Accommodation and subsistence expenses: claimant guide

The University will only reimburse accommodation and subsistence incurred while travelling for University business and where the travel occupies the whole or substantial part of the working day.


Accommodation and subsistence (meals, beverages and limited incidental costs) should be in line with value for money principles, and claimants should not benefit.

Overnight accommodation

Appropriate and safe accommodation should be used, ensuring that value for money is achieved.

 1.  UK accommodation: reasonable rates are considered to be:

  • Major cities: £150 per night
  • Other: £100 per night 

2.  Overseas accommodation: The University uses HMRC’s worldwide subsistence rates as 'reasonable rates' guidance for overseas accommodation. Expense claims that exceed these values may be queried and could be rejected if costs are considered to be unreasonable.

Meals and beverages

Food and beverages taken as a meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) can be claimed while travelling on University business if the meal-time falls within the journey. Costs should not be excessive. Reasonable rates in the UK are considered to be:

  1. Breakfast: £10
  2. Lunch: £10
  3. Dinner: £25
  4. Tips: up to 15%

These cannot be accumulated and must be supported by receipts.


Limited alcohol consumption as part of the meal can be claimed, however, this should be kept at a reasonable level.


Incidental expenses

Incidental expenses such as WIFI, beverages, snacks, newspapers incurred whilst travelling (and supported by receipts) can be claimed within the limits below. These limits cannot be accumulated.

  1. UK: £5 per night for stays in the UK
  2. Non-UK: £10 per night for stays in the rest of the world


Laundry bills may be claimable if you are required to stay away from home for more than a week.

What should not be claimed

  1. No payment or payment in kind can be made if you stay with family/friends
  2. Personal items (e.g. toiletries)

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