Per Diem (latin for ‘per day’ or ‘for each day’) or ‘living away from home allowance’ is a daily allowance for expenses that employers pay employees to cover living expenses when travelling for work.  

To be eligible, the employee must be travelling away from their place of residence. There are a number of exemptions such as if the employee is engaged to work in a single location for a specific timeframe of 12 months or more, or if they are engaged for a local show (a show that is playing in one city and is engaging employees from that city).

Travel allowances apply while the employee is on tour and includes days on which the employee is travelling from their place of residence or back to their place of residence. Travel allowances are usually paid in advance and include a meals allowance and an incidentals allowance. Travel allowances have a daily rate with a maximum weekly cap. A week is considered five to seven days.

The award for performing arts touring is set by Live Performance Australia Award, and is updated regularly. arTour highly recommend you review all of the allowances outlined in the award and have included a snapshot of the Travelling Allowances effective from 1 February 2021 below.

Travelling allowances effective 1/2/21

1 - 4 Days

Meals: $29.71 per meal period 

Incidentals: $17.26 per day for incidentals

For example

Day 1 Tour departs 0900 = $29.71 x 2 meal periods + $17.26 per day

Day 2 On tour = $29.71 x 3 meal periods + $17.26 per day

Day 3 On tour = $29.71 x 3 meal periods + $17.26 per day

Day 4 tour returns 2100 = $29.71 x 3 meal periods + $17.26 per day

Total = $326.81 for Meals + $69.04 for incidentals 

TOTAL = $395.85


5 - 7 Days

Meals: $301.31 per week

Incidentals: $86.42 per week.

Total $387.73 per week.

Over 1 week then meal allowance is paid at $60.28 per day up to a maximum of $301.31 per week. A week being 5 or more days.

For example 

If a tour was 9 days.

Days 1 - 7 a tour member would receive $387.73.

Days 8 & 9 a tour member would receive 2 x $17.26 per day for incidentals + 2 x 60.28 per day for meals. TOTAL $155.08