In order for an umbrella company to allow travel and subsistence expenses they must first ensure that they have an over-arching contract in place as this will link together a series of separate assignments under a continuous employment.
Then they must also ascertain that the employee has an entitlement to claim the expense. If their intention is only to work on a single assignment then it must, be default, be considered a permanent workplace and therefore there is no entitlement.
There is also no entitlement if the employee has been working at the same location for a period of 24 months or more or the employee knows that they will be working at the same location for a period of 24 months or more. So, to give an example, if the employee is working on a 12 month assignment which is then extended for a further 18 months, the 24 month rule will apply when the extension is agreed as, at that point, it is confirmed that the time spent at that workplace will exceed 24 months.
So we are asked on many occasions how the 24 month rule works for contractors, so lets take a look at how it work in its simplest of terms:
a) It’s about the journey, not the client and not why you are there
b) Go to the known (or anticipated) end date of your current assignment.
c) Count back 24 months by the calendar.
d) If between those two dates you have spent less than 40% of your time at that location, the 24 month rule doesn’t apply.
e) Reassess it weekly in case it changes to over 40%. As soon as it does the 24 month rules will apply.