If you have incurred costs as part of your working day, for example having to fund additional travelling, paying for extra subsistence costs as a result of having to travel for training or a conference, the council enables some costs to be reimbursed. The council aims to keep such expenditure to a minimum, whenever possible, but will reimburse you as quickly and conveniently as possible for relevant costs.

As the council has a duty to the taxpayer, and to promote sustainable travel, please consider both of these when claiming for travel expenses. A travel checklist has been produced to help staff reduce their business travel costs.

If you have been required to travel for your work (commuting to and from work is not covered) then you can complete a request for reimbursement.  If approved you will receive reimburrsement directly to your bank account on the last working day of the month.

Access EBS

From 1 September 2016 all Portsmouth City Council staff excluding school staff, will need to use the iExpenses system to enable them to claim business expenses.


iExpenses has been successfully piloted in Finance and Information Services, Adult Social Care and Traffic and Transport earlier this year.


What is iExpenses?

  • iExpenses allows you access a self-service area of EBS where you can enter, submit and monitor the progress of your expense claims from approval through to payment. This will work in a similar way to booking leave making the process faster and more transparent. 
  • iExpenses is a rules based expense claim systems developed in line with Portsmouth City Council's Allowances, subsistence and expenses rules and regulations. 
  • From September 2016, payment of expenses will no longer be included with Payroll payments. iExpense payments will now be made direct to your bank account and you will receive a confirmation email remittance confirming payment date and details. This will no longer appear on your salary pay slip. 
  • To enable submitted claims to be paid to you before the last working day of the month your line manager must approve the claim on or before 14th day of each month. If the 14th falls on a weekend or bank holiday claims must be completed and approved by the last working day prior to the 14th 

iExpenses has the ability to delegate authority to staff to make claims on the behalf of someone else for instance if they are on holiday or don't have access to a laptop.


How do I claim expenses through iExpenses?

iExpense claims are made via your EBS login using your PCC - iExpenses responsibility. This will be assigned to your EBS account very soon.

If you do not have this assigned to your EBS account please contact the EBS Support Team:  EBSSupportteam@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Full details on using iExpenses is available on ALF, accessible on your laptop or PC.


It is important that you read and understand the Travel and Subsistence Policy on  Policy Hub (search for travel and subsistence) before you undertake any travel or incur any subsistence costs on behalf of the council.

  • only one expense claim per month per person can be submitted
      • all claims must have supporting receipts attached via use of a scanner before payment can be made. Where VAT has been paid (for example off-street car parking, subsistence, accommodation and fuel purchases) a suitable VAT receipt must be attached. For more guidance on the VAT requirements please see the link on this page.
    • each item of expenditure will be audited against the Travel and Subsistence Policy
  • any item which contravenes the rules will be rejected
  • any additional receipts or justification not provided on the expense claim will delay the processing of your expenses and ultimately may result in non-payment.

For more information

Expense claim queries:

Travel and Benefit Team:  Travel&BenefitsHFS@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Expense claim payment queries:

Payments Team:  PaymentsGroupHFS@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Mileage can only be claimed in respect of journeys actually incurred, no claim can be made for estimated mileage. As a general rule, the mileage to be claimed will be that actually incurred on the approved journey, provided that the most reasonable route was taken.


To determine the mileage incurred, you must note the actual mileage travelled from the vehicle's odometer. If you travel to several destinations during the day without returning back to the base, then the mileage for the total journey should be entered with details of site visits given in the journey details box.


Please note that you must submit petrol/diesel VAT receipts with your business mileage claims to enable the council to reclaim the VAT. VAT receipts (dated no more than three months prior to the journey) are required for mileage claims and should total at least 50% of the amount of mileage to be reimbursed.


For example, if the total mileage claim comes to 200 miles @ 45p (total £90), the petrol VAT receipt(s) must be to the value of at least £45 (i.e. 50% of the total mileage claim).


If you submit your travel claim on paper for reimbursement through payroll, you must be submit your claims monthly and ensure that the VAT receipts are attached to every claim.


If you submit your travel claim through i-expenses (online), you must submit your claims monthly and attach the VAT receipts electronically to each monthly claim.


All return/round trip journeys must be claimed as one journey rather than a separate journey for each leg of the return/round trip. For example, if you traveled from the Civic Offices to a meeting in Portchester and then traveled to a site visit in Hilsea before returning to the Civic Offices this should be claimed as one journey with the start and end locations being the Civic Offices, and Portchester and Hilsea being stops along the way.


As far as possible, where several journeys are made on one day, they should be arranged to ensure that the fewest number of miles are travelled. If you are required to make an official journey from home to a permanent workplace outside normal contractual hours, mileage can be claimed (if incurred) from home to the workplace in those instances where payment has not been made, such as overtime, call out pay or time off in lieu has not been given. Please be aware that all records supporting car mileage claims, such as claim forms and insurance policies, will be subject to examination from time to time by internal audit. The mileage rates that can be claimed are:

  • Bicycle  20p per mile (from 1 April 2013)
  • Motorcycle  24p per mile (from 1 April 2010)
  • Car (petrol, diesel or LPG) 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles in a tax year and 25p per mile after (from 1 April 2011).
  • Electric/Hybrid 20p per mile (from 1 November 2017).

    All other fuel types are reimbursed at 14p per mile as agreed by the Pay Steering Committee
  • Mileage reimbursement rates when using a carplus car are subject to review by HMRC every three months.  For further information and the current rates please perform an internet search for HMRC fuel advisory rates for company cars.

From 1 May 2015, the maximum mileage you can claim is 60 miles for a return journey. The change has been made because 60 miles is the point where is becomes cheaper if you hire a car


Any journeys of more than 60 miles must be authorised in advance by the relevant head of service who will advise the travel and benefits team.  iExpenses (in accordance with Portsmouth City Council's travel and subsistence policy) will not allow any claims of over 60 miles for a single journey and therefore any pre-approved journeys over 60 miles must be claimed via a paper claim form.  Please note if the form does not have the head of service approval attached it will be returned to you and the claim will not be paid. 


If you have a journey to make that is over the maximum distance you can claim for, you have three choices:

  • use your own car for the journey but only claim reimbursement of 60 miles. For example a return trip to Reading from Portsmouth is 131 miles but only 60 miles could be claimed  
  • book a PCC hire car and the cost of the hire car is paid by PCC
  • use public transport 

Insurance cover is the responsibility of each car user. The cover arranged by the council does not extend to the personal liability of employees for the damage to their property. "Business user" of a car is a matter for the individual employee to cover with their own insurance. If you need to pay an additional premium to add business cover to your insurance policy this is a personal expense and cannot be reclaimed from PCC.


If you use your car for official business you must include and maintain in your policy of insurance a clause indemnifying you against claims from passengers, arising out of the use of a vehicle on official business. At a time to be specified by your manager, your insurance policy will be required for inspection.

If you are away from your normal place of work and are not being provided with food, the amounts that you can claim are:

  • breakfast £5.75
  • lunch £7.94
  • evening meal £9.83

Please note that tea and coffee are not claimable expenses unless part of a meal.

If you need to claim for travel or subsistence costs, you must check the guidance below and complete a claim form (the form can be found at the bottom of this page).


It's important that you complete the claim form for each calendar month and submit it in time for payment one month in arrears. Late claims will be paid up to a maximum of three months in arrears, but anything beyond this period will not be paid. Please refer to the payroll deadlines.


VAT receipts for fuel equating to at least 50% of the value of the mileage claimed must be attached. The receipt should be dated on or before the date of the journey, but no more than three months older than the month being claimed.


The travel claim form should be carried in the vehicle itself and must be completed at the time each journey is undertaken.


All mileage should be rounded up or down to the nearest mile, 2 to 2.4 miles should be rounded down and 2.5 to 2.9 miles should be rounded up.

It's your responsibility to ensure that all details are accurate and sufficient to enable your authorising officer (this will normally be your departmental manager) to vouch for the reasonableness and necessity of each journey claimed. Failure to do this will result in the form being returned to you and could delay your payment.


The travel claim form should be submitted to the authorising officer for authorisation and then to the Travel & Benefits Team in Payroll, by the end of the first working week of the following month.


If approving a claim for an employee who has undertaken some work for your team or unit, and it's not their substantive place of employment, please ensure that the budget cost centre is entered on the form. Failure to provide this information will result in the claim being charged to the incorrect budget.


Only expenses and subsistence can be costed, mileage must be journaled once paid.


Expenses and subsistence will only be paid for actual expenses incurred submitted with a valid receipt, as long as they do not exceed the maximum amount allowable.


Receipts should detail what has been purchased and should not just be a credit/debit card receipt which only gives the total amount spent. For subsistence we require a valid VAT receipt where possible.


Finally, you are reminded that the deliberate falsification of claims may render you liable to disciplinary proceedings.

Please note the team have moved to floor 3 core 2

Travelling and subsistence expenses claim


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