This policy provides guidance on how we’ll reimburse you for any work-related expenses. It applies to Wholegrain employees only and it does not form part of your contract of employment and may be amended from time to time.   Any, and all, personal data used in conjunction with this policy shall be collected, held, and processed in accordance with our ‘Data Protection Policy.’

Expenses incurred by contractors are governed by the relevant clause(s) within their contract for services with Wholegrain. 

Policy Elements

Expenses fall into two categories: expenses paid directly by Wholegrain on your behalf and expenses you’ve paid that are reimbursable to you.  Wholegrain will reimburse all reasonable business expenses after they’ve been approved by the Managing Director. This will be in full,  or in part, depending on the nature of the claim.  Some expenses will need pre-approval before they are incurred, the details of which are outlined in this policy. 

Guidelines for Expenses

  • Equipment
    We provide all employees with a laptop along with any IT accessories you may require to enable you to perform your duties effectively and safely. We’ll have a chat when you start employment to agree on the operating system and spec necessary for your role.  When purchasing equipment, we always try to select a manufacturer with good social and environmental policies, as laid out in our ‘Procurement Policy’.

    If you need an item urgently,  for example, if a delay will prevent you from working effectively, you may purchase smaller items up to the value of £50 and then request reimbursement, following prior approval from the Managing Director.

  • Software subscriptions
    We have subscriptions to all the services you should need to carry out your role effectively. However, if you identify something that would help you, especially if it would also be useful for the wider team, we would consider paying for this subscription with our company card once agreed with the Managing Director.
  • Subsistence
    We don’t pay subsistence for you in the course of your usual working day. However, we would reimburse you should you buy non-alcoholic drinks for your client and yourself at a client meeting. In the event that a client meeting is held over lunch then food and non-alcoholic drinks for your client and yourself may be arranged.  This would require prior approval from the Managing Director, and the cost of it would be paid with our company card.  If you hold a client meeting at Somerset House, we encourage you to use the supplies provided in the kitchen rather than buying from the café, where possible.  In the event that these are not sufficient and you need to purchase food and non-alcoholic drinks for your client and yourself, this would  require prior approval from the Managing Director and be paid for with our company card.At Wholegrain we want to promote sustainable ways of eating, hence we have a vegetarian and/or plant-based ‘Food and Catering Policy’. Exceptions to this policy are referenced below:

    • Clients – The vegetarian and/or plant-based food policy does NOT apply to food ordered directly by clients. For example, if you meet a client at a cafe and offer to buy them a coffee and they request a cappuccino with dairy milk, this can be purchased and claimed on company expense. We voted for this policy as a team but should not impose it on our clients as food is very personal.
    • Allergies – If you have a food allergy or intolerance that means a vegetarian and/or plant-based diet is difficult for you, you should inform your Line Manager and ask to be granted an exemption.

Personal mobile or telephone

You will not be required to use your personal mobile or telephone to make work calls. Should you need to use your personal mobile or landline for business use for a limited period (e.g. if the internal phone system isn’t working properly and you’re waiting for a fix), we’ll reimburse you for any business calls made. In order to do this we would need to see an itemised phone bill that highlights the calls that were made for business use.   

Training courses

If you undertake a training or development course related to your role at Wholegrain, we may reimburse you in full or in part for this expense. Any courses, plus any associated costs (such as exams, books etc..) need to be agreed in advance and signed off by your Line Manager and the Managing Director. We’ll need a VAT receipt before we can reimburse you. Likewise, if we agree to make a contribution towards the cost of a course including its exams, books etc… For further information, read our ‘Training and Development Policy’.

Travel expenses

Our central office is Somerset House in London and so travel to this location is classed as a ‘normal commute’.

Wholegrain will cover travel expenses for every employee’s normal commute twice monthly on the agreed dates for team days in the office. This is to make sure that our team can have some working time together with minimal meetings. In order to claim for your commute, tickets will need to be purchased at the start of each month with receipts then submitted at the time of purchase. 

When a client meeting in Somerset House falls on a day that isn’t an agreed date for team days in the office, we will cover travel expenses to get you to the meeting. 

If you need to travel on Wholegrain business to somewhere in the UK and other than your normal commute, we’ll cover the cost of your transport. This could be a pitch at a potential clients office or a conference or event, for example.  Standard class travel will only be expensed, unless prior approval has been sought from the Managing Director to travel at first or business class.  In instances where first class travel is cheaper than the equivalent standard class rate, specific authorisation to travel first class will not be required where sufficient proof of the standard class rate is provided with the expense claim.  Overseas travel will only be reimbursed with the prior approval of the Managing Director.  We expect all employees to utilise travel on behalf of Wholegrain in the context of our ‘Sustainability Policy’, therefore using public transport and avoiding the use of cars, taxi’s, and motorbikes unless absolutely necessary. 

  • Rail Travel
    Employees can purchase and be reimbursed for rail travel undertaken on Wholegrain business. Please ensure that a receipt for your rail travel, rather than a copy of your ticket, is submitted as part of your expense claim.  If an employee already has a season ticket which covers their journey then the employee will be expected to use this and there will be no expense to reimburse.  Journeys involving the use of a pre-paid SMART card may be claimed individually so long as the expense submitted for such is accompanied with a print out of the journey being claimed for.  Claims for a fixed amount of “pre-pay top-up” are not reimbursable. Journeys incurred using contactless cards must be accompanied with exact journey details provided on the claim.Travel by
  • Taxi or Private Car Usage
    Taxi or private car usage may only be used in the following exceptional circumstances:

    • When no other method of public transport is available;
    • When carrying heavy items or baggage;
    • If you are unable to use public transport because of pregnancy or a temporary or permanent disability or due to personal safety reasons;
    • If it is more sustainable when travelling in a group and agreed with management;
    • Where there is a need to work or converse in a confidential environment.

Taxi costs should be claimed through your expenses claim with all receipts attached.  Justification for the use of a taxi should be noted on your claim form and with awareness of Wholegrain’s ‘Sustainability Policy’.

  • Travel by Private Motor Vehicle, Motorcycle or Bicycle
    In cases where an employee has to use their own car or motorcycle on company business, the vehicle must be insured for business purposes. Any additional insurance requirements, which may apply to the particular trip being made, should also be met. For example, if office equipment is being transported additional insurance may be required to cover any damage or theft. The vehicle must also be roadworthy, fit for purpose and continue to have a current MOT certificate.Wholegrain will not pay for any penalties for driving offences or parking infringements and related administration costs will not be reimbursed.  When using private vehicles (including bicycles), the claimable amount for mileage travelled will be paid at the rate defined by HMRC at the time of travel: car travellers are advised to keep track of their cumulative mileage claimed over each financial year (April – March) to ensure the mileage claimed is at the correct rate.  You are entitled to be reimbursed for the costs of unavoidable expenses for parking and tolls (including road tolls and river ferries). Planned journey routes prior to travel should be considered to ensure the journey is as sustainable as possible.
  • Travel by Plane
    Wholegrain has a no-fly policy for work therefore will never ask you to travel by plane, nor will we ever pay for air travel that is in any way connected with company business.


If your travel for work also requires food and/or overnight accommodation, covering these expenses in accordance with this policy and our ‘Food and Catering Policy’ must be agreed in advance with the Managing Director.   In such cases Wholegrain will pay a daily subsistence rate in accordance with the HMRC subsistence rates available at the time which for UK subsistence can be found here: and for overseas travel can be found here:

Accommodation for overnight travel will be paid directly by the company and only on approval of the Managing Director.   All expenses for travel must be claimed in the month they are incurred and travel booked with as much notice as possible to obtain the most reasonable rates.   

Wholegrain will not cover additional travel expenses when not agreed in advance with the Managing Director or any additional costs incurred by fines or rescheduled arrangements when the employee is at fault. 

How to claim

Each month you will receive a reminder to submit any expenses incurred during that month and to submit them by a specific date.  Please ensure that you submit your expenses by the deadline given. Late expenses or receipts received after the specified date may not be able to be processed in time for the next payroll and expenses payment run.

Unless it’s something we’ve arranged and paid for in advance, every expense claim needs to be accompanied by a hard or soft copy VAT receipt. This is in accordance with HMRC regulations; therefore submitted expense claims that do not include one of these are unable to be processed until they are provided.

To apply for reimbursement, fill out the required fields on our Expense Form and attach your VAT receipts within the same month the expense was incurred. Please be sure to include a description of the expense that you are claiming for. 

Our Expense Form will notify the Managing Director who will reimburse you accordingly.  Payment will be made, where possible, with your next salary payment at the end of the month. Should you need the money more urgently than this, then please let us know and we’ll arrange for an earlier payment. 

If you’re unsure whether you can claim for a particular activity or item, please check with the Managing Director. 

Unauthorised and false claims

Unauthorised expenses and claims made for expenses that differ from those that were pre-authorised or are not in accordance with this, or the ‘Food and Catering Policy’ will not be paid. Employees who are found to have made dishonest expense claims will be subject to disciplinary action under the ‘Disciplinary Policy and Procedure’. Depending on the circumstances of the case, such behaviour may be treated as potential gross misconduct, and could render an employee liable to summary dismissal.