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I am going in a business trip to visit a client that is in Utrecht ~170 Km away from my current company in Maastricht.

I am going to stay there for the 2 days I need to showcase some demos and help them build and integrate some service with us.

Given that:

  • The hotel is paid by me in beforehand an then they reimburse me.

  • The travel costs are paid by me as well and then reimbursed.

The question is:

  • Should I receive any kind of daily allowance for being abroad from my house? Something like a daily extra XX€ because of eating outside, or having to "work" more than 8 hours, or as compensation for the extra 3 hours of voyage?
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    You can typically get meals reimbursed (either as an allowance or based on receipts) but nothing is mandated by law AFAIK. You would typically find details in your collective bargaining agreement (CAO) or your work contract. – Gala Sep 21 '17 at 15:56
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    You might get a better response at The Workplace, but since I'm not a regular there I'm not actually certain that it is on topic. – phoog Sep 21 '17 at 22:19
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There is no definitive answer to that, among other things because there are no legal requirements.
It depends on the agreements you have/make, among these your contract.

What is customary/what you can expect and even ask for (reimbursements):

  • All strictly business-related expenses, like required entrance fees, local travel costs, materials you have to buy, ...
  • Meals. Very often a Dutch company will pay for your lunch/dinner (and breakfast if that does no come with the hotel booking).

Unlikely:

  • Getting paid for extra hours travel*. You may have more relaxed requirements as to your presence in the office. Example: If you travel back later in the evening, or if you have extremely long days, it's OK if you start later the next day.
  • Allowance for being away from home. Very unusual.

These things all need to be determined/asked beforehand. You cannot just 'do' and expect to get paid.

It is common that employees who travel frequently have a fixed addition to their salary for these kinds of expenses. In that case you just pay those extra expenses out of your own pocket. That saves a lot of bookkeeping. The additional sum is usually large enough to cover all that; it is even a way to increase peoples actual (net) income above the official base salary. Not that much, just in the order of 1,2 hundred Euros a month (depending on the frequency of your travels).

* Assuming you are not paid by the hour anyway. That would be unusual; you have a contract for X money and Y hours per month.


Note: I'm talking about what a Dutch company usually does for its employees. International ones may have different customs.

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I used to work for a Dutch company -- I was managing their Korean branch, but my contract was Dutch law. I had a corporate credit card, but I had expenses during business trips that couldn't be paid by credit card. I was reimbursed for everything, as long as I provided receipts, and documented the expenses.

Furthermore, my Korean sales staff were reimbursed for all their business trips-related expenses. They didn't have corporate cards, so I would have our local company prepay the big items (hotel, flights) and they would get reimbursed for the rest.

While Dutch people and companies are considered to be tight-fisted[1], they are, usually, extremely fair. Just make sure with your boss what is accepted during a biz trip.


[1] When I joined this company, my boss told me a "joke" that, according to him, explained clearly the general attitude towards money:

You know that Dutch people come from Scotland, right? Yeah, we were kicked out. We spent too much, they said.

  • Yeah, also in English you can say when you are tight-fisted that you are Dutch, or cheap, it's a pitty but it's how it is... – Alejandro Vales Sep 22 '17 at 6:07
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    That does not seem to address the question at all, it's just one company's policy but what do they have to do? – Relaxed Sep 22 '17 at 6:21
  • My company was the kind that would do everything the law required, and nothing else. So I would say that if my company reimbursed for every business-related expense, it is because they had to. And as I said at the end of my answer, asking your boss what is acceptable is a good idea too... – dda Sep 22 '17 at 6:30
  • The question seems to be whether there should be compensation for the time spent away from home in addition to the given fact that other expenses are already being reimbursed. This answer doesn't address that. – phoog Sep 22 '17 at 14:51
  • @anomuse my Dutch employer, a very large group, was a mixed bag. We flew business class, took taxis everywhere, etc, but sometimes my boss's secretary would come back to me about Visa card expenses in the 10-30€ range... – dda Sep 25 '17 at 13:43

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