Bernie contacted us and asked if she should claim for interview expenses.
Dr. McLaughlin, I have been out of work for several months and have been to quite a few interviews without success.
The cost of going to these interviews is starting to drain my funds.
Would I be within my rights to claim the cost of going to these interviews to the clients?
Dr. McLaughlin‘s IT Surgery
Yes, Bernie, you would be within your rights to charge.
However, it would not be advisable.
You are best to suck it up especially if it is within an area that you can commute from.
The convention is that permies claim for expenses and contractors don‘t.
Note:- I‘ve never seen this mentioned in terms of IR35 and being in business on your own account but this is surely a differentiating factor.
It would look cheapskate if you asked for expenses. That’s especially as the company will have to pay quite a lot daily to you and your agency if you get the contract.
It may even have a bearing on whether you get the contract or not.
It is different if you have to fly overseas to go for the interview.
Then the convention is that the client pays – although that doesn‘t always happen.
It‘s in in-between situation when you have to fly or travel a long way to somewhere in the UK.
Interview in Glasgow
Say, you contracted in London and went for an interview in Glasgow.
It would be within your rights to ask the agency about getting your interview expenses paid.
It wouldn‘t be considered cheap or money grabbing if you did.
However, the client might and might not pay.
Glasgow to London Interview Expenses
It would probably be different the other way around, i.e. if you were to go to an interview in London and you lived in Glasgow.
You would be unlikely to get expenses for flying to London as the client would think that, as they could get plenty of London-based candidates to go to interview, that they wouldn‘t expect to have to pay for just one of their interviewees and that you should suck it up.
An exception might be if you had a niche skill where it was hard to get hold of people and you were maybe the only candidate they were interviewing .
There you are then Bernie, those are the conventions.
I hope that helps.