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Updated Travel and Expenses, and Purchase Card policies

Posted on 3 February 2020

The University has updated its policies on travel, expenses and purchase cards.

After extensive consultation with staff around the University, updated policies covering travel and expenses, and purchase cards have been released. From Saturday 1 February 2020 all staff (and qualifying students) are required to use the updated rules and regulations.

Feedback on the older versions told us they were out of date, inconsistently applied across different departments, out of touch with new developments like Airbnb and in some areas were in danger of breaching new UK tax laws meaning some staff could be liable to pay income tax on expenses claimed.

The shorter, simpler updated policies are now aligned and designed to be more flexible in some areas, and more restrictive in others where we need to ensure we are compliant. The policies also reflect a set of principles that take into consideration our environmental impact, and our need to create savings and efficiencies. In booking travel, or when purchasing items, we want staff to ask themselves - ‘Do I really need to travel?’ and ‘Is this value for money?’ Proposals for a project to digitise the claims process are also being considered.

What’s changed?

Changes have been informed by the consultation we carried out and signed off by the University Executive Board (UEB). Most notably:

  • It’s much clearer what to do if your journey doesn’t go to plan or if there is an emergency
  • Accommodation rates have been increased and include options for Airbnb
  • You can book your travel with agencies other than the official University suppliers
  • Compensation for delays and cancellations are claimed and kept by the traveller
  • Rules on group reservations and first class travel are clarified
  • Updated rules on purchasing goods
  • Restrictions on purchasing gifts for staff
  • Rules on claiming professional subscriptions simplified and UK tax legislation compliant.

Find out more

For anyone likely to make a claim we have launched a new e-learning module that explains what you need to know and understand. We recommend you take the time to go through this before you decide to travel, book and pay for any item on expenses or start the claims process.