Staff Travel Policy (MPF1300)

  • Category: Finance and Procurement
  • Review due by: December 31, 2017
  • Version: 1
  • Approved on: December 19, 2014
  • Effective date: December 20, 2014
  • Status: Published

RELEVANT LEGISLATION

SCOPE

This policy and subordinate procedures apply to all University staff.

POLICY

1. Principles

1.1  The University will fund staff travel and associated costs where it can be demonstrated that the travel is necessary for the transaction of University business.

1.2  The University will take reasonable steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff travelling on University business.

1.3  The University will not require staff to travel to a high-risk destination on University business.

1.4  Staff travel arrangements will be procured in a manner that makes the most efficient and cost-effective use of University resources.

1.5  The University will provide for and manage costs associated with travel on University business in a manner that is fair, transparent and allows the University to meet its legal obligations.

1.6  The University will provide an appropriate standard of comfort and conditions for staff travelling on University business.

1.7  The University will fund fair and reasonable costs for the following expenses incurred by staff travelling on University business:

  • transport
  • accommodation
  • travel insurance
  • meals
  • incidentals
  • out-of-pocket expenses.

2. Responsibilities and Authorities

2.1  By virtue of VC delegation number VCD4.2, the Vice-Principal Administration and Finance and CFO has authority to make this policy and to revoke, replace or amend this policy. The Vice-Principal Administration and Finance and CFO will ensure that:

  • this policy is regularly reviewed and replaced or amended as required, and
  • the principles of this policy continue to be aligned with the strategic objectives and compliance instruments specified above, and with any similar objectives and instruments that may be or become relevant to staff travel at the University.

2.2  The Vice-Principal Administration and Finance and CFO has authority to make the procedures associated with this policy, and to revoke, replace or amend these procedures. The Vice-Principal Administration and Finance and CFO will ensure that the procedures are regularly reviewed and replaced or amended as required, in alignment with this policy.

2.3  To ensure a strategic approach to the objectives specified above, and the consistent application of the principles specified in section 1, the following procedures apply in relation to this policy:

  • Decisions in relation to staff travel are subject to the operating principles specified in the Staff Travel Procedure below.

2.4  By means of this policy, the Vice Principal Administration and Finance delegates to the Head of University Services the authority to approve new processes and to revoke, replace or amend existing processes that enable or support the implementation of this policy and its subordinate procedures. The Head of University Services has the responsibility to ensure that:

  • processes are developed and implemented that support the overall management of entitlements in line with this policy and its subordinate procedures, and
  • such processes are reviewed and revised in a manner that facilitates their continuous improvement.

3. Staff Travel Procedure

3.1  Supervisors and heads of departments are responsible for ensuring health and safety risks associated with staff travel on University business are identified, assessed and controlled as far as is reasonably practicable.

3.2  Staff travelling on University business are responsible for:

  • exercising prudent business judgement at all times when booking and undertaking travel
  • ensuring that risk controls are complied with prior to departure and at all times when travelling on University business
  • ensuring they have travel insurance that is appropriate for their personal circumstances
  • providing timely and accurate information about their travel to the University.

3.3  Staff travelling on University business must comply immediately with:

  • any reasonable direction given by their supervisor or head of budget division in the interest of their safety, including a direction to return to Australia
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advisories on safety and security for specific destinations.

3.4  Staff have a right to refuse on reasonable grounds a direction to travel on University business.

3.5  In determining whether the grounds for refusal under section 3.4 are reasonable, the University will consider a range of matters, including:

  • the staff member’s personal circumstances and family responsibilities
  • the duration and extent of the proposed travel
  • the staff member's contract and position description
  • the possibility of another staff member undertaking the required travel.

3.6  Staff planning to travel internationally on University business who do not hold a financial delegation or a University purchasing card must seek pre-approval in accordance with section 3.8 prior to making travel arrangements.

3.7  Staff planning to travel to a high-risk destination on University business must seek pre-approval in accordance with sections 3.9, 3.10 or 3.11 prior to making travel arrangements.

3.8  Supervisors have authority to pre-approve international travel (except to a high-risk destination) for staff who do not hold a financial delegation or a University purchasing card.

3.9  Subject to section 3.12, heads of budget divisions have authority to approve that a staff member travels to a high-risk destination on University business.

3.10        Subject to section 3.12, the Vice-Chancellor has authority to approve that the Head of University Services travels to a high-risk destination on University business.

3.11        Subject to section 3.12, the Provost has authority to approve that a dean of a faculty/graduate school travels to a high-risk destination on University business.

3.12        In exercising their authority under sections 3.9, 3.10 and 3.11, the Vice-Chancellor, Provost and heads of budget divisions may only approve travel to a high-risk destination on University business if:

  • the staff member has demonstrated additional expertise, language capability, local networks or support, so as to substantially reduce the risks that would apply to other travelers, and
  • in the context of the essential nature of the travel, the staff member has identified and has the capacity to implement suitable risk-reduction strategies.

DEFINITIONS

Term Definition
Head of budget division

means the Vice Chancellor, the Head of University Services or the dean of a faculty/graduate school.

High-risk destination 

means a destination for which the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has set a level 3 or level 4 alert level (i.e. ‘Do not travel’ or ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ or equivalent).

University business

means activities that relate to or enable the performance of a staff member’s duties as part of their employment with the University.

IMPLEMENTATION OFFICER

The Executive Director, Finance is responsible for the promulgation and implementation of this policy in accordance with the scope outlined above. Enquiries about interpretation of this policy should be directed to the implementation officer.

REVIEW

This policy is to be reviewed by 19 December 2017.

VERSION HISTORY

Version

Approved By

Approval Date

Effective Date

Sections Modified

1.0

Vice Principal Administration & Finance and Chief Finance Officer

19 December 2014

20 December 2014

Moved from Promapp into Melbourne Policy Library on 16 July 2015 as Version 1.

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