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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 1 NICs : Expenses and allowances : Travelling expenses : Temporary posting away from a permanent workplace : Limited duration - the 24 month rule

As explained in NIM06265 a place an employee attends for thepurpose of performing a task of limited duration or for some other temporary purpose is atemporary workplace. But a special rule prevents a workplace being a temporary one wherean employee attends it in the course of a period of continuous work which lasts, or isexpected to last, more than 24 months. Where this rule applies the workplace will be apermanent workplace.

A period of continuous work is a period throughout which the duties of the employment areperformed to a significant extent at that place. To apply this rule treat duties asperformed to a significant extent if the employee spends 40% or more of their working timeat that place.

Where the employee has spent, or is likely to spend, 40% or more of their working time ata particular workplace over a period of more than 24 months the workplace is not atemporary workplace and must therefore be treated as a permanent workplace. Any travelbetween home and that place will be ordinary commuting and will not satisfy the exclusionprovided by paragraph 3 of Part VIII of Schedule 3 to the Social Security (Contributions)Regulations 2001.

See EIM 32080 (previously SE32080) and EIM 32100 (previously SE32100) for more informationon the 24 month rule. See also NIM06290 where the employment isa fixed term appointment.

Position prior to 6 April 1998

Before 6 April 1998 the normal practice was to allow generally similar treatment tothat described above, but the relevant period was 12 months rather than 24 months. Aworkplace could only be accepted as a temporary workplace if the attendance lasted, or wasexpected to last, no more than 12 months and the employee returned to their normalworkplace at the end of the period.

Accordingly, prior to 6 April 1998, expenses connected with attendance at a temporaryworkplace would not be excluded from NICs if the ‘12 month rule’ was notsatisfied - and all travel between the home and that workplace would then be normalcommuting or ‘home to work’ travel.