(1) This document sets out UNE procedures for official university travel both domestic and international.
(2) Travel is essential for UNE business, so UNE supports Council, staff and student travellers by:
(3) These procedures are designed to ensure travellers:
(4) These procedures apply under the procurement policy to all university staff, students or anyone undertaking official university travel, using university money (including grants). This policy does not apply to individuals or employees of organisations who provide services under contract to the University. Where required, travel provisions of such contract personnel should be set out in the contract.
(5) It does not include university employees' private travel e.g. from home to the workplace or where travel is required to 'work from home'.
(6) The University expects travellers to observe the UNE Code of Conduct when travelling.
(7) Travel only when other ways of communicating are ineffective. Teleconferencing and video conferencing may be suitable alternatives. You are responsible for considering the alternatives before committing to travel. Where travel is required then it should be minimised to ensure only essential travel is undertaken.
(8) The person requesting travel and the person approving travel, must both ensure that the proposed travel:
(9) You first request all travel in the Travel Management System (TMS). Next, your supervisor will approve/disapprove the request before travel begins. Then, if flights form part of the journey, UNE's travel agent, New England Travel will finalise travel bookings.
(10) The person responsible for travel approval must satisfy themselves that:
(11) For any uncertainties in the approval process contact UNE's Travel Officer at email@example.com.
(12) Travellers must recognise the restrictions and limitations that may be imposed by grant provisions when travel is funded from specific grants.
(13) When official university business (OUB) travel requires flights, they must be booked through the University's contracted travel management company (agent).
(14) You should seek medical advice before travelling any long distance or overseas. The University recommends you also refer to the travel health section of the DFAT website (smartraveller.gov.au).
(15) For travel activities (eg, fieldwork) where the risk levels exceed those found on UNE campuses, you must assess the risks which must be reviewed and approved by your line manager.
(16) Link to HR Forms: see form 4.13b General Fieldwork Risk Assessment
(17) You must check the DFAT website (smartraveller.gov.au), for information about international travel destinations, before travel is booked, before and during travel. Where there is concern about safety the University may prohibit or suspend the travel request.
(18) The standard of accommodation chosen should provide a safe and secure environment.
(19) The University is a member of International SOS (ISOS) which means you have access to 24 hour expert advice and assistance before you travel, while abroad, or in an emergency. Membership details and guide will be provided once your travel is approved. A link to ISOS is on the website to provide travellers with information when making travel plans as well as a link to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
(20) The authorised standard of air travel on University business is economy class except as provided in an individual's employment contract or as approved by your Head of School, Director or Senior Executive, subject to budget affordability and grant conditions within financial delegation.
(21) The University will only pay for excess baggage relating to equipment, items or marketing materials that are required to be carried as part of official business.
(22) Loyalty and frequent flyer program fees will not be paid by the University. Loyalty and frequent flyer points accrued as a result of UNE travel may be used to upgrade to a class higher than that to which the traveller is entitled, or used for other work or leisure travel.
(23) Airline lounge memberships may be paid by the University for frequent travellers (ie, five or more trips per year) and must be approved by the relevant Head of School or Director, subject to budget.
(24) Qantas Club details: http://www.une.edu.au/staff-current/staff-services/staff-travel/qantas-club
(25) Rex Lounge: to be added to website shortly, contact Travel Officer in the meantime.
(26) Where destinations are not readily accessible by normal commercial carriers, and/or it is economical to do so, requests to use charter or personal aircraft can only be authorised by both the Director Strategic Procurement and the Insurance Officer.
(27) Only charter companies registered with CASA or similar regulatory bodies can be used. Multi-engine aircraft are recommended.
(28) Ensure quote/s, approval by Director Strategic Procurement, copy of Company's CASA Air Operators Certificate and details of aircraft for insurances purposes are attached to the travel booking tool.
|Motor Pool rates as at 15/10/2014||Price per Km||Price per day|
(29) Where official travel begins in Armidale and the mode of transport is by vehicle, a UNE vehicle is the authorised mode of transport. Should a vehicle not be available or if this is impractical, the convenience and cost/benefit of taxis should be considered for short trips before booking a rental car.
(30) For further Motor Pool information: http://www.une.edu.au/staff-current/staff-services/campus-services/motor-pool
(31) Use public transport, UNE vehicles (including motor pool, novated vehicles and departmental vehicles) or hire cars before using private vehicles for OUB travel.
(32) Sundry payment claim form: http://www.une.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/53745/sunpayform1213b.pdf
(33) You are encouraged to take advantage of hotel shuttle buses and airport buses whenever possible to minimise the cost of transfer.
(34) Where airport shuttles or buses are not available or are uneconomical, use taxis in preference to rental vehicles. Pay with the UCC and ensure all receipts indicate from/to location and purpose.
(35) The University has arrangements with preferred rental car agencies; currently these include Hertz and Thrifty.
(36) University travellers may travel first class on domestic travel.
(37) University travellers should generally travel economy class on international rail except in a third world country (when approved) to travel first class on the basis of safety concerns.
(38) If bus travel is required you must refer to the UNE bus guidelines for the preferred bus solution.
(39) UNE Bus Guidelines: http://www.une.edu.au/staff-current/staff-services/staff-travel/documents/busguide14.pdf
(40) All vehicle accidents and/or incidents involving rental or University-owned vehicles require the immediate reporting of all damage regardless of whether other vehicles are involved. Collisions with animals, fence posts, gates, debris from highway, vandalism, etc. will require immediate notification to the insurance company. If the accident or incident involves other vehicles; third party driver's/owners name, licence plate numbers, driver's licence numbers, names and addresses of witnesses should be obtained where possible. Report all incidents to the UNE Insurance Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
(41) Where changes to approved travel arrangements are required the traveller must, as soon as practicable, liaise with the University's nominated Travel Agent to arrange the change.
(42) The Travel Agent will assist and attempt to minimise the cost of any surcharges or penalties imposed by airlines, hotels, etc. The traveller must provide:
(43) All changes to approved travel, including changes to budgets, travel destinations and/or duration of travel must be approved by the original approving officer. The University will assume responsibility for any surcharge that may be imposed after tickets have been issued if changes in the original travel plans were necessitated by OUB or for other compelling reasons. However, changes of a personal nature or for personal convenience or preference will be treated as a deviation initiated by the traveller for which the University will not assume responsibility.
(44) The traveller is also responsible to account for any adjustments to claimed allowances as a result of the change to the travel itinerary. Additional allowances can be claimed if the itinerary is extended. Alternatively, allowances must be refunded if the change to the travel itinerary has resulted in a reduced allowance claim.
(45) UNE does not expect a traveller to be out of pocket as a result of travel on university business. The combination of University Credit Cards (UCC), reimbursement and the payment of an allowance for domestic travel to cover meals and incidentals, should cover any travel related expense that may arise.
(46) UNE will not cover unauthorised or private travel expenses or costs relating to personal activities.
(47) Travel services including airfares, car hire and accommodation, while facilitated through the nominated Travel Agent, are paid for up-front by the University. Accommodation while facilitated through the nominated Travel Agent, can now be paid using your UCC. Where accommodation costs are substantial for a particular trip, payment can continue to be managed by invoice to UNE in lieu of payment by credit card.University Staff can request a daily allowance for domestic travel to cover the cost of meals for travel which extends overnight. This may be claimed upon completion of travel. As the allowance is paid in accordance with ATO guidelines for 'reasonable' travel expenditure, a detailed acquittal of expenditure is not required. You cannot claim any expenditure in excess of the allowance amount as this would be deemed to be 'unreasonable' expenditure. When meals are provided free of charge, included in accommodation charges, conference charges or air and rail passage, no claim will be permitted. The allowance request must be submitted through the University's expense claim system ProMaster and approved by your authorised approver before payment can be made. Payment will be made in the applicable pay period based on the timeframe when the claim is submitted and approved.
(48) If you have been paid an allowance amount, you cannot use the credit card for meals and incidentals nor are you able to claim a reimbursement for these items.
(49) Reference UNE Staff Collective Agreement 2013-2017
(50) Your University Credit Card (UCC) is the primary payment method for travel expenses. Staff members who frequently travel are required to hold a UCC to facilitate the payment of travel expenses and must apply for and receive a UCC in accordance with the UCC policy.
(51) In circumstances where payment is to be made for group expenditure, the most senior official should use their UCC to settle the account and acquit the expenditure accordingly.
(52) Refer below link to Credit Card Procedure
(53) Due to the provision of UCC and per diems there should be no need to pay travel advances. In the limited instances of travel to remote overseas destinations where the traveller is expected to meet non-travel-related expenditure (such as research or grant-related expenditure) then they should contact the Travel Officer email@example.com in advance of their travel to organise the most appropriate mechanism to facilitate their requirements.
(54) Non staff members are only able to claim travel related expenses via a reimbursement and only for those items not previously paid direct by other means. A claim for reimbursement is made with a 'sundry payment claim form' and sent to the accounts payable team.
(56) Travel expenditure items prohibited are: tips (except where customary in your destination country), newspapers, toiletries, in-room movies and other expenditure deemed by the CFO to be private in nature.
(57) For OUB international travel, two methods are available to a traveller to cover meals and incidentals:
(58) You are expected to exercise due economy when providing hospitality or entertainment for guests and visitors. Entertainment and hospitality costs must be authorised by the Head of School or Cost Centre before incurred. Hospitality and/or entertainment must at all times have a clear nexus with University business.
(59) Entertainment expenses are charged to the University issued Credit Card and must be acquitted in accordance with the Credit Card Policy.
(60) Any amounts for part day travel will be determined with reference to the time a journey is commenced and completed using the point of departure and arrival as reference. Any amounts incurred in excess of the established rates will be considered personal, will be recovered from the traveller and reimbursed to the University. When meals are provided free of charge, included in accommodation charges, conference charges or air and rail passage, no claim will be permitted.
(61) When accommodation is booked, selection should be based on value for money and safety.
(62) The nominated travel agent will be able to advise travellers on accommodation near where business is being conducted and within the reasonable limits established on a per night basis, for domestic and international travel, by the ATO (refer to appendix 1).
(63) These limits are also to be a guide for those travellers making their own accommodation bookings. Exceptions to these limits may exist where the nominated travel agent is unable to secure accommodation due to special events, a short notice booking, forms part of the traveller's contract or the traveller is a member of the Executive.
(64) The University recognises that there are times when staying with family or friends is a preferred option for travellers on University business. This is acceptable and encouraged by the University provided that overall work performance is not affected by any discomfort or inconvenience created by the home visit.
(65) It is also acceptable in these circumstances to take hosts to dinner using allowances not expended due to meals and incidentals being provided by the host during the stay.
(66) Providing the University with accommodation details will assist UNE in contacting the staff member including in emergency situations. Noting that if this option is not selected, then the University's only means of contacting a staff member will be via the contact information provided in the travel booking.
(67) With the approval of your Head of School, Director or Senior Executive, or nominated deputy approver, private travel can be combined with official university business provided:
(68) Where the private component of a trip is greater than 50 percent of the total duration (including travel time) then the traveller must reimburse the University 50% of the total return airfare including the full amount of any personal side trips deviating from the location of the OUB. Guidelines for calculating the private component of travel are included below. Note, Strategic Procurement have final say where there are interpretation issues concerning what percentage of any trip is private. Should further clarification be required in this matter contact the Travel Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org
(69) Travel time, including time spent waiting for connecting flights for University related travel, is deemed to be time spent on University business.
(70) Weekends or public holidays are only classified as OUB when they fall between OUB or where travel would be required on the weekend / public holiday even if no private travel had been included.
(71) OUB also includes unavoidable time between business activities.
(72) Where travel is overseas and the traveller is entitled to a recovery day it will be considered OUB when calculating the private component of total travel time.
(73) Time in lieu for a lost weekend day or public holiday can only be taken if it would be lost to travel assuming no private travel component. Time in lieu should be taken by mutual agreement between the supervisor and the employee.
(74) A day shall be counted as OUB if all or part of the day is official university business.
(75) Weekends away between days that are OUB are not eligible to claim time in lieu.
(76) The private component of the travel must be reflect in your 'Smartbook' travel diary as 'personal', together with the applicable comment 'annual leave' or 'weekend' and location noted alongside. Applicable leave request (for UNE Staff) must also be submitted in Webkiosk and approved prior to travel booking being finalised.
(77) The following example is provided to help with interpretation of the guidelines.
|Day/Date||Travel activity||OUB or Private||Eligible for time in lieu||Leave|
|Saturday||Flight departing on Saturday at 1.55pm||OUB||Yes|
|Monday||Flight Arrives in UK at 6pm Monday||OUB||No|
|Monday||Private travel||Personal||No||Annual Leave|
|Tuesday||Private travel||Personal||No||Annual Leave|
|Wednesday||Private travel||Personal||No||Annual Leave|
|Thursday||Private travel||Personal||No||Annual Leave|
|Friday||Private travel||Personal||No||Annual Leave|
|Weekend||Flight departs UK at 3pm||OUB||Yes|
|Monday||Flight Arrives in Armidale at 8.30am||OUB||No|
|Total days eligible for time in lieu||5 days|
(78) It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure that they possess a valid passport. Passports are considered personal in nature and the University will not reimburse costs associated with acquiring and maintaining a passport.
(79) UNE's nominated travel agent can assist with visa requirements, however this assistance needs to be sort in a timely fashion. The University will only meet the costs of visas for those travellers who require them for University related business travel.
(80) This flexible working arrangement while on OUB can be a mutual agreement between the supervisor and the employee.
(81) Where a staff member is approved to 'work from home' this does not represent OUB. For a travel request to be approved and travel insurance provided, it is on the basis that the travel HAS to occur to achieve the business outcome. If the work is the staff member's substantive work, then a travel request should not be raised.
(82) All University staff, students or anyone undertaking official University travel are afforded protection under the University's Corporate Travel Insurance policy. Cover is provided contingent upon the travel being approved in terms of the Procurement Policy and Travel Procedures. Note, cover in excess of 180 days attracts an additional premium payable by the traveller/school.
(83) For domestic travel there is no requirement for a traveller to complete an Application for Travel Insurance via the Smartbook booking tool. Any specific queries in relation to the University's Travel Insurance policy contact should be directed to email@example.com
(84) For international travel it is the traveller's responsibility to complete an Application for Travel Insurance The Application for Travel Insurance is located at the bottom of the 'Smartbook' Travel Booking Tool. This link can also be copied and emailed to a traveller to complete.
(85) Once completed the insurance form will attach automatically to the applicable travel booking. The University's insurer may request certification from your Doctor stating that you are fit to travel, before progressing your insurance application. This request would be in consideration of a condition stated on your Insurance application. Should the traveller not wish to provide details of their condition to University staff, the traveller may contact the Insurance Officer for the Insurer's direct contact and manage the process through this avenue.
(86) Any specific queries in relation to the University's Travel Insurance policy contact should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
(87) When organising group travel, consideration must be given to the number of staff travelling on any one method of passage at the same time for reasons including but not limited to confirmation that coverage for group travel is in place and the impact of business continuity should an accident occur. Where a large group of travellers are on the same itinerary an additional premium may be payable. email@example.com can be contacted for clarification.
(88) The university does not reimburse travel expenses of an accompanying traveller unless there is a bona fide business, compassionate or medical purpose for an accompanying spouse or individual and a senior executive has approved it.
(89) Insurance coverage may be applied for by employees', students, Honorary appointees, Adjuncts and Emeritus Professors who are conducting OUB. A Travel Insurance Application Form will need to be completed personally by each traveller and attached to the booking in the Travel Booking System (Smartbook). For further clarification on coverage, limitations and restrictions contact the Insurance Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
(90) UNE vehicles includes vehicles provided as part of a salary package but excludes vehicles under salary sacrifice arrangements.
(91) The mileage rate includes all costs associated with the use of the privately-own vehicle.
(92) OUB is official university business and does not include any travel/activity/itinerary variation added for private purposes.