What are the rights and obligations for employees for their business trip? What is necessary for business trip settlement, how are advances and refunds provided? What is the difference between domestic and foreign business trip?
This is what our series of Business trip legislation is about. The first part was dedicated to Slovak legislation, the second part described details of business trip legislation in the Czech Republic, the third article focused on Romania and this time, we will dive into business trip legislation in Poland.
Duration of a business trip:
The number of calendar days during which a person is on a business trip is calculated from the day and time of departure from the locality where employee’s permanent place of work is situated to the day and time of the return of the means of transport to the place where the employee has a permanent residence or the place of work, while for one day of the business trip, it is taken into account every 24 hours of the duration of the business trip.
Accommodation during a business trip:
In the case of a multi-day business trip, the employee is entitled to an allowance for accommodation. The contribution is granted in the amount determined for each country in which the trip takes place, taking into account the values established by law. Three cases may occur:
- the employer provided accommodation for the employee during the entire business trip and the employee is not entitled to a contribution,
- the employee has booked accommodation during the business trip at his/her own expense and has an invoice for reimbursement of expenses by the employer, in which case the employee is granted a contribution of at least the amount set by law,
- the employee booked accommodation during the work trip at his/her own expense and does not have an invoice available for reimbursement of expenses by the employer. In this case, the employee is entitled to 25% of the amount of the allowance established by law.
Expenses related to vehicles that are used exclusively for economic activity are fully admissible, but the company has the obligation to keep a logbook of kilometres driven, in which it will justify that the car was used only for the purposes of economic activity. At the beginning of each trip, the employee must enter in the mileage report the number of kilometres traveled, which is displayed on the dashboard of the car, and which represents the number of kilometres driven by the vehicle immediately before this trip. At the end of each trip, the employee should once again enter the number of kilometres driven in the mileage report. The difference between these two numbers represents the number of kilometres the car travelled during the trip. The employee is entitled to reimbursement of amortization, i.e. compensation for kilometres travelled. Rates are determined by law according to vehicle type and engine size.
Meals by a domestic business trip:
During a domestic business trip, the employee is entitled to daily per diems that cover increased food expenses. An employee who receives a reimbursement for meals during the trip is not entitled to per diem. The amount of daily allowances depends on:
1) the number of hours
- < 8hours – no daily per diem,
- 8-12 hours – 50% of daily per diem,
- >12 hours full daily per diem) of the business trip in case the business trip is shorter than one day,
and 2) the number of days and hours in case the business trip is longer than one day
- when the last day of business trip < 8 hours – 50% of daily per diem,
- >8 hours – full daily per diem.
If the business trip exceeds 1 day (24 hours), the employee is automatically entitled to daily per diems for each additional day in the fully daily amount of per diems, with the exception concerning last day of business trip (in case it is shorter than 8 hours the daily per diem owed amounts to 50% of the standard per diem).
Meals by a foreign business trip:
During a foreign business trip, the employee is entitled to daily per diems that cover increased food and other small expenses. Foreign per diems are granted in the amount determined for each country in which the trip takes place, taking into account the values established by law. In the case of a foreign trip to two or more countries, the regulations do not establish how to determine the moment of the end of the trip from the first country to the next destination. There are several variants when the employer can assume what the start of the journey to the next destination country is. It can be:
- the moment of completion of the task in the first destination country,
- the moment of leaving the territory of the first country of destination,
- the moment of entering the territory of the second destination country – if it does not border the first,
- the moment of assuming an official role in the second country of destination.
The correctness of each of these versions can be defended, and since it does not affect the total length of the foreign business trip, but only the time ratio of its individual sections. However, there may be cases where expenses are incorrectly reimbursed – due to differences in the amount of travel benefits in individual countries, the shortening or lengthening of individual stages of the trip may affect the amount of compensation owed.
The amount of daily allowances depends on:
1) per each full day of business trip – full per diem is owed,
2) per the number of hours in the last day of business trip ( a) < 8hours – 1/3 of daily per diem, and b) 8-12 hours – 50% of daily per diem, c) >12 hours full daily per diem).
The conversion of foreign per diems is determined using the average exchange rate of the National Bank of Poland valid to the day the employee is paid (i.e. to the day before the day when the employee submits the documents in which he/she made the settlement).
Reduction of a meal allowance:
If the employer provides free meals to the employee, the entitlement to meal allowance is either reduced, or he/she is not provided with meal allowance. The amount of the deduction depends on whether it is a domestic trip or a foreign trip, and whether the employee was provided with meals in the form of breakfast, lunch or dinner. The deduction is made from the amount of the meal allowance for the time zone over 12 hours, or from the highest agreed amount of food allowance. If an employee travels abroad and has a full meal provided by the employer, only 75% is deducted in total, the remaining 25% is intended for small expenses.
Compensation and settlement
These are compensations that the employer is obliged to provide to the employee, including:
- compensation for proven travel expenses (travel ticket, plane ticket, taxi, public transport ticket),
- incidental expenses (telephone fee, fax fee, fee for using the Internet, parking fee, fee for the highway, tunnel).
To cover travel costs by local transport during foreign business trip, the employee is entitled to a flat sum of 10% of the compensation for each day of the business trip. Such a lump sum does not belong to the employee if the employee travelled by motor vehicle (business or private) or if he/she was provided with free travel.
Advances for compensations:
To pay the advance in Polish currency, the consent of the employee is required. If he/she grants his/her consent, the employee will receive the equivalent of the advance payment in a foreign currency, calculated at the average exchange rate of the zloty in relation to foreign currencies determined by the National Bank of Poland to the day of the advance payment.
Business trip settlement:
The employee is obliged to invoice the business trip within 14 days of its completion.
TULIP and business trips
Business trip management in TULIP is separated into 2 parts:
- business trip request (plan)
If the employer decides to send employee on a business trip, the employee must enter the business trip plan in TULIP with the details:
- place of departure for the business trip,
- place of work (country, city, company),
- duration of the business trip,
- type of transport,
- place of end of the business trip,
- the reason for the business trip,
- planned expenses,
- attachments, or other necessary information.
Business trip request can be submitted by HR, the employee’s manager or another authorized person. In this section, the employee has the option to request an advance in PLN or a foreign currency. The duration for which the employee entered the trip is also automatically displayed in his/her attendance for the purpose of payroll processing.
After the plan has been approved by the competent persons and after the employee’s return from the business trip, the employee is obliged to fill out the business trip settlement. The settlement shows all the information that the employee entered in his/her plan with the possibility of editing this data according to reality.
The employee has 6 sections at his/her disposal:
- crossing borders,
- compensation for the use of a private vehicle.
TULIP automatically calculates meal reimbursements based on the time zone and border crossing, which the employee is required to indicate in the Border Crossing and Meals sections. If the employee passes through several countries, he/she has the option to fill in all the countries of transit during the business trip and the exact time of finishing the task or leaving the first destination. The employee is also obliged to indicate the free meals provided by the employer. Based on this, TULIP automatically reduces the amount of the meal allowance for the given day.
If the employee was not provided with free accommodation, he/she is entitled to apply for accommodation allowance. In TULIP, he/she is obliged to enter the number of nights, the country, and if he/she has an invoice, he/she must indicate the date of the invoice, the total amount of the invoice and attach a scan of the invoice.
The employee has the option to enter all travel expenses in the Expenses section, indicating the date of the expense, the type of expense, the amount of the expense, in the case of payment by card, the amount of the expense abroad in the domestic currency. Expenses paid by the employee with the company card are indicated in TULIP and the amount of these expenses is subsequently deducted from the total result of the statement. All conversions to the domestic currency are calculated automatically.
If the employee used a private vehicle, he/she indicates the number of kilometres driven and the type of private vehicle in TULIP, TULIP calculates the mileage allowance according to the rate determined by law.
The employee sees the result of the settlement immediately after entering all the information in his/her settlement and can change it until the settlement is sent for approval and processing. All participants in the workflow have the opportunity to download the business trip form.
Do you want to see TULIP’s business trip module? Plan a meeting with us:
Soon, we will publish other countries’ legislation of business trips. Are you interested? Submit for newsletter delivery or follow our social media where we will share new content.
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