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Travel Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The Travel Policy (‘Policy’) details Western Sydney University's (‘the University’) travel principles. This Policy is to be read in conjunction with the Travel Procedure (Procedure) document.

(2) This policy applies to all University staff, students, student groups, student placement and any other approved persons undertaking official University business travel (‘University travellers’), fully or partially supported by the University regardless of funding source.

(3) University travellers must use the University appointed Travel Management Company (TMC) to book all travel needs via the University's Travel and Expense Management System (TEMS).

(4) All University travel must receive relevant Travel Approval by the associated delegated officer, prior to booking travel, in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy.

(5) Risks are to be managed in accordance with the University's Work Health and Safety Policy and obligations and must take into consideration any travel advice issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

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Section 2 - Definitions

(6) For the purposes of this policy and any associated procedures:

  1. Detailed Travel Schedule/Travel Diary is a document that meets the Australian Taxation Office requirements to provide a record of activities in which a University traveller records the dates, places, times, duration, and nature of their activities and travel, distinguishing between ‘business’ and ‘private’ expenses. The purpose of a Travel Diary is to provide a record of activities so that the University can break down the travel expenses into ‘business’ and ‘private’ components.
  2. External Parties means travellers who are required to undertake official University business, but are not University staff or students, or part of a student group or student placement, e.g. visiting academic, scholar, visiting adjunct, etc.
  3. Official University Business is any travel for a University traveller business engagement, including but not limited to, meetings, teaching, conference attendance and/or presentation, research, field trips, Academic Development Programs, student groups, student placement and student or visiting fellow trips that are approved by a delegated University officer regardless of funding source.
  4. Risk Rating means scales as determined with the University's selected Risk Management Provider.
  5. Travel and Expense Management System (TEMS) means the web-based travel booking and approval tool.
  6. Travel Approval means the review process undertaken by the appropriate delegated authority, in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy, to decide whether to approve travel, request further information or decline the travel request through the Travel and Expense Management System (TEMS).
  7. Travel Insurance means the University's corporate insurance cover for all University travellers undertaking Official University Business travel.
  8. Travel Management Company (TMC) means the travel agent as appointed by the University.
  9. University's Risk Management Provider means the University appointed provider for medical, safety and security expertise and assistance for travel.
  10. High/extreme risk reflects the definition in the University's Business Travel Insurance Policy.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

Travel Approvals

(7) All University Travel must be approved in line with this Policy and related Travel Procedure and by the appropriate University delegate, outlined in the University's Delegations Register.

(8) Alternatives to travel such as teleconferencing and videoconferencing must be duly considered to support sustainability initiatives at the University.

(9) If the travel is wholly funded by an external source which mandates the use of their own travel agent, University travellers are not required to use the University agent. All external itineraries must be attached to the travel request and emailed to plans@concur.com for risk management purposes. It is preferred that the University traveller books through the University agent and raises an invoice to the external source for the cost.

Travel Bookings

(10) All air travel, accommodation and car hire must be booked through TEMS via the University appointed TMC.

(11) Conference accommodation that forms part of the conference registration package may be booked directly at the time of registration. University travellers must ensure they attach conference accommodation details to their travel request.

(12) Where University travellers intend to stay with friends or relatives, this should be declared upon submission of the travel request. In such circumstances, reimbursement of accommodation expenses cannot be claimed.

(13) All University travellers are required to travel economy class or equivalent and by the most direct route containing no overnight stopovers, except where:

  1. an employee substantially occupies one of the following positions: member of the University Executive, a Dean, or a Director, Research Institute;
  2. an employee's employment contract authorises a different class of travel, e.g. business class;
  3. travel is fully funded by and undertaken on behalf of an external organisation. The standard of travel is dependent on the funding institutions policies;
  4. required by a current approved Reasonable Adjustment Plan in accordance with the Disability Policy;
  5. a stop-over is required for legitimate official University Business, with approval from the relevant University Executive, Dean, or Director, Research Institute.
  6. there are other circumstances specifically approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President on presentation of a documented case with a recommendation by the relevant University Executive, Dean, or Director, Research Institute; 

(14) All University travel must be recorded within TEMS. For further details, refer to University's Travel Procedure document.

Travel Insurance

(15) University travellers conducting official University business are covered under insurance by the University Corporate Travel Insurance. University travellers must have private travel insurance to cover any private components of the travel.

(16) Exclusions from the insurance, covered by University Corporate Travel Insurance, may apply to areas with a high/extreme Risk Rating and or activities conducted by the traveller that are deemed high/extreme risk (e.g. professional sport, skiing and the like).

(17) Travel Risk Management and Safety, the University aims to protect the health and safety of employees and students undertaking University related travel. The University has engaged a travel risk management provider with 24-hour traveller assistance to assess, manage and monitor risk during international travel. Details are on the University's Travel web page.

(18) Risks are to be managed in accordance with the University's Work Health and Safety Policy and obligations and must take into consideration any travel advice issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). University travellers will adhere to and monitor DFAT travel advisories when organising and travelling internationally. In order to protect staff and student’s health and wellbeing, from time to time the University may determine that certain locations present undue risk over and above the guidance provided by DFAT.  In such situations the University may request that University Travellers cancel or suspend travel to such destinations.

(19) University travellers are responsible for their own health and safety and must ensure that they do not do anything that creates or increases the risk to their health and safety.

(20) In the event of a High/Extreme Risk (such as, but not limited to, civil unrest or natural disaster) while travelling, the University traveller must follow any advice issued by the University as per the travel risk management processes, the University risk management provider, or the relevant local authorities.

(21) Where a traveller is aware of a pre-existing medical condition that may be aggravated by or difficult to manage or treat during travel, they must disclose this as part of the travel approval process. Refer to the Travel Procedure document for details.

DFAT Risk Elements

(22) University travellers must subscribe to DFAT Smart Traveller prior to departure.

(23) DFAT travel advisory classification “Reconsider Your Need to Travel”

  1. Approval for travel to destinations with “Reconsider Your Need to Travel” DFAT level must be accompanied by an approved risk assessment.
  2. Where, after travel has been booked, the DFAT travel advisory classification escalates to "reconsider your need to travel" the relevant Travel Approver must re-approve travel, accompanied by a risk assessment, before the traveller departs.
  3. Risk assessment details are outlined in the Travel Procedure document.

(24) DFAT travel advisory classification “Do Not Travel”

  1. The University will not approve travel where the DFAT travel advisory classification is "do not travel".
  2. Where the DFAT travel advisory classification escalates to "do not travel" the travel approval will be withdrawn.
  3. If after travel has commenced the DFAT travel advisory classification escalates to “do not travel”, the University traveller must follow any advice issued by the University, the University travel risk management service or the relevant authorities.

Travel Expenses and Advances

(25) University employees and students can request a travel advance based on estimated costs where pre-payments or the use of a corporate credit card is not possible.

(26) Travel advances are limited to $1,000 for international travel and $500 for domestic travel unless specifically approved by the Executive Director, Financial Operations. Frequent travellers should have a corporate credit card (refer to the Corporate Credit Card Policy).

(27) University travellers, excluding Academic Development Program (ADP) participants, who are staying overnight away from their home on official business travel, are entitled to claim reasonable travel expenses relating to accommodation, meals and incidentals. All expenses incurred for travel are required to be within the travellers approved funding as noted in the expense summary of the approved travel request. 

Travel Diaries

(28) A Detailed Travel Schedule (DTS) is to be completed for all travel requests that include an overnight stay.

(29) A DTS/Travel Diary must detail all business activities during the relevant travel in order to comply with the Fringe Benefits Tax Act 1986.

University Traveller Accompanied by Another Person

(30) No costs associated with the accompanying person will be met by the University, and this may require an upfront payment by the University traveller direct to the University travel agent at the time of finalising the booking. If the travel is partly funded, the University will only pay up to the amount of funding.

(31) The University travellers with entitlements other than economy class cannot convert these higher class airfares to economy class and offset the cost of downgrading against a second economy ticket.

(32) The University's travel insurance does not cover accompanying persons. Appropriate personal travel insurance must be arranged privately for the accompanying person.

Airline Membership

(33) Staff who undertake official business travel at least ten times per year may be eligible for Corporate Membership of preferred airline club/accommodation and other travel service providers. Refer to the Travel Procedure document for application details.

Frequent Flyer Point

(34) Where frequent flyer/award points are earned by the University travellers as a result of official business travel, the points earned should be used by the University traveller for subsequent University travel.

(35) Frequent University travellers should not jeopardise the most cost effective outcome in order to gain frequent flyer points.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(36) The Policy is to be read in conjunction with the Travel Procedure document which details the mandatory processes required to implement this policy.

(37) For further essential information, please refer to the University's Corporate Travel Insurance on the University Insurances web page.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(38) This policy must be read in conjunction with University policies, including:

  1. Academic Development Program (ADP) Policy
  2. Conference Policy
  3. Conflict of Interest Policy
  4. Corporate Credit Card Policy
  5. Delegations of Authority Policy
  6. Disability Policy
  7. Placement Policy
  8. Procurement Policy
  9. Professional Development Policy
  10. Student International Mobility Policy
  11. Work Health and Safety Policy