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Updated Travel, Expenses and Hospitality policy takes effect from 1 August

Travel, Expenses and Hospitality policy

Several amendments to the University’s Travel and Other Expenses, Benefits, Hospitality and Gifts policy will take effect from Monday 1 August 2016. 

The updates have been recently approved by UEB following feedback from colleagues across the University. UCU and the Staff Forum have also been involved in discussing these changes. The amendments will ensure that our processes are appropriate and easy to follow.  

There are 3 key amendments to be aware of from Monday 1 August 2016:

  • All UK travel can be booked directly by individual members of staff, either by using your own University purchase card or by paying for it yourself and claiming back through expenses.
  • Regardless of where you are travelling, if the total value of your trip (travel and accommodation) is under £300, you can also book it directly using your own University purchase card or by paying for it yourself and claiming back through expenses. You can also continue to use the Travel Management Company if you prefer.
  • Economy class flights remain the default option wherever possible, but the wording around when it is possible to upgrade flight class has been amended: flight duration must be in excess of 8 hours and there must be a requirement for sleep and/or work on the flight. It is a matter for the budget holder whether or not to authorise the higher class of travel even if the conditions for the upgrade are met.

We have also increased the maximum allowable hotel rates and included acknowledgement of the preferential rates often offered for conference delegates. See the travel webpage for full details.

As an employer, the University has a duty of care to ensure that our staff are covered by appropriate safety and security measures whilst travelling, so however you book your travel, you must still complete the online risk management form before you go. After the recent terror attack in Istanbul we used the information provided by these forms and our Travel Management Company to ascertain whether any of our staff or students were currently in the city so that we could offer support to them and their families at home if required.

As detailed in the policy itself, if you fail to complete a form, expenses occurred in connection with your travel may not be reimbursed. You should also remember that when submitting an expense claim it is your responsibility to ensure that all expenditure is correct and all supporting documentation is attached to your claim.

We are grateful to those travellers and travel-bookers who have provided feedback to inform these changes. If you have any feedback on these amendments or your experiences with travel booking in general, please email travelfeedback@reading.ac.uk.

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