Employment & labor law

The amount of the travelling allowances due to the employee for foreign business trips

Issues related to the employee performing the official task at the employer’s request outside the employer’s seat are regulated in the Polish Labor Code and the Regulation of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of 29 January 2013 on the receivables of an employee which are employed in state or self-government entities of the budget sphere for business trip (Journal of Laws of 2013, item 167), hereinafter referred to as the Regulation.

Contrary to the name of the Regulation, its provisions are also applicable to any employer from outside the state or local government sector, because the diet rates during a domestic trip provided in the Regulation constitute the minimum amounts of allowances due to each employee both for domestic travel and travel abroad. The provisions of a collective labor agreement, remuneration regulations or employment contract can not determine a daily allowance for a business trip (both domestic travel and travel abroad) lower than the allowance for a business trip within the territory of the country.

Amount of travel allowance

Currently, the minimum amount of the travel allowance for a domestic trip according to the Regulation is PLN 30 per day of travel.

In addition, the Regulation specifies the amount of the daily allowance for travel abroad in relation to each foreign state. For example, for a business trip to Switzerland, the minimum amount of the diet will be CHF 88, and in the case of travel to Norway, this amount will be NOK 451.

These amounts are only applicable if other amounts have not been introduced under a collective agreement, remuneration regulations or employment contract. The amount of the daily allowance for travel abroad can not be set lower than the amount of the allowance during the domestic trip, that is PLN 30.

For an incomplete day of travel abroad, an employee is entitled to:

– 1/3 of the diet – if the trip lasts less than 8 hours,

– 50% of the diet – if the trip lasts from 8 to 12 hours,

– 100% diet – if the trip lasts over 12 hours.

Decreasing the amount of travel allowance with meals provided

If the employer provided the employee with free full-day meals during the travel abroad, the amount of the employee’s allowance is reduced by 75%.

If the free meals provided by the employer are not full-day, the daily allowance decreases accordingly:

– by 15% – if breakfast is provided,

– by 30% – if dinner is provided,

– by 15% – if supper is provided.

Travel allowance and personal income tax and social security contributions

The amounts of allowances and other payments for business trips of employees are free of personal income tax, but only up to the minimum daily allowance during the domestic trip, i.e. up to PLN 30.

Up to the same amount, i.e. up to PLN 30, employee’s income from allowances and other payments due to business trips does not constitute the basis for calculating contributions for pension and disability insurance.

If the amount of the travel allowance exceeds the minimum amount, the surplus constitutes the employee’s income, subject to taxation on general principles, and it is counted in the basis for calculating social security contributions.

For more information contact us on [email protected]

Author team leader DKP Legal Marcin Kręglewski
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