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Commuting travel, temporary accommodation and relocation

UT employees may be eligible for allowances to help pay for moving costs, temporary accommodation and daily travel to and from work. You must, however, meet certain conditions. For UT employees these conditions are set out in the Regulations for relocation, temporary accommodation, and commuting allowances (pdf). 

  • Commuting expenses

    As a UT employee, you receive an allowance for the costs of your commute to and from work. There are two options:

    • Public transport: 100% reimbursement, second class, or:
    • Fixed travel allowance based on €0.10 per kilometre.

    Public transport

    If you travel by public transport then you use your second class, NS Business Card, for your commute. If your commute involves travel from outside the Netherlands, for example from just across the border with Germany, then you can declare your second class/economy class public transport tickets via MyHR. Simply indicate in MyHR, under ‘commuting expenses’, that you use public transport for your commute to and from work. Once you have selected this option an application for a second class NS Business Card will be made for you. You can then use this card for your commute.

    For the days that you do not come to the UT by public transport, but work at home, you will receive a home working allowance. This is calculated over the days that you have registered as working from home in the "working from home" screen in MyHR.

    Fixed travel allowance

    If you use a method other than public transport for your commute to and from work then you will receive a fixed travel allowance based on the number of days you have designated as travel days. Your travel days are the working days on which you do not work from home. Simply record your remote working days as agreed in consultation with your manager in MyHR/Afas under ‘working from home’.

    You fill in a standard home working pattern. If your home working days change structurally, i.e. you start working from home more or less days a week, you need to adjust this. The changes will take effect from the first of the following month. Because we work with fixed allowances, you do not need to adjust incidental changes in your home working pattern every time.

    The fixed travel allowance is €0.10 per kilometre net (by the quickest route) with a maximum of 75 kilometres one-way, and is calculated over 214 working days per year in the case of five commuting days per week. The fixed travel allowance is adjusted proportionally if you work for fewer than five days per week and/or have one for more working from home days per week.

    To qualify for this allowance you must register in MyHR, under ‘commuting expenses’, that you do not use public transport for your commute to and from work.

    Travel allowance tax exchange

    If you make use of a fixed travel allowance, you can opt to make a tax exchange of €0.09 per kilometre above your net travel allowance of €0.10. This involves exchanging gross salary for a net allowance. Normally, this exchange takes place at the end of each calendar year, and the end-of-year bonus is used for this purpose. If you wish to make use of this exchange option, then you must activate the option in MyHR, under ‘commuting expenses’. Once you have activated this tax exchange option, it will remain active in ensuing calendar years. If you no longer wish to make use of the tax exchange option, you can deactivate it in MyHR.

    NB: a tax exchange leads to a reduction of your taxable income for social security contribution purposes, and can have consequences for benefits or allowances such as an unemployment benefit or rent allowance.

  • FAQ Commuting expenses
    • Can both a homework allowance and a commuting allowance be calculated on the same working day?

      No, on one working day you will receive either the homework allowance or the commuting allowance. Both allowances should never be issued on one working day. This also means that if you use the NS Businesscard for your commute, you may not use it on a day that you have designated as a home working day.

      So fill in your homework pattern in such a way that it corresponds on average to reality. Working from home for a day or at the UT, different from your home working pattern, is not a bad thing. Your reimbursements will continue to run. In the event of a structural change, you do have to change your working from home pattern.

    • What should you enter if you do not know exactly how many days you work from home?

      We work with fixed allowances for working from home and commuting. The fixed fee does not have to be adjusted if occasionally on a home working day, work is done at the office, or vice versa. If you are going to work from home more structurally or if you go to the UT more structurally, you will have to adjust your working from home pattern. The adjusted reimbursements will then take effect as of the following month. You do not have to adjust anything in the event of illness or vacation. In the event of illness, the reimbursements continue for another 6 weeks and then stop. The reimbursements also continue during your holiday.

    • How are the homework allowance and the travel allowance (when opting for other transport than public transport) made?

      The fixed allowances are calculated on the basis of 214 workable days based on full-time. This already includes a correction for holidays, illness (average absenteeism) and public holidays. That is why you do not have to adjust anything in the event of incidental changes in your pattern or in the event of vacation or illness. The travel distance is determined by the distance between your home address and your location (fastest route). Your location for the Campus is always Drienerlolaan 5 and for ITC Hengelosestraat 99. If you have a location outside Enschede (e.g. Amsterdam VU), enter the different work location with your address details in MyHR . The single travel distance over which the travel allowance is calculated is capped at 75 kilometres. The following 2 examples explain how the travel allowance is calculated:

      Example full-timer:

      Working days: 5 days a week:

      • 2 days at home
      • 3 days at the UT

      One-way distance home address-UT: 20 kilometres


      Commuting allowance:

      3/5th of 214 days =
      129 days129 days x (40 kilometers x € 0.10)/12 =    

         


        €43,- p/m net

      Work from home allowance:

      2/5th of 214 days = 86 days(86 days x €2)/12 =      

          

       €14.33 p/m net

      The employee receives a total of per month:   

       €57.33 p/m net

                                                     
      Choice of tax exchange:

      Any tax exchange with the year-end bonus will give you a net benefit, depending on the tax rate applicable at that time. Suppose the tax rate is 40%. In the above example, you do not pay tax on: 129 days * 40 * €0.09 = €464.40. This yields net: 40% *464.40 = 185.76 p/y = €15.48 p/m.

      You will receive the total net benefit for the relevant calendar year in the month of December because this will be deducted from the year-end bonus.

      Example part-timer:

      Working days: 3 days a week:

      • 1 day at home
      • 2 days at the UT

      One-way distance home address-UT: 5 kilometres

      Commuting allowance:

      2/5 of 214 days = 85.6 days
      85.6 days x (10 kilometers x € 0.10)/12 =        



      € 7.13 p/m

      Work from home allowance:

      1/5th of 214 days = 42.8 days
      (42.8 days x € 2)/12 = 

       

      € 7.13 p/m

      The employee receives a total of per month: 

      €14.27 p/m

           
      Choice of tax exchange:

      Any tax exchange with the year-end bonus will give you a net benefit, depending on the tax rate applicable at that time. Suppose the tax rate is 40%. In the above example, you do not pay tax on: 85.6 days * 10 * €0.09 = €77.04. This yields net: 40% * €77.04 = €30.82 p/y = €2.57 p/m.

      You will receive the total net benefit for the relevant calendar year in the month of December because this will be deducted from the year-end bonus.

    • Which location should I enter?

      By default, your work location is Drienerlolaan 5. This address is always your work location if you work on Campus and you may not change it. If you work at the ITC, enter Hengelosestraat 99 . Only at a different location (other than Enschede, for example Amsterdam or Leeuwarden) you enter the address of that location.

    • If I have entered something incorrectly in MyHR , can I fill it in again?

      In MyHR you can make 1 adjustment in the same month (before the 15th of the month). If you make a change after the 15th, this change will only take effect the following month. If you think something is not right, please report this via AskHR .

    • I have a temporary contract in which a travel allowance has been agreed. Will this continue?

      If you have a temporary contract that started before 1 January 2022, the agreements contained therein will continue until the end date of your temporary contract. If your contract is extended or converted to a permanent contract, the agreements from the then applicable scheme ' Allowances for relocation costs, temporary accommodation and commuting ' will apply from that date.

    • Can I also fill in my homework pattern afterwards, so that I know how many days I have worked at the office?

      No, that is not possible and it is not necessary, because we work with fixed fees. It is important that your homework and travel pattern corresponds on average to reality. So if you regularly go to the office more or less days than before, you adjust that and you will receive the new fixed reimbursements as of the next month. If you occasionally work at the office on a home working day or vice versa, you don't have to adjust anything. This is already taken into account in the calculation of the fixed fees.

    • Until when can I continue to travel on the 'old' business card?

      If you have chosen to use public transport for your commute, you will automatically receive a second class NS Businesscard. Because you do not immediately have it the next day, and if you are already in possession of a first class NSBC card you can still use this first class card for your commute until you have received the second class card. Once you’ve received you second class NS Businesscard you can also use this card for your business travel. You may request a class change for your business trips, for which you are allowed to travel first class .

    • How do I convert 2nd class to 1st class if I am on a business trip?

      If you have a second class NS Business Card because you travel second class for your commute and you are allowed to travel first class for your business trip. For you business trips you can perform a temporary class change . You can do this via the NS app, website or ticket machine. You can read how this works on the NS website .

    • What happens if you don't register anything in MyHR ?

      It is important that your details regarding commuter travel and working from home are entered correctly and truthfully in MyHR . By default, your data is set to "travel with public transport" and all your working days are registered as a home working day. So if you work at the UT for 1 or more days, you must adjust your data in order to obtain the correct home-work allowance and commuting allowance.

    • What does the tax exchange of €0.09 on top of the commuting allowance of € 0.10 per kilometre net yield?

      That depends on the tax rate. Suppose: for you, the tax rate is 37.07% (for 2022 this applies to a taxable income up to € 69,399). Your one-way distance is 20 kilometres and you travel 3 days a week for your homework.

      Your commuting allowance is on an annual basis: 3/5 * 214 * 40 * 0.10 = €513.60

      The amount eligible for tax exchange is: 3/5*214 * 40 * 0.09 = €462.24.

      At the end of the year, your gross year-end bonus will then be reduced by €462.24 and you will receive a net amount of €462.24. In net terms, your year-end bonus will therefore be reduced by 37.07% of €462.24 = €171.35.

      Your year-end bonus (€462.24 minus €171.35) is, therefore, €290.89 less net. The difference between your net compensation and the reduction of your year-end bonus is what it gives you net, namely €462.24 - €290.89 = €171.35 per year.

      Note: this is an example. Tax rates are subject to change. The tax rate is also higher with a higher taxable income and the tax advantage is therefore greater.

      Note: A reduction in your gross salary results in a lower SV wage (wage for social security premiums):

      The tax exchange for your commuting expenses leads to a reduction in your taxable income. This can affect the amount of a future disability or unemployment benefit and the amount of tax allowances.

      Incapacity for work
      A benefit in the event of (partial) incapacity for work is based on the average income of the year prior to your illness. If you used the year-end bonus in that last year for the tax exchange, this will have consequences for the amount of your benefit.

      Unemployed

      The unemployment benefit is based on the average income of one year before the date of dismissal. If the year-end bonus was used for tax exchange in that year, this will have consequences for the amount of the benefit.

      Allowances and other schemes
      An increase or decrease in the taxable salary can have consequences for many schemes derived from this, such as health care allowance, rental allowance, and student finance. This can also be an advantage for your allowances, but it is, therefore, advisable to carefully consider the consequences of your choice for exchange. It is also possible that changes in regulations lead to new unforeseen consequences. However, negative consequences cannot be recovered from the university. The responsibility for the choice rests with you.

    • 12. What are the (adverse) consequences of the tax exchange of your gross salary for your commuting costs?

      The tax exchange for your commuting expenses leads to a reduction in your taxable income. This can affect the amount of a future disability or unemployment benefit and the amount of tax allowances.

      Incapacity for work
      A benefit in the event of (partial) incapacity for work is based on the average income of the year prior to your illness. If you used the year-end bonus in that last year for the tax exchange, this will have consequences for the amount of your benefit.

      Unemployed
      The unemployment benefit is based on the average income of one year before the date of dismissal. If the year-end bonus was used for tax exchange in that year, this will have consequences for the amount of the benefit.

      Allowances and other schemes
      An increase or decrease in the taxable salary can have consequences for many schemes derived from this, such as health care allowance, rental allowance, and student finance. This can also be an advantage for your allowances, but it is, therefore, advisable to carefully consider the consequences of your choice for exchange. It is also possible that changes in regulations lead to new unforeseen consequences. However, negative consequences cannot be recovered from the university. The responsibility for the choice rests with you.

    • Where can I apply for the NS business card?

      If you have opted for Public Transport for your commute in myHR , a second class NSBC will be requested as soon as possible. This will be sent to your home address. You can then use it for your commute.

    • My homework allowance is higher than my travel allowance. Can I not opt for a homework allowance for all working days?

      No, this cannot and should not be done. The homework allowance is a contribution towards the higher costs for gas, water and light that you have if you work from home instead of at the UT. In addition, you also spend more money at home on coffee, tea and toilet paper, etc. The UT may therefore only provide this allowance if you actually work from home. If you are at the UT, you do not incur the expenses of working from home. You are entitled to a travel allowance for the day you work at the UT because you travelled to the UT.

      It is therefore important that you fill in your correct homework pattern for the days when you usually work from home. Occasional working an extra day at home or an extra day at the UT is not a bad thing. These are fixed fees, whereby minor deviations are already taken into account in the calculation. If your homework pattern changes structurally, you must change this in myHR . The changes will take effect on the first of the following month.

      Two reimbursements for one and the same working day are not allowed. If you still go to the UT on a home working day or vice versa, you will retain the reimbursement as registered in myHR with your 'home working days '.

    • Can you fill in your homework pattern more flexibly than once a month?

      No, this is not possible. This is also not necessary, because you will receive a fixed compensation that also continues in the event of, for example, vacation, public holidays and illness (another 6 weeks in case of illness). If your pattern changes structurally, for example from working from home on average 3 days a week to working from home 1 day a week, then you adjust that. The change in your reimbursement will then take effect as of the following month.

    • I live in Germany and travel by public transport for my commute, what should I do?

      Employees who come from Germany with public transport cannot use the NS Businesscard. You may then declare your train tickets (second class/ economy class) via AskHR, category 'claims'. Add your train tickets to the request as an attachment.

    • I live in Germany and have several working days from home. Will this affect taxes or social security?

      For employees living in Germany, nothing changes in terms of tax when working from home (even if there had been no Corona). We are a public-law institution and then the tax treaty between NL and DE (because we are a public-law institution) says that we as an employer must withhold tax.

      There is an exception with regard to social security that will run until 1 July next: if you work at home in Germany because of Corona measures and you would normally work in NL for > 75% of the time, then there is no switch in social security from NL to DE. Until 1 July, it is, therefore, no problem for these employees if they fill in 2 or more working days from home with regard to the homework allowance. This may become a problem after 1 July 2022. When the exception measure expires, you are already socially insured in Germany according to the EU regulations if you work 25% or more in Germany (at home).

      If you structurally work more than 25% at home in Germany, so not because of Corona, your social security will already change to Germany. This means that you will transfer to the German system for your health insurance, AOW(state pension), child benefit, etc. If you do not want this, make sure that you are physically active at the UT at least 75% of the time. For a full-timer this means 4 days a week. Then make sure that your homework and travel pattern also corresponds to this. If this applies to you, please contact the salary administration via salaris-hr@utwente.nl.

    • Can I travel with my NS business card with Arriva , Blauwnet and Keolis or do I have to adjust the route so that it is only an NS route?

      With your NS Businesscard you can use all public transport companies in the Netherlands.

    • I use public transport for my commute. How can I travel first class with my second class NS Businesscard for business trips?

      Have you received a second class NS Business Card because you have opted to travel by public transport for your commute (second class)? Then you can still travel first class for business trips. For this, you request a temporary class change. Check the NS website for how to do this.

  • Temporary accommodation outside your place of residence

    You might be eligible for a temporary accommodation allowance if you meet the following conditions:

    • at the time of your employment, you do not live within a 25km radius of the location where you carry out your main duties;
    • you are unable to commute to work on a daily basis due to the travel distance/time;
    • you have a temporary employment contract or your new employment contract is in addition to primary employment elsewhere.

    UT defines temporary accommodation as lodging in a town or city other than your main place of residence that is within a 25km radius of the place where you carry out your work. Your unit will decide if you are eligible for an allowance.

    The actual costs incurred for temporary accommodation will be reimbursed, up to a maximum of €300 a month. Employees using the 30% scheme are not entitled to use this option.

    You can submit your statement of expenses via "My Claims" in MyHR.  Make sure to include proof of the costs incurred. Please note that the statements of expenses must be submitted within six months. If you do not submit your statements of expenses within this period, you will not receive an allowance for those expenses.

    The allowance is paid by payroll administration. After two years, the allowance will be paid gross. This has to do with the fact that the allowance is subject to wage levy after two years.

    Reimbursement for travel to and from your place of residence

    If you receive a temporary accommodation allowance, you are also entitled to a travel allowance to pay for travel to your place of residence once a week. UT employees living in the Netherlands must use the NS-Business Card (second class) for this commute. If you live abroad or if you use public transportation services other than NS, you can submit your tickets or a statement of expenses for a kilometre allowance (of € 0.19 per kilometre) via "My Claims" in MyHR. You will receive an allowance of up to a maximum of €400 a month for these travel costs.

    Reimbursement for travel between your temporary accommodation and the UT

    If you stay at the address of your temporary accommodation, you are eligible for a contribution to the travel costs between your temporary housing address and the UT. For this you use the NS Businesscard second class if you go by public transport. If you go with another means of transport, for example on foot, by bike or by car, you can claim € 0.19 per kilometre for this route. This can be done via "My Claims" in MyHR.

  • Moving House: relocation allowance

    Relocation allowance

    You are eligible for a relocation allowance if you meet the following conditions:

    • You live outside 25 kilometres from your place of employment at the time of the start of your employment. Your place of employment is your permanent place where you mainly have to perform your work for the University, not being the home workplace. As a rule, your location is the UT Campus or the ITC building
    • Within two years of being appointed, you must move to an address within 25 kilometres from your work location.
    • By moving, you must reduce the distance between your home and your workplace by at least 60%.

    The allowance amounts to €3,500. Are you moving from abroad to a home within 25 kilometres of your place of work? Then you are also entitled to compensation for the one-way ticket(s) to the Netherlands for you and your close family members (spouse /child) (a return ticket is also permitted, provided the price is equal to or cheaper then a one-way ticket).

    If you and your partner will both be working at UT, only one of you is allowed to request a relocation allowance This relocation allowance is paid tax-free, if at the time of payment the UT is permitted to pay the net amount under applicable fiscal rules. In all other cases, the UT must deduct wage levy from the allowance. If you meet the conditions to qualify for a relocation allowance you can apply for the allowance via "my claims" in MyHR.

    Relocation leave

    You are entitled to two extra days’ leave if you are moving to your new work location because you are commencing employment at UT, or if you are relocating as a result of having been transferred to a new work location. In the latter case, you will receive an additional two days’ leave to look for a new home.