Expenses during secondments

By Tolley

The following Employment Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Expenses during secondments
  • Introduction
  • Secondments
  • Fixed term contracts
  • Anti avoidance
  • Employment intermediaries


Travel to temporary workplaces may be reimbursed free of PAYE and without reporting requirements. As such certain travel and, by extension, subsistence costs for employees on secondment may be provided tax free.

Although, this note focuses on travel expenses, the rules on subsistence expenses follow those for travel expenses so subsistence costs incurred on secondment may also be allowable. Please see the Subsistence expenses guidance note.

ITEPA 2003, ss 338, 339

HMRC guidance in relation to travel expenses for temporary workplaces begins at EIM32005.


The Travel expenses guidance note outlines in detail what a permanent workplace is. A permanent workplace is defined in ITEPA 2003, s 339(2) as a place which the employee regularly attends in the performance of the duties of the employment and is not a temporary workplace. Following on from this rule, in order for travel expenses to be provided free of PAYE or reporting requirements, the travel will have to be to a temporary workplace. A temporary workplace is defined in ITEPA 2003, s 339(3) as a location attended for the purpose of performing a task of limited duration or for another temporary purpose. These key requirements are discussed in more depth below.

Only if a secondment meets all of the requirements of a temporary workplace will the reimbursement of travel costs associated with attending that location be free of PAYE or reporting requirements.

HMRC’s guidance on permanent workplaces is from EIM32065 onwards and temporary workplaces from EIM32075 onwards.

More on Expenses — general principles: