Travel expenses: departmental guide
What can and cannot be reimbursed for travel, including business travel, vaccines, visas, and using Key Travel
Occasional travel to another location significantly removed from normal place of work, e.g. conference or meeting attendance.
|þ||Travel within the UK or to another country for University business, e.g. field research, conference etc.|
|þ||Travel to temporary workplace, for example working at another University site significantly further away than the normal place of work.|
|þ||Travel made by visiting academics when undertaking University business.|
|þ||Travel by non-University personnel in return for services provided to the University (clinical trials participants etc.|
Any type of travel undertaken for personal benefit is not business travel.
ý Case Study Example - Ordinary Commuting
Alice is engaged as an employee by the University to carry out six months' work in Oxford. She normally lives in Glasgow and travels to Oxford on Sundays to stay in temporary accommodation during the week, travelling back to Glasgow on Friday evenings. Alice submits an expenses claim for the train fare to and from Oxford.
Under Principle 3 - Personal benefit is received. Alice’s journey from Glasgow to Oxford is classed as ordinary commuting. As a payment for ordinary commuting is classed as a personal benefit under HMRC regulations and subject to income tax and national insurance, Alice should not be reimbursed for these costs.
ý Case Study Example - Adding non-essential mileage and subsistence to travel claim
Spencer lives in Headington and is a clinical trials volunteer taking part in a new vaccination programme. The terms of his involvement include reimbursement of travel from his home to the Churchill Hospital for monthly monitoring, and attendance with a clinical counsellor once per week in Cowley. This means his journey between his home and clinical counsellor, and his home and the Churchill Hospital may be authorised and reimbursed. However, if Spencer leaves the Churchill Hospital, travels to Summertown to meet a friend for lunch and then travels back home to Headington, any additional mileage for his travel to and from Summertown should NOT be reimbursed, nor the cost of his lunch as these costs are not related to the clinical trial.
Under Principle 3 - Personal benefit is received. These costs should not be reimbursed. Spencer can only claim for direct mileage from his home to the agreed University location without deviation.
|ý||Travelling to and from your normal place of work (ordinary commuting). Under Principle 3, a personal benefit is received.|
|ý||Travelling to another place of work within vicinity of normal work place. Under Principle 3, a personal benefit is received.|
|ý||Calling in at another work location on the way to normal place of work. Under Principle 3, a personal benefit is received.|
|ý||Adding additional mileage and subsistence onto business travel claim. Under Principle 3, a personal benefit is received.|
Wherever possible, business travel insurance should be arranged through the University in line with Principle 1, to receive value for money, and Principle 2, for the University to pay directly. When this is not possible and with departmental approval, travel insurance for overseas business travel may be reclaimed only when University insurance cannot be obtained.
The University will not pay for any fines or penalties incurred by individuals in the course of allowed business travel. This includes:
- parking fines;
- speeding or other traffic penalties; or
- release, clamping and impounding fees, etc.
ý Case Study Example - Fine incurred during business travel
Rumi is attending a meeting at the Saïd Business School first thing in the morning and another at the Oxford Science park later in the day. She decides to use her own vehicle to travel to the meetings to save time. When leaving the Business School, Rumi drives down Castle Street past the Westgate Shopping Centre on her way out of the city centre. Castle Street is a bus route, and Rumi receives a £60 fine which she claims for in her expenses along with her business mileage.
Under Principle 3 – The fine is not a business expense. The fine was completely avoidable and unnecessary and should not be reimbursed. Rumi should have used the public highway route to avoid a fine.