within reason – items will be looked at case by case.

Donations to charities

Charity donations may be claimed if they:

  • are not subject to any conditions of repayment;
  • do not benefit any person other than the charity;
  • are made to a ‘charity’ as defined by case law or a registered charity in England and Wales.

You can use the Charity Commission website to confirm if a charity is registered in England and Wales.

Eye tests

Claim for an annual eye test if you use a computer screen as part of your everyday employment.

Eye tests can be claimed once a year.

Journals and magazines

Claim for any journals or magazines which are wholly required by your current employment, with no private benefit.

Postage, stationery and equipment

These must be wholly required by your current employment with no private benefit and to a value of less than £1000 per year.

Professional Body membership fees

These must be wholly required by your current employment in order to maintain your current professional status. In other words, you may not claim for courses which further your current qualification.

• Any membership fees claimed must be for professional bodies that are listed on HMRC’s Section 201 list

Relocation expenses

In order for a relocation expense to be considered, the following conditions must be met:

  • You email your CV to us before arriving in the UK to help you find a contract.
  • Ontime  is your first employer in the UK.
  • You are primarily moving to the UK for work purposes.

If these conditions are met, you can claim for up to £8,000 of relocation costs. This includes:

  • six weeks of temporary accommodation costs
  • shipping costs
  • air travel costs

Air travel

You can claim the cost of your airfare to the UK as part of your relocation cost.

  • If you fly from your home country via another country en route to the UK, you can still claim the full cost of the plane tickets (within reason, i.e. if you spent two weeks in another country prior to coming to the UK)
  • Only the cost of the plane ticket of the employee can be claimed, i.e. family members’ plane tickets cannot be claimed.


The cost of shipping belongings to the UK can be claimed in conjunction with relocation expense claims.

Temporary accommodation

You may claim up to 6 weeks’ temporary accommodation in conjunction with relocation expenses.

You may only claim for actual time spent in the temporary accommodation and you may not claim if you:

  • find permanent accommodation when arriving in the UK;
  • are not incurring any costs, i.e. if you are staying with friends or family rent-free.


The only form of rent that can be claimed is in conjunction with the relocation expenses as described above.


  • Lunch may be claimed if you are working through the day, away from the trading address.
  • Breakfast and dinner can be claimed within reason. So, for instance, if you start work at 9:30-10am, it would not be considered reasonable to claim breakfast.
  • For dinner, we use a guideline of working to 7pm or later for it to be considered a reasonable claim.



The line rental can only be claimed if all calls are business- related.

Mobile Phones

  • Only business calls can be claimed.
  • If you have two mobile phones, one for personal use and one purely for business, you could claim the monthly tariff of the business phone and the cost of those business calls.
  • If you purchased the business phone after becoming our employee, you could also claim the cost of that phone.

Training courses and books

  • These have to be wholly required by your current employment to maintain your current professional status and may not be for courses which further your current qualification.
  • You cannot claim for personal developmental training.
  • Any enduring benefit must be incidental.


Tube, train or bus tickets

These can be claimed if they are solely for the purpose of work.


Cab costs can be claimed infrequently, if the cab is used before 6am or after 9pm, and must be for business purposes only.

Cars and motorcycles

  • You must be the owner of the car or motorcycle.
  • You must keep an accurate and up-to-date logbook.
  • Only business-related miles may be claimed.
  • For cars you may claim 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p per mile thereafter.
  • The mileage claim rate for motorcycles is 24p per mile.


  • You must be the owner of the bicycle.
  • A logbook must be kept
  • Only business-related miles can be claimed at a rate of 20p per mile.

Car Rental

The cost of car rental and fuel can be claimed.

  • Car rental should be for business use only.
  • The portion of the fuel used for any incidental personal use of the car cannot be claimed.


Utilities are not an expense that our employees can claim.


HMRC have agreed that we can obtain from you electronic copies of the actual receipts you have, to support your expense claims ( a scanned copy emailed to us is acceptable) BUT you must keep your original receipts in case HMRC decide to look into your affairs.
Under HMRC rules we must monitor your expense claims and decide if they are legitimate and allowable. If we do not see any documentation to support your expenses they will not be processed as part of your payment.

This is in your best interests and ours, because if you, or we cannot support your expenses claim with documentation then heavy fines/penalties and additional Tax & NI claims will be incurred.