Expense policy benchmarking in Higher Education – 2023

08 February 2024      Julia Ascott, Employment Taxes Specialist

A new expenses and benefits benchmarking guide has been produced for members within the BUFDG membership who want to compare or, potentially, align their rates and policies with what is typically provided in the Higher Education (H E) sector. You can access the report here.

In January 2017, Cobia Ltd. produced a useful guide for BUFDG members on the payment of subsistence expenses, specifically food and accommodation to employees away on business, based on expense policies from 29 HEPs. This report was followed up in December 2019 with more substantial data (e.g. introducing median, highest and lowest rates) from 62 expense policies.

The 2023 benchmarking exercise is based on expense policies (or similar) from 91 HEPs and is our most comprehensive report yet. The main body of the report summarises accommodation and subsistence rates as in previous years, however, we have also included new areas for consideration, including mileage rates and certain benefits. In addition, to compliment BUFDG’s work on supporting members with carbon reduction and environmental sustainability aims (see our work on calculating the cost of net zero), we have highlighted any sustainability focus within expense policies.

Subjects covered are:

  • Subsistence – breakfast, lunch and dinner rates for employees away from their normal place of work, on business related travel
  • Accommodation - hotel rates for the UK, London and/or major cities for employees away from their normal place of work on business related travel. We have included a new category of ‘overseas’ hotel rates
  • Sustainability – classifying HEPs who include sustainability in their expense policy into three categories: those who have written their policies with sustainability at the core, those who consider sustainability but to a lesser degree, or those HEPs mentioning sustainability in passing
  • Mileage rates - for employees travelling for business purposes using their own car, motorcycle or bicycle, with additional rates for passengers
  • Staff benefits – setting out policies on staff entertaining, staff gifts, cash advances and professional subscriptions
  • Latest update – we have highlighted the version history of expense policies to set out when they were last updated

Read more

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of the site and services and assist with our member communication efforts. Privacy Policy. Accept cookies Cookie Settings