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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

Paragraph 3 of Part VIII of Schedule 3 to the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001

General

As explained in NIM06265 a place an employee attends for the purpose of performing a task of limited duration or for some other temporary purpose is a temporary 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 is expected to last, more than 24 months. Where this rule applies the workplace will be a permanent workplace.

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

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

See EIM32080  and EIM32100  for more informationon the 24 month rule. See also NIM06290 where the employment is a fixed term appointment.

 

Position prior to 6 April 1998

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

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