Frequently asked questions

Q: What is the difference between Fixed Daily Allowance, Special Daily Allowance, Camping Allowance and Separation Allowance?

A: Special daily allowance – is intended to compensate for incidental expenses where actual expenses are claimed. This allowance is payable when an employee’s travel and accommodation expenses are met by the employer. The employee is reimbursed for the monies they spend on food, parking, toll fees and the inconvenience of sleeping away from home. Most of the time, they are not paid for overtime which could be from delayed flights or just extended normal working hours. 95% of the time, employees do not seek an advance as it normally takes longer to process, so they simply use their money and seek reimbursement. Currently, the special daily allowance is R150 per night. This amount excludes food, parking, and toll fees.

Fixed daily allowance – payable in circumstances where actual expenses are not claimed. When an employee chooses to stay in an accommodation that is not paid for by the employer, such an employee receives a fixed daily subsistence allowance and cannot claim for the special daily allowance. This amount includes food but excludes parking and toll fees. The allowance has been discontinued and is no longer payable with effect from 1 April 2020.

Camping allowance – payable to camping personnel. Currently, it is R170 per day and includes food and parking, but excludes toll fees.

Separation allowance – payable to an employee whose work requires considerable travelling that results in the disruption to her or his family life. The difference between the special daily allowance and separation allowance is that the latter is paid only when the employee has spent at least 60 nights per year on official duties for an uninterrupted period of over 15 days. An employee receiving a separation allowance may not receive another allowance, other than a subsistence allowance to compensate for the time spent away from home. Currently, the separation allowance is R70.60 per day.

Department of Public Service and Administration