Reimbursement of expenses is an integral part of employment agreements, ensuring that employees are not out of pocket for expenses necessarily incurred in the course of their duties. The Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022 provides specific guidelines on how the employer, in this case, a Victorian Government School, will reimburse its employees.
What Expenses Are Reimbursable?
According to the Agreement, an employee will be reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred while performing authorised duties. The employer determines whether an expense is reasonable based on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) rulings relating to reasonable allowances, unless otherwise approved by the Employer.
Reimbursable expenses include:
- Travelling, accommodation, meals, and other incidental expenses associated with overnight absence from home or part-day duties away from the normal work location.
- Expenses incurred in using private mobile and home phones for work-related calls, with prior approval from the Employer and submission of an itemised statement of the calls made and their cost.
- Expenses incurred in using private vehicles for work-related travel, with prior approval from the Employer and submission of a declaration stating the date, purpose of the trip, number of kilometres travelled, and type of vehicle used. Rates payable for motor kilometre costs are determined by the ATO.
What About Removal Expenses?
If an ongoing employee is required to relocate their residence due to promotion, transfer following an official instruction, transfer to an advertised vacancy after serving a certain period at a single school or location, or redeployment as an excess employee, they will be reimbursed for travel, meals, accommodation, and the cost of removal of household and personal belongings.
However, an employee is not eligible for reimbursement of removal expenses if the transfer is due to their request, fault, or misconduct or if the relocation is within certain specified areas. Also, if more than one employee is eligible to be reimbursed removal expenses for the same relocation, only one employee will be reimbursed.
The Agreement also provides for a re-establishment allowance and the reimbursement of stamp duty paid on the purchase of a residence or land for their permanent occupation at the new location, subject to certain conditions.
The Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022 provides a comprehensive framework for the reimbursement of expenses incurred by employees in the course of their duties. It ensures that employees are not financially disadvantaged while performing their roles, promoting a fair and supportive work environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the reimbursable expenses as per the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022?
Reimbursable expenses include travel, accommodation, meals, use of private phones for work-related calls, and use of private vehicles for work-related travel.
2. What are the removal expenses in the Agreement?
Removal expenses refer to costs incurred when an ongoing employee needs to relocate their residence due to circumstances like promotion or transfer. These costs include travel, meals, accommodation, and the cost of removal of household and personal belongings.
3. How does the Agreement define ‘reasonable’ expenses?
The Agreement refers to the rulings of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to determine what constitutes ‘reasonable’ expenses. The amount of an expense is considered reasonable if it does not exceed the relevant amounts set by the ATO.
4. What is the re-establishment allowance?
The re-establishment allowance is a payment made to an employee who has to relocate due to circumstances provided in the agreement. The amount paid varies depending on whether the employee has dependants or not.
5. Can an employee claim for the cost of stamp duty on a new residence?
Yes, the Agreement provides for the reimbursement of stamp duty paid on the purchase of a residence or land for their permanent occupation at the new location, subject to certain conditions.