Regulations / Allowances
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When I can I claim for a meal?
The fact that an individual is away from their normal place of work i.e. at another location/station either inside the force area or outside, is not sufficient reason to claim for the cost of a meal. If a packed meal is normally taken, or a sandwich bought, then there should be very few occasions when a claim for a meal should be made, because packed meals can be eaten and sandwiches bought almost anywhere. Staff are reminded to ensure the appropriate deduction of their normal cost is made if claiming for a meal.
Reasonableness of claims is subjective; however FPP 00321 Business Travel Booking effectively sets the benchmark within paragraph 3.6 b & c. In summary, expenditure for subsistence/refreshment should not exceed £30 including VAT within any 24 hour period, and a request for reimbursement for an evening meal is not expected to exceed £15.00 including VAT outside London.
When do I have to make a deduction from a claim for a meal or refreshments?
This is outlined in FFP 000304 3.14.1 & 3.14.2
All staff incur expense in providing their own meals and refreshments during the working hours. Therefore, where an individual is prevented in the course of duty from obtaining a meal or refreshment in the normal way, only expenditure in excess of that normal expenditure may be claimed. A deduction must therefore be made on the expense form AD29E for the normal cost of the meal. This relates to whether in Force area or outside Force Area - the deduction is still required.
Example A: a coffee and meal purchased at Netley during a training day - if this costs £5.40 and the individual would normally have purchased a sandwich for £2.99 for their lunch, and contributed 20p for a coffee due to being a member of a tea fund - then a deduction of £3.19 would have to be made from the claim with the excess £2.21 being reimbursed.
Example B: if an individual prepares a meal at home to heat up and consume during their meal break at their permanent work location, and they are unable to do so at their temporary place of duty, it is then necessary to purchase a meal. This is additional expense as the individual is prevented from obtaining their meal in the normal way, however a nominal deduction of £1 is expected in such circumstances. All individuals are requested to detail such circumstances on their claim form to prevent the claim being returned for further clarification.
Can I claim for a meal if retained on Duty?
Should officers be retained on duty and this means they would have missed a meal, then a claim for reasonable actual expenditure is admissible. No deduction is required. A claim for a meal within 2 hrs of being retained on duty is not reasonable and should this occur the cost of the meal will be deducted from the officer's salary. FFP is being updated and will reflect this.
Can I claim for breakfast on an early start?
If your duty that covers an early start is pre-planned then it is not permissible to claim for a breakfast. A planned event signifies that officers have been made aware in advance and should have planned accordingly to provide their own meals and refreshments during the working hours.
If the duty is not pre-planned - for example an officer retained on duty and the shift was due to finish at 0400hrs but did not finish until 0800hrs, then a claim for breakfast is reasonable.
What can I claim when attending training as a residential student at Southwick Park?
Staff attending training as a residential student at Southwick Park are able to claim in accordance to the below rates which are supplied from the Mess at Southwick Park. Should staff choose to take their meals at another location then the difference in cost is funded at their own expense as only the rates below will be reimbursed.
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What happens if I lose my receipts?
Where you don't have a receipt for an expense claim, you should send a short email to your supervisor, advising them of the nature of the claim, that you do not have a receipt and the reason why, and asking your supervisor to authorise payment. The supervisor should be aware of the operational commitment that necessitated the claim and will therefore be able to consider whether the claim should be authorised. This email should then be forward by your supervisor to the Payroll mailbox where we will tie up with your expense claim.
How should I purchase sundry items?
Staff should not ordinarily purchase any operational equipment as we have to comply with strict legislation in relation to procurement. Staff should therefore use the standard procurement methods to purchase sundry items via self service or Group Purchasing Card (Force Corporate Credit Card for those who hold one) The GPC should be used for emergency expenditure only, and Cardholders are reminded that all expenditure on these cards is disclosed for public scrutiny
What if I cannot afford to wait for the next pay day to receive reimbursement due to hardship?
Where there is a perceived hardship for an individual in waiting for payment through their pay for a business expense incurred, an application, supported by their line manager, outlining the necessity of the expense and why there is an identified hardship, should be submitted to the Shared Service Centre along with the completed AD29E. In such cases other arrangements could be made to repay the expense more quickly than waiting for the next pay run. The Shared Service Centre would make contact with the Financial Compliance Team who will arbitrate any decision to make an emergency payment contacting the claimant directly to ensure sufficient information to make a decision. Such emergency payments will be the exception, as agreement has been made for expenses to be paid via payroll ordinarily.
Can I claim for alcohol when taking an evening meal?
Expense claims for alcohol will not be paid, unless the claimant has the express permission of their supervisor in advance and the consumption was an operational requirement. This is effective from 12th December 2012 and FPP's are being updated to reflect this.
In what circumstances will expenses claims be returned/not paid?
Staff are reminded that all claims will need to be electronically signed prior to submission to the Shared Service Centre and any claims which are not signed will be not be processed for payment. This is an acknowledgement that the individual has read and complied with the declaration and force policy.
In addition if the Shared Service Centre staff are unable to match the supplied receipts to the claim, then the claim will not be processed for payment.
Will Gratuities be reimbursed?
Tips or gratuities will not be reimbursed from the public purse and you will need to deduct this from your claim.
Custody Centres have a petty cash float - can I use this for minor expenditure to be reimbursed?
No. The Custody cash floats are for detainee related expenditure only.
Can I get an advance?
Advances are still available for operational expenditure. Should an individual feel they require such an advance they are requested to send this request via their line manager to their Area Team Finance Mailbox:
Northern: 'Finance Northern Mailbox'
Eastern: 'Finance Eastern Mailbox'
Western: 'Finance Western Mailbox'
IOW: 'Finance IW - Eastern Mailbox'
These teams will be able to draw the funds requested to provide a cash advance.
How much detail do I need to put on my expenses claim form AD29E?
You should put as much detail as possible on your claim form. If you are retained on duty - put in the hours of your original shift together with the actual hours worked and the reason. If you are claiming for other officers, ensure all collar numbers and names are included on your claim. If it is for general sundry expenditure please detail why the items were not purchased using self service . If you are claiming for spectacles and an eye test, please ensure the EYE1 opticians report is included with your receipts. If you are claiming for a rail ticket over £10, please detail why this could not be purchased via Redfern Travel Management through the Shared Service Centre. For any expenditure please ensure that the establishment VAT receipts are forwarded - not just credit/debit card receipts.
By ensuring as much information as possible is detailed, this will limit the questions the Financial Compliance Team may have concerning any reimbursements made.
What do I need to consider when completing an expense claim for mileage?
Staff are reminded of the need to take away their home to work mileage in any claim unless travelling from your normal place of work.
All staff (except Police Authority Members, Special Constables and Volunteer Staff) are responsible for ensuring that they have VAT receipts for the mileage claimed and these will need to be retained by the claimant for production should the force or individual be inspected in respect of VAT.
Staff who currently record business use mileage in their private vehicles in a log book and would previously have copied this and attached to their mileage claim, are still able to claim using their log book as the source document. Such a claimant should record their mileage in the normal way in their log book. At the end of the period to be claimed, the claimant should total the business mileage, the home to work miles and the miles to be claimed. These three totals should be entered on the mileage form and submitted as above. The claimant must keep the log book for inspection if required.
How long do I need to retain my fuel VAT receipts?
Logbooks and receipts must be retained for the current financial year plus the previous 3 financial years and must be presented for inspection within 10 working days of receiving a request for presentation.
As the production of VAT receipts when required is a condition of being paid mileage allowance, failure to do so when requested will result in the claim being recovered from the individual's pay.
What can I claim in relation to mileage and courses?
This is referred to in 00304 - Expenses and Allowances section 3.1
- When attending a course exceeding one day where accommodation is provided, the officer will be reimbursed for the journey to and from the course at the commencement and termination of the course.
- Where accommodation is not available, and it is practicable to travel daily, then it is permissible to claim for return trips for each day.
- When an officer is attending a course at a place where accommodation is available but declines to use the accommodation then a claim for the return trip at the beginning and end of the course may be made.
- When attending a course of training or temporary place of duty where accommodation is provided, an officer who has valid caring responsibilities may, where appropriate and subject to senior officer (i.e. Chief Inspector and police staff equivalent) approval, be permitted to travel daily, or be withdrawn from the course or duty.
Can I use Loyalty Cards when purchasing items that I am claiming reimbursement?
Individuals are reminded that loyalty cards should not be used if at all possible. However it is accepted that when refuelling vehicles that a loyalty card may be used in this instance.
How do I book Rail Travel?
Officers are asked to ensure that all requests for rail travel are via the self service portal of the Shared Service Centre as this is the most cost effective method available to the Force. The exception being if the train ticket price is likely to be under £10 when it is permissible to purchase at train stations and to claim reimbursement via the Expenses area of the self service portal.
What can I claim in relation to dry cleaning?
This is detailed in FPP 24111 Section 3.16.1 and 3.16.2.
Officers and uniformed staff are responsible for keeping their uniforms clean. With the exception of No. 1 Dress (100% wool tunic, trousers, skirt), all uniform provided by Central Stores is machine washable. As a result, the annual allocation of x4 cleaning tokens per officer has been withdrawn. Cleaning tokens will now only be available to uniformed staff by way of individual request stating the reasons why a token is to be supplied. Daily use of uniform is NOT considered justification for a token to be supplied.
CID officers will continue to be permitted to draw their annual allocation of x8 Corporate Cleaning Tokens, as will Police Officers within PSD. In exceptional circumstances, staff within other non uniform roles may be permitted to claim cleaning tokens. Requests for Corporate Cleaning Tokens under the annual allocation allowance should be submitted to your supervisor in the first instance, for their authorisation, and then forwarded by email, to the Shared Service Centre. The tokens will then be forwarded to you. Requests for Cleaning Tokens outside the current allowance must be submitted to the Uniform Review Group for decision, PRIOR to submitting to the Shared Service Centre.
Officers are reminded to check that their local dry cleaner accepts such corporate vouchers prior to leaving clothing for dry cleaning.
Should officers not be able to use a dry cleaner who participates in the corporate token scheme, then it is permissible to claim for reimbursement of these expenses via the self service portal, and Officers are reminded to put a detailed explanation on the AD29E for clarity.
Are there any tax implications if a police officer returns to work as a police staff employee in relation to their Police Pensions?
Police officers or ex officers who are potential new Police Staff employees are advised that if they commence employment as a member of staff within a month and a day of leaving, as an officer with a pension, it is likely that they will be taxed at 55% of their commuted lump sum and their pension. They should consider this before accepting any offer of employment. This matter has only recently come to light, i.e. that where police officers retire between the ages of 50 year old and 55 year old and are re-employed within certain time frames by the same force that provides their pension, there is a large tax penalty.
What are the cash in transit insurance limits?
One Person is covered for carrying up to £2,500
Two People are required to carry £2,501 to £20,000
Three people are required to carry over £20,000
How do I make Voluntary Deductions via Payroll?
You can make a variety of voluntary deductions via Payroll - these include the Force Welfare Fund, Football Sweepstake, Sports and Social Clubs, Police Mutual Assurance Society and the Death in Service contribution by completing the form using the self service portal - voluntary deductions via payroll.
What are the processes surrounding Seized Money?
On the processes surrounding seizing monies, officers are referred to FPP 00305 and 009305
How do CPS witnesses obtain advances to attend court?
The Crown Prosecution Service Guide (see link below) states that the payment of these expenses is the responsibility of the CPS at the Court. Claim forms are sent to witnesses summoned to a Magistrates Court and are available at a Crown Court shortly after a witness arrives at the Court. Therefore it is not our business or responsibility to make any payment.
The Guide does state that if a witness needs an advance they are to contact the CPS. They will be told this in the guidance.
They are also advised that in an emergency they should contact a police station or the CPS Finance Business Centre for advice. The only advice we can give is for them to contact the CPS as above as we do not hold any money at police stations nor will we sanction any funds being held for such a purpose.
Witnesses expenses and allowances: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service
What Staff Services are available?
Please go to the below link for further information about the various staff services available including the Police Federation and Unison.