definition of per diem

Like many other words in our language, viaticum comes from Latin, specifically from the word viaticum. This in turn comes from via, which means road. In Roman civilization this term was used to refer to the amount of money and the belongings that are needed to make a long trip.

This term has a second meaning, since it is synonymous with extreme unction.

Finally, note that in the Middle Ages it was used to refer to a type of tax that travelers had to pay if they wanted to cross a road that was in the lands of a feudal lord.

In the labor context

Although it is a cultism that is hardly used in everyday language, it can be used in the work context. Thus, per diem is the amount of money that a worker receives when he has to make a long trip and, therefore, has the need to pay a series of expenses, such as accommodation, food, transportation, etc.

There are two different modalities: receiving the economic allowance before or after the work trip. In the first case, a previously agreed amount is assigned and with it the worker pays the different concepts associated with the trip. In the second case, the worker pays the necessary expenses out of his pocket and accumulates the corresponding receipts and then presents them to the person in charge of his company.

As a general guideline, companies have strict control over this type of expenses

In this sense, a wide range of eventualities is included: travel with or without an overnight stay, mileage expenses if the worker's vehicle is used, maintenance, representation expenses, etc.

The term per diem is commonly used in Latin America, while in Spain other equivalent concepts are used, such as travel allowances, travel expenses or locomotion expenses. From an accounting point of view it is an important concept, since it may be related to the taxation of the company and the worker.

On many occasions death is spoken of metaphorically and it is said that it is the last trip

The first Christians introduced the custom of offering communion to those who were close to death. This Christian ritual is known in several ways: anointing of the sick, extreme unction or viatical. A priest is the person who provides this sacrament to the believer who previously requests it.

In any case, it is a sacrament that is offered as a spiritual food that serves to console the seriously ill person who wants to leave this world in peace with himself.

Fotolia photos: Sveta / AlexOakenman