Procedure: Travel (this procedure is currently under review)
- Staff, Students and Persons of Interest travelling on University business (regardless of the source of funding for the travel) must utilise the University’s Travel Approval process to obtain approval from a delegate. This procedure does not cover travel within the city of your ANU campus.
- All travel must be approved in order to qualify for cover under the University’s Business Travel Insurance Policy.
- Only after the travel is approved by the appropriate delegate can travel related expenditure be incurred.
Managing risks and emergencies
- Both the traveller and the delegate must check the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) travel advisory notices and, if the proposed travel is to a high risk destination, must consider whether the travel should proceed – see Travel By University Staff and Students To High Risk Destinations.
- Colleges and Divisions must monitor DFAT travel advisory changes and the location of staff and students currently travelling or planning to travel so that the University can:
- locate and assist staff in an emergency or disaster; and
- notify staff affected when a DFAT travel advisory is upgraded to level 4. (see Travel By University Staff and Students To High Risk Destinations).
- The HR Division co-ordinates the University’s response to emergencies and disasters that affect staff and students travelling on University business.
- In crisis situations the HR Division, Colleges and Service Divisions will be able to access Travel Approval reports providing staff and student travel details.
Preferred travel providers
- The University encourages staff and students to use its preferred travel providers (see University’s Travel Portal) because:
- the providers must book ‘best fare of the day’ for the type and class of travel and itinerary requested.
- the University receives favourable credit terms and can ensure that refunds from cancellations or changes to itinerary are credited to the University.
Class of air travel
- It is the Delegate’s responsibility to ensure that Class of Travel and all related travel expenses paid for by the University are in accordance with this procedure and all other related policies and procedures. Refer to Class of Air Travel Procedure.
- Accommodation should be modest and provide a safe and secure environment, conveniently located and providing value for money.
- An Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Taxation Determination stipulates reasonable amounts for accommodation within Australia for each financial year.
- Colleges and Divisions may limit accommodation costs to a proportion of the amounts set by the ATO.
- Tips should be reasonable and no more than the accepted average amount customary for that country.
Travel funded through an external grant
- Travel funded through external grant arrangements must comply with the terms and conditions of the grant. Where there is an inconsistency between the terms of an external grant and University policies and procedures, the more restrictive requirement shall apply.
Passport and visas – Travellers responsibilities
- Travellers should ensure that their passport has a minimum validity of six months at all times.
- Travellers must ensure they have the appropriate visa
- All overseas travel by Australian citizens must be registered with DFAT SmartTraveller before departure.
Payment of travel expenses
- The University pays for or reimburses travellers on the basis of actual expenditure incurred. The University encourages the use of a corporate travel credit card to pay for travel and related expenses. Where possible, payment and acquittal for all travel expenses are to be made via the corporate travel card.
- Travel expenses may be paid by the University if they are reasonable and necessarily incurred while undertaking approved official travel, are appropriately documented and approved by a delegate.
- Options for payment of airfares are:
- University Purchase Card;
- Direct payment to supplier through University accounts payable.
- Payment of airfares using personal funds such as by a personal credit card is not supported.
- The preferred method of payment is by University Purchase Cards because:
- The University loses financial incentives where costs are not paid by the University
- Travel expenses can be tracked and reconciled
- Ticket cancellations and other credits are automatically refunded to the University.
- In exceptional circumstances, a traveller who has had to purchase a ticket from personal funds en route because they do not have access to a University Purchase Card, will be reimbursed if they provide ticketing information AND boarding passes.
- Options for payment of other travel-related expenses as requested through the Travel Approval process are:
- University Purchase Card
- direct payment to supplier through University Accounts Payable
- expenses reimbursed to traveller through submission of receipts
- an acquittable cash advance, requested before travel.
Note: Unless there are extenuating circumstances, requests for reimbursements must be made within 30 days after the conclusion of the trip.
- Where the traveller is travelling to an international destination, which operates largely under a “cash economy”, Colleges and Divisions may pay travellers a modest per-diem approved through the Travel Approval process to cover meals and incidentals, in lieu of actuals. The amount of the per diem must be approved in advance and must be no more than 50% of the amount determined as a ‘reasonable daily food and drink and incidentals allowance’ by the Australian Taxation Office.
- Per-diems will not be paid for domestic travel.
- The University pays accommodation providers directly and does not pay an allowance or per diem to a traveller to cover accommodation.
Frequent flyer points
- Staff where possible should redeem frequent flyer points earned from University funded travel or any other business related expenditure for approved official travel. The University has a ‘best fare of the day’ policy and staff should not select more expensive fares in order to maximise personal benefits gained from a global travel program.
- A University Purchase Card is the preferred method of payment for overseas expenses. Foreign currency charges are converted to Australian dollars on the billing statement.
- Expense Reimbursement Claims must be submitted in Australian Dollars with an explanation and translation of the foreign receipts and their conversions.
- The traveller will not be out of pocket for any losses due to currency conversions.
- Expenditure delegates are reminded of the requirement to apply University Funds “solely for the purpose of the University”. As such, University funds should not be expended on costs solely related to the private component of an employee’s trip (e.g. Accommodation, car hire). This is the case even where the private component is deemed to be incidental to the business component under this policy.
- Delegates are reminded of the requirements of the Expenditure Approvals Policy.
- Where a trip has a private component representing >40% of the trip, the Travel Approval process post travel diary MUST be completed.
- Where there has been a change to the original approved travel schedule a Travel Approval process post travel diary should be updated.
- Work-related trips include trips funded by third parties, but undertaken in an individual’s role as an ANU employee.
- Travel Approval process post travel diaries, with no private component, that have not been updated 21 days after the scheduled end date will automatically be closed.
- Finance & Business Services will ensure that Travel Approval process post travel diaries are retained for five years following the business travel.
Private travel on business trips
- The Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) Act provides that where the University (or a third party under an arrangement with the University) pays for or reimburses extended travel for an employee, FBT will be payable (by the University) where the primary purpose of the trip was not to conduct business.
- The primary purpose of the trip is deemed to be not for business where the trip is greater than 5 business days and the private component of the trip (as defined below) is 40 per cent or more.
- The University will not pay for any private accommodation or other expenses relating to private travel (such as food, transport, etc).
- The treatment of weekends will depend on where they are in a trip. Where a traveller arrives at their destination on the Saturday before a conference commencing on Monday, the weekend will be considered days in transit (this allows travellers to arrive at overseas destinations with time to adjust).
- Where the weekend is in-between 2 business events (such as a conference ending on Friday and a business meeting on Monday), the weekend will be considered business related travel.
- Where the weekend is at the end of the business related travel (either before returning home or beginning private travel) the weekend will be treated as private travel.
- Weekends between private travel days will be considered private travel.
- As the University does not pay for any expenses relating to the personal component of the trip, FBT is only payable on the airfare which will have both a private and a business component.
- FBT will be applied to travel expenditure unless the employee completes the Travel Approval Post travel Diary confirming that the primary purpose of the trip was to conduct business activities.
- Where the University will have an FBT liability as a result of an employee’s trip, the employee will be required to make a contribution towards the cost of the travel to reduce the University’s FBT liability to nil.
- Where there is private travel included with University travel, the Travel Approval process calculates the estimated private travel days. Once the trip is completed, actual Private Travel undertaken must be updated in the Travel Approval process Post Travel Diary.
- Where a conference begins on or includes weekend day(s), no weekdays are to be considered as time in lieu without prior approval from the delegate. Where time in lieu is approved by the delegate, the days will be considered according to paragraphs 42 to 45 otherwise the days are to be treated as private days.
- Public Holidays shall be treated the same as weekends.
- Potential FBT implications of any private travel are provided to the traveller through the completion of the Travel Approval.
- Where FBT will be payable, Finance and Business Services will make the relevant employee aware that a contribution will be required to be paid by them (in full) within 30 days after returning from their trip.
- For more information on FBT, please refer to Finance & Business Services webpage on Expense payment fringe benefits
Processing requirements for private component after trip
- Once a trip has been completed and the post travel diary submitted, the private and business travel components are recalculated by the Travel Approval system and identify whether the primary purpose of the trip was to conduct business.
- The following calculations identify the private and business component percentages for trips greater than 5 days:
- Calculate the private component as a percentage of the trip. This is calculated using the following formula: C/(A+B+C)
- Where the trip is > 5 days the employee is required to make a contribution equal to:
- For the purposes of calculating the Private Component of a trip, the following definitions are offered:
- Business Activity: An activity undertaken by an employee (i.e. attendance at a meeting, attendance at a conference, field research, speaking at a lecture) that relates to their work as an ANU employee.
- Business Days: A day is considered a business days where business activities has a duration of more than three hours.
- Days in Transit: A day in transit is a day that does not allow for the day to be a business day due to transportation from one destination to another. The first 2 days to any destination that is greater than 12 hours flying time will be considered days in transit. The first 2 days includes the >12 hour flight.
- Extended travel: Travel where the employee is away for more than 5 consecutive nights.
- Primary purpose: The main purpose of the trip needs to be business in nature and this is the reason for the trip. Business cannot be added onto a primarily private trip to make it a business trip.
- Private component: The private component of a trip is the number of the days that are not business days, days in transit and unavoidable delays.
- Unavoidable delay: a delay between business activities will only be excluded from the private component if:
It was essential that the business activities on either side of the delay were undertaken during the trip;
The Business Activities could not have been scheduled at any other time (such as to minimise the delay); and
It is unreasonable to expect the traveller to return to the University between the business activities
The delay between business activities is no more than 14 days (if the delay is greater than 14 days, the whole unavoidable delay will be considered private component)
- Scheduling issues will be counted as unavoidable delays where documentation is attached to support the classification (eg. itinerary, explanation of scheduling, etc).
|Printable version (PDF)|
|Purpose||This document supports the Travel policy, and provides further information on University and individual responsibilities when travelling on behalf of the University.|
|Topic/ SubTopic||Travel & Transport|
|Effective Date||19 Oct 2015|
|Next Review Date||31 Mar 2023|
|Responsible Officer:||Director, Shared Services|
|Approved By:||Director, Shared Services|
|Contact Area||Shared Services|
ATO Determination: Reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance
Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.