This policy applies to costs associated with travel on Branch and Union business and paid for out of Branch funds

PURPOSE

To ensure the appropriate and efficient use of union resources

POLICY STATEMENT

HSUSA employees and Officers are expected to uphold the integrity of the Branch and the Union in the highest manner when undertaking their duties and in their undertakings with members, employers, outside organisations and suppliers.

  • HSUSA employees and Officers must behave honestly and with integrity in the course of their employment or duties.
  • HSUSA employees and Officers must disclose, and take reasonable steps to avoid, any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with Union employment or duties.
  • HSUSA employees and Officers must not make improper use of inside information or use the employee’s or Officer’s duties, status, power or authority in order to gain, or seek to gain, a benefit or advantage for the employee, Officer or for any other person.

DEFINITIONS

‘BCOM’ is the Branch Committee of Management elected in accordance with the rules of the Union.

‘The Branch’ refers to the Health Services Union, South Australian Branch.

‘Bookkeeper’ means the person appointed to manage and operate the financial accounts of the Branch on a day to day basis.

“HSUSA” or “Health Services Union South Australian Branch” means the Health Services Union, Branch.

“Union” means the Health Services Union South Australian Branch.

“Health Services Union” or “HSU” means the National Union (as defined by the rules) of which HSU SA/NT is a Branch.

‘Officer’ is an Officer of the Branch in accordance with the rules of the Union..

POLICY                              

  1. Travel Related Expenditure

1.1     Any Officers or employees, or other persons authorised by the Branch Secretary, are entitled to have the Branch pay, or to be compensated, for the reasonable actual costs (accommodation, meals and incidentals) incurred which are associated with an overnight stay away from their home when on Branch or Union related business.

1.2     The payment or compensation for costs associated with an overnight stay can be made in one, or a combination, of the following ways:

(i)    By submitting a Claim for Travel Expenses form in accordance with Clause 2 for the reasonable actual cost of meals, incidentals and other approved travel expenses.

Such Claims must be itemised on a claim form specifying the date, time, destination, and purpose of travel and must involve accommodation at a commercial premises such as a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast, etc.

Such claims must be accompanied by a valid receipt.

(ii)   Alternatively, the Branch may pay directly for the reasonable cost associated with meal expenses associated with an overnight stay by either paying on account or by the use of the Branch credit card facility. Such expenditure must be supported by a valid receipt.

1.3     As a guide, the reasonable cost of meals are those defined as “Reasonable rates” by the Australian Taxation Office Taxation (ATO) Taxation Determination (eg TD2011/17) using the relevant table, as varied by the ATO from time to time.

1.4     Where any Officer or employee is required to undertake work related travel requiring overnight accommodation an incidental allowance may be claimed for each overnight stay. The incidental allowance payable is that defined by the Australian Taxation Office Taxation (ATO) Taxation Determination (eg TD2011/17) using the relevant table, as varied by the ATO from time to time.  All other incidental expenses such as room bar tabs, snacks, in-room movies and cigarettes are the responsibility of the individual and cannot be claimed from the Branch.

  1. Travel Expense Claims

2.1     All claims for authorised travel expenses must be made in writing and be supported by receipts and tax invoices for all such expenditure.

2.2     The Bookkeeper will ensure that travel expenditure claims have the associated receipts and tax invoices attached and contain sufficient information to establish the exact nature and purpose of the expenditure or claim.

2.3     Prior to travel expenditure claim payment being made, the Secretary must approve such payments by signing the Travel Expenses Claim form.

2.4     Claims for travel expenses made by the Secretary must be approved by the President prior to payment being made.

  1. Travel Related Expenses by Unpaid Officers and Members of BCOM

3.1     The Branch will pay the reasonable costs incurred by members of the BCOM, or other persons approved by the BCOM, who are required to travel to attend to Branch or Union business to the extent of fuel, economy class airfares, accommodation, taxis, airport parking and meals.

  1. 2 The payment for reasonable costs incurred in sub-clauses 3.1 may be claimed by way of reimbursement, or paid directly by the Branch, as provided for in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Policy.
  1. Travel Authorisation

4.1     Branch Officers and employees are authorised to undertake travel where necessary on Branch or Union related business.

4.2     The Branch Secretary must pre-approve all travel involving an airfare and/or an overnight stay.

  1. Frequent Flyer Program Benefits

It is recognised that frequent travel often involves travel outside of standard hours and Branch Officers and employees being away from home for extended periods of time.  In recognition of the personal impact of business travel, Branch Officers and employees may retain frequent flyer points earned as a result of Branch or Union travel.

  1. Taxis

All taxi travel may only be utilised by travellers on official or Union business only.  Taxi travel paid for by the Branch must not be used for personal travel.

  1. Air Travel

7.1     Unless in exceptional circumstances, only economy class airfares should be utilised for air travel on Branch or Union business.

7.2     Where possible, the most economical airfare available should be utilised.  However, if there is a likelihood that bookings may need to be changed or altered, then a flexible fare should be utilised that avoids the cancellation or change of booking fees.

7.3     Bookings should be made as far in advance as possible as fares get more expensive as the date gets nearer.

  1. Public Transport – Buses, Trams, Trains etc

Where it is convenient and economical to do so, train, tram, bus or other forms of public transport may be utilised when travelling on Branch or Union Business and the cost claimed on the provision of a valid receipt.

  1. Hire Cars

Rental vehicles may be used where economical and practical. All vehicle rentals must be for economy-class vehicles, unless three or more people are traveling together and/or when travellers have to carry excess baggage and/or equipment for Branch or Union purposes.

  1. Accommodation

10.1   Any Branch Officers, employees or other persons approved by the Secretary are entitled have the Branch pay, or to be compensated, for the reasonable actual costs of accommodation incurred which are associated with an overnight stay away from their home when on Branch or Union related business.

10.2   As a guide, the reasonable costs of accommodation are those defined as “Reasonable rates” by the Australian Taxation Office Taxation (ATO) Taxation Determination (eg TD2011/17) using the relevant table, as varied by the ATO from time to time. The accommodation rates are the allowance for the capital city rate for each State.  It is recognised that from time to time accommodation expenditure may exceed these rates due to accommodation shortages or accommodation location for the same or similar level of accommodation.

Accommodation while traveling should provide a safe and secure environment, be convenient to the place of work and provide value for money.

10.3   Accommodation bookings should be made as far in advance as possible as costs get more expensive as the date gets nearer.

10.4   Where appropriate, a bed and breakfast package may be booked.

10.5   Costs for mini bar and other incidental expenses (eg in room movies) associated with accommodation stays will not be paid for by the Branch.

  1. Accompanying Spouse, Partner and Dependent Travel

11.1   Costs associated with spouse, partner or dependent travel will not be paid for by the Branch except on the prior approval and by resolution of the BCOM.  In approving expenditure associated with spouse, partner or dependent travel, the BCOM will detail in the minutes the reasons for approving the Spouse, partner or dependent travel.  Spouse, partner or dependent travel will only be approved where it is directly related to the conduct of the Branch Officer’s or employee’s duties (e.g. attendance at an official function or ceremony such as where the spouse or partner is invited).

11.2   The Branch acknowledges that an accompanying spouse, partner or dependent may accompany the traveller on Branch or Union required travel for private purposes where it does not result in an additional cost.

11.3   The Branch will not fund any cost incurred for an accompanying spouse, partner, or dependent except as provided for in sub-clause 11.1.

  1. Compliance and Review of this Policy

12.1   A substantial or repeated breach of this policy by a Branch Officer or employee covered by the scope of this policy will be deemed to be a disciplinary offence in the case of an employee or misconduct under the rules of the Union in the case of a Branch Officer.

12.2   In June each year, the Branch Finance Committee will undertake a review of the operation of this Policy to ensure that the policy is adequately regulating the travel expenditure of the Branch and that the policy is being fully complied with and report the findings of the review to the BCOM.

12.3   The Branch Finance Committee and the BCOM will each have a standing ‘Governance Issues’ agenda item for each meeting to provide a regular forum for the discussion of Branch governance issues.

12.4   The Branch Secretary will ensure that all relevant policies and procedures are made available to Branch Officers and employees and that appropriate training (including an induction process) is provided to ensure they understand the Branch’s financial policies and procedures and their own responsibilities.

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