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Travel Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Travel Policy by providing details for:

  1. planning and approving University travel,
  2. payment of travel expenses,
  3. transport options,
  4. general travel arrangements,
  5. accommodation,
  6. travel allowances and expenses,
  7. traveller risk, health, security, and safety,
  8. travel insurance,
  9. after-hours emergency services, and
  10. private travel.

Scope

(2) This procedure has the same scope as the Travel Policy.

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Section 2 - Policy

(3) See the Travel Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedure

Part A - Planning and approving University travel

(4) University travel must follow the below processes:

  1. Domestic travel: A pre-approval (approval in principle) is required prior to any travel commitments being made. Actual travel approval will be processed within the online expense management system (some exceptions apply as per below):
    1. Pre-approved by the University traveller’s direct supervisor (regardless of the source of funds): by completing the preapproval template available on the Charles Sturt travel website. Once approved, attach the email to the online domestic travel booking form when requesting travel reservations. A preapproval is not required for:
      1. members of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and the University Council, or
      2. single day car travel, or 
      3. when travelling for fieldwork.
    2. Travel requests must be submitted to Travel and Expense via the online domestic travel booking form.
    3. All travel is required to be approved by the authorised officer as per the Delegation Schedule C - Finance via an online travel plan created in the University expense management system. This applies to all staff unless an exemption has been granted (refer to clause 10a. of the Travel Policy).
  2. International travel: A pre-approval (approval in principle) is required prior to any commitments being made to travel. Official approval will be processed within the online expense management system. There are no exceptions to this process:
    1. This applies to all travel (including Learning Abroad Programs) to, within or between countries outside of Australia and for all University travellers based in Australia and overseas. 
    2. Pre-approved by the University traveller’s direct supervisor (regardless of the source of funds), by completing the international pre-approval template available on the Charles Sturt travel website. The approved pre-approval template must be attached when submitting the completed international travel booking, risk assessment and travel diary form.  
    3. For Learning Abroad Programs, the pre-approval is granted to the program by the Director, Global Engagement for the students and academics. 
    4. Request the international travel booking, risk assessment and travel diary form from Travel and Expense. Additionally, a quote can be provided at this time for an estimate of costs associated with the travel.
    5. Once completed, submit the international travel booking, risk assessment and travel diary form and signed pre-approval template to Travel and Expense. 
    6. The travel is approved by the authorised officer as per the Delegation Schedule C - Finance via the online travel plan within the University expense management system. 
    7. No exemptions to the approval process will be granted for international travel.

(5) The University will follow the following Covid alert categories for international destinations with COVID-19. Alert categories are determined by data from GOPASS Global biosecurity risk analytics platform and endorsed by the Critical Incident Management Team.

  1. Covid Alert 1: Minimal or low levels of COVID-19. Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before travelling to this destination. Outbreaks may still occur. Conditions may change at short notice.
  2. Covid Alert 2: Moderate levels of COVID-19. Exercise caution to this destination. Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before travelling to this destination. If you have a weakened immune system or are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, talk to your health professional about what additional precautions may be needed before, during, and after travel to this destination. Conditions may change at short notice.
  3. Covid Alert 3: High to Very High levels of COVID-19. Reconsider your need to travel to this destination. Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before travelling to this destination. If you are not up to date with your vaccines, avoid travel to this destination. If you have a weakened immune system or are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, talk to your health professional about your risk and consider delaying travel to this destination. The risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 is high to very high. Conditions may change at short notice.

(6) Travellers and approvers are responsible for checking the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) travel advice levels from when they start planning until their departure and during their travels, for both their destination and transit countries. If the travel advice level increases prior to departure, the travel may be required to be re-approved. Travel advice levels are subject to change at any time. Travel and Expense can provide further information and clarity, as requested.

(7) The international travel planning and approval process outlined above also applies to research and higher degree (HDR) travel.

(8) For students who travel overseas as part of an exchange program, study tour, or the short-term mobility programs such as Learning Abroad, that are funded either in full, in part, or not funded, may be considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Office of Global Engagement.

(9) Supervisors and/or authorised officers must ensure that:

  1. they do not pre-approve or approve travel, either domestic or international, while any University restrictions or external travel restrictions are in place,
  2. they do not approve attendance at conferences while any University restrictions and/or external travel restrictions are in place, and
  3. all reasonably foreseeable hazards or risk factors associated with any driving that the traveller will be required to do have been identified, assessed, and controlled to as low as reasonably possible using the hierarchy of control (refer to the Driver Safety Guidelines). 

(10) The University may, from time to time, restrict travel for anything other than the following reasons (refer Travel Policy):

  1. Teaching where the subject matter is not taught online.
  2. Research (including fieldwork travel).
  3. Campus to campus travel for business critical reasons and only where the activity cannot be undertaken via video conferencing facilities. In such cases, travel must be by vehicle only, except for travel to/from Port Macquarie which can be undertaken by air travel.
  4. Regional and/or metropolitan travel for business critical reasons where a face-to-face meeting is required and cannot be conducted via video conferencing facilities.
  5. Interstate travel for business critical activities where state border restrictions are not in place at the time of travel and there are no quarantine requirements.
  6. Relocation travel.
  7. Relief travel e.g. to relieve a staff member at another location.
  8. Marketing activities that are crucial to the operation of the University.
  9. Graduation travel - subject to social gathering restrictions.
  10. Other travel deemed as business critical.

(11) The Manager, Travel and Expense can recommend that travel be rejected or cancelled for any travel requests that do not comply with a restriction made by the University or an external authority or for requests that fail to provide all the required information.

(12) Travel not meeting the requirements of the Travel Policy or this procedure may be considered private travel.

(13) No international travel should be approved for travel to any country sanctioned and listed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Part B - Payment of travel expenses

(14) University travellers are recommended to hold a University corporate travel credit card. The liability for this card is held by the University. More details, including eligibility, are included in the Financial Management Policy.

(15) A tax invoice/receipt must be obtained for all travel expenditure that is expended on a corporate travel credit card. For travel expenditure paid on a personal card or cash, a tax invoice/receipt is required for all transactions.

(16) Upon completion of travel, cardholders must ensure all necessary receipts/tax invoices are submitted to Travel and Expense. Reconciliation of travel expenses will be processed by Travel and Expense (except in relation to travel expenses where an executive assistant may have this responsibility).

(17) Failure to provide receipts/tax invoices may result in the relevant expenses becoming a personal cost. Further action may result in suspension of the traveller’s corporate travel card or eventual cancellation.

(18) Corporate travel credit cards must not be used for meals when the traveller has been allocated a meal allowance as part of their travel plan (see Part F).

(19) If a corporate travel credit card is not held by the traveller then a personal credit card may need to be utilised and the expense(s) reimbursed to the traveller. A valid tax invoice/receipt is required for all reimbursement requests.

Part C - Transport options

Air travel

(20) All air travel, domestic or international, must be arranged through Travel and Expense and the University’s online booking tool (OBT). Bookings made directly with airlines and/or their associated websites are not permitted, except in exceptional circumstances and where prior approval has been given by the Manager, Travel and Expense.

(21) Any air travel made outside of these procedures may be:

  1. invoiced back to the traveller as a personal expense if charged to the University’s corporate travel card, or
  2. may not be reimbursed if purchased on a personal credit card.

(22) Travel and Expense will utilise any available unused tickets an airline is holding to facilitate the issuance of a new ticket for any traveller, if applicable.

(23) The lowest logical airfare will be chosen in all instances. This decision will not be influenced by the traveller's personal preference or membership of an airline lounge or frequent flyer program or the perception that flexibility is required.

(24) Domestic air travel should be arranged at a minimum of 10 days in advance.  International air travel should be arranged at least 21+ days in advance. This allows time for the best logical airfare to be sourced by Travel and Expense.

(25) Flexible airfares will only be purchased in extenuating circumstances and with approval from the Manager, Travel and Expense.

Changes to travel arrangements

(26) If the traveller makes a change to travel arrangements where a ticket has already been issued, Travel and Expense will assist in making any relevant changes. There may be fees associated with the changes and an administration fee charged by the travel management company:

  1. Where the change is due to a business reason, any costs will be charged against the relevant approved travel plan and must be approved by an authorised officer as per Delegation Schedule C - Finance. Email approval must be sent to the Travel & Expense team before the change can be processed by the travel management company.
  2. If the change to the travel arrangements is for a personal reason, Travel and Expense may assist with making any relevant changes in conjunction with the Travel Management Company. However, any costs involved with making changes, including administration fees, will be charged to a personal credit card of the traveller. Compassionate reasons will be managed on a case-by-case basis.

(27) Any change will be made utilising the same airline/supplier as the original ticket purchase. For flights, Travel and Expense will determine if there are no other suitable flights available with that airline before authorising the issuance of a new ticket by the travel management company.

(28) Travellers must provide all information requested by Travel and Expense in order to determine whether a change is related to a business or personal reason.

(29) Any changes, except those made by the airline (see clause 31), before or during travel made directly with the airline and not in consultation with Travel and Expense may be invoiced back to the traveller as a personal cost. Refer to Part I regarding the after-hours emergency service.

Airline minimum connection times

(30) Travel and Expense will only book domestic flights that adhere to the recommended airline set minimum connection times. No exceptions to break the minimum connection times when connecting to domestic flights will be permitted. Longer connection times than the recommended airline times may be requested.

(31) Should the airlines not be able to provide the required connection due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, then the University traveller, in the first instance, must contact the airline to seek an alternative flight at the airline’s cost. After exhausting all other avenues of assistance, the traveller must contact the travel management company’s after-hours emergency service to determine the next course of action (refer to travel itinerary for the contact number, service fees apply).

(32) International minimum connection times will be determined by the airline schedules, transit point(s) and destinations and will adhere to the recommended airline set minimum connection times relevant to the airline(s). No exceptions to break the minimum connection times will be permitted.

Charter/private aircraft use

(33) If chartering an aircraft is the only logical method of travel to and from regional and/or remote locations, travellers must in the first instance contact the Manager, Travel and Expense.

(34) When using a charter aircraft organisation, travellers must ensure the organisation holds a current airworthy certificate and sufficient public liability insurance. A copy of the certificate and insurance confirmation should be sent to the Manager, Travel and Expense.

Ground transportation – motor vehicles

University fleet vehicles

(35) See the Fleet Management Procedure [in development] for information regarding the use of University fleet vehicles.

Private vehicles

(36) Travellers may use their private vehicle for University travel. The private vehicle specified must be registered, hold a roadworthy certificate, covered by comprehensive and third-party motor vehicle insurance during the period of travel. A kilometre reimbursement may be provided at a rate set by the University and paid after travel based on the actual kilometres travelled. Fuel costs cannot be claimed.

(37) The University will not be responsible for any costs or losses associated with any damages to the private vehicle regardless of how they were sustained.

(38) Approval to use a motorcycle or bicycle will not be granted for workplace health and safety reasons.

Novated lease vehicles

(39) Vehicles that are fully maintained under a novated lease program are considered by the University to be private vehicles. All the conditions in this procedure relating to the use of private vehicles apply. Novated leases are considered an employer payment by the ATO. Any private kilometre reimbursement for a novated lease vehicle will form part of your taxable salary.

Car hire vehicles

(40) All car rentals must be reserved through Travel and Expense and/or the online booking tool (OBT).

(41) Travellers must ensure that the car has been cleaned to an appropriate standard, with consideration of any University or government health alerts, before accepting a rental car.

(42) The University corporate travel card should be used to pay for hire car rental and any fuel costs associated with the car rental. These costs cannot be pre-paid and must be made by the traveller at the time of pick up. If the traveller does not hold a University corporate travel card then payment must be made on a personal card and a reimbursement sought with a copy of the valid rental agreement and tax invoice/receipt.

(43) Optional car insurance offered by the rental company:

  1. Within Australia, the University traveller must accept the optional Excess Reduction Insurance to reduce the vehicle excess.
  2. Internationally, the traveller must decline offers to reduce the excess as the University’s travel insurance policy will cover the excess (collision damage and theft waiver). 

(44) Any accidents must be reported immediately to the car rental company, Manager, Travel and Expense and the Financial Accountant (Insurance). Misuse of the rental vehicle or use outside the terms and conditions of the car hire agreement may result in personal liability to the University traveller. The traveller must check with the rental company if they require a vehicle to be taken off-road as this may void any insurances.

(45) No private travel will be permitted in conjunction with a car rental.

Driving/parking infringements

(46) The traveller will be liable for any driving/parking infringements (or related appeals) incurred while travelling on University business. 

Driver safety

(47) When driving any vehicle for University business, all University travellers must:

  1. consider any factors related to their personal fitness, driving competency and proposed journey when planning or undertaking work related travel. Travellers should only undertake travel after considering:
    1. the risk factors relevant to their travel or personal circumstances,
    2. the potential for these risk factors to affect their travel, and
    3. the controls to be implemented to manage these risks,
  2. hold a current and appropriate licence for any vehicle they intend to drive and have the licence with them when operating the vehicle, and
  3. operate any vehicle in accordance with statutory and licence requirements.

Taxi/ridesharing

(48) The use of taxis and ridesharing services are the first preferences when using ground transportation. Staff should ensure that they adhere to all University or government social distancing guidelines and hygiene practices before committing to this type of transportation.

(49) The use of taxis and ridesharing services will not be funded by the University for travel to and from a venue within your home campus location.

(50) The use of a taxi to travel to/from an airport or car rental depot will only be funded by the University if the authorising officer is satisfied that there is no other reasonable alternative, e.g. use of the traveller’s own car and parking it at the airport/car rental depot (note, no kilometre reimbursement for a private vehicle is available unless prior approval is granted by the Manager, Travel and Expense and is only relevant due to the distance that the staff member lives from the nearest airport/car rental depot), a partner or other person dropping you at the airport/car rental depot.

Rail

(51) University travellers may travel first class on domestic long-distance rail journeys. Staff should ensure that they adhere to University and government social distancing guidelines and hygiene practices before committing to rail travel.

Other transport costs

(52) The University will fund parking costs at airport locations for the duration of the approved University travel.

(53) A public transport smartcard for business travel may be purchased by the University traveller for sole use on official University business. Top-ups using the corporate credit card are acceptable, with approval from the Travel & Expense team.

(54) The University corporate travel card should be utilised for tap on/tap off facilities where available.

Part D - General travel arrangements

Class of travel

(55) This table shows the travel class approved for use by University travellers:

Staff member International travel – class of travel Domestic travel – class of travel
Chancellor Business  Business
Vice-Chancellor Business Business/Economy
Deputy Vice-Chancellors/Pro Vice-Chancellors Business/Premium economy Economy
Executive appointments at Senior Executive Level 1 and other senior staff as per their employment contract Business/Premium economy Economy
All other University travellers Economy Economy

(56) All University travel will be booked in the classes indicated above except in the following circumstances:

  1. University Council members may be entitled to travel business class on international flights where they are accompanying another member of staff who is entitled to travel business class.
  2. A staff member’s employment contract authorises a different class of travel.
  3. Travel is fully funded by an external organisation that is authorising a different class of travel. Verification is required prior to seeking authorisation to travel from the University. The cost and travel class must meet the conditions and specific requirements offset by the external funding.
  4. The University traveller is accompanying another University traveller who is permitted to travel in a higher class. Authorisation must be granted by the relevant delegated approval authority.

(57) In exceptional circumstances, and on the recommendation of the delegated approval authority, the University traveller may travel in a higher class. This approval must be gained prior to submitting a travel request. Approval is discretionary and subject to relevant budgetary considerations.

(58) Staff who choose to travel in a higher class of their own accord must provide a personal credit card and seek a reimbursement for the lowest logical economy class airfare once their travel plan is approved. The University Corporate Card must not be used. 

(59) Frequent flyer points may be used to upgrade an economy class ticket to a higher class of air travel. Where an upgrade requires the individual to purchase a flexible fare base ticket, the traveller must privately fund the difference between the base, non-flexible economy fare and the economy fare required to access an upgrade. This must be paid on a personal credit card.

Excess baggage

(60) Excess baggage fees are only allowable when staff are travelling with equipment, items or marketing materials that are required to be carried as part of official University business. An explanation for the excess baggage charge must accompany the appropriate tax invoice/receipt.

Airline lounge memberships

(61) The University has negotiated airline lounge membership rates with the major airlines that offer a lounge facility.

(62) A University funded membership may be approved on the basis of completing a minimum of six return air flights per annum with approval from the relevant ELT member. If the minimum threshold is not reached, a pro-rata amount may be charged as a personal expense.

(63) Lounge membership is available to any staff as a personal expense and the negotiated University rate may be utilised on request. This may be salary sacrificed by seeking advice from Payroll. For privately funded memberships, funds held by the University cannot be used as a form of payment. However, if external funds allow for the membership of a lounge then this will be permitted with written approval from the funding body.

(64) The maximum period of a membership will be 12 months for all staff.

Loyalty club memberships and frequent flyer memberships

(65) The University will not fund loyalty club or frequent flyer memberships. This includes hotel memberships and accommodation clubs.

(66) Loyalty points such as frequent flyer points or rewards accruing to University travellers from domestic and international air travel and accommodation, undertaken for business or study purposes, will reside with the traveller.

(67) Travel and Expense or the travel management company cannot assist in the redemption of frequent flyer points or other memberships.

Stopovers (international travel)

(68) An airline stopover is a stop at a transit point that involves an overnight stay. A voluntary stopover will not generally be supported. The most direct route should be chosen to minimise the risks to the traveller and the University. This may still involve a transit at an intermediary point. If airline schedules necessitate an enforced stopover then the University will meet the necessary costs. If the traveller requests a voluntary stopover this can only be taken at a transit point and all costs associated must be funded personally.

Recovery time (international travel)

(69) A recovery day is permitted (excluding travel to New Zealand) for physical recovery after a long-haul international flight, from and to Australia (with consultation and approval from your supervisor) and is not treated as a personal day. Travel back to your home should begin no later than the day immediately following completion of business. This is subject to flight schedules and availability. 

Part E - Accommodation

(70) All accommodation for University travel (except accommodation for fieldwork, as per clause 74) must be booked through Travel and Expense, and/or the online booking tool. Any exemptions will require approval from the Manager, Travel and Expense. 

(71) Any accommodation bookings made outside of Travel and Expense or without an exemption may be:

  1. invoiced back to the traveller as a personal expense if charged to the University’s corporate travel card, or
  2. may not be reimbursed if purchased on a personal credit card.

(72) In some cases, the payment of conference fees may include the cost of accommodation. Where Travel and Expense are unable to facilitate such accommodation bookings at a rate similar to or less than the conference organiser, then payment for accommodation can be made directly to the conference organiser using the corporate travel card. If the traveller does not hold a corporate card then payment will need to be made on a personal card and a reimbursement sought via the travel portal. A valid tax invoice/receipt must be included.

(73) All travellers are entitled to a safe and comfortable standard of accommodation. The selection of accommodation:

  1. should have an emphasis on a location convenient to the required place of business. The accommodation should provide value for money appropriate to the city/town. In the first instance, accommodation will be booked at the University’s preferred suppliers to ensure negotiated rates are being secured,
  2. for international locations, should be chosen with an emphasis on a location convenient to the required place of business and take into account any security advice and DFAT requirements. The standard of accommodation should provide value for money appropriate to the country (e.g. in many countries this will be equal to a 3 to 4 star rating),
  3. may consider the property’s policies with regards to cleaning and the duty of care to their guests,
  4. may consider accommodation sharing sites, such as Airbnb or Stayz, unless there are travel restrictions in place that prevent this,
  5. may include on-campus accommodation, where available, to reduce the overall costs of travel, and
  6. will not require University travellers to share a room with other travellers.

(74) Remote accommodation for fieldwork activities relating to the research institutes (including camping or caravan park facilities) may be reserved outside of Travel and Expense. This information must be provided at the time of submitting the online domestic travel booking form. The accommodation booked for fieldwork must take into account comfort, security, cleanliness, University duty of care requirements and provision for social distancing where required. Sub-standard accommodation will not be supported.

(75) If a University traveller is travelling with family members, the University will only fund costs equivalent to a sole use room. This cost is based on the lowest logical rate at any accommodation provider in the location relevant to the traveller’s travel request.

(76) University travellers may choose to stay with family or friends while travelling on University business. This accommodation must be at no cost to the University. Any social distancing, social gathering or travel restrictions must be considered before committing to this type of accommodation.

(77) The University will not pay for accommodation costs for employees who stay overnight at a hotel in their home campus location unless extenuating circumstances apply and with the pre-approval of the Manager, Travel and Expense. Fringe benefits tax implications may exist.

(78) Any changes to accommodation bookings, before or during travel, made directly with the property and not in consultation with the Travel & Expense team may be invoiced back to the traveller as a personal cost. (Refer Part I after-hours emergency service.)

Part F - Travel allowances and expenses

Meal allowances

(79) University staff travellers are entitled to a meal allowance while travelling on behalf of the University in accordance with the thresholds published on the Travel & Expense website

(80) Subject to clause 81, the following rules apply to meal allowances:

  1. Meal allowances will be paid for overnight travel.
  2. The meal allowance calculated will be paid into the traveller’s University salary bank account. The calculated allowance can be pre-paid before travel or claimed upon the completion of travel. 
  3. Staff undertaking single day return travel (travel not requiring an overnight stay) may claim up to $30.00 for meal costs incurred while travelling. These costs must be substantiated with a valid tax invoice/receipt. An EFTPOS receipt is not acceptable.
  4. Single day travel meal costs will not be paid in advance as a meal allowance.
  5. It is not permitted to use a corporate credit credit card for the payment of personal meals whilst travelling on University business. Any transactions identified as a meal on a corporate card will be invoiced to the cardholder as a private expense to repay to the University. Meal costs incurred at a hotel and charged back to the room account should be paid separately at the time of check-out.
  6. A meal allowance component (eg. breakfast, lunch or dinner) should not be claimed if you are also claiming entertainment expenses.
  7. Where a meal is provided as part of the travel (catered meals, included in hotel rates, conferences etc), an allowance for that meal must not be claimed.
  8. Non-staff and students can claim a reimbursement for actual meal expenses by submitting a valid tax invoice/receipt. They cannot be paid an allowance.
  9. The University will not fund gratuities or tips. This expenditure is the personal expense of the University traveller. Meal allowance payments (both domestic and international) should cover any gratuities or tips.
  10. International meal allowances are calculated from the start of the traveller's official University business-related activities at their destination through to the first available flight on the conclusion of the official business-related activities (e.g. time of arrival to time of departure).
  11. Meals purchased on low-cost airlines should form part of your meal allowance and must not be paid for using the corporate credit card.

(81) For University travellers on official business, the maximum period of meal allowance payments must not exceed 21 days. Any requirements in excess of 21 days will require consideration from the Manager, Travel and Expense.

(82) For fieldwork and research related travel or for extended stays, a grocery allowance may be paid in advance at a rate of $100.00 per week for single travellers and $150.00 per week for couples. A list of costs and valid tax invoice/receipts are required and must be submitted to Travel and Expense within 14 days of completion of travel. Once the allowance is reconciled, any overpayment of an allowance must be re-paid to the University.

(83) Staff should seek independent taxation advice on the payment of allowances.

Incidental/out of pocket expenses and travel reimbursements

(84) Incidental work-related expenses incurred during University travel, but not normally incurred in the normal course of the working day, may be reimbursed. Examples of applicable incidentals are laundry, work-related telephone calls, work-related internet access and parking (if related to business requirements). A minimum of $10.00 applies to all claims to be submitted and processed in the expense management system. Claims can be accumulated until the $10.00 minimum is reached.

(85) Wherever possible, hotel incidentals should be charged to the corporate travel card or included as part of the overall hotel account. An estimation for incidentals should be included when completing the travel booking form. This does not include mini-bar items which are a personal cost and are covered as part of your meal allowance. Any costs incurred from a mini-bar will be invoiced to the traveller.

(86) All reimbursements must be substantiated by legible receipts/tax invoices (EFTPOS receipts are not accepted). If receipts are unavailable, the traveller needs to provide a daily log outlining the travel and expenses incurred and complete the lost receipt declaration which can be requested through Travel and Expense.

(87) Any requests for travel-related reimbursements or out of pocket expenses must be submitted within three months of the expense being incurred and within the same calendar year. Requests for reimbursements submitted outside of this timeframe will not be accepted.

Entertainment/hospitality

(88) University travellers who have approval to incur entertainment and hospitality expenses are expected to be economical. Hospitality and/or entertainment must have a clear and valid University business purpose.

(89) Entertainment expenses should be charged to a University corporate credit card. A valid tax invoice and a list of attendees including the home campus of any staff, must be provided to Travel and Expense within 14 days of the event. Fringe benefit tax implications may apply.

(90) Travellers who believe they may incur entertainment expenditure must refer to the ‘Fringe benefits tax’ provisions of this document (see Part J) to ensure they are cognisant of the University’s requirements and expectations in relation to fringe benefits tax.

Dependant care support

(91) Staff who undertake work-related travel are entitled to claim dependant care expenses up to forty dollars ($40.00) per day (not per child) for care that is over and above their normal dependant care cost arrangements. This must be included as part of the Domestic Travel Booking form and can only be claimed after travel. Staff must advise Travel and Expense that they wish to make a claim by email to travel@csu.edu.au quoting their approved travel plan number.

Travel advances

(92) In exceptional circumstances, the University may provide University travellers a cash advance prior to travel. A travel advance may be used for expenses including accommodation, land travel, or field trip costs.

(93) Travel advances will only be provided in the following circumstances:

  1. if the University traveller's expenses exceed the minimum advance amount of $500.00,
  2. where the University traveller has obtained pre-approval to travel and does not have a University corporate credit card,
  3. where the University traveller provides adequate justification that:
    1. the University corporate credit card cannot be used for some travel expenses and is not readily accepted at the destination/ country, or
    2. the total of those expenses is such that using the reimbursement and acquittal of travel expenses process would cause financial hardship.

(94) All travel advances paid by Travel and Expense must be acquitted against the exact amount of expenses actually incurred. This must be acquitted within 14 days of the conclusion of travel.

(95) The University traveller must provide original supporting tax invoices/receipts for all expenditure incurred during the travel, indicating the relevance of the expenditure to the travel. Where a tax invoice/receipt is unable to be obtained, then a log of all expenses must be submitted.

(96) Any unused funds must be returned to the appropriate budget codes by contacting Travel and Expense.

Part G - Traveller risk, health, security and safety

(97) All staff who are required to travel must refer to their relevant state government and federal government websites for the latest information on travelling. 

(98) Domestic travel is generally considered low risk, however, travellers should be mindful of any risks associated with their travel and discuss with their supervisor. Consideration should be given to the individual circumstances of the traveller, the conditions of the destination and the activity being undertaken.

(99) Travellers undertaking travel for fieldwork must provide a completed risk assessment form. This must be submitted with the online domestic travel booking form.

(100) Where travellers are travelling together as a group, one risk assessment form can be submitted. Individual risk assessments will not be required for each traveller unless specifically requested by the area responsible.

(101) All international travellers must complete the International Travel Risk Assessment provided by Travel and Expense. This assessment must be included as part of the international booking request form at the time of submitting their travel requests.

(102) The University's primary responsibility is to protect the safety and wellbeing of all persons when travelling on University business. It is the University traveller's responsibility while travelling to be mindful of potential risks in the local area and to act in a manner that will minimise the possibility of harm to the traveller.

(103) The University has a duty of care to ensure that it is aware of the whereabouts of all travellers so that it can contact and provide assistance to such travellers in the event of an emergency or other incident. All international travellers must register on the global assistance providers portal as per information provided by Travel and Expense.

(104) For travel to a DFAT Category 3 or 4 destination, the University traveller must obtain a security briefing from the University’s global assistance provider. Additional high-level approval may be required.

(105) It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure they have had the required vaccinations prior to travel. Failure to do so may result in being denied entry at your destination.

(106) Where it is a condition of entry to be immunised and/or tested for a particular disease, as determined by a government agency, the World Health Organisation or by an organisation that is an essential service provider for the travel (e.g. an airline), the University will cover the cost for the immunisation and/or tests relevant to the business destination. The University will not cover the costs for immunisations and/or tests that are related to a destination for any private component of the travel, either on entry or departure.

(107) The cost of immunisation and/or tests relevant to the business travel should be estimated and disclosed in the budget section of the international travel booking form and form part of the overall approved value authorised for expenditure.

(108) If a visa is required for entry to a particular destination, the cost of this will be met by the University including the processing costs. These costs should be detailed on your travel request. Visa’s relevant to a destination for a private portion of travel will not be supported. The University will not fund the cost of obtaining a passport or the renewal of a passport.

(109) The University reserves the right to deny travel where any University or other travel restrictions are in place, or it otherwise considers the risk is too great (see the Travel Policy).

Part H - Travel insurance

(110) Staff on approved domestic travel may be covered for work-related accidents/incidents under workers compensation, journey insurance, personal accident/injury, and motor vehicle insurance where applicable. For further clarification please contact the Financial Accountant (Insurance). 

(111) University international travel insurance is available for:

  1. University travellers on University travel and whose cost of travel is paid by the University either in whole or in part, whether by reimbursement or otherwise. When the University is funding the travel expenses for visitors, they will also be covered by University travel insurance.
  2. accompanying spouses, partners, and dependants when they are travelling on a special studies program internationally. All travellers must be travelling on the same itinerary as the University traveller, whose cost of travel is paid by the University either in whole or in part and whether by reimbursement or otherwise.

(112) Travellers are responsible for confirming that any specific activities they plan to undertake are covered, such as high-risk activities (e.g. adventure sports etc).

(113) Private travel is not covered by the University travel insurance. Travellers must acquire their own insurance for the period of private travel.

(114) Travel to high-risk locations may not be covered by the University’s insurance policy. Travellers must confirm coverage can be arranged prior to booking.

(115) The University will not reimburse travellers for personal items lost whilst travelling on business, beyond the coverage provided by the airlines and the University’s insurance.

Part I - After hours emergency service

(116) An after-hours emergency service for travellers who genuinely need assistance with their travel bookings is available (refer to their travel itinerary for full details). This should be only used after exhausting all other avenues of assistance, e.g. insurance provider, airline ticket counter and accommodation or service provider directly. The use of this service will incur an additional charge and is managed by our travel management company.

Part J - Private travel

Determining the travel day type

(117) University business days are those where the traveller undertakes formal and approved business activities. Business travel days include:

  1. travel days when travelling to a business destination or returning home,
  2. recovery days for international travel (excluding travel to/from New Zealand),
  3. weekends and public holidays in between business days with formal business activities, and
  4. unavoidable delays between business activities where these days are deemed reasonable.

(118) The below list defines the various types of private travel the University may permit. All private travel must meet at least one of the below criteria. The traveller must identify the relevant type on their travel request. For international travel, any private travel is only allowed if permitted under the relevant Phase (see clause 5).

  1. Incidental private travel:
    1. Private travel combined with official University travel where the private travel component is merely incidental to the overall purpose of the trip. Private travel is considered incidental where the private component is less than 30% of the total travel period.
    2. For example, the approved travel event is 12 days in duration, including two days of private travel (including weekends and publich holidays). In this case, the private travel component would be deemed incidental to the overall purpose of the trip (less than 30% of the duration) and the travel event would be considered official University travel.
  2. Dual purpose travel
    1. Private travel combined with official University travel where the private travel component is more than 30% of the total travel period. Such travel events are considered to have a dual purpose (e.g. both business and private in nature) and may be subject to fringe benefits tax.
    2. For example, the approved travel event is 30 days duration, including 12 days of private travel (including weekends and public holidays). In this case, the private travel component would not be deemed incidental to the overall purpose of the trip (more than 30% of the duration) and the travel event would be considered dual purpose travel and a personal co-payment would be required.

(119) University permitted ‘incidental’ private travel guidelines:

Duration of trip (total days away, including weekends): Private days considered ‘incidental’ if equal to or less than:
Between 1 to 30 days No more than a 30% private component
31 days or more No more than 10 days

(120) As part of the travel request, and in addition to the approval requirements in accordance with the Travel Policy and this procedure, travellers must seek approval from their supervisor to undertake private travel. Staff must also submit the necessary leave requests with the Division of People and Culture.

(121) The University will not fund the cost of private travel, regardless of whether it is considered incidental to official University travel. It is the responsibility of the traveller to make independent arrangements. Private expenses must be funded by the individual traveller (e.g. accommodation, flights, meals, incidentals, etc).

(122) Private expenses must not be incurred on the corporate credit card. Private expenses incurred on the corporate credit card will be considered a misappropriation of funds and the traveller may face disciplinary action including having the corporate credit card cancelled. Debt recovery processes may also be initiated.

(123) University travellers who combine private travel with business travel are required to obtain personal travel insurance for the period of their private component. The University’s travel insurance cover will not extend to any private travel.

(124) Where there is any doubt as to whether the travel event is of a private or business nature, the traveller must incur their travel expenses privately and seek reimbursement upon return from travel for any identified business expenses.

Co-payments for private travel

(125) Where private travel is deemed incidental as per the table in clause 118, the traveller will not be required to make a co-payment towards the cost of their travel.

(126) Where travel is deemed dual purpose, the traveller will be required to make a personal co-payment to the University to ensure fringe benefits tax is not incurred and that University funds are being used appropriately. The co-payment will be 50% of the airfares and any other costs incurred in transit (e.g. stopover accommodation if funded by the University).

(127) Where a spouse, partner or dependant accompanies a University traveller on University business travel, the University traveller must:

  1. notify their authorising officer prior to travel,
  2. ensure that the business of the University is not compromised, and
  3. any travel or health requirements are met with regards to social distancing and hygiene.

(128) The University will not fund any cost incurred for an accompanying spouse, partner, or dependant. These costs must be paid on a personal credit card and cannot be paid using the University’s corporate travel card. 

Fringe benefits tax (FBT) and travel

(129) The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires that all travel undertaken by an employee and funded or sanctioned by the employer must be primarily for business purposes. Travel costs incurred by an employer on behalf of an employee which are primarily for private purposes cause a fringe benefits tax (FBT) liability to be imposed on the employer. The University looks to minimise the extent of any potential FBT liability it may incur and as such, travel arrangements which will incur a FBT liability are unlikely to be approved. See Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986.

Travel diaries

(130) The FBT legislation requires that an employee must keep and give to their employer a travel diary in situations where the employer pays, reimburses or sanctions the employee's expenses of travel. This allows the employer to substantiate that the travel was for business purposes and therefore the employer is not required to pay FBT on the amount of the travel costs for the trip.

(131) The overall objective is to provide a record of events giving a sufficient basis on which to determine the extent to which the trip was undertaken for business purposes. Where a travel diary is not completed or is not properly completed by an employee, the travel to which the diary relates will be regarded as un-substantiated travel and will be deemed to be private travel.

(132) A travel diary is required and managed via the online travel plan for all domestic travel greater than five nights. For all international travel, a travel diary forms part of the request process and is included in the international travel request form.

(133) Funds administered or held by the University cannot be used by the traveller to pay any applicable fringe benefits tax liability.

(134) In all cases, the final interpretation of travel intentions will be determined by Manager, Travel and Expense.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(135) The following guidelines support this procedure:

  1. Driver Safety Guidelines
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Section 5 - Glossary

(136) This procedure adopts the defined terms in the Travel Policy. In addition: 

  1. Business critical – means activities crucial to the operations of the University.
  2. Covid Alert 1 – means travel to a destination/country where there is a minimal or low level of GOPASS Global.
  3. Covid Alert 2 – means travel to a destination/country where there is a moderate level of COVID-19 as determined by GOPASS Global.
  4. Covid Alert 3 – means travel to a destination/country where there is a high to very high level of COVID-19 as determined by GOPASS Global.
  5. High risk country - means any country about which the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has issued a travel advisory warning travellers to "reconsider your need to travel" or “Do not travel”. 
  6. International travel – means travel to, within or between countries outside of Australia.
  7. Lowest logical airfare – means the lowest available airfare on the day of booking that offers the University traveller the convenience they require to complete the business purpose effectively.
  8. Online booking tool (OBT) – means web-based software that enables travel bookings.
  9. Out of pocket expenses – means any expense that has been made by a direct outlay of cash or a personal credit card that may or may not be reimbursed. 
  10. Partially funded travel – means the University does not fully meet the total travel expenditure.