9.8    Excess fares
Introduction
9.8.1    Excess fares can be paid, when as a result of a move of your work place to another area, you incur additional travel costs.  Your entitlement to claim will depend on you having been notified in writing by Human Resources.

9.8.2    Excess fares may be paid for temporary moves of the workplace under detached duty terms and permanent transfer made at public expense.  The period for payment of the allowance is limited and the period will depend on the type of transfer being either detached duty or permanent transfer at public expense.

Excess fares for a transfer
9.8.3    You are entitled to payment of excess fares if:-

  • you do not qualify for a move of home, or
  • you do qualify for a move of home but prefer not to do so, or
  • you qualify for a move of home but instead of finding temporary accommodation at the new workplace you decide to travel daily from your home at the old workplace until you find new accommodation. The amount payable will be calculated up to the limits of the transfer allowances you would have been entitled to if you had stayed in temporary accommodation at the new workplace.

9.8.4    The excess fares allowance is calculated on the difference between:

  • your travel costs as detailed in paragraphs 9.8.9 to 9.8.14 from your existing permanent home to your old workplace, and
  • your travel costs as detailed in paragraphs 9.8.9 to 9.8.14 from your existing permanent home to the new workplace.

9.8.5    The Excess Fares allowance is subject to income tax and National Insurance deductions.  It is normally paid automatically with your salary each month.

9.8.6    You are entitled to receive the excess fares allowance for:-

  • up to three years if you move jobs on permanent transfer at public expense terms and you do not qualify for a move of home, or
  • up to five years if you move jobs on permanent transfer at public expense and qualify for a move of home but prefer not to do so.

9.8.7    If you qualify for a move of house but initially choose not to do so, but then find the journey too long, or for some other reason wish to change your mind, you may do so, but only within 3 months of the date of your transfer.  You can only change your mind once.

9.8.8    If you do change to the house move rules the amount you have received in excess fares will be set against the amount you may expect to receive under any Transfer Grant.

Detached duty excess fares
9.8.9    If you agree to move jobs on detached duty terms (see Section 9.7) and you travel daily from your permanent home to your temporary workplace the excess fares allowance is the difference between:-

  • your travel costs at standard public transport fares at the appropriate season ticket fare from your existing permanent home to your old workplace, and
  • your travel costs at the standard public transport fare at the appropriate season ticket rate from your existing permanent home to the new workplace.

9.8.10    You would normally claim this excess fares allowance monthly for the period of detached duty.

Calculation
9.8.11    The Excess Fares Allowance compensates you for the difference in cost between your old and new journeys to work. It is calculated on the standard class public transport fares, using the quarterly season ticket rates for the two journeys.

9.8.12    If it is not possible to buy quarterly tickets, or it would not be economic because your work involves travelling to other places as well as the new permanent station, your excess fares can be calculated on whichever type of ticket is the most reasonable to buy in the circumstances, including daily tickets.

9.8.13    The Excess Fares Allowance is based on the full cost of both journeys. Therefore, if at the old location there was public transport available but you chose to walk to work or part of the way or have a regular lift at no cost you must still give the public transport fare for the whole journey (i.e. from the front door of your home to the front door of your permanent workplace) when you claim excess fares.

9.8.14    If the distance is too short even for a bus ride, or it is quicker to walk than to use public transport you must say so on your claim form.

9.8.15    If you drive to work your excess fares will be calculated on the basis of the public transport fare for the journey, unless you drive because the journey to the old or new workplace would be impractical by public transport:

  • in these circumstances you may apply to have your excess fares allowance calculated on the basis of the public transport rate of Motor Mileage Allowance, and
  • in considering such an application regard will be had to the difficulty of your journey rather than its length.

9.8.16    Exceptionally, you can claim for the cost of car parking to be included in the calculation of your excess fares allowance if, for instance, it is necessary for you to drive from your home to your local station and leave your car there for the day.

Payment
9.8.17    Once your excess fares have been established, the allowance will be paid monthly with your salary for transfer on public interest terms or claimed monthly if you are on detached duty terms.

9.8.18    If your excess fares are calculated on a daily basis or on mileage allowance you are not entitled to payment for days on which you do not attend the office.

Absences whilst excess fares are being paid
9.8.19    If you are in receipt of Excess Fares for travelling by public transport , this allowance must stop after 21 Days continuous absence.  If it does not stop you must notify Human Resources so that they can cease the payment.  Any overpayment of the allowance must be repaid. Where you cannot avoid the cost of payment because you have a season ticket and the absence is too short to make it worthwhile surrendering it for refund, you should contact Human Resources to request the reinstatement of the allowance back to the date of cessation.

9.8.20    If you are in receipt of excess fares for travelling by motor vehicle, absences of more than 21 days must be notified by you to Human Resources so that they can cease the payments after this period. Any overpayment of the allowance must be repaid.

Extension of the allowance
9.8.21    If you are claiming the allowance because of a public interest transfer and receiving reimbursement monthly in your salary you are not entitled to the payment of excess fares whilst you are on paid special leave or unpaid special leave and absent from the office (unless the period of absence would make it uneconomical for you to surrender the ticket for refund) or whilst you are on maternity leave. However on return to work if the absence was for maternity leave, the allowance will be extended to take account of the period during which there was no entitlement to remuneration or pay.

Reassessment and changes to the amount of payment
9.8.22    Payment of excess fares for a public interest transfer is awarded to you for a specific period. You will need to apply for them to be reassessed on each anniversary of their commencement by comparison of the current costs of the old and new journey.  If you move home for personal reasons to somewhere which increases your travel to work costs the excess fares adjustment will only be paid in respect of the original journeys.

9.8.23    The other circumstances in which your excess fares can be changed are: -

  • if you move home for personal reasons during the three year period to a place where your travel costs to the new location will be less. Your allowance will then be re-calculated and continue for the remaining period, reviewed annually, based on the new home location, and
  • if your excess fares allowance is calculated wholly or in part using the public transport rate of Motor Mileage Allowance and that allowance is revised.

9.8.24    If you transfer for a second time at public expense within the excess fares period, your allowance will be re-calculated still using your original journey to work but comparing it for the rest of the period with your journey to the new (third) location.

9.8.25    When the original allowance period is over, you may receive a further period of excess fares based on the cycle, which starts from the date of your second transfer. The calculation will therefore be based on the difference between your travel costs to the second permanent location and those to the new (third) location.

Excess fares paid as a lump sum for staff transferring at public expense
9.8.26    While there is no automatic right to have your excess fares allowance paid as a lump sum you may apply to have your entitlement paid in advance as a lump sum.

9.8.27    Generally you may only expect to be paid this way if your allowance is calculated on the basis of public transport rate of Motor Mileage Allowance; where a lump sum might be an alternative to a house move; or your new journey to work is not practical by public transport and you need to buy a second car.

9.8.28    Your lump sum will be assessed on the current most reasonable and economical fare available such as: -

  • annual season ticket rate, or
  • quarterly season ticket rate if an annual rate is not available, or if neither is available
  • weekly rate x 44 weeks per year or daily rate x 220 days per year.

9.8.29    If you drive to work because the journey would be impracticable by public transport, the lump sum will be assessed on a weekly entitlement of public transport rate of Motor Mileage Allowance x 44 weeks per year.

9.8.30    However, if you are transferring to a job where your work involves travelling to other places as well as the workplace, or you work from home, the entitlement will be based on the average number of days you expect to attend the workplace.

9.8.31    Where the pattern of working is altered from that on which the lump sum was based you must report the change to Human Resources for recalculation of the sum. Any overpayment of the allowance will have to be repaid.

9.8.32    If your allowance is paid in a lump sum you must sign an undertaking to repay a proportion of the allowance if you: -

  • were awarded the allowance and there has now been a change in the working pattern which would affect your entitlement; or
  • leave the Civil Service; or
  • do not complete the period in the location to which your excess fares allowance relates; or
  • there are other changes in circumstances which affect your entitlement to excess fares allowance.

If necessary the amount will be deducted from any money owing to you from public funds.

9.8.33    If you receive a lump sum you must report to Human Resources any absences for sick leave or special leave or detached duty of over three weeks during the period for which the lump sum was calculated.

9.8.34    Because excess fares are taxable their payment in a lump sum may in some cases lead to additional tax liability. The Agency  will not pay any compensation should this occur.

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