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Subsistence rates - Elsewhere

Subsistence rates - Elsewhere 

Subsistence rates outside Ireland

Notes on subsistence tables

  • The 24 Hour Rate covers the cost of accommodation and 3 meals (24 hour rate).
  • The Conference Rate covers the cost of 3 meals. It is half of the 24 hour rate and is used in cases where the vouched cost of accommodation is claimed or paid separately or where no accommodation costs are incurred. 
  • The 24 hour or conference rates should not be claimed where meals are provided by a third party or where the cost of such meals is included as part of conference registration fees.  
  • Day Rate (over 10 hours) is used where 2 meals are claimed. 
  • Day Rate (5-10 hours) is used where 1 meal is claimed. 
  • Where no rate is in place for a location, vouched costs should be claimed.


It is preferable that expenses should be claimed by reference to vouched costs but, where applicable, Department of Finance rates may be used as a basis to recover subsistence costs (accommodation and meals). 

  • When claiming expenses based on subsistence rates, the following should be noted.
  • Subsistence should only be claimed up to the level of actual expenditure incurred. No element of profit/excess over the actual amount of expenses incurred should be claimed.
  • Prior to travel, staff members should review whether subsistence rates are available for their intended location. Where no subsistence rate is listed by the Department of Finance for a particular location, the claim must be based on actual vouched costs. Claims should not be submitted based on subsistence rates for the nearest city or location for which a subsistence rate is available. In some cases, the subsistence rate available will be a combination of vouched accommodation costs plus a flat-rate meal allowance.
  • It is important to note that subsistence rates are the maximum rates which can be claimed for a location and, if the actual costs incurred are lower than the maximum rate, the lower figure should be claimed.
  • Care should be taken to ensure that no double claiming of subsistence takes place i.e. if hotel bills include the cost of breakfast or if conference fees include the cost of lunches/dinners, the rate of subsistence claimed should be reduced accordingly.
  • Subsistence should not be claimed for flight times and should only be claimed from time of arrival in a destination to time of departure.
  • The calculation basis for any subsistence claimed should be clearly detailed on the claim form.
  • In cases where a 24-hour subsistence rate is available and a claimant submits a claim based on vouched accommodation expenses plus a daily subsistence rate for meals, the claim should not exceed the 24-hour subsistence rate available for the location. The 24-hour rate should be taken as the maximum amount which can be claimed on a per diem basis subject to the exception below.
  • It is recognised that, on occasion (e.g. where there may be a requirement to stay in a particular hotel for business reasons), the 24-hour rate available may not be sufficient to cover the actual hotel and meal costs and, in such cases, a written statement from the Head of School/Unit confirming that the cost represented the best possible value for money must be provided.

Example of subsistence calculation

A staff member arrives in Lisbon at 11 a.m on the 6th June following a flight from Dublin and departs Lisbon three days later on the 9th June at 17.00 hrs. The subsistence which may be claimed is as follows:

11 a.m. on 6th June to 11 a.m. on 7th June. €181
11 a.m. on 7th June to 11 a.m. on 8th June. €181
11.a.m. on 8th June to 11 a.m. on 9th June. €181
11.a.m. on 9th June to 5 p.m. on 9th June.   €30.17

Total subsistence claimable: €573.17 

Staff travelling to destinations which are not included in the above list should claim expenses based on a vouched basis. 

UCD Finance Office

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