Staff Travel and Expenses Policy Revision 1st November 2016
The Staff Travel and Expenses Policy has been revised with effect from 1 November with a few key changes. It’s important that all University staff familiarise themselves with the policy in general and what should be considered when travelling on business, as claims must be rejected if they do not qualify.
The main changes are:
Please note the following key points:
All business travel and accommodation must be booked by the University’s Travel Office. Employees must not pay for trips personally in advance as these costs cannot be reimbursed.
To qualify for lunch, dinner or refreshments, employees must be on business for three hours or more, be prevented from making their normal meal arrangements and be obliged to incur additional expenditure.
All claims should be submitted within 30 days of the trip end date; the University reserves the right to refuse any claims over 90 days old. If an employee is due to leave employment with the University, all travel expenses must be claimed prior to leaving, as access to the Agresso system will not be available once ITS suspends the User ID on the leaving date.
Claims for overseas travel must not exceed the Benchmark Scale Rates (BSR), which are set by HMRC. If an employee actually spends less than the BSR, only the amount spent can be claimed. Similarly, Personal Incidental Expenses (PIEs) must only be claimed when costs have been incurred over and above what would have been spent at home. (PIEs cover incidental expenses such as laundry, personal telephone calls and excess baggage).
Occasionally staff may have to travel from home to a business destination where the actual distance travelled is not much different from the normal home to work commute; such journeys cannot be claimed. The University has an obligation to ensure that money spent is wholly, exclusively and necessary to further its objectives. It is essential that this is processed in a way that is transparent, open, beyond reproach, and meets the highest standards of good governance. The rules set out in the revised policy will ensure that all claims made for travel and other expenses are necessary, reasonable and only incurred when staff are properly engaged on University business.
All payments for business trips are paid through the University’s finance system, which is managed daily; therefore funds will credit bank accounts within three working days from approval in Payroll.
If you have any queries, please contact the Payroll Section.
All staff travel expenses are now processed via the University’s Agresso system and can be accessed through the UoS Portal at: https://portal.salford.ac.uk/
For all information relating to staff travel expenses and to book your trip, please go to the Finance Travel Office website at: http://www.salford.ac.uk/finance/travel-office. Please see below links to our various policies and guides relating to travel.
For trips prior to 1 November 2016 please refer to the archived Staff Travel Policy here.
Training guides are located on Blackboard in the Travel & Expenses Section; however please do not hesitate to contact the Payroll Section on 0161 295 4193 / at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.
Estates and Property Services Overtime Claim Form (manual/skilled staff)
The University processes a large number of voluntary deductions from employees' salaries for various organisations, such as healthcare plans, union subscriptions and charitable giving.
Please find below links to the relevant organisations/forms.
Payroll Giving/Give As You Earn (charitable giving): Charities Aid Foundation Donor Form
Sports Centre: http://www.sport.salford.ac.uk/price_list
Kidscan is a charity based right here at the University of Salford, which supports ground breaking research into new and improved treatments for children with cancer.
You can help Kidscan to discover safe, new treatments for children’s cancers by donating to Kidscan through your salary each month. Simply click here to download and complete the Payroll Giving Form. Your chosen gift amount will automatically be deducted from your monthly pay and donated straight to Kidscan. It really is that simple to play your part in changing the future of childhood cancer treatments.
From April 2017 HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) legislation changed for people who work for the public sector as a sole trader (individual), partnership or through their own company (Personal Service Company/PSC). Where the new rules apply, people who work in the public sector through an intermediary (their own company) will pay employment taxes in a similar way to employees and it is now the responsibility of the University to assess these workers and make the relevant deductions from their payment. This is referred to as the reform of intermediaries legislation (also known as IR35).
The type of workers who may fall within IR35 are companies that provide a range of services including teaching, training, building trades and consultancy. The University’s Procurement team have identified all suppliers who may potentially fall within the new legislation and have written to them. Where appropriate, the supplier payment method will be changed.
A change has also been made to the new supplier set up process. The current process will continue electronically via Agresso; however there are now additional mandatory fields to be completed and this process will apply for all new suppliers who are due to be paid on or after 6 April 2017, regardless of when the work was arranged/carried out.
As part of the new supplier process, small companies will need to be assessed by the engager (the University employee responsible for the contractual arrangements of the worker) for employment status, by using the HMRC Employment Status Service (ESS) to ascertain whether the company/individual falls within IR35. Companies/individuals who fall within IR35 are referred to as ‘Off-Payroll Workers’. HMRC’s ESS tool can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-employment-status-for-tax
Please note the Employment Status Questionnaire (ESQ) is now obsolete and can no longer be submitted to the Payroll Section for employment status assessment. It is the responsibility of the engager to follow the ESS tool above to ascertain the correct status of the worker following the new supplier set up procedure.
The payment process for all suppliers who fall within IR35 has changed; payment will be made by the Payroll Section as part of the month end payroll runs. The supplier invoice needs to be received and registered by the Accounts Payable team by the 3rd working day of each month with the invoice being processed by close of the 10th working day. The invoice can only be passed from the Accounts Payable team to the Payroll Section once the invoice has been processed. Once a supplier has been identified as an Off-Payroll Worker the supplier must understand that they need to adhere to these deadlines to ensure payment is made promptly.
More information for suppliers/engagers can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/off-payroll-working-in-the-public-sector-reform-of-intermediaries-legislation
Overpayments Recovery Policy
The Overpayments Recovery Policy applies to all University staff and workers engaged by the University or any other person paid a salary, allowance, fee or expenses. This policy safeguards the rights of the University to recover overpayments under the Employment Rights Act of 1996.
Northern Season Ticket Loan Scheme
The University of Salford operates a loan scheme for staff who would like to purchase a season ticket to travel to and from work by train. The University purchases the ticket from Northern and recovers the cost through salary deduction over a period of up to nine months.
Please read the terms and conditions of the scheme before applying for a ticket.
Season ticket prices are available at https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/travel/season-ticket-calculator and applications should be made online at https://www.corporateseasontickets.com/season-tickets/salford-uni.
Season Ticket Loan Scheme
The University of Salford operates a loan scheme for staff who would like to purchase a season ticket to travel to and from work by bus, tram or train. The employee purchases the ticket and applies for a loan to cover the full cost, which is then recovered through salary deduction over a period of up to 12 months.
Please read the terms and conditions of the scheme before applying for a loan. The salary deduction mandate/application form can be found on page two of this document. Please complete, sign and forward the mandate to email@example.com.
Metrolink Corporate Season Ticket Loan Scheme
The University’s flexible benefits package is called ‘BenefitsPlus’, which is a salary sacrifice scheme that enables University employees to give up some of their contractual entitlement to cash earnings in return for non-cash benefits. This can lower the amount of income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) employees pay, in accordance with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) legislation. The University introduced this scheme on 1 March 2009.
Under the salary sacrifice scheme, employees agree to a variation in their terms and conditions of employment to reduce their gross pay by the amount of their chosen non-cash benefit(s). As this is a variation to the contract of employment, this may have some implications on other benefits such as Tax Credits, State Pension and Statutory Maternity/Adoption/Paternity Pay; therefore it is essential that employees understand what the sacrifice will mean in practical terms and should consider carefully the effect, or potential effect, that a reduction in their pay may have.
All University employees are eligible to join each strand of BenefitsPlus, provided they meet the rules of entry for each scheme and the reduction for the chosen salary sacrifice option(s) does not take their salary to a rate below the National Minimum Wage (NMW). However, members of the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) may not benefit from this arrangement.
BenefitsPlus was introduced as a benefit for employees and for the University; however if it becomes unviable, the University reserves its right to withdraw the scheme and employees would revert to normal deduction arrangements.
BenefitsPlus Car Parking
Under BenefitsPlus Car Parking, employees benefit from tax and National Insurance Contributions relief (in the majority of cases) on the cost of their monthly car park permit costs. Staff must read the BenefitsPlus Car Parking Salary Sacrifice Scheme overview before joining the scheme.
Employees must sign the relevant BenefitsPlus section of the car parking salary deduction mandate when arranging their car park permit. If this section is not signed, the employee will not be entered into BenefitsPlus; normal car parking deductions will be made. For staff already paying for their car park permit via salary deduction and wish to opt in to the BenefitsPlus scheme, an opt in form can be completed and submitted to the Payroll Section.
BenefitsPlus Cycle To Work Scheme
To promote healthier journeys to work and to reduce environmental pollution, the 1999 Finance Act introduced an annual tax exemption which allows employers to loan cycles and cyclists’ safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit through a salary sacrifice arrangement.
As part of the University’s commitment to encouraging sustainable methods of travel, employees can participate in the BenefitsPlus Cycle to Work scheme. The scheme is offered through Evans Cycles Ride2Work scheme whereby the University purchases cycles for employees to use for their commute to work.
Employees are advised to read the BenefitsPlus Cycle to Work Scheme Overview before completing the BenefitsPlus Cycle to Work Scheme Hire Agreement to ensure the rules of the scheme are fully understood before committing to hiring a cycle and any accessories.
BenefitsPlus Childcare Vouchers
This is a government backed initiative that enables employees to purchase up to £243 per month in childcare vouchers directly from their salary. All employees with children aged up to 16 are eligible to participate and will get tax and NIC relief on the amount of the voucher.
To take advantage of this scheme, employees need to agree a set reduction in their salary which is equivalent to the cost of the childcare vouchers. Following the introduction of new scheme rules in April 2011, HM Revenue and Customs restricted the receipt of vouchers as follows:
Childcare Vouchers are widely accepted and can be used to pay for childcare such as breakfast/after-school clubs, holiday play schemes, nurseries, and registered child-minders. All child carers must be registered before they can accept the vouchers. Employees should check with their childcare provider to find out if they accept childcare vouchers.
To join the BenefitsPlus Childcare Voucher Scheme please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits Plus Pensions
Pension contributions, by their nature, are already tax efficient. BenefitsPlus Pensions allows USS members to additionally make their pension contributions NIC efficient.
Currently, BenefitsPlus Pensions is applicable to USS members only. Unfortunately, the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) and the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) rules do not currently permit the University to apply this arrangement to pension contributions.
All new employees who are eligible for USS membership are automatically entered into USS and BenefitsPlus Pensions. If you do not wish to participate USS, please contact email@example.com for details of how to opt out. If you wish to participate in USS but not BenefitsPlus pensions, please complete the BenefitsPlus Pensions Opt Out form.
The form must be returned to Payroll Section, Finance Department, 5th Floor, Maxwell Building, University of Salford, M5 4WT.
How contributions are calculated
LGPS Member contributions are determined by salary. The University is required to have a policy which explains how this is done.
Workplace pensions can be paid as early as your 55th birthday. However, if pension benefits are paid early they are subject to a reduction. The reductions are calculated differently depending on when the benefits were built up.
Benefits built up before 1st April 2008 are reduced if they are paid before age 60.
Benefits built up between 1st April 2008 and 31st March 2014 are reduced if they are paid before age 65.
Benefits built up from 1st April 2014 onwards are reduced if they are paid before your State Pension Age.
There are also additional protections for some members under the "Rule of 85".
For further information, please visit the LGPS website at http://www.gmpf.org.uk/retirement.htm
Ill Health Retirement
Further changes are being made to the benefits provided by USS from 1 October 2016.
On 1 October, the USS Investment Builder Scheme will be launched. The Investment Builder is open to all USS members. Members earning over a salary threshold (initially £55,000 per year) will be automatically entered into the Investment Builder for the contributions on salary in excess of the salary threshold only.
All members can benefit from the 1% match. A member pays 1% of their salary and the contribution is matched by the University. For further information and to elect to pay AVCs, members must first register on MyUSS.
Members who participate in the salary sacrifice arrangement (Benefits Plus) for standard USS contributions will also participate in Benefits Plus for any AVCs (unless an opt out form is completed). Benefits Plus election forms will be issued to all relevant members as they must confirm that they agree to the change in their terms and conditions.
Further information about salary sacrifice can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/salary-sacrifice-and-the-effects-on-paye and http://www.salford.ac.uk/finance/pay-and-pensions#collapse_620751_8
For further information, please visit the USS website
Workplace pensions can be paid as early as your 55th birthday; however, if pension benefits are paid early they are subject to a reduction. The reductions are calculated differently depending on when the benefits were built up.
There are some exceptions to the above information:
Details can be found in the USS Retirement factsheet
For further information, please visit the USS website
Ill Health Retirement
For further information, please visit the USS website
Workplace pensions can be paid as early as your 55th birthday. However, if pension benefits are paid early they are subject to a reduction. The reductions are calculated differently depending on when you joined the scheme.
If you joined the Teachers' Pension Scheme before 1 January 2007, your benefits will be reduced if they are paid before age 60.
If you joined Teachers' Pension Scheme between 1 January 2007 and 31st March 2015, your benefits will be reduced if they are paid before age 65.
If you joined the Teachers’ Pension Scheme on or after 1 April 2015, your benefits will be reduced if they are paid before your State Pension Age.The above rules apply to members of the Final Salary section of TPS. If you are in the Career Average Section of TPS, the benefits will be reduced if they are paid before your State Pension Age.
For further information, please visit the TPS website at https://www.teacherspensions.co.uk/members/your-scheme/retirement-planning.aspx
Part-time hours change form
Request for cash equivalent transfer value (CETV)
Application for retirement: Actuarially adjusted benefits
Phased retirement application form 2015
Application for retirement benefits: Age
Ill health retirement application form 2015
Death grant nomination form
Partner nomination form