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Travel Procedures

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) This document sets out UNE procedures for official University travel both domestic and international.

(2) As travel is sometimes essential for UNE business, UNE supports staff and student travellers by:

  1. Providing an appropriate standard of comfort and conditions while away from home;
  2. Ensuring travel is as convenient as possible;
  3. Managing travel costs transparently, effectively and with accountability;
  4. Reimbursing reasonable travel costs accurately and within reasonable timeframes;
  5. Complying with legal, insurance and tax obligations; and
  6. Protecting travellers' occupational health and safety.

(3) These procedures are designed to ensure that travellers:

  1. Have a clear and consistent process for travel;
  2. Understand travel safety and security measures and requirements;
  3. Understand their entitlements and responsibilities including managing demand for travel; and
  4. Understand the University's expectations related to travel.
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Section 2 - Scope

(4) These Procedures apply under the UNE Procurement Policy, to all University staff, students or anyone undertaking official University travel, using University funds(including grants). 

(5) This Procedure 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. 

(6) This Procedure does not include University employees’ private travel, eg. from home to the workplace, or where travel is required to work from home (where appropriate). 

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Section 3 - Procedures

Code of Conduct

(7) The University expects travellers to observe the University’s Code of Conduct when booking and undertaking travel.

Deciding to Travel

(8) Travel should only occur when other forms of engagement are ineffective.  Teleconferencing and video conferencing may be suitable alternatives. Travellers 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.

Value for Money

(9) The person requesting travel and the person approving travel, must both ensure that the proposed travel:

  1. Will produce a worthwhile benefit for the money spent;
  2. Is an appropriate use of scarce resources (time and money);
  3. Falls within budget and delegated authority;
  4. Is planned sufficiently in advance to minimise costs; and
  5. Is the lowest available airfare on the day of booking (ie. best fare of the day) that offers the traveller the convenience and flexibility to complete their business travel.

Approval to Travel

Pre-Approval Process

(10) All UNE business travel is required to follow a pre-approval process that confirms a traveller’s permission to travel.

(11) The Travel Management Solution (TMS) includes an online travel approval tool, which includes a proposed travel diary as well as capturing information regarding the nature and purpose of the travel and associated justification. The online booking tool includes an online approval mechanism where travel is approved by the appropriate delegate having regard to the nature of the travel.

Transition arrangement from 1 June 2018:  prior to the complete rollout of the electronic TMS, an online form is provided on the UNE website for the purposes of obtaining travel approval. Once the required information is entered on the form it will be emailed to the staff member completing the form, and it is the responsibility of the traveller to use email to obtain the required approval from the appropriate delegate. The approved form should be sent to travel@une.edu.au prior to the booking process commencing.

(12) Domestic travel is approved by the relevant Dean of the Faculty, Director, member of the Senior Executive, or nominated deputy approver subject to budget affordability and grant conditions within financial delegation.

(13) International travel is approved by the relevant Dean of the Faculty, Director and the relevant Senior Executive subject to budget affordability and grant conditions within financial delegation. Nominated deputy approvers must NOT approve international travel, regardless of financial delegation. Once the Dean of the Faculty, Director and the relevant member of Senior Executive have provided approval, the travel request will be sent to UNE Insurance to review, providing action and approval for insurance coverage.

(14) Approval authorities cannot approve their own travel expenses.  The next highest level of delegation in a direct reporting line is required to approve all travel expenses.

(15) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer must approve executive management travel.

(16) The Chief Financial Officer approves Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer travel.

Determination of Purpose of Travel

(17) The primary purpose of any University sanctioned staff travel, must be Official University Business (OUB).

(18) Prior to approval of travel, an assessment must be carried out to determine whether a trip is likely to constitute a business trip. A prudent approach will be undertaken when assessing private travel. In instances where there is doubt as to the business or private nature of travel, the University will classify such travel as being of a private nature.

(19) University sanctioned business travel, which includes a private travel portion of less than the incidental private travel limit thresholds (detailed in the following section) will be classified as business purpose travel. University sanctioned business travel which includes a private travel portion in excess of the incidental private travel limit thresholds will be classified as Dual Purpose Travel.

(20) Dual Purpose Travel may only be approved where the University member pays half of the airfare and all private costs relating to the private travel portion.

(21) Payment of the dual purpose travel airfare contribution by a University member must be paid directly to the University’s Travel Management Company, Campus Travel Consultants, facilitated by the Travel @ UNE team prior to travel commencing. Payment of the contribution should not be via reimbursement to the University.

(22) Travel undertaken by a staff member of the University assessed to be primarily for private purposes or dual purpose travel where the staff member does not pay half the airfare, will raise a Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) liability on the University for the airfare.

(23) In assessing the main purpose of travel a number of factors are considered, these include the intended business purpose of the travel in the travel approval request, the number of non-business or private days (annual leave days and time in lieu by agreement) taken during a trip, as indicated in the Travel Diary that has been provided by the staff member for the travel.

(24) Student Travel is not subject to FBT

Determination of Incidental Private Travel

(25) In determining whether private travel undertaken as part of approved University business travel is incidental private travel, the nature of all days during the approved travel must be assessed.

(26) Where the number of private travel days (including annual leave days) is less than the private travel limit threshold number of business days, then the private travel will be deemed to be incidental.

(27) Where the number of private travel days exceeds the private travel limit thresholds, the travel will be deemed to be Dual Purpose travel.

Incidental Private Travel Limit Thresholds

(28) Total trip days are the total number of calendar days from the first travel day at the beginning of the trip, to the end of the trip – including any weekends during the trip and physical recovery days that occur after return.

(29) Where the number of private travel days is less than 25% of the total number of trip days, then the private travel will be deemed to be incidental.

Incidental Private Travel algorithm:
Private travel days / Total trip days = < 25%

(30) Where private travel days represent more than 25% of the total trip days, the trip is considered to be dual purpose travel.

As an example of dual purpose travel, a staff member travelled to London on Thursday 1st of May and arrived Friday 2nd May to attend a conference that commenced on Monday 5th May.  The conference ended on Thursday 8th May, but the traveller extended their stay until the 15th to visit family.  The return flight commenced the 16th and arrived back home on 17th.  The following table shows a calendar of the trip, where private days are identified as follows **.  The total number of trip days is 18, and 5 of these are private days. As 5/18 is greater than 25%, this is defined as Dual Purpose Travel.
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
      1.Travel 2.Travel 3.Business weekend 4.Personal weekend**
5.OUB 6.OUB 7.OUB 8.OUB 9.Private** 10.Personal weekend** 11.Personal weekend**
12.Private** 13.Private** 14.Private** 15.Private** 16.Travel 17.Travel 18.Recovery
 

Assessment Criteria for Travel Days

(31) The nature of the activities undertaken on an approved travel day will be assessed using the following criteria:

  1. Business Days – A business day is any day where University business is undertaken for a period exceeding three hours of the day, not including meal or rest breaks.  Examples of business-related activities include but are not limited to:
    1. Attending a business-related conference;
    2. Presenting a paper at a business-related conference;
    3. Undertaking approved research;
    4. Attending business meetings;
    5. Transit days when travelling to or from a business destination; and
    6. Recovery days.
  2. Travel Days – Travel days for business purposes are classified as Business days.
    1. Unless approved in advance or it can be shown there were exceptional circumstances, a maximum of two (2) days is allowed for travel from or to Australia, travel days in excess of this are counted as Private days.
    2. Exceptional circumstances can include additional shuttle flights within a country, unforeseen strikes, stoppages or delays, pre-existing medical conditions substantiated by a medical certificate, etc.
    3. Travel days during a trip to or from an Annual Leave destination are classified as Private Days.
  3. Recovery Days – A day that would otherwise be classified as a Private Day (or a Personal Weekend day) may be classified as a Business day where that day is a day of physical recovery immediately following international air travel, exceeding 12 hours in flight time from or to Australia. Recovery Days do not apply to domestic Australian travel.
  4. Private Days – Private Days are weekdays (non-weekend days) on which substantial official University business did not take place. It would be expected that some form of leave would be taken on Private Days during a trip.
  5. Weekends – There two types of weekend days, OUB Weekends and Personal Weekends.
    1. OUB Weekends are weekends that fall in between Travel Days on which official business is performed.  For example, if travel is undertaken to participate in University business on a Friday and the subsequent Monday, the weekend in between is an OUB Weekend.  Travel costs associated with OUB weekends will be covered by the University the same as if these were OUB weekdays.
    2. Personal Weekends are weekends that are included in the trip at the discretion of the traveller for personal purposes.  Personal weekends typically fall at the start or end of a trip where the trip commences earlier than required or the trip is extended to include a weekend. Personal weekends are also weekends that adjoin a Private Day.  For example, if official business during a trip ends on a Friday but the trip is extended to include the following weekend, those weekend days are Personal Weekend days.  Similarly, if a traveller commences a trip to Sydney on a Friday in order to attend a conference that starts on Monday, this is an example of Personal Weekend. The University will not cover the costs associated with Personal Weekends, including hotel and per diems costs.
    3. All weekend days are excluded from the definition of Private Days for a trip and thus are considered incidental to the related OUB travel.  Nonetheless, the distinction between OUB Weekend and Personal Weekends is important as the University will not cover the additional costs associated with Personal Weekends.

Travel Diary

(32) Travel diaries must be completed before travel for all domestic and international journeys for each traveller. 

(33) Both business and private components of travel must be reflected in your travel diary. Activity and location must reflect either business or non-business descriptors and any other pertinent information to assist with UNE’s travel tracking through International SOS.

(34) Where any non-business travel is undertaken, an applicable leave request (for UNE Staff) must also be submitted to Webkiosk and approved prior to travel booking being finalised.

(35) FBT is calculated from the travel diary input using the calculation nominated in the ‘Incidental private travel limit thresholds’ section.

Booking Travel

(36) Campus Travel is UNE’s travel management company (TMC). Any new booking beyond 1 June 2018 shall be made via Campus Travel.

Transition Arrangement from 1 June 2018: prior to complete rollout of the electronic TMS during 2018, UNE Travel team will be the point of contact for staff booking travel. The travel team can be contacted at travel@une.edu.au or phone 6773 3010.

(37) Once pre-trip approval has been sought and gained, the traveller can book their travel requirements through the online booking tool provided by Campus Travel.

(38) Travel can be booked by a staff member for themselves, or on behalf of a UNE Guest, Contractor or Student. Where a booking is made on behalf of a UNE traveller other than staff, the online booking tool will require identification of traveller type (from a drop-down menu).

(39) The travel management solution (TMS) provides both an online booking tool (self-book) as well as the option to book using the services of a consultant.

(40) The online booking tool is to be used to book domestic travel up to five (5) travel sectors and point-to-point international travel

(41) The travel management company must be utilised for domestic travel greater than five (5) travel sectors, complex international and group travel bookings.

(42) Where unused airfare credits exist, the Campus Travel consultants will use them to help reduce fare costs with future travel bookings.

(43) All associated travel information/documents must be attached to the request to travel in the pre-approval tool.

(44) Unless unavoidable, travellers are to book the best fare of the day for flights and to utilise negotiated discount hotel rates.  Reasons for booking outside best fare of the day and discount hotel rates out of policy will be requested for all travel, to enable tracking and reporting.

(45) Participation in any Frequent Flyer lounge membership or other loyalty programs will not influence the travel agent/travel booker in the selection of a supplier, carrier or fare.

(46) Within a 120km radius of Armidale, ground travel only requires a TMS travel booking when a UNE motor pool vehicle is required or a claim will be made eg. mileage allowance or meals.

Booking Amendments

(47) Pre-approved travel in Campus Approve not booked at the time of approval in Serko Online OBT (TR# needed for conference booking, timing requirements, etc.) may be completed in the online booking tool re-launch facility when a booking needs to be completed or amended.

Transition Arrangement from 1 June 2018: Changes to existing booking made via Smartbook and New England Travel prior to 1 June may be amended by emailing travel@une.edu.au.  Please contact the UNE travel team if you have any issues in amending existing bookings.
All amendments to any bookings made during the transition period (1 June to August 2018) are to be done through the UNE Travel team, via email travel@une.edu.au or phone 6773 3010.

(48) All other booking amendments must be made through the Campus Travel Consultants, including last minute changes, flight cancellations or missed connections, etc.

Responsibility of Traveller

(49) Travellers are responsible for self-assessing that they are physically and medically fit to travel. In making this assessment, staff are strongly encouraged to seek medical advice and clearance from a doctor for pre-existing medical conditions prior to travelling overseas.  Where a pre-existing condition requires medical attention while travelling, the insurer may require medical evidence that you were ‘fit to travel’ upon commencement of travel. Any documentation pertaining to a traveller’s medical status is to be retained by the traveller for use if required.

(50) The traveller is responsible for obtaining and paying for their own passport and maintaining their passport status (see Passports and Visas Section of these Procedures).

(51) Visas and other customs/immigration requirements relating to the business trip are the responsibility of the traveller and must be sought in a timely fashion. Please contact travel@une.edu.au for advice on visa processing. (See Passports and Visas Section)

(52) Vaccinations are the responsibility of the traveller prior to travel.  Any reimbursement is to be negotiated and approved with your travel approver.

(53) It is the responsibility of the traveller to comply with UNE’s Code of Conduct and to ensure value for money in booking and undertaking travel.  Booking best fare of the day, utilising discount hotel rates and choosing cost-effective ground transport shall promote value for money.

Responsibility of Travel Approver

(54) The person responsible for travel approval must satisfy themselves that:

  1. Travel is for the benefit of UNE.
  2. The cost to UNE has been minimised with the expectation that the ‘Best Fare of The Day’ has been used. 
  3. The correct cost code, project code and activity code have been allocated.
  4. All costs of the trip have been captured.
  5. The upfront travel diary is fully completed noting an activity and location for each day of travel, including private travel. 
  6. The traveller has acknowledged that they are ‘fit to travel' (applicable only to international travel). If the traveller is not ‘fit to travel’, their travel should be declined.
  7. Travel is not to a restricted area.
  8. The risk assessment section in the pre-approval tool is completed if travel is to a DFAT Level 3 destination.
  9. If using a privately-owned vehicle, confirm it is the only option for the trip and authorised, and that the appropriate vehicle documentation has been provided to the traveller’s supervisor. A UNE fleet vehicle is the preferred option.
  10. When combining business and personal travel check that the personal travel is within the 25% threshold. If not then the traveller is responsible to pay for 50% of the airfare cost directly to the TMC by the traveller.
  11. If the mode of transport is a charter flight, confirm that relevant documentation is attached.  Refer to ‘Charter Flight’ (clauses 75-77 of this Procedure)    
Transition Arrangement from 1 June 2018: prior to complete rollout of the electronic TMS during 2018, UNE Travel team will be the point of contact for staff booking travel. Please contact the travel team to arrange payment of the FBT liability at travel@une.edu.au or phone 6773 3010.

Project Conditions

(55) Travellers must recognise the restrictions and limitations that may be imposed by project provisions when travel is funded from specific projects.

Health and Safety While Travelling

Health

(56) 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 and register with smartraveller.gov.au.

Domestic travel risk assessment

(57) 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.

International travel risk assessment

(58) For travel activities where risk levels are deemed high risk (DFAT level 3) a risk assessment form must be completed by the traveller, approved by appropriate travel approver and also UNE Insurance.

International travel safety 

(59) You must check the DFAT website (smartraveller.gov.au) for information about international travel destinations before travel is booked to:

  1. Ascertain destination risk level;
  2. Ensure risk level has not escalated before travel commencement; and
  3. Understand that current risk levels can be updated frequently during travel.

(60) Where there is concern about safety the University may prohibit or suspend the travel request.

  1. At no time can you travel to destinations marked as 'do not travel' (DFAT Level 4) as generally, no insurance will be available. In exceptional circumstances, approval to travel may need to be sought and this would require approval from the relevant senior line manager and final approval from the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer.
  2. Travellers to high-risk areas (DFAT Level 3 and Level 4) may not be able to be covered under the University’s travel insurance policy.  Approval must be sought for high-risk travel by completing the risk assessment information during the pre-approval process.

Insurance

(61) The University will provide travel insurance to all University travellers whilst on authorised OUB travel, within the limits of the University’s insurance policy. This insurance covers incidental private travel and OUB weekends that fall within the 25% threshold of private travel – above which the travel is defined as dual purpose travel.

(62) For dual purpose travel, the traveller is responsible for ensuring they have private insurance coverage for the private days, including personal weekends.

(63) UNE’s travel insurance policy has limitations in terms of coverage for pre-existing health conditions which would result in the traveller not being fit-for-travel.  For this reason, travellers should be very careful in declaring that they are fit-for-travel and seek medical certification if there is uncertainty with regard to pre-existing conditions. 

(64) If travellers have had previous circumstances where they have been required to seek treatment while travelling for a currently pre-existing condition, the traveller should obtain medical clearance to travel from a doctor.

(65) Cover in excess of 180 days of travel attracts an additional premium payable by the traveller/School.

Domestic Accommodation, Meals and Incidentals

(66) The standard of accommodation chosen should provide a safe and secure environment.

International Accommodation

(67) The standard of accommodation chosen should provide a safe and secure environment.

Emergency Situations Overseas

(68) The University has engaged the services of an international health and safety service, International SOS (ISOS) that provides the traveller with access to 24-hour expert advice and assistance before you travel, while abroad, and/or in an emergency. Various services include but are not limited to:

  1. Security advice, traveller tracking and assistance;
  2. Emergency medical services;
  3. Emergency extraction services;
  4. Translation services; and
  5. Travel advice

(69) The services available are contingent on the University being able to report travel arrangements to the service provider and this is dependent on utilising the university travel solution. Membership details and guide will be available for collection from Reception, Financial Performance and Analytical Services, Ground Floor, T C Lamble Building.

(70) Medical or emergency-related costs up to $250: you will need to meet these costs either using your UNE credit card or your own funds and claim a reimbursement upon return.

(71) Amounts exceeding $250 will be direct-billed to UNE via ISOS after approval is sought from UNE's authorised representatives. For medical or emergency-related costs greater than $250 contact ISOS in the first instance to manage the process for you.

Air Travel

Class of Travel

(72) 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 Dean of the Faculty, or Director and Senior Executive, subject to budget affordability and grant conditions within financial delegation.

Excess Baggage

(73) 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.

Club Memberships and Frequent Flyer points

(74) 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.

  1. Airline lounge memberships may be paid by the University for frequent travellers (i.e., five or more trips per year) and must be approved by the relevant Dean of the Faculty, or Director, subject to budget.
  2. Rex Lounge: Rex has provided UNE staff with a special casual entry rate of $22 (inclusive of GST) on the day of the staff members’ departure or arrival on Rex flights.  UNE staff members with a valid boarding pass will be provided casual Lounge Access by presenting their UNE Credit Card to Rex staff in Sydney. The Rex staff will issue a tax invoice for $22 casual entry.  This can form part of the staff member’s meal allowance.  Details of other UNE-REX services can be found on the UNE Travel web page. 

Charter Flight

(75) 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.

(76) Only charter companies registered with CASA or similar regulatory bodies can be used. Multi-engine aircraft are recommended.

(77) Ensure quote/s, approval by the Director, Strategic Procurement, a copy of Company's CASA Air Operator’s Certificate and details of aircraft for insurances purposes are attached to the travel booking tool.

Ground travel

Vehicle and Mechanical Services (VMS) (formerly UNE Motor Pool)

(78) 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.

(79) Access to a VMS UNE vehicle includes the following: 

  1. The pre-approval booking tool is used to first record the intention to travel and gain approval. 
  2. Upon selecting the ‘VMS Vehicle’ option, an email will be generated in the pre-approval tool which alerts VMS to contact the traveller and initiate the vehicle booking.
  3. A Travel Reference (TR) number will also be provided in the pre-approval tool.
  4. Day rates apply when the vehicle travels less than 90km/day.
  5. For travel greater than 90km/day the charge is levied at the price per km.
  6. Fuel cost is included but the vehicle must be refuelled before it is returned to VMS.
  7. Extras include major repairs or insurance excess, fines and tolls, cleaning fees and refuelling fees

(80) Refer to the VMS website via Campus Services, for rates and vehicle information. All charges for VMS vehicle hire will be billed directly to the nominated cost code allocated in the pre-approval request.

Private Vehicle

(81) Travellers may only seek approval to use a private motor vehicle for travel on University business in exceptional cases where:

  1. Scheduled University transport is not available, or the relevant Delegate deems scheduled University transport to be unsuitable or inappropriate;
  2. Scheduled public transport is not available, or the relevant Delegate deems scheduled public transport to be unsuitable or inappropriate;
  3. A University vehicle is not available, or the relevant Delegate deems a University Vehicle to be unsuitable or inappropriate; and
  4. A hire vehicle or taxi is not available, or the relevant Delegate deems a hire vehicle or taxi to be unsuitable or inappropriate.

(82) Where private vehicles are utilised, the University’s insurance policy does not cover the vehicle. Owners are liable for any damage that occurs to the vehicle. Owners should check with their insurance provider to ensure personal policies apply to vehicles utilised for work purposes.

(83) Use of a private vehicle can only be authorised by the Dean of the Faculty, Director or Senior Executive, or nominated deputy approver prior to travel.

(84) When completing travel requirements in the pre-approval tool, the waiver must be completed. This will appear once 'private vehicle' is selected as the mode of transport. Travellers must provide copies of their car documentation (rego, license and comprehensive insurance) as requested in the waiver to their Faculty or Directorate. This is also applicable to students undertaking travel for OUB. Should travel be co-ordinated by non-traveller, the co-ordinator should notify the traveller of the responsibilities of the waiver, via email.

(85) Staff members using their privately-owned vehicles may claim a mileage allowance of $0.79/km (all size engines). The amount claimed can only be for the business travel component and must not exceed the amount of the cost of the most efficient means of travel if a private vehicle has been selected in lieu of air flight, for example. If there are flights from Armidale to the destination, the amount claimed must equal the cost of the airfare on the day of travelling.

(86) UNE staff are not entitled to reimbursement for fuel receipts.

(87) Claims for mileage are made via the University's expense management system. 

(88) All mileage allowance payments are now processed through Finance as an un-taxed allowance, however will still be reported on individual staff member’s annual payment summaries. Staff should keep a record of all official mileage for taxation purposes. UNE takes no responsibility for the preparation of personal tax returns nor liability for such personal taxation matters.

(89) Travellers may only claim the mileage allowance equivalent to what it would cost to fly direct from Armidale to Sydney, Armidale to Brisbane on the day of travel, if using a private vehicle.

(90) Students are authorised to use private vehicles and others means, where approved.

(91) Non-staff who are authorised to use their private vehicles on OUB will also be paid a mileage allowance at a rate of $0.79/km. A 'sundry payment form' is completed, authorised and forwarded to accounts payable for payment. Payment will be made into the nominated bank account of the traveller.

Rental Cars

(92) The University has arrangements with preferred rental car agencies, being Hertz and Thrifty.

(93) Rental cars can be booked through the Campus Travel consultant to receive the lowest negotiated rate. Accept the standard excess for CWD (Collision Waiver Damage) insurance but decline other offers to reduce excess, as the University's insurance coverage will enable a claim to cover these costs should an accident occur.

(94) Individuals are expected to refuel rental vehicles before their return to the agency to avoid premium fuel surcharges. Individuals must pay for refuelling with their UNE corporate card. Whenever possible, return the rental vehicle to the same location as collection, to avoid return service charges.

(95) Economy or mid-sized vehicles are the standard for rental car hire. If a different type of vehicle is required it should be 'fit for purpose' for the objective of the travel and must be approved.

Accidents

(96) 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, license plate numbers, driver's license numbers, names and addresses of witnesses should be obtained where possible. Report all incidents to the UNE Insurance Officer (insurance@une.edu.au).

Hotel Shuttle and Airport Buses

(97) Travellers are encouraged to take advantage of hotel shuttle buses and airport buses whenever possible to minimise the cost of transfer.

(98) If the cost of transfers is not pre-arranged then the expense should be paid for via UNE Credit Card or personally, with a receipt provided for reimbursement after travel.

Taxis and Uber

(99) Where airport shuttles or buses are not available or are uneconomical, travellers are to use taxis or Uber in preference to rental vehicles. Pay with the University credit card and ensure all receipts indicate from/to location and purpose.

(100) It is recommended that where possible, a smartphone application is used, which will contain your payment details and reduce the risk of fraud.

Rail Travel

(101) University travellers may travel First Class rail for domestic travel.

(102) University travellers should generally travel economy class on international rail except in a global south country (developing nation) when approved, to travel first class on the basis of safety concerns.

(103) Where possible, rail travel must be booked through the Campus Travel consultant.

Bus Travel

(104) If bus travel is required travellers must refer to the UNE Bus Guidelines for the preferred bus solution.

(105) For Bus Guidelines, please refer to the VMS website (Campus Services) and book through Campus Travel Consultant.

Changes to Travel Arrangements

(106) Where changes to approved travel arrangements (including missed flights) are required, the traveller must, as soon as practicable, liaise with the University's TMC to arrange the change. A 1800 contact number for the Campus Travel consultant is located on the Travel Hub and on your itinerary for reference.

(107) The Campus Travel consultant will assist and attempt to minimise the cost of any surcharges or penalties imposed by airlines, hotels, etc. The traveller must provide:

  1. Details of the (proposed) change;
  2. The reason(s) for the amendment; and
  3. Details of any additional costs to be incurred because of the changes.

(108) All changes to approved travel, including changes to budgets, travel destinations and/or duration of travel must be directed through Campus Travel, with all changes monitored via reporting to 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 (including missed flights) will be treated as a deviation initiated by the traveller for which the University will not assume responsibility.

(109) 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.

Travel Expenses

(110) UNE does not expect a traveller to be out of pocket as a result of travel on University business. University Credit Cards (UCC), reimbursement or the payment of an allowance for domestic travel to cover meals and incidentals is permitted. However, a combination of these payment methods is not acceptable.

(111) UNE will not cover unauthorised or private travel expenses, including for personal weekends, or costs relating to personal activities.

Payment for expenses

(112) Travel services including airfares, car hire and accommodation will be billed to UNE from Campus Travel.  All incidentals are to be paid for by the traveller using their University corporate card or their own funds, with reimbursement post-travel. 

Allowances

(113) 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. Travellers 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 management system and approved by the traveller’s authorised approver before payment can be made. Payment will be made in a weekly payment schedule based on the timeframe when the claim is submitted and approved.

(114) Where the University corporate card has been used to pay for meals and incidentals, the traveller must not claim a reimbursement or allowance (see UNE Academic and ELC Teaching Staff Collective Agreement, or UNE Professional Staff Collective Agreement, as appropriate).

Reimbursements

(115) For OUB travel, reimbursement upon return from travel is available to a traveller to cover meals and incidentals where the University credit card or appropriate allowance has not been utilised.

(116) Reimbursement requests can be submitted through the UNE Serko Expense Management System, ensuring receipts are scanned and attached to evidence spend. Please note, this excludes travel under the Special Studies Program (SSP).

Credit Cards

(117) Your University credit card is the primary payment method for travel expenses (please refer to the UNE Credit Card Procedures). Staff members who frequently travel are required to hold a University credit card to facilitate the payment of travel expenses and must apply for and receive a University credit card in accordance with the UNE Credit Card Procedures.

(118) In circumstances where payment is to be made for group expenditure, the most senior official should use their University credit card to settle the account and acquit the expenditure accordingly.

Travel Advances

(119) Due to the provision of University credit cards and allowances, 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 travel@une.edu.au in advance of their travel to organise the most appropriate mechanism to facilitate their requirements.

Payment of Expenses for Non-staff

(120) Non-staff members are only able to claim travel-related expenses via a reimbursement, and only for those items not previously paid directly by other means. A claim for reimbursement is made with a 'sundry payment claim form' and sent to finap@une.edu.au.

Prohibited Expenses

(121) Prohibited travel expenditure items, are:

  1. Tips (except where customary in your destination country);
  2. Newspapers;
  3. Toiletries,
  4. In-room movies and 
  5. Other expenditure deemed by the Chief Financial Officer to be private in nature.

International Expenses

(122) For OUB international travel, two methods are available to a traveller to cover meals and incidentals:

  1. The University credit card; or
  2. Reimbursement upon return of travel, based on actual expenses, on a per day basis up to established limits. This excludes travel under the Special Studies Program (SSP).

(123) Allowances for meals will not be paid for international travel; travellers should use either method outlined in clause 122 above.

Entertainment Expenses While on Official Travel

(124) Travellers are expected to manage costs appropriately when providing hospitality or entertainment for guests and visitors. Entertainment and hospitality costs must be authorised by the Cost Centre before being incurred. Hospitality and/or entertainment must at all times have a clear purpose for University business.

(125) Entertainment expenses are charged to the University issued credit card and must be acquitted in accordance with the Credit Card Procedures.

Other Expense Claims

(126) 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.

(127) Any amounts incurred in excess of the established rates will be considered personal, will be recovered from the traveller, and reimbursed to the University.

(128) When meals are provided free of charge, included in accommodation charges, conference charges or air and rail passage, no claim will be permitted.

Accommodation, Meals, and Incidentals

Domestic

(129) Domestic daily accommodation and incidental rates in Australian city and regional centres, are outlined in the ATO TD 2014/19 (see Schedule 1 and Schedule 2, associated documents to these Procedures).  The Schedules provide reasonable rates when planning travel within Australia on approved University business. These rates should only be exceeded in an exception, eg. where the traveller, OBT or the travel management company is unable to secure accommodation due to special events, a short notice booking, clauses forming part of the traveller's contract or remote location.

International

(130) The ATO TD 2014/19 (see Schedule 3, an associated document to these Procedures) displays the meals and incidental rates in international countries. These provide reasonable rates when planning international travel on approved University business. These rates should only be exceeded in an exception, eg. where the traveller, OBT or the travel management company is unable to secure accommodation due to special events, a short notice booking, clauses forming part of the traveller's contract or remote location.

Meal Allowances

(131) Meals not paid for by corporate card during domestic travel can be claimed under meal allowances.

(132) Domestic meal allowances are paid upon return from travel and are to be managed by the traveller in the expense management system

Domestic Meal Allowances under
Enterprise Bargaining
(updated 7 July 2017
Daily Total $92.89
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
$21.86 $27.32 $43.71

Reasonable Cost Limits

(133) Refer to clause 132, and appropriate ATO TD 2014/19 information (Schedule 1, Schedule 2 and Schedule 3) to determine reasonable cost limits for accommodation, meals and incidentals.

Airbnb

(134) Airbnb is now an approved booking channel for corporate travel at UNE. Airbnb can be accessed via the Airbnb tile on the UNE Travel Hub webpage. Airbnb for Business allows travelers to search and reserve lodging for business trips when a hotel reservation may not be logical (i.e. long-term stays, relocation, group accommodations, the city is sold out or very compressed).

(135) Airbnb provides 24/7 premium support for all business travelers, including assistance with check-in, cancellations, and rebooking if there is an issue with your original selection. The platform also allows Strategic Procurement to gain access to data and reporting and the ability to use a traveler locator map for safety purposes

Staying with Family and Friends

(136) 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.

(137) It is also acceptable in these circumstances to take hosts to dinner using allowance value only but not expended on meals and incidentals being provided by the host at their home during the stay.

(138) Providing the University with accommodation details will assist UNE in contacting the staff member including in emergency situations. Noting that if these details are not available, then the University's only means of contacting a staff member will be via the contact information provided in the travel booking.

Additional Travel Guidelines

(139) Travel time, including time spent waiting for connecting flights for University-related travel, is deemed to be time spent on University business.

(140) OUB also includes unavoidable delays between business activities (eg. delayed conference/meeting commencement, delayed flights).

(141) Where travel is overseas and the traveller is entitled to a recovery day (ie. flight time of more than 12 hours) it will be considered a business day when calculating the private component of total travel time.

(142) 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.

(143) A day shall be counted as business where University business is undertaken for a period exceeding three hours of the day, not including meal or rest breaks.

(144) Weekends away between days conducting UNE business are not eligible for time in lieu claims.

Passports and Visas

(145) 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.

(146) It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure they comply with the taxation and visa requirements of their destination country.

(147) A third party professional visa service will assist travellers to manage their application for visa, should one be required for the traveller’s destination.  Visas can be applied for via travel@une.edu.au or an application package available from Strategic Procurement. Submissions will be managed and visas returned to Strategic Procurement by the third party for collection by the traveller.

(148) The University will only pay for the cost of visas for countries to be visited while undertaking UNE business.

Transition Arrangement from 1 June 2018: Prior to full implementation of the new TMS these visa services can be accessed by contacting the UNE travel team at travel@une.edu.au.

Time Off In Lieu

(149) This flexible working arrangement while on OUB is upon mutual agreement between the supervisor and the employee.

Working From Home

(150) Where a staff member is approved to 'work from home' (by appropriate Human Resource Services Directorate staff) this does not represent OUB. For a travel request to be approved and travel insurance provided, it is on the basis that the travel must occur to achieve the business outcome. If the work is the staff member's substantive work, then a travel request should not be raised.

Group Travel

(151) 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 is considered should an accident occur. Where a large group of travellers are on the same itinerary, an additional premium may be payable (contact insurance@une.edu.au for clarification).

Transition Arrangement from 1 June 2018: Prior to full implementation of the new TMS insurance can be managed by contacting the UNE travel team at travel@une.edu.au

(152) All group travel bookings must be facilitated by Campus Travel consultants. Contact details are located on the Travel Hub web page. Payment for group travel bookings will be invoiced to UNE FPAS and therefore requires no credit card payment at the time of booking.

(153) For all group travel on all domestic and international journeys, travel diaries for each traveller must be completed before travel.

(154) Both business and private components of travel must be reflected in each travel diary. Activity and location must reflect either business or non-business descriptors and any other pertinent information to assist with UNE’s traveller tracking through ISOS.

Accompanying Travellers

(155) The University does not reimburse travel expenses of an accompanying traveller unless there is a bona de business, compassionate or medical purpose for an accompanying spouse or individual, and a senior executive has approved it.

(156) UNE does not provide travel insurance coverage for accompanying travellers.

Authority and Compliance

(157) The Procedure Administrator, pursuant to the University's Procurement Policy, makes these Procedures.

(158) University Representatives must observe these Procedures in relation to University matters.

(159) These Procedures operate as and from the Effective Date.

(160) Previous Procedures relating to Travel are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Procedure.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(161) ATO - Australian Taxation Office

(162) Best Fare of the Day - The most direct and economical airfare available at the time of booking via the University’s approved travel suppliers and systems, while also meeting the business requirements of the UNE traveler

(163) CFO – Chief Financial Officer

(164) Contracted Suppliers – UNE has negotiated discount rates with a range of travel related services such as hotels, airlines, online booking website, car hire, etc. Use of these preferred suppliers assures value for money

(165) DFAT – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

(166) Domestic Travel – All travel within Australia

(167) Dual Purpose Travel – Occurs when a trip includes both a University travel component and a private travel component

(168) Expense Management System (EMS) – all expenses, including reimbursements, allowances and credit card expenses must be processed through the EMS

(169) Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) – A tax payable by the University on the value of certain benefits provided to their employees, or to associates of those employees, in respect of their employment 

(170) High Risk Destinations – Countries or regions listed as either ‘Reconsider your need to travel’, ‘Do not travel’ or where no travel advice has been issued on the DFAT Smartraveller website. Other countries or regions may be determined as high risk destinations by the University

(171) Insurer – Chubb Limited

(172) International SOS – is the University’s Medical & Travel Security Assistance Service

(173) International Travel – All travel outside Australia (including New Zealand)

(174) Mileage Rate - includes all costs associated with the use of the privately-own vehicle

(175) OUB - is official university business and does not include any travel/activity/itinerary variation added for private purposes

(176) Private time - Time taken during normal working hours during a period of travel to pursue activities or interests that are not official university business

(177) Receipts – a written acknowledgement of having received a specified amount of money for a good or service. All claims for reimbursement of expenses must be supported by receipts. (EFTPOS slips are not acceptable) All transactions incurred on the University Corporate Card must be supported by a tax invoice/receipt 

(178) Restricted Areas – Any country or region where the threat to the health & safety of the University Traveler is considered high. DFAT Level 3 travel requires a ‘Risk Assessment Form’ to be attached to the booking, which is used for obtaining insurance coverage. Travel to DFAT Level 4 countries is not permitted  

(179) Tax Invoice – A receipt that contains sufficient information to enable the following key items to be readily identified:
•    The Supplier’s identity and Australian Business Number (ABN)
•    The nature of the sale
•    The amount of GST payable

(180) TMC - Travel Management Company

(181) TMS – Travel Management Solution

(182) Travel Allowance – An amount calculated in accordance with the Australian Taxation Office (meals and incidentals) rates or an agreed amount to cover expenses that will be incurred

(183) Travel Diary – an upfront diary which needs to be completed by travelers who undertake official university business

(184) Travel Hub – the travel portal located on the UNE website housing all necessary travel tools and information

(185) UNE Traveller – Any person who travels on approved University business or who travels as an approved representative of the University

(186) UNE Vehicles - includes vehicles provided as part of a salary package but excludes vehicles under salary sacrifice arrangements

(187) VMS – UNE Vehicle Maintenance Services (formerly UNE Motor Pool)