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Expense Policy in London

#1 Expense Policy in London
13/07/2010 10:50


Morning All.

I live outside of London. It doesn't matter where I live because when I'm on client sites I'm on expenses, and my base office is an easy commute. But, I'm looking for a job move and many of the opportunities have a London base, so of course I would need to fund my own travel to London if I needed to be in base. But what would happen if I were on a client site in London? I assume I can't claim expenses as it would be a similar journey to my “normal” commute to my London base (i.e. train then hop on a tube) so I assume employer/HMRC would take a dim view. But at £6K per year for a season ticket I couldn’t take the risk that I wouldn’t be on expenses. And I couldn’t assume I would be on projects out of London. And at £80 a day for a train ticket I wouldn’t want to have to be in base too often. So it’s looking like a consulting role with a London base could well cost me, negating any pay rise from a move. What is the experience of this Forum? Could I get away with expensing London travel when on client site? Would a London-based role let me be a home based consultant so I could then claim travel if they called me into base? Thanks All.

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#2 RE: Expense Policy in London
13/07/2010 12:49

Richard to anon (#1)

Usually, you are entitled to claim expenses as a commute from your home office. This should be no different if you live outside London. It's harsh, but you choose to live outside of London to take advantage of the cheaper living, then you should not be expected that this choice means the company has to fund what it is essentially travel to work.

I'm afraid your predicament in essence is not unique to consulting. Do you accept the lower living costs outside London yet negate that with your travel into the Capital - or do you pay the higher costs to live centrally.

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#3 RE: Expense Policy in London
13/07/2010 13:43

jj to Richard (#2)

Negotiate for base near home.

most times client will pay. Consultancy won't care.

I did this with ibm

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#4 RE: Expense Policy in London
13/07/2010 13:55

Forum Fan to jj (#3)

Many clients are pushing back on expenses like this. They don't see why they should pay for someone to get to their place of work. Of course, your company can then factor that into daily rates but clients are looking to drive those down as well. This is going to get worse over the next few months.

I am very much a fan of living out of London and gambling on the travel expenses each time I start a new project.

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#5 RE: Expense Policy in London
14/07/2010 14:18

Village Idiot to Forum Fan (#4)

We had a couple of consultants who were officially 'home based' for exactly this reason. They negotiated it as part of their contract.

Your ability to negotiate a similar clause depends on three things: 1) how open-minded your company is, 2) how senior you are and 3) how in-demand your skillset is.

If you're not reasonably senior with a valuable skillset, it's probably a non-starter.

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