This Annex to the new expenses policy provides information on how staff who are funded on grants from seven major funding councils may claim additional expenses for childcare or caring responsibilities that are incurred for working outside normal working patterns.

The University - through staff in HR and Finance and in line with our Athena Swan agenda - will be considering how this provision may be extended to other staff who are not in receipt of such funding.

Annex to the University Expenses Policy

Under the strategic partnership of Research Councils UK (RCUK), each of the UK’s seven Research Councils below allow additional childcare or caring responsibility costs to be claimed as allowable expenses if the costs are incurred for working outside normal working patterns.

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

There may also be other funders that allow similar expenses to be claimed. Please contact Research Grants and Contracts if your funder allows this and it is not listed above.


These costs can be claimed by academic or research staff in receipt of a grant from a funding body which allows childcare or other caring responsibilities to be reimbursed as allowable expenditure.


The following criteria will need to be met in order for claims (made through the expenses policy in the usual way) to be approved:

  • Staff must be on a grant funded by one of the bodies listed above.
  • Childcare or caring responsibility costs may only be claimed in association with work activities undertaken outside of normal working patterns (e.g. childcare or eldercare costs while the primary carer attends a conference outside usual contracted hours).
  • The cost must be directly related to an active project and there must be sufficient budget within the grant to cover it.
  • There must be an auditable record such as conference attendance confirmation and receipts for the cost of the travel and/or childcare/caring responsibility.
  • Only receipts from registered carers such as a childminder or nursery will be reimbursed.


Claimants should use the current expenses claim form and clearly show these as childcare and carer responsibility costs under the ‘Other expenses’ category. Receipts should be attached to the claim form.

Costs should be charged to the relevant workorder for the research grant with the account code - 2121.


HMRC defines ‘work related training’ as any training course or other activity which is designed to impart, instil, improve or reinforce any knowledge, skills or personal qualities which are likely to be useful to an employee when performing their duties or that will qualify or better qualify them to undertake their work1.

On this basis it is believed that such costs, including incidentals, are not taxable in the hands of the recipient. However, since the HMRC guidance upon which we are relying was not intended specifically for this activity, this may be challenged and this may result in a future tax liability for the University.

1 See

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  • Last reviewed: 29 January 2020