23rd November 2020 F&R Report 5.3

EXPENSES POLICY

  1. ABOUT THIS POLICY
    1.1 This policy deals with claims for reimbursement of expenses, including travel, accommodation and hospitality.
    1.2 Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Town Council will reimburse its employees and elected members’ travel and subsistence costs that are legitimately incurred whilst undertaking approved Town Council business, provided the expenditure has been authorised, receipted and certified in accordance with the procedure laid down in this policy. There is currently no dedicated councillors’ allowance scheme in place.
    1.3 This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and the town council may amend it at any time.
    1.4 The Mayor’s annual allowance is used to fund all expenses and is therefore not covered by this Policy.
  2. PERSONNEL RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS POLICY
    2.1 All line managers have a specific responsibility to operate within the boundaries of this policy and to ensure that all staff understand the procedure they are required to follow, and to take action when behaviour falls below its requirements.
    2.2 Authorisation required by councillors is obtained through a meeting of the council or its appropriate committee, or from the town clerk if there is no scheduled appropriate meeting.
  3. REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES
    3.1 The town council will reimburse expenses properly incurred in accordance with this policy. Any attempt to claim expenses fraudulently or in breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action or report to the Monitoring Officer.
    3.2 Expenses will only be reimbursed if they are:
    (a) submitted to the Responsible Financial Officer on the appropriate claim form (available from the RFO);
    (b) submitted within 28 days of being incurred;
    (c) supported by relevant documents (for example, VAT receipts, tickets, and credit or debit card slips); and
    (d) authorised in advance.
    3.3 Claims for authorised expenses submitted in accordance with this policy will be paid directly into your bank/building society account.
    3.4 It is important that all councillors keep full records of expenses claimed and the reasons the expenses are incurred so that they are able to provide appropriate evidence to HMRC, if required.
    3.5 Any questions about the reimbursement of expenses should be put to your line manager or the Responsible Financial Officer before you incur the relevant costs.
  4. TRAVEL EXPENSES
    4.1 The town council will reimburse the reasonable cost of necessary travel in connection with its business. The most economic means of travel should be chosen.
    4.2 Travel between your home and usual place of work or the town council office will not be reimbursed. If in the usual course of events you would be expected to attend your place of work, that mileage must be deducted from any claim to an alternative destination.
    4.3 Trains. The town council will reimburse the cost of standard class travel on submission of a receipt with an expenses claim form.
    4.4 Taxis. The town council does not expect you to take a taxi when there is public transport available, unless it is cost effective due to a saving of journey time or the number of staff travelling together. A receipt should be obtained for submission with an expenses claim form. Optional gratuity paid to taxi drivers will not be reimbursed.
    4.5 Car. Where it is cost effective for you to use your car for business travel, and you have been authorised to do so, you can claim a mileage allowance of:
     45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles in any one year
     25p per mile thereafter
     An additional 5p per mile is payable for a passenger also required to attend the event
    4.6 A copy of your driving license and appropriate insurance document must be provided to the Responsible Financial Officer before any mileage claim can be settled.
    4.7 Parking costs will be reimbursed when they are necessary & reasonable and supported by a receipt or the display ticket covering the relevant period.
    4.8 Air travel. If you are required to travel by plane in the course of your duties, you should discuss travel arrangements with the Responsible Financial Officer in advance.
    4.9 The town council will not reimburse penalty fares or fines for parking or driving offences, other than at its discretion in exceptional circumstances.
  5. ACCOMMODATION AND OTHER OVERNIGHT EXPENSES
    5.1 If you are required to stay away overnight in the course of your duties, you should discuss accommodation arrangements with the Responsible Financial Officer in advance. Accommodation will usually be subject to an upper limit per night of £75 or £90 (London).
    5.2 Where no free food or refreshments are included at the event, the town council will reimburse your reasonable out-of-pocket meal & reasonable refreshment expenses for overnight stays where the claim is supported by receipts, as follows:
     breakfast up to a maximum of £6.50 per day;
     lunch up to £10 per day, including non-alcoholic drinks
     evening meal up to £10.50 per day, including non-alcoholic drinks
  6. INCIDENTAL EXPENSES
    6.1 There might be other incidental expenses incurred by councillors or staff that are not covered by this Policy. All such claims should be referred to the Clerk or Responsible Finance Officer for determination.
  7. NON-REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES
    7.1 The following categories of expense will not be reimbursed:
     claims not supported by receipts, unless exceptional approval has been given
     Personal entertainment of any sort
     Mini bar/bar bills
     Alcoholic drinks
     entertaining other councillors or individuals
     claims for unidentified small items of expenditure
     any claims in excess of the maximum limits set by this Policy
    Approved: xx/HR/2020
    Approved and adopted: xx/TC/2020

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