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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Airline cabin crew: Industry wide FRE from 2013/14 onwards: introduction and summary

HMRC and the Unite union have agreed an industry wide Flat Rate Expenses allowance (FRE) which applies to all uniformed cabin staff (stewards and stewardesses), for 2013/14 onwards. The agreement replaces all locally agreed FREs for the employees concerned.

The main features of the agreement are:

  • The new FRE applies to all uniformed cabin staff (stewards and stewardesses), it does not apply to uniformed flight deck crew who have a separate FRE (See EIM50050).
  • The FRE is £720, and it applies from 2013/14.
  • The FRE of £720 includes the cost of cleaning and laundering items of uniform, but not the cost of the uniform itself. Most airlines provide uniforms for their employees. Where, exceptionally, the employer requires employees to wear a uniform but does not provide one, the employees are entitled to a deduction under Section 336 ITEPA 2003 for the cost of replacing (but not the initial purchase) of items of uniform.EIM32475 explains what is regarded as a “uniform” for this purpose. An employee who is required to provide their own uniform may obtain relief for the cost (on the replacement basis mentioned above) in addition to the £720 FRE.