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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

NIM06280 - Class 1 NICs : Expenses and allowances : Travelling expenses : Site-based employees

Site-based employees are employees who:

  • work at a succession of places, and
  • have no permanent workplace.

They work for a short period at one location before moving on to another.Traditionally, this applies widely in the construction industry and allied trades.

Position prior to 6 April 1998

Prior to 6 April 1998, any amounts paid by an employer towards the cost of travel orsubsistence for journeys between the employee’s home and the workplace (the‘site’) could not be excluded from NICs liability.

They were not business expenses (see NIM05020 forgeneral guidance on what constitutes a business expense). They were rather normalcommuting costs, because each workplace was regarded as the normal workplace for the timebeing. In travelling between home and the workplace the employee was therefore making anormal ‘home to work’ journey. Such journeys take the employee “towork” but are not undertaken in “carrying out” the work so cannot beexcluded as a business expense.

Position from 6 April 1998

With effect from 6 April 1998, however, the new travel rules may allow each workplaceto be regarded as a temporary workplace because the employee goes there only to performtasks of limited duration and in many cases they will not be expected to last for morethan 24 months. See NIM06270. The outcome may be different ifthe employee has a fixed term appointment. See NIM06290.

Where the workplace can be accepted as temporary, all travel and subsistence costsinvolved in travelling between home and the temporary workplace should be excluded fromClass 1 NICs.

See NIM06250 for general information about the introduction ofthe new travel rules for NICs.