Friday 26th March 2021
Updated 25 March 2021:
Version 2, of the directed letter provides clarification for those in receipt of allowances or expenses whilst working from home (WFH) in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Version 2 supercedes the previous directed letter (DL) dated 27 March 2020 and is an updated version which consists of changes.
Why have the allowances been reviewed?
The pandemic has evolved, so too have the working patterns of many. The advice contained in the initial WFH DL was based on the initial direction that resulted in the vast majority of Service personnel being directed to work exclusively from home. Further effort is currently being undertaken to address future working arrangements, remote working and the impact that these will have on allowance policy. However, at this moment, policy remains largely unchanged with exceptions being announced in the form of DLs to recognise the unique circumstances that Service personnel face during the pandemic.
The impact of working from home on allowances
WFH could have an impact on an individual’s eligibility to claim or continue to claim some allowances. Allowances are designed for a specific purpose or aim and where eligibility exists, it does so within carefully defined circumstances. If the circumstances change so that those aims are no longer met, entitlement should be reviewed. It is difficult to provide definitive guidance to address every scenario. The circumstances of each individual will vary and need to be considered on their own merit to ensure that appropriate provision is delivered.
Allowances included in the DL
- Food and Incidental Allowance (FIA)
- Longer Separation Allowance
- Special Messing Allowance
- Home to Duty Travel (Automatic)
- Get You Home Travel
- Reimbursement of Telephone Fees and Postal Fees
- Recruitment and Retention Allowance (London) (RRA(L)
- Lodging Allowance (LA)
- Northern Ireland Resident’s Supplement (NIRS)