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BT Group: Overnight Allowance

13 March 2011

For some time now Head Office has been trying to pursue conference policy to seek a significant increase in the Engineering Overnight Allowance of £63.00.

The £63.00 allowance is in fact an HMRC dispensation to BT. The rules governing this sort of dispensation have altered significantly. In order to gain a significant increase in line with conference instruction, the Inspector would require evidence that the current rate is inadequate.

The HMRC may require evidence of expenditure incurred by every one of their mobile employees. At the very least, the Inspector would require a random sample of 10% of eligible employees for a period of one month. If this sample were to show anyone profiting from the payment of the allowance then the continued payment of the £63.00 could be brought into question.

Dispensations in place prior to February 2008 are not affected by the need to conduct random sampling however, applications for a new dispensation would trigger random sampling as a minimum. The Union approached BT to see whether a rise in line with inflation would trigger a similar response. Unfortunately, the Company’s tax advisors are of the opinion that any attempt to increase the allowance, even by the rate of inflation in the current economic climate of deficit would trigger the sampling exercise and could endanger the continued payment of the allowance.