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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Employment intermediaries travel expense provisions: working rule agreements

Working rule agreements (WRA) between employer representatives and trade unions govern, on a national basis, a wide range of terms and conditions of employment for workers in the construction industry and allied industries. Before 6 April 2016, when the rules of a WRA were abided by in their entirety, travel and lodging allowances could be paid tax and NICs free.

However, from 6 April 2016 this will no longer be the case if the employment intermediaries travel expense provisions apply [ESM5520]. In these cases, HMRC will no longer apply the WRA easement to payments of home to work travel and subsistence to individuals who are working through an employment intermediary.

Where individuals are engaged through an employment intermediary and are paid travel and lodging allowances as part of a WRA, tax and NICs may be payable.

This will only affect the tax and NICs treatment of travel and lodgings allowances. It won’t affect the:

  • application of the WRA easement to individuals not affected by the employment intermediaries travel expense provisions, nor
  • other terms and conditions of employment included in WRAs