RST recognises the value of its employees and volunteers and the unpaid time they commit to its aims and objectives. They often make purchases, collect and deliver goods and travel to third party meetings on behalf of the RST and this document sets out what reimbursements’, entitlements and benefits employees and volunteers may claim in these circumstances.
However, the Trustees consider that financially RST must remain cautious as to the affordability of any reimbursement and expenses scheme and reserves the right to amend, or withdraw any of the following arrangements, either in part or full to whole of RST, or individuals, at any time.
One-off purchases can be made via the RST Manager by sending the exact details of the item(s) to be purchased and from whom. Please remember to state preferred delivery location.
All expenses must be submitted on a monthly basis. Pre-approval of expense is required. Unsigned forms will not be processed. All reimbursement of expenses by bank transfer only. No cash or cheques.
This document is effective as from 28.11.23 and will remain under review by the Trustees.
- Rules for Tax
- Waiving the Reimbursement of Expenses or Gifts
- Purchases and Cost of Equipment Maintenance
- Vehicle and Mileage Allowance Payment
- 4.1 Business Travel and Mileage Definition
- 4.2 RST Business Travel Expenses – Taxis and Public Transport
- 4.3 RST Business Travel Expenses – Employee’s personal vehicle
- 4.4 RST Business Travel Expenses – Volunteer’s personal vehicle
- 4.5 Volunteers – Travelling to and from volunteering duties
- 4.6 Vehicle Condition and MOT Status
- 4.7 Vehicle Insurance
- Accommodation and Victual
- Refreshments and Gifts
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Uniform Clothing
- Volunteer Owned Work Equipment
- 9.1 Lifejackets
- Employee and Volunteer Insurance
- 10.1 Personal Injury
- 10.2 Property Damage
- 10.3 Employee or Volunteer Owned Property
- Expenses Claim Process
Where RST pays or reimburses employees and volunteers only for actual expenses they have incurred (or makes a reasonable estimate of such expenses), an employee or volunteer will not have to pay any income tax or NIC on the payments.
Volunteers – If RST makes a gift in kind to a volunteer (who is not an office holder or employee) as a ‘thank you’, there is no problem with Income Tax or National Insurance Contributions (NIC). This is provided that the cost is reasonable in relation to RST’s total income and the volunteer’s contribution.
Gifts in kind might include:
- Christmas party
- coffee morning
- tickets to events
Please refer to Section ‘Refreshments and Gifts’
Employees – It is important that such gifts above are seen as genuine gifts – they should not be expected as a reward for work or services performed. If they are not genuine gifts, they may be taxable either as employment income or miscellaneous income.
If RST makes a gift and it is seen as employment income because the volunteer is an office holder or employee, the ‘benefit in kind rules will apply’. The followings list is a guide to current tax exemptions and anything over and above there could be Income Tax and NIC to pay. Certain gifts received by an employee as benefits in kind are exempt, if all the following conditions are satisfied, the:
- gift consists of goods or a voucher or token only capable of being used to obtain goods.
- person making the gift is not the employer, or a person connected with the employe.
- gift is not made either in recognition of the performance of particular services in the course of the employment or in anticipation of particular service which are to be performed.
- gift has not been directly or indirectly bought by the employer, or by a person connected with the employer.
- gift cost the donor £250 or less.
- total cost of all gifts made by the same donor to the employee, or to members of the employee’s family or household, during the Income Tax year is £250 or less.
2. Waiving the Reimbursement of Expenses or Gifts
RST is a charity and employees and volunteers may not wish to receive reimbursement of their expenses from RST in support of its aims or may wish to gift the expenses back to the charity.
The volunteer can do this in a tax efficient manner, as follows:
- Receive reimbursement of the expenses in question from RST
- Gift the payment of expenses back to RST
If you simply waive the expenses payment, neither you nor the charity can claim Gift Aid tax relief, as for Gift Aid to apply, there must be an actual payment donated to the charity.
To qualify for Gift Aid, you must have paid enough tax in the tax year to cover the tax relief. If you have not, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may charge you for the tax relief that the charity claims.
Employees and volunteers occasionally purchase equipment or arrange for existing equipment to be serviced or maintained and initially pay for the cost of this. Where equipment is supplied or maintained on a regular basis by third party suppliers, an account should be set up via the RST Office and paid on account accordingly.
One-off purchases can also be made via the RST Manager by sending the exact details of the item(s) to be purchased and from whom. Please remember to state the preferred delivery location.
It is accepted that on occasions purchases must be made to ensure RST operations are performed expediently, or via a local supplier. All direct pre-approved purchases or maintenance expenditure made by employees and volunteers will be reimbursed in full on presentation of receipts and a completed General Expenses Claim Form.
4. Vehicle and Mileage Allowance Payment
(HMRC website refers) There is no legal obligation for any employer or organisation to pay for the use of an employee’s (or volunteer’s) vehicle expenses, either at work for business travel, or to get to and from work. Where vehicle allowances are paid under the terms and conditions of an employment contract, the HMRC set a maximum ‘approved’ amount. Providing mileage expenses claimed are this amount or below, no tax is liable. Any mileage expenses above this amount then a report form P11D must be used to report to HMRC and income tax and NI deducted.
Where employee mileage expenses are below the ‘approved amount’ it is not a requirement to report to HMRC or pay tax, but:
- employees (not volunteers) will be able to get tax relief (called Mileage Allowance Relief, or MAR) on the unused balance of the approved amount.
- you can make separate optional reports to HMRC of any such unused balances under a scheme called the Mileage Allowance Relief Optional Reporting Scheme (MARORS).
4.1. Business Travel and Mileage Definition
For RST purposes, business travel covers the miles you travel for business purposes, such as travelling to meet a client, contractor, collecting goods or spare parts, travelling to official meetings, or training courses. You can only claim for journeys that are “wholly and exclusively” for business purposes and approved by the Treasurer, or in their absence, another Trustee. In the circumstances a Trustee requires business travel in the absence of the Treasurer, this should be verified by another Trustee.
Some volunteer roles within RST may have general approval for a range of known journeys and do not require approval for each event.
Only pre-approved business travel will be reimbursed.
4.2. RST Business Travel Expenses – Taxis and Public Transport
If an employee or volunteer must travel on behalf of RST on approved business, the cost of taxis and public transport may be claimed. Proof of taxi or public transport expenses are needed through receipts or tickets. Season or bulk travel tickets cannot be claimed forunless it can be clearly proven they are purely for RST business.
Business travel does not include to and from volunteering locations.
All business travel must be submitted on a monthly basis via General Expenses Claim Form.
4.3. RST Business Travel Expenses – Use of Employee’s Own Vehicle
If an employee must travel on behalf of RST on approved business, they may claim the full distance/cost based on the rates below.
The HMRC set a maximum ‘approved’ amount at, on or below which, no tax is liable. Any mileage expenses above this amount, income tax and NI must be deducted.
The following HMRC approved rates apply:
Personal Car – 45p per mile. Maximum of 10,000 miles per tax year, 24p per mile thereafter).
Personal motorbike – 24p per mile. Unlimited miles.
All business mileage claimed must be submitted on a monthly basis on mileage reimbursement claim form.
4.4 RST Business Travel Expenses –Volunteer’s Own Vehicle
If a volunteer has to travel on behalf of RST on approved business, they may claim the distance/cost based on the rates below:
- Personal Car – 24p per mile
- Personal motorbike – 12p per mile
The mileage rate is to reimburse the cost of fuel, plus a small contribution to vehicle running costs. As the vehicle is used for purposes other than volunteering for RST, this does not wholly cover the costs of running and maintaining the vehicle.
An example journey might be from the VEC to Fox Chandlery in Ipswich and return. The following is based on a family petrol car that achieves 40mpg and petrol at £1.53 per litre; (cost in Sept’ 2023). The journey is 48 miles, and the cost of petrol is £8.10 (source RAC). Volunteers may claim £0.24 per mile which equates to £11.52.
All business mileage claimed must be submitted on a monthly basis via the Mileage Claim Form.
4.5 Volunteers – Travelling to and from volunteering duties
Travelling to and from a place of work is not classified by HMRC as business travel and as such employees cannot claim mileage expenses. Therefore, it is currently considered that volunteers also travelling to and from places for volunteering duties fall within the same category and mileage cannot be claimed.
The RST Trustees have considered all aspects of mileage expenses for volunteers attending voluntary duties, including those who may be on low incomes, but unfortunately RST finances and administration resources do not permit this at the present time.
The Trustees will consider individual cases and will keep the subject under review.
4.6 Vehicle Condition and MOT Status
RST has a legal duty to ensure that where expenses are paid for the use of employee and volunteer vehicles, the vehicle and driver concerned is compliant with the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended) and The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1996 (as amended).
Therefore, where employees and volunteers claim expenses for the use of their own vehicles, they must declare they have a full driving licence for the relevant class of vehicle, correct tax and insurance and, where applicable, an MOT.
The declaration on mileage expense forms shall include the following:
- I confirm that the vehicle being used is roadworthy as outlined by UK law, has a valid MOT certificate where applicable and is taxed for use on the roads.
- I confirm that my driving license is valid, in date and appropriate for the vehicle and that I hold the appropriate vehicle insurance and have notified my insurer where required to do so.
4.7 Vehicle Insurance
Employees must declare ’Business Use’ with their vehicle insurer, if claiming expenses for business miles and the insurer may require an additional premium for this.
Volunteers using their own vehicles in their voluntary activities should tell their insurers. They should make it clear that they may only receive or out-of-pocket expenses (petrol money), to make it clear that this is not commercial use of the vehicle.
There should not be higher premiums for this, as volunteering should be regarded as part of the ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ use of the vehicle. Some insurers may see volunteering as a business use, but they should not raise the premium.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has a list of insurers that will not apply a surcharge to volunteer drivers and also lists those insurers that do not require notification of voluntary work. All RST employees and volunteers must check with their vehicle insurers to establish whether they need to declare volunteer driving. Visit the ABI website and search for ‘volunteer driving’ for up-to-date guidance and information.
If a volunteer has a road traffic accident, RST third party insurance coverage for their volunteering does not extend to their car use. Insurance expenses cannot be claimed.
5. Accommodation and Victuals
Employees or volunteers attending approved business meetings or training and solely travelling on behalf of RST that entails overnight stays, should arrange accommodation at budget hotels with a cap of £150 per day, covering all meals and accommodation. This is based on current Civil Service guidelines and costs at Travelodge or Premier Inn with their standard meal deals, including an allowance for lunch. The Trustees will review this regularly.
All overnight stays and claims for accommodation and victuals, must be prior approved by the Treasurer, or in their absence, another Trustee. It is accepted that in some locations, accommodation costs will be higher, and these will be considered by Council on application. Cost for accommodation and victuals can be claimed via a completed General Expense Claim Form.
6. Refreshments and Gifts
If a volunteer is organising an RST meeting, training session or an event with refreshments, then reasonable expenses may be claimed. An estimated cost needs to be prior approved by the Treasurer, Trustee, or a Committee Chairperson.
Some regular courses may have general pre-approval and will not require approval for each event. Likewise, small ‘thank you’ gifts such as chocolates, or flowers, or vouchers of a similar value may be purchased as required. The SBOC and DVB Chairpersons are authorised for up to £300 per annum to cover or contribute to such expenditure.
RST does not normally pay for, or contribute to refreshments, meals, snacks or drinks for volunteers on duty.
7. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is clothing, equipment and accessories provided to an individual at work (includes voluntary work) to protect them from physical agents that may cause injury or harm.
Employers are exempt from any tax or National Insurance where they provide employees and volunteers with PPE; or reimburse them for the cost of buying their own.
PPE that meets the regulatory standards and has certified labelling (i.e, CE or BS), is automatically exempt. It does not require any corporate badging. See Uniform Clothing below.
Employers cannot make deductions, or charge employees or volunteers for the cost of their PPE where it has been provided for health and safety.
RST will provide its employees and volunteers with all the PPE that is required for the tasks they perform, as risk assessed, free of charge.
In the situation where employees and volunteers may need specialist tailor fit PPE, such items are rarely solely for RST work purposes and as such RST will consider its contribution on an individual basis.
8. Uniform Clothing
Employers are exempt from any tax or National Insurance where they provide employees and volunteers with uniform clothing.
However, the clothing must be distinctive enough to be recognised as uniform by a person in the street. Fixing or printing a permanent and conspicuous badge or logo to what would otherwise be ordinary clothing is enough to make it a uniform, but a detachable badge would not.
All RST employees and volunteers that undertake public facing duties or regularly represent RST with other organisations are entitled to the following free issue of RST uniform.
Newly qualified skippers and banksiders will be issued with uniform once they have entered the rota systems, or otherwise volunteered for duties.
The first issue of uniform will consist of:
- Baseball cap x 1
- Polo shirt x 1
- Sweatshirt x 1
Thereafter, employees and volunteers may request every two years one item of clothing free of charge. All additional clothing must be purchased at the wholesale rate.
9. Volunteer Owned Work Equipment
It is acceptable for employees and volunteers to use their own personal tools and equipment for RST work. Its ultimately the responsibility of owner of privately owned equipment to maintain it. However, under the circumstances the equipment is used at work, The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER98), Regulation 3 applies and states “The requirements imposed by these Regulations on an employer in respect of work equipment shall apply to such equipment provided for use or used by an employee of his, at work.” Therefore, privately owned equipment is defined as ‘work equipment’ under the regulations. Note the term ‘shall’ which legally means it is an absolute duty and must be done and there is no mitigation under the test of ‘so far as is reasonably practicable”.
Of note, privately owned vehicles used for business are specifically excluded under PUWER98 and not classed as work equipment.
As such RST has a duty to ensure that any work equipment being used (regardless of ownership), is fit for purpose, maintained and inspected.
Employees and volunteers who own and use their own equipment on RST duties, must for the safety of themselves and others, ensure it is correctly maintained to manufacturers specifications and fit for the purpose for the task for which it is to be used.
Officers of the Day (OOD) or any person supervising work parties must ensure they visually inspect equipment being used. Where an OOD or supervisor considers equipment is unsafe, it must be withdrawn from use without question.
RST is not in a position to cover the cost of maintaining private equipment, or the cost of its replacement.
Many volunteers have purchased their own lifejackets and under the aforementioned PUWER98 Regulations, these must be maintained annually to BS/EU standards, or manufacturers specification. The owner is responsible to ensure this is undertaken.
RST has organised an annual service contract for all RST issued lifejackets. However, contrary to that stated above, RST Trustees have agreed in this circumstance to cover the maintenance cost of one privately owned lifejacket from active skippers or crew for servicing each year. However, this will only be done free of charge for volunteers, if submitted when RST lifejackets are being collected in bulk for servicing.
The Boat Operations Manager will announce when this will be and where to leave lifejackets for collection. There will be no other arrangements for the free servicing of privately owned lifejackets and any that are missed, the owner must ensure it is serviced at their own cost.
10. Employee and Volunteer Insurance
RST insurance cover is a specialist Commercial and Combined Policy drawn up for IWA corporate members. It covers both Public Liability (PL) and Employers Liability (EL).
10.1 Personal Injury
Under EL all employees are covered, and this includes volunteers who are RST members.
There is a member-to-member clause whereby each paid member of RST carries exactly the same indemnity as RST as a whole organisation. Therefore, employees and volunteers are insured up to £10,000,000 for any accidental injuries to themselves or others.
An injury sustained by a non-member is likely to be dealt with under PL, not EL.
RST is vicariously liable (both in civil and in some criminal matters) for the wilful acts or negligence of any person (member or not) who is acting on its behalf.
10.2 Property Damage
All RST employees and volunteers are indemnified by the above policy for £10,000,000 for accidental damage to RST property, third party property and damage to the environment.
Of note, neither wear and tear, or damage to items or property being worked on and caused by incompetent workmanship are not deemed to be accidental damage by any insurer.
10.3 Employee or Volunteer Owned Property
Damage or loss to privately owned equipment is generally not covered by RST insurance, unless the loss or damage was caused by a wilful act or negligence of RST. (i.e., defective premises or by another RST employee/volunteer). Neither is ‘wear and tear’ covered. In the event of loss or accidental damage, a volunteer should seek recompense through their own home insurance under their ‘contents away from home’ cover, albeit a voluntary excess is likely to apply.
However, each situation will be judged on its merits and Trustees might be sympathetic to reimburse, or make a contribution, to such losses in certain circumstances, but this is not a guarantee.
11 Expenses Claim Process
The policy and claim forms are available via RST office and RST website (search for):
- Remuneration and Subsistence Policy
- General Expenses Claim Form
- Mileage Claim Form
- All expenses must be submitted on a monthly basis.
- Expenses must be submitted within the same month of the expense (or at least no later than within a week after that month’s end).
- Pre-approval of expense is required.
- Please do not proceed with any expense without obtaining pre-approval as per the policy.
- Unsigned forms will not be processed.
- Each claim must be signed by the to acknowledge the expense claims declaration.
- All reimbursement of expenses will be made by bank transfer only (no cash or cheques).
- Only required if it is your first claim or your details have changed.
- Online form via RST website:
- this requires uploading scans/photos of your receipts and signature.
- Download form/s from RST website:
- submit by post or email email@example.com
- Request electronic or printed copy of form/s from RST office (or arrange a visit).