SETTLEMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S BUSINESS TRIP

As an employer, you are obliged to pay the travel expenses for business trips of your workers.  You should know that a worker is entitled to: daily subsistence allowance, reimbursement for: travel routes, local transport, accommodation and other necessary, justified and documented expenditures. 

What are the limits of travel costs? 

The amount subsistence allowance, as well as other issues relating to business settlements, shall be governed by relevant rules.  The limits laid down in the rules concern strictly budgetary institutions, which means that as an employer, you can set higher than the limits laid down in legislation.  However, the principle does not work the other way round, which means that your rates may not be lower than in the provisions.    

Terms of payment to staff on official business within the country and outside its borders, including allowances, shall be established by the provisions of a collective agreement, remuneration regulations or a contract of employment.  If your company is not covered by the collective agreement or you are not required to set the remuneration regulations, these terms can be included in the employment contract. 

Importantly, the different limits apply to domestic trips and the other to foreign.

Reimbursement of domestic travel expenses 

Transport

Means of transport on official business trip in the country (and abroad), including type and class, is specified by you as an employer.  If requested by a staff member, you can agree to the travel by car or a motorcycle, which does not belong to the company. However, you cannot force a worker to use his own car. 

Reimbursement of expenses in the amount of documented by tickets or invoices with the ticket price of the means of transport together with the associated surcharges, taking into account the worker's allowance for a given mode of transport.  Reimbursement also includes other necessary expenditure in respect of travel, which you consider (in the proven amount).   Reimbursement is also granted to an employee where his business trip lasts for at least 10 days, and on a free day he comes back home, and then returns to the place of business trip. 

Where a staff member uses a private car (motorcycle) he shall be entitled to a refund of travel expenses.  The kilometric allowance is calculated by multiplying the number of kilometres covered by the rate per 1 km distance, determined by you. 

Please note that the rate per one kilometer cannot be higher than the one laid down in the rules, i.e.:

1) for passenger car: 

a) with an engine capacity of 900 cm 3 cm 3 - PLN 0,5214,

b) with an engine capacity of more than 900 cm 3 to 0, 8358 PLN

Local transport

For each commenced day of stay in the domestic travel, staff member shall be entitled to a lump sum to cover local transport commuting costs amounting to 20 % of the daily subsistence allowance, namely PLN 6. 

The lump sum shall not be granted if the staff member does not bear the costs of travel, or at the request of a worker you will agree to cover documented commuting expenses. 

Accommodation

Workers are entitled to reimbursement for hotels at the amount proven by bill.  Amount for one night shall not, however, exceed twenty times daily allowance (PLN 600). 

If you have not provided a worker with accommodation, and he will not present a hotel bill, he will receive a lump sum of 150 % of the amount of the allowance.  Lump sum relates to overnight stays lasting a minimum of 6 hours between 21pm and 7am. 

Where the submission of evidence of expenditure is not possible, the worker shall submit a written declaration about expenditure and of the reasons for lack of evidence.

Allowance

The allowance is intended to cover the increased costs of meals and is in accordance with the provisions, PLN 30 per day of travel.  This is a minimum rate, you can determine a higher one in your company. 

If the journey lasts:  less than 8 hours - the subsistence allowance will not be granted, from 8 to 12 hours - it will be 50 % of the amount of the allowance, over 12 hours - daily subsistence allowance will be paid in full. 

Where the travel on official duty in the country lasts longer than a day, for each day subsistence allowance in full is granted and for incomplete, but initiated day: up to 8 hours it will be 50 % of the amount of the allowance

Reduced subsistence allowance

If the employee receives free meals, the allowance can be reduced.  Reduction of allowances shall also apply in the case of hotel accommodation with all meals.  Each meal corresponds to:  25 % of the amount of the allowance for breakfast, lunch 50 %, dinner 25% of the daily subsistence allowance.

Foreign trip

Duration of foreign trip

Duration of foreign trip shall be counted depending on the means of transport. 

  • Land -  from the moment of crossing the state border until it is crossed on the way back to the country;
  • Air -  from the time of the actual take off of airplane from the last airport in the country until the airplane landing on the return journey at the first airport in the country. 

Foreign allowance

Foreign subsistence allowance shall be applicable to foreign travel at the rate applicable for the foreign destination.  For each day of foreign trip, the full daily allowance is applicable.  The rates can be found below. 

If the journey lasts: up to 8 hours 1/3 of the daily allowance is applicable, more than 8 to 12 hours 50 % of the amount of the allowance, over 12 hours the full daily allowance applies. 

Reduced subsistence allowance

If a staff member is provided free all-day meals, he shall be entitled to 25 % of the daily allowance. 

The amount of the allowance shall be reduced by the cost of meals provided free of charge (also in the field of hotel service), on the assumption that each meal corresponds to: breakfast - 15 % of the daily allowance, lunch - 30 %, dinner - 30 % of the daily allowance. 

A staff member who receives a monetary claim during a trip abroad for meals, is not entitled to subsistence allowance.

Accommodation

For the overnight stay in another country workers are entitled to reimbursement based on the invoiced amount, but within the limits set out in the country-specific rules.   You can authorise the reimbursement of the costs for accommodation, identified by an invoice exceeding the limit. 

If the worker does not submit a hotel bill, he shall be entitled to a lump sum of 25 % of the limit.  This lump sum shall not be granted for travel time. 

Commuting expenses

The staff member shall be entitled to a lump sum payment to cover the costs of travel to and from the railway or bus station, airport or seaport at the amount of one allowance in the target locality abroad and in any other locality in which the worker stayed overnight. 

In the event that the worker bears the travel expenses of one-way commuting, he shall be entitled to a lump sum of 50 % of the amount of the allowance. 

To cover the cost of travel by means of local transport, staff member shall be entitled to a lump sum of 10 % of the amount of the allowance for each commenced day of stay on a trip abroad. 

Lump sums are not granted, if the worker: travels abroad by company or private car, motor vehicle, or commuting is provided free of charge.

Illness

The staff member shall be entitled to the reimbursement of documented, essential costs for treatment abroad.  He may not claim reimbursement of expenses such as medicines, whose acquisition abroad was not necessary.  This also applies to cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures and the acquisition of orthopaedic and dental prostheses or spectacles. 

Foreign travel insurance 

When travelling to an EU country an employee is covered by health insurance under the rules on the coordination of social security systems in the EU. 

Advance payment

Advance on business trip is granted for the necessary international travel expenses, at the amount specified in the initial calculation of these costs.  It may be paid in a foreign or Polish currency (with the employee's consent) which shall be calculated on the basis of the average PLN-EUR exchange rate specified by the NBP at the date of payment of the advance. 

Settlemenet of the foreign business trip expenses shall be made in the currency of the advance received, in convertible currency or in the Polish currency, at the average exchange rate of the day of payment.

Settlement of official trips (domestic and foreign)

The worker must settle official trip not later than within 14 days from the end of the journey.  Settlement is carried out by means of internal document known as settlement of the business trip. It should contain at least the following information: first name and surname, the purpose of trip, destination, number of hours and days spent on the trip (date and time of departure and return), the rate and value of applicable allowances. The member of staff must attach supporting evidence (invoices) of particular expenses. If the proof (invoice) was not possible to obtain, staff member must submit a written declaration of expenditure made and of the reasons for lack of evidence. 

Allowances and expenses covered by the lump sum, as well as expenses for travel carried out by the employee's own car do not need to be documented by invoices. 

Costs

Expenditure for employees' business trips can be included in costs.  Please note that you can do this only up to the limits laid down in the rules.  Surplus of the expenses returned to worker related to a business trip (daily allowance) will not constitute tax costs for the company.  The same will be the case if, for example, you exceed kilometric allowance. 

 

 

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