Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy

Overview

This document sets out the policy (and procedures) for payment and reimbursement of approved work-related travel expenses of employees at [the Company]. It has been developed to assist employees understand the rules and circumstances around incurring and payment of approved work-related expenses whilst travelling on work-related business. Reimbursement of private motor vehicle use claims is dealt with under the Vehicle Policy [insert link to Flare Document 4.1T]; and other miscellaneous approved work-related expense claims not connected to travel are dealt with under the Expenses Claim Policy [insert link to Flare Document 4.1H].

In general, [the Company] will pay for or reimburse staff members for ordinary, necessary and reasonable expenses that are directly connected with or pertaining to travel on business for [the Company]. Two broad principles are:

  • employees are expected to exercise prudent business judgment regarding expenses covered by this policy; and
  • employees are neither to lose or gain financially from travel on behalf of [the Company].

This policy applies to[see note]:

  • accommodation expense claims;
  • meal and incidental expense claims whilst travelling;
  • other travel expense claims;
  • [amend the list above as necessary to meet your business needs.]

This policy applies to all employees of [the Company]. [Amend as necessary, for example, if reimbursement of travel expenses only applies to a certain group of employees].

Only employee expenses covered by this policy (or expressly payable under other [the Company] policies) will be reimbursed by [the Company].

Pre-approval” under this policy is when approval for a proposed work-related travel expense is obtained by an employee prior to booking of the event that incurs the work-related expense or prior to incurring the work-related expense.

Expense claim types

The following work-related employee expenses will be reimbursed by [the Company] as provided: [amend types of claims and procedure as necessary to meet your business needs]

  • accommodation expense claims—employees who are required to travel for work related activities, which requires an overnight stay away from their normal place of residence, are to arrange pre-approval of their accommodation through their manager.
  • [insert this section if your organisation wishes to arrange accommodation on behalf of the employee as the preferred course—for example, to ensure an approved list of accommodation is utilised]
  • Upon pre-approval being obtained, [insert name of person/ business unit] will arrange for accommodation. If [insert name of person/ business unit] is unable to arrange for accommodation, the employee may arrange for accommodation.
  • Where an employee has arranged for accommodation, accommodation rates will be reimbursed to the employee. The accommodation rates paid by the employee should not exceed the amount specified below at clause 2.4.
  • [insert this section if your organisation does not wish to arrange accommodation on behalf of the employee]
  • Accommodation rates will be reimbursed to the employee. The accommodation rates paid by the employee should not exceed the amount specified below at clause 2.4.
  • meal and incidental expense claims—employees who or are required to travel for work activities, which requires an overnight stay away from their normal place of residence, are able to claim back reasonable expenses (provided also that the expenses do not exceed the appropriate amount specified below at clause 2.4) for meals and incidentals. Any reimbursements over the maximum amount payable may be required to be paid by the employee.

  • laundry costs—When washing facilities are not available, [the Company] will reimburse employees for the cost of laundering necessary clothing whilst travelling away from home for more than three nights.
  • incidental travel expense claims—employees who are required to travel for work related reasons will be reimbursed for reasonable expense claims covering fares for flights, rail or coach, car rentals or taxi fares. Expense claims for fares relating to flights, rail or coach and car rentals must be pre-approved by the employee’s manager.
  • telephone call charges—[the Company] will reimburse employees for telephone calls made from a hotel room if the employee has not been issued with a mobile phone. Employees who have been provided with a mobile phone by [the Company] should use the mobile phone in preference to the hotel phone. For travel overseas, employees should seek pre-approval for the mobile phone to be given approved status rather than pay excessive global roaming charges.

The following also apply to travel related claims:

  • Taxis should only be used where other forms of public transport are impractical or not cost effective.
  • Any domestic air travel should be in economy class seating or equivalent. [The Company] may consider a request for upgraded seating to premium economy or business class for overseas travel where the distance or time of arrival can justify the additional expense. Employees must obtain prior approval for any seating above economy class.
  • [The Company] will reimburse miscellaneous approved work-related expense claims incurred whilst travelling on work-related business provided they have been pre-approved by [insert person eg business unit manager] and deemed by [the Company] as reasonable. In circumstances where pre-approval is not possible or practical, [the Company] may consider reimbursement of reasonable miscellaneous expenses but such reimbursement is at the entire discretion of [the Company]. [The Company] expects that in nearly all cases, pre-approval would be obtained.

The following work-related employee expenses will NOT be reimbursed by [the Company] as provided: [add types of prohibited claims as necessary to meet your business needs]

  • Membership fees of airline clubs or frequent flyer programs.
  • Alcohol (other than a reasonable amount forming part of a meal);
  • In-house movies;
  • Items from hotel or motel Mini-bars;
  • Traffic or speeding or parking fines;
  • Excess baggage charges except where it can be demonstrated that the [the Company] is responsible for the incurrence of the charges.
  • Travel costs incurred for an employee’s spouse or children except where pre- approved. These costs include, but are not limited to accommodation, airfares, meals, babysitting fees.
  • Haircutting or barber fees and toiletries purchased while travelling.
  • Meals that are included in accommodation costs met by [the Company] (for example, [the Company] may book accommodation that includes breakfast. In these circumstances, the cost of a breakfast eaten elsewhere will not be reimbursed).
  • Items paid for by others, for example, meals provided by clients.
  • Excessive or unreasonable costs even if within the monetary limits set by this policy;

The following table outlines the maximum amounts that will be reimbursed for accommodation, meal and incidentals expense claims for employees who are required to stay overnight at a place other than their place of residence, and for meals and incidentals for employees who are required to stay at work after [insert time]:

Accommodation Reimbursement Rates Meal and Incidentals Reimbursement Rates for overnight stay(s) Meal and Incidental Reimbursement Rates in other circumstances
Up to $XXX.XX per night Up to $XX.XX per night Up to $XX.XX

[amend the above as necessary]

2.3        [insert name of person/business unit] has sole discretion to authorise reimbursement of expenses above these maximum rates (see clause 2.4) provided that authorisation is sought by the employee prior to incurring the expense and only if there are exceptional reasons for doing so.

Responsibilities

Employees are responsible for:

  • ensuring they understand and adhere to the policy;
  • acting reasonably in incurring work-related expenses whilst travelling;
  • providing all the relevant documents necessary (including a proper tax invoice), or otherwise required, to be provided in order for the proposed expenses to be approved;
  • ensuring they have pre-approval for proposed expenses where required by this policy; and
  • submitting approved personal expense claims using applicable company forms and following required procedure (refer further to clause 4.1 below).

Procedures

In order to receive reimbursement of work-related expenses referred to above in clause 2, employees are required to complete the applicable expenses form [insert where this form can be found and/or amend name of form if necessary], attach a valid tax invoice or other required documentation as required [the organisation’s particular expense form should specify what documentation is required], and submit it to their manager for signing and forwarding to [insert name of accounts or finance team or manager] as soon as practicable.

Reimbursement

[The Company]’s commitment to reimbursement of an employee’s work related travel expense(s) is dependent on the employee following the correct procedures outlined in this policy, and in respect of expenses incurred reasonably in the performance of work related activities as covered by this policy.

Non-compliance with policy

If an employee fails to adhere to the terms of this policy (including specified procedures) in seeking to have an expense claim reimbursed, the employee may not have their expense claim reimbursed by [the Company] and could face disciplinary action.

Free Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy

Download this free Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy template to ensure all your employees are aligned when it comes to reimbursement of travel expenses.

By downloading this template, you agree to use it at your own risk and under your own legal advice. Nothing on this site should be considered legal advice.