HMRC has reviewed and amended guidance on home working and expenses extending the easements brought in to support workers during the pandemic through 2022/23.

During the pandemic there has been a relaxation on those able to claim due to forced home working and reading through the guidance an element of the easement is to ensure a “comfort blanket” approach on the grounds that there could be further restrictions possible should there be further escalations in the COVID-19 situation in the UK and therefore the ability for those having no option than to work from home continuing to have the claim option.

It is important to remember however that the rules in respect of deciding whether an employee’s home is a workplace have not changed and as such there are criteria to that decision:

  • the duties that the employee performs at home are substantive duties that represent all or part of the central duties of the employment
  • those duties cannot be performed without the use of appropriate facilities
  • no such appropriate facilities are available to the employee on the employer’s premises, or they live so far from the employer’s premises that it is unreasonable to expect them to travel to those premises every day
  • at no time either before or after the employment contract is drawn up is the employee able to choose between working at the employer’s premises or elsewhere – this therefore excludes the majority of “hybrid” workers

To support this further, HMRC has updated its examples including at the end an example of staff members who have had to work from home due to the lock down scenario and this can be found here: also the updated guidance itself is here

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