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Travel Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to outline the University’s requirements for travel on official University Business.


(2) This Policy applies to:

  1. all Council members, staff, students, visitors and job applicants of the University and its controlled entities; and
  2. purchase or reimbursement of all travel products from University Funds. This includes income from research grants, consultancies and income earned by controlled entities.
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Section 2 - Policy


(3) Exceptions to this Policy require approval by the Vice-Chancellor or Vice-President, Finance and Resources.

Reason for Travel

(4) The University will fund Domestic Travel and International Travel expenses for Travellers on approved official University Business. That is, funds will only be spent on travel for business directly associated with the functions of the University.

(5) The Executive Dean / Dean / Head of Office (or delegate) is responsible for determining if travel is for official University Business.

(6) Travellers are not to receive an additional benefit from travelling on University Business. Travellers will not be expected to subsidise the cost of officially representing the University.

Restricted Areas

(7) Travellers are required to comply with the University’s directions in regard to travel to Restricted Areas. Travel in areas listed on the International SOS website as having a “high” or “extreme” medical or travel risk rating requires the review of Risk and Assurance unit prior to travel. All travel to Restricted Areas as identified above requires the prior approval of the Vice-Chancellor (delegated to Risk and Assurance unit).

Personal / Private Travel

(8) Travellers may undertake up to seven (7) days personal or private travel in conjunction with travel on official University Business, provided:

  1. the private travel does not exceed the business portion of travel;
  2. prior approval is obtained for the period of leave; and
  3. all costs associated with this travel are paid for separately and from non-University funds.

(9) Travellers are required to use appropriate leave (annual, long service leave or leave without pay) to cover periods of absence that are not specifically required to conduct University Business. The exception is between periods of authorised travel, where it is impractical to return to normal duties.

(10) University Business must not be compromised if a Traveller is accompanied by a spouse, partner or dependant.

Pre-existing Medical Condition

(11) Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to:

  1. notify the Manager, Workplace Health and Safety, of any pre-existing medical condition that may require special attention during travel; and
  2. provide a current medical certificate from a doctor which:
    1. confirms fitness to travel; and
    2. has been approved by the Vice-President, Finance and Resources.

(12) The University’s travel insurance will not pay expenses incurred by a Traveller who has travelled against the advice of a doctor or who is unfit to travel.


(13) The University will fund a reasonable standard of travel, accommodation and subsistence consistent with the public nature of the University. This will include appropriate levels of safety, convenience and comfort at an appropriate cost to the University and according to its duty of care.

(14) The University will pay approved travel expenses when Travellers are on official University Business in accordance with the Travel Expenses Schedule.

(15) The University will not fund airline life membership programs.

(16) The University will not accept any claim for reimbursement if frequent flyer points are used to purchase travel services nor will the University reimburse the cost of airline lounge memberships (e.g. Qantas Club) not arranged through the Office of Financial Services.

(17) The University will only fund any cost incurred for an accompanying spouse, partner or dependant where this supports the mission of the University and prior approval has been obtained from the approval authority.

Travel Class

(18) The class of travel will depend on the substantive position of the person travelling, as follows:

International Travel

Business Class
Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor, University Council members; permanent members of the University Executive Group (this includes the permanent occupant of the positions of Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President, Finance and Resources, Vice-President, People and Services), permanent occupants of the positions of Executive Dean of Faculty; the Dean of the Australian School of Advanced Medicine and the Dean of the Macquarie Graduate School of Management; Vice-President, Health and Medical Development; Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching); and Pro Vice-Chancellor (International).
Economy Class*
All other staff, visitors and job applicants.

Domestic Travel

Business Class
Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor.
Economy Class*
All other Council members, staff, students, visitors and job applicants

(19) *Includes First-Class rail travel including sleeping berth, but excludes Premium Economy Class.

(20) Spousal and dependant travel will be at the same travel class as the Traveller.


(21) Approval authorities are:

Academic and Professional staff
Executive Dean / Head of Office or travel delegate
Executive Deans, Deans, Heads of Office (reporting to Deputy Vice-Chancellor)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President, Finance and Resources, Vice-President, People and Services
Vice-Chancellor or Acting Vice-Chancellor. If not available then a Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
Heads of Office (reporting to a Vice-President)
Vice-President. If not available then a Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
Chancellor or Deputy Chancellor
Staff of a Controlled Entity
Managing Director of Controlled Entity or travel delegate
Executive Dean, Dean, Head of Office or travel delegate

(22) Note that financial delegation is not a delegation to approve travel.

(23) The Faculty or Office is required to ensure the necessary approvals are in place before booking travel.

(24) Delegated officers cannot approve their own travel expenses. An officer on the next highest level of delegation in a direct reporting line is required to approve the travel expenses.

(25) Subordinates may not approve the travel expenses of a supervisor regardless of whether they have an appropriate delegation.

(26) It is the responsibility of the travel approver to ensure that a Traveller is not visiting areas where DFAT advises against travel unless approval has been obtained from the appropriate officer.

Paying for Travel

(27) A University Credit Card is to be used as a first preference for purchasing travel-related expenditure.

(28) Travellers who have a University Credit Card:

  1. may only apply for a Travel Advance where the card cannot be used for some travel expenses; and
  2. may not apply for a Per Diem.

(29) Travellers who do not have a University Credit Card may:

  1. apply for a Credit Card; or
  2. apply in advance for a Per Diem or Travel Advance.

(30) A Travel Advance and a Per Diem cannot be claimed for the same period of travel.

(31) Reimbursement may only be claimed when a University Credit Card is not available and a Per Diem allowance or Travel Advance has not been claimed. Where a Traveller has maintained receipts in excess of a Per Diem or Travel Advance, additional reimbursement will be made.

(32) Travellers are not permitted to use personal credit cards to purchase airline tickets.

Travel Purchase

(33) When purchasing travel services, Travellers are required to:

  1. use the University’s contracted travel agent Corporate Travel Management (CTM) to book all Domestic Travel (refer Booking Travel); 
  2. use the University’s contracted travel agents Corporate Travel Management (CTM) for all International Travel (refer Booking Travel); 
  3. use the University’s preferred airline carrier, Qantas, unless this carrier does not meet the criteria of Best Fare of the Day; 
  4. choose the Best Fare of the Day and cheapest car hire rate available at the time of booking, regardless of reward program membership; 
  5. consider Traveller convenience in relation to flight times, stopovers and length of flight; and
  6. contain costs and obtain value for money wherever practical.

(34) If Travellers purchase air travel from any other travel agent, their University Credit Card will be subject to immediate cancellation.

Taxi / Cabcharge

(35) The Cabcharge facility is available for taxi travel on official University Business where:

  1. the use of a pool vehicle, or convenient public transport is not appropriate; or
  2. where substantial University goods or equipment is being carried.

(36) The use of Cabcharge for personal purposes is not permitted, except in exceptional circumstances.

(37) Travellers are not permitted to add tips to Cabcharge transactions.

Travel Diary

(38) Travellers must keep a Travel Diary when travelling on University Business, whether fully or partially-funded, for:

  1. all International Travel;
  2. Domestic Travel of more than five (5) consecutive nights; or
  3. reimbursement of expenses.

Fringe Benefits Tax

(39) The University will comply with all taxation obligations, such as Fringe Benefits Tax.

Executive Group Travel

(40) Except in exceptional circumstances, no more than two (2) members of the University Executive Group are to travel together.

Compliance and Breaches

(41) The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).

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Section 3 - Procedures

(42) See the Travel Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(43) See the Travel Guideline.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(44) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Advance means Travel Advance.
  2. Best Fare of the Day means the lowest available (cheapest) fare for the journey that enables the business purpose to be completed effectively.
  3. Contracted supplier means selected supplier or travel service provider that offers special commercial benefits to Macquarie University.
  4. Domestic Travel means travel to any destination within Australia.
  5. Emergency Assistance Card means a card to assist with medical and other emergencies while travelling overseas.
  6. Employee means staff of the University and staff of the University’s controlled entities and students.
  7. Frequent Traveller means an employee who travels domestically more than twelve (12) times per year or, alternatively, combined internationally and domestically more than eight (8) times per year.
  8. Fully-Funded Travel means where the University pays all costs associated with business-related travel, regardless of whether the University is reimbursed.
  9. International Travel means official travel to any destination outside Australia.
  10. Partially-Funded Travel means where the University does not fully meet the travel expenses.
    1. Examples of when this might occur are:
      1. attendance at conferences;
      2. absence on research field work; or
      3. absence on special training courses / live-in courses.
    2. In these cases the total amount of University funds approved for travel expenses should be stipulated as part of the travel approval.
  11. Per Diem means a daily allowance paid, at the discretion of the University, to cover all meals and minor incidentals.
  12. Reasonable Accommodation means a single room with a private shower / bath in a moderately priced Business Class hotel / motel (usually classified as 3 to 4 star).
  13. Reasonable costs means all legitimate work-related expenses which are incurred.
  14. Reimbursement means a payment to compensate for a business-related expense already incurred. Reimbursements are subject to Fringe Benefits Tax unless the amount is substantiated and meets the reasonableness test of the Australian Taxation Office and the University.
  15. Restricted Area means any country or region where the medical or travel risk to the Traveller is considered high. In general, the University will be guided by the advice / recommendation of the International SOS the University’s travel risk management.
  16. Travel Advance means a payment of up to 85% of travel costs provided to a Traveller to cover predicted expenditure where the University Credit Card cannot be used.
  17. Travel Diary means a record of travel events to meet the requirements of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), including any audit of the University’s Fringe Benefits Tax obligations or an employee’s tax deductions. Under the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986, a Travel Diary must provide the following details for each business activity:
    1. the date the entry was made;
    2. the place where the activity was undertaken;
    3. date and approximate time when the activity commenced;
    4. duration of the activity; and
    5. the nature of the activity.
  18. Traveller means a person using University funds to pay for travel expenses.
  19. University Business means the activity of a business, educational or professional nature sanctioned by the University.
  20. University Credit Card means University-issued credit card used to procure goods / services for University use.
  21. University Funds means all funds controlled by the University, including grant money, consultancy earnings, research grant monies and earnings from entrepreneurial ventures.