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My company has chosen to send me to Dubai for two courses of 5 days each and I will be staying there for about 16 days. This is not something I volunteered for or was asked if I would like to go, rather I was assigned this in order to provide the service for my company, to learn a technology that my company would like to start getting contracts to work on.

My company is not giving me any extra money, traveling allowance and I am not person of great wealth. This trip is likely to be a great financial hardship for me and my family.? what should I do and exactly what words I use in an official email inquiring about giving me the allowance and also compensating me for getting the training away from the home ?

  • what are they giving you? Are they paying for: Your salary? The tuition? the airfare, hotel, food? – mhoran_psprep May 9 '13 at 17:50
  • Does your company have a policy manual? This is usually covered in that. – GreenMatt May 9 '13 at 17:50
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    "...one of my last company, employeer paid 100$ each for a day to their employees for forign trips..." While I'm not a globetrotter by any means, and my current position doesn't involve (much) travel, I've traveled several times for employers, including a couple international trips. I've never received anything other than normal pay, travel and lodging expenses, a rental car when needed, and a per diem to cover my daily expenses (mostly food). – GreenMatt May 9 '13 at 18:54
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    @Chad I am from Pakistan, No I didn't volunteered, I was choosed. In almost every company, they give handsome allowances for foreign travel/training. – vicky May 9 '13 at 19:27
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    @Chad No, I am a software engineer, I am going for a technical training and which is beneficial for company and due to this training, company would be getting projects in this area. Actually it's Training from SAP mobile platform. – vicky May 9 '13 at 19:40
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what should I do and exactly what words I use in an official email inquiring about giving me the allowance and also compensating me for getting the training away from the home ?

I'm not sure how much of an answer you can get for this question.

You certainly should ask for details concerning what kinds of reimbursement of expenses you will get.

And you can always ask (politely) for anything. Perhaps something like, "Since it will be a burden to be away from home so many days, I'd like to be reimbursed for entertainment, clothing, (and whatever else you feel you should get)".

If the company has a travel policy, you can usually get your hands on that and all the details will be spelled out. But absent that, just ask nicely and see what happends.

Good luck!

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Normal practice when a company sends an employee somewhere is that the company pays for any extra expenses you incur while away - that means your transport costs (like airfare and taxis), hotel bills and meals. Maybe other stuff. Some companies choose to pay a daily allowance or 'per diem' to cover your meals and other small expenses - others expect you to submit receipts for the money you spend on meals and such and they then reimburse you for what you paid. In either case - the normal thing is you submit an 'expenses claim' when you get back, and the company pays you back for everything you spent.

If you actually work for more hours than you normally would while you are away, many companies will compensate you for that. For example if the course runs on a Saturday, you should be able to claim for working on the Saturday - either an extra day's pay or a day off in the future. If the course lasts longer each day than your normal working hours, you may be able to claim for the extra hours. Some companies pay you for time spent travelling - so if it takes half a day to fly to Dubai you may be able to treat that as work. However you almost certainly won't be paid for time spent eating, or at your hotel, or sleeping - all things you would normally do at home. Very few companies in my experience will give you extra money "to compensate for the inconvenience". It may be worth remembering that taking this training will be a boost to your career, both at this company and possibly elsewhere. It may be worth putting up with a little inconvenience.

If you can demonstrate that your trip is going to cost you extra money -for childcare or something similar - then you might be able to persuade your company to compensate you for it. You will almost certainly need to prove that you actually spent the money - by providing receipts or similar - and also explain why you would not have had to spend it if you weren't travelling.

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    In my experience companies pay for direct costs (like airfare, hotel, etc) and something for meals, but they don't pay for consequential costs like incrased costs for childcare, pet boarding, and stuff like that. – Monica Cellio May 10 '13 at 14:47
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You should not be expecting any money beyond your normal pay and any non-discretionary expenses while traveling. If travel is so much of an inconvenience for you that you are expecting pay beyond your normal salary, perhaps you shouldn't be going on the trip. Most people I know look forward to going away for training & conferences.

If the expenses are significantly higher than your salary, the company should be issuing you a credit card in the company's name so that the money does not come out of your pocket directly. In this case, everywhere I've mentioned "reimbursement" below will really mean "the company will pay for via that credit card account."

In my experience, US employers typically will cover:

  • Your wages for any days you're not at home that you normally would have worked (so if you leave Monday & return home Friday, you get your week's pay; if you return home Sunday, you still get a normal week's pay).

  • Transportation (airfare, most often) to & from the location

  • Reasonable meals & snacks for the duration of your business (where "reasonable" means a meal you'd buy for yourself while staying on a budget, not going to extravagant four-star restaurants for each meal). Alcoholic beverages are usually not included.

  • Reasonable accommodations for the duration of your business. If your training is Monday through Friday, the company should be paying for a hotel Sunday night through Thursday night (assuming you have a Friday flight) or Friday night (if you have a Saturday flight). If you choose to stay in the location longer, you're responsible for your transportation, hotel and food on those extra days).

  • Reasonable ground transportation to get you from the airport to your accommodations, and from your accommodation to whatever location you're visiting for your business (training center, corporate office, etc.). "Reasonable" meaning public transit, a midrange rental car, or a taxi - not a limo service.

Typically (again, my experience is in the US), once you're outside normal business hours or otherwise not involved with the primary purpose of your trip, your time is yours to do with however you want, within reason (i.e., not getting into bar brawls or engaging in illegal/dangerous activity) unless there's an explicit expectation that you will be doing other work for the company in that time. Transportation, admission (tourist attactions, museums, events, shows, etc.) will be your responsibility to pay for because they're not what the company sent you for.

As for your email, simply ask what the expense reimbursement process & policies are. It should be spelled out in an employee manual or policy somewhere, but you've indicated that none exists (that you're aware of, anyway). Make sure you have an answer before you incur these expenses.

Save all receipts and submit them in an organized fashion - don't just hand someone an envelope stuffed full of slips of paper. Itemize them, compile them into a spreadsheet grouped by category (meals, transportation, etc.) & submit for reimbursement. Submit photocopies - not the original receipts (keep the originals in case they're needed later). You might even want to write a note on the receipt itself if it doesn't have enough information to clearly identify what it is.

  • This is probably true for trips inside the US where your expenses are basically the same. But if the company is in SE Asia and sending someone to Dubai for 2 weeks of training their years pay is may not cover their expenses for 2 weeks in Dubai. The OP may not have a choice about going. I have had companies tell me that they are sending me places rather than ask who wants to go. – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 9 '13 at 19:13
  • In that case, the company should be providing a credit card to use for the expenses, instead of asking the employee to pay out of pocket & get reimbursed. Under no circumstances should any company be requiring an employee to take a business trip that exceeds their annual salary and pay out of pocket. – alroc May 9 '13 at 19:17
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    I recognize that she's not in the US, which is why I mentioned at least twice that my experience was limited. My point is that no company anywhere should be requiring an employee to pay more than their own salary to benefit the company. It would be more beneficial to the employee to simply quit the job & look for other employment than to spend more than a year's salary on mandatory travel. – alroc May 9 '13 at 19:45
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    And She is asking for help in how to ask her company to provide assistance to her. This answer does not help with that. – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 9 '13 at 19:50
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    This is an answer to a different question... – enderland May 10 '13 at 3:00

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