Travel expenses: travel for necessary attendance: the 24 month rule: how to find out the expected period of time at a workplace
Section 339(5) ITEPA 2003Usually it will be clear whether or not an employee expects to spend more than 40% of his or her working time at a particular workplace over a period of 24 months. Where there is some uncertainty you should decide cases on the facts that you can uncover.
An obvious starting point is what the employer has told the employee. Another point to consider may be whether the employee has moved home as a result of the change in workplace. An employee may be less likely to relocate for a posting that is expected to last for less than 24 months and more likely to relocate for one that is expected to last longer. That is not to say that, if someone does move home as a result of a change of workplace, it necessarily means they expect the new workplace to be permanent, or that if they do not move home they necessarily expect the new workplace to be temporary. Moving home is not a test, it is only one factor to be taken into consideration, but it is an important one.
You should look at each case in the round and consider not only any statements made by the employee and the employer, but also the expected duration of any project to which the employee is seconded and any agreements between the parties, whether or not they have been committed to writing. You may wish to look in more detail at any case in which the employee spends more than 24 months at a workplace and we had been told that he or she would not.
In some cases there may have been a change in circumstances that has led to a change in the length of the secondment. The workplace will be a temporary workplace during any time in which the reasonable expectation was that the secondment would be for a period not exceeding 24 months, see EIM32080. Therefore we cannot conclude in all cases that a continuation of the secondment beyond the 24 month limit must mean that the workplace could not have been a temporary workplace at some stage.
This is illustrated by example EIM32101.