In a rare update to its Employer Travel guide, HMRC have included some new examples of travel expenses with ordinary commuting and hybrid workers following post-pandemic changes to employee working patterns.


  • The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on working arrangements including Travel expenses.
  • Recruitment firms now report that candidates regularly demand flexible or hybrid working arrangements and frequently turn down 100% office work without consideration.
  • Employers have had to react accordingly, but HMRC's guidance is unchanged as far as the deductibility of home-to-work travel is concerned.

A new section with an example in HMRC's Employer Guidance 490 explains the position for someone with a flexible working arrangement. HMRC's position on ordinary commuting has not changed: they have added a new section 3.39 to their guidance on travel expenses.

  • The key factor is the office remains the permanent workplace because the individual has discretion over when they Work from home.
  • They are not contractually obliged to work from home. 
  • Thus any travel from home to work remains a private journey and tax relief is not available for ordinary commuting.

Where previously office-based employers have decided to close their offices permanently there is obviously no office to travel and as such the home may be treated as the permanent workplace.

  • Whilst no tax relief is available for journeys from the home to a place attended for reasons other than work, it is possible to claim relief for the costs incurred on travelling between an employee's home and a temporary workplace.

Useful guides on this topic

Travel (employer's guide)
How do employers apply the tax rules to travel costs? What is available for subsistence costs? What are the rules on home-to-work travel?

Travel rules for owner-managers
When are travel costs allowable? What are the temporary workplace rules and what is a permanent workplace? What other expenses can be claimed?

Subsistence (summary for employees)
Can employees claim tax relief for subsistence? How do you make a claim?

Travel (summary for employees)
What expenses can your employer reimburse? How might travel expenses affect Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions? What journeys are allowable for tax relief?

External links

HMRC Employers Guide to Travel 490