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Travel allowances

You may be repaid travel and subsistence costs incurred on necessary absence from your base on official business. The amount paid is based on rates approved by the Department of Health.

Travel

Before travel costs are paid you must have on file:

  • approval for you to travel
  • a declaration to use your own car
  • your insurance policy which indemnifies the HSE
  • your vehicle registration certificate

This information must be renewed annually.

The travel:

  • must be necessary
  • must be approved by your line manager beforehand
  • uses the shortest practicable route and the cheapest mode
  • use public transport where possible

You must get approval from your line manager to use your own car if public transport is available and you choose not to use it.

Travel expenses:

  • will not be paid for any part of a journey which covers your usual route to work (unless in emergency situations)
  • must be calculated based on the shorter of the distance from home or base to/from the destination if the trip commences or ends directly at home
  • are calculated based on the distance travelled and the engine size of your car

Emergency situations

Travel expenses can be paid for your normal work commute if it’s outside of your normal working hours to deal with an emergency situation. This must be approved by your line manager before travel. A maximum of sixty emergency situation travel claims can be claimed in a calendar year.

For more information and rules relating to travel and subsistence expenses see:

National Finance Regulation (NFR) 5 - travel and subsistence

Current motor travel rates

Travel and subsistence circular

Subsistence

Expenses for subsistence costs can be paid to you if you are working away from your base. The payment is based on the rates approved by the Department of Health.

Subsistence can only be paid for trips that:

  • are necessary trips away from your base
  • are at least 8 kilometres away from your home or base
  • the length of time you will be away is at least 5 hours

Day rates

There are 2 types of day rate:

  • 5 to 10 hours - €15.41
  • 10 hours plus - €36.97

Overnight rates

Overnight allowances have 3 standard rates:

  • Normal - €147 (for absences up to 14 nights)
  • Reduced - €132.30 (covers the next 14 nights)
  • Detention - €73.50 (covers each of the next 28 nights)

The subsistence allowance payable is not meant to meet the whole cost of subsistence or be a source of profit.

Overnight trips

A night allowance may be paid if you must spend a night away at a location at least 100 kilometres away from your home and normal place of work.

A night allowance may also be paid if your line manager is satisfied that there is an operational reason for you to stay overnight at a place that is less than 100 kilometres, but at least 50 kilometres, away from your home and normal place of work.

The night allowance covers a period up to 24 hours from the time of departure and any further periods not exceeding 5 hours.

As it can be difficult to find accommodation in Dublin within the standard overnight rate, you may claim a vouched accommodation (VA) rate for necessary overnight trips in Dublin.

The rate for vouched accommodation is up to a limit of the standard overnight rate of €147.00 plus €36.97.

Accommodation costs while claiming the VA rate must always be vouched.

In cases where the accommodation exceeds the VA rate, you must pay the extra expense.

If accommodation can be found in Dublin within the standard overnight rate, that rate applies.

See: Subsistence allowances circular

Claiming travel and subsistence

Claims for travel and subsistence must be:

  • submitted using the system which operates in your area
  • submitted within 1 month of the trip or at the latest within 3 months of the trip
  • approved by your line manager

Your claim will be returned to you if it is not completed in full.

Travel and subsistence claim form (Excel, 30KB, 1 page)

Managers approving travel and subsistence claims

As a line manager, you should have local procedures outlining staff and managers’ responsibilities when claiming and processing travel and subsistence expenses.

Before approving an expenses claim you must ensure:

  • employee has authorisation to travel
  • claim is completed in full
  • the expenses claimed for travel and subsistence are correct
  • claim has been submitted on time, and if not, a reason for the delay is given with the claim

You should return claims that are incorrect or incomplete.

As a line manager you are responsible for:

  • certifying journeys were necessary
  • checking that amounts claimed are correct
  • checking supporting documentation is with the claim

Claims for costs such as tolls, parking and public transport tickets must have a receipt attached.

Business travel abroad

Business travel abroad is covered by the National Financial Regulation (NFR-05) Travel and Subsistence (PDF, 219KB, 3 pages) and the HSE Business Travel Policy

This applies to European and international travel outside Republic of Ireland.

The CEO approves travel abroad for national directors. National directors approve travel abroad for all other staff. Assistant National Directors approve domestic air travel for all staff.

How to apply

Foreign travel requests are made using the business travel FT1 form (Excel, 228KB, 3 pages)

You should submit the completed form at least 2 weeks before your departure date. This allows the travel company time to process your application.

You must be able to show that:

  • there is a benefit to the HSE
  • you need to travel

The contracted travel company will confirm flight availability and prices.

You will get an e-ticket when you confirm acceptance in writing.

For more than 1 person travelling, include an 'additional traveller addendum'. This is part of the business travel FT1 form.

You must pay directly for any rail travel and car hire. You can claim this back on your return.

The HSE travel insurance policy covers all employees and official guests of the HSE.

Accommodation costs when abroad

Prior approval for reimbursement of foreign hotel or accommodation costs is necessary. The CEO or national directors must grant this before you travel abroad.

You must pay your hotel bill on departure from the hotel. You can claim this back on your return.

See NFR05 Travel and Subsistence (PDF, 220KB, 24 pages) for information about travel and subsistence abroad.

Business travel related documents

Subsistence Allowance Abroad (Circular 009/2017) (PDF, 190KB, 2 pages)

HSE Foreign and Domestic Travel (PDF, 945KB, 5 pages)

Business travel frequently asked questions (PDF, 568KB, 3 pages)

National Financial Regulations (NFR-05) Travel and Subsistence (PDF, 219KB, 24 pages)

Queries

Email Governance & Compliance govn.compliance@hse.ie with your queries relating to NFR-05 Travel and Subsistence

Related content

National Finance Regulation (NFR) 5 - travel and subsistence

Current motor travel rates

Travel and subsistence circular

Page last reviewed: 06/07/2021
Next review due: 06/07/2024