3.1 Module 1 - Travel within headquarters area

The provisions outlined in this module apply when a traveller is away from the workplace on government travel within the headquarters area in Canada or worldwide.

3.1.1 Accommodation

Reimbursement for overnight accommodation within an employee's headquarters area shall not normally be authorized. Employees in the following exceptional cases shall be in travel status and reimbursed for overnight accommodation according to the provisions of Module 3:

  1. accommodation in government facilities for such purposes as live-in conferences, meetings and training courses;
  2. accommodation in educational facilities, for such purposes as live-in conferences, meetings and training courses; or
  3. accommodation in commercial facilities, in very exceptional or emergency situations that require employees to remain close to their posts for periods long in excess of normal working hours, such as policing activities during a crisis, or extended collective bargaining sessions.

3.1.2 Additional business expenses

The employee shall be reimbursed for business expenses not otherwise covered such as business calls, photocopies, word-processing service, faxes, internet connections, rental and transportation of necessary office equipment and transportation of required personal effects.

Where required, the employer shall make the necessary arrangements for obtaining entry documents as determined by the department, and/or an appropriate passport and photos, and/or visa as determined by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and any required inoculations, vaccinations, X-rays and certificates of health, at no expense to the employee. Where possible, the services of Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada or National Defence shall be used for medical services. Any related expenses incurred by an employee shall be reimbursed.

The employee shall also be reimbursed for service charges/fees for actual and reasonable expenses and for financial transactions, such as but not limited to:

  • Automated Banking Machine use;
  • government travel card use;
  • credit/debit card use;
  • financial institution foreign currency transaction commission(s);
  • traveller's cheques acquisition; and
  • cheque-cashing fees.

Reimbursement claims shall be supported by receipts and indicate the expense currency.

The employee shall also be reimbursed for the cost of a safety deposit box when supported by receipts.

3.1.3 Bottled water

The cost of reasonable amounts of bottled water shall be reimbursed based on receipts, except where bottled water is part of a meal.

3.1.4 Currency exchange

The costs incurred to convert reasonable sums to foreign currencies and/or reconvert any unused balance to Canadian currency shall be reimbursed, based upon receipts, from all transactions and sources.

When these costs are not supported by receipts, the average Bank of Canada currency exchange rate shall apply. In cases where the Bank of Canada does not provide an exchange rate, an alternate bank rate from an established institution, as determined by the employer, shall be applied. The rate shall be the average of the rates applicable on the initial date into the country and the final date out of the country.

3.1.5 Dependant care

The requirement to travel on government business must be carefully assessed, particularly when the employee would need to leave dependants with another caregiver.  Alternatives to travel or scheduling to ensure employees and their dependants are not unduly separated, should be explored before travel is authorized.

For the purposes of this provision, other caregivers include:

  • the employee's spouse, common-law partner;
  • the employee's former spouse or common-law partner who share custody/time as a caregiver of a dependant;
  • other dependants 18 years of age or older residing with the employee or with the employee's former spouse or common-law partner who shares custody/time as a caregiver of a dependant, who do not have a mental or physical disability that makes them unable to provide dependant care or care for themselves; or
  • a person identified as a legal guardian of the dependant requiring care.

When authorized, an employee who is required to travel on government business shall be reimbursed dependant care expenses, up to a daily maximum of:

  • $35 Canadian, per household, with a declaration; or
  • $75 Canadian, per household, with a receipt for services provided by an individual or company in the business of providing dependant care services.

The above noted amounts apply when:

  1. the employee is required to be absent from their residence on authorized government business travel;
  2. the caregivers listed above are unavailable because they are required to work or must attend scheduled medical appointments or courses at a recognized learning institution;
  3. the former spouse, common law partner, or guardian is not scheduled to provide care; and
  4. expenses that are incurred as a result of travelling on government business are additional to expenses the employee would incur when not travelling.

Reimbursement of services under this provision will require a declaration on the travel claim that the employee had responsibility for the care of the dependant, the time period that the services were rendered, the caregiver's name and telephone number and confirmation that only one employed family member has submitted a claim for dependant care.

3.1.6 Home communication

Not applicable to this module.

3.1.7 Incidental expense allowance

An employee who is required to travel on government business overnight shall be paid an incidental expense allowance that covers a number of miscellaneous expenses not otherwise provided for in this directive for each day or part day in travel status as per Appendix C or D as applicable.

3.1.8 Insurance

See Part II and Appendix A.

3.1.9 Meals

Unless otherwise covered by terms and conditions of employment or collective agreements, meal expenses incurred within the headquarters area shall not normally be reimbursed.

Meal expenses,excluding alcohol and based on receipts, may be reimbursed up to the limit of the applicable meal allowance in Appendix C or D, as applicable, in the following situations:

  1. when employees are required to work through or beyond normal meal hours and are clearly placed in situations of having to spend more for the meal than would otherwise be the case;
  2. when employees are required to attend conferences, seminars, meetings or public hearings during the weekend or holidays;
  3. when employees are required to attend formal full-day conferences, seminars, meetings or hearings and where meals are an integral part of the proceedings;
  4. when employer representatives are involved in collective bargaining proceedings;
  5. when intensive task force or committee studies are enhanced by keeping participants together over a normal meal period; or
  6. when the reimbursement of meal expenses is clearly reasonable and justifiable as a direct result of an employee's duties.

3.1.10 Rest periods

Not applicable to this module.

3.1.11 Transportation

The selection of the mode of transportation shall be based on cost, duration, convenience, safety and practicality. In addition to provisions outlined below under (a) Commercial, (b) Other modes of transportation and (c) Vehicles, actual expenses associated with the selected mode of transportation shall be reimbursed. Such expenses include legitimate mandatory transportation service charges and fees, incurred while on travel status, not otherwise paid (e.g. docking fees, road/bridge tolls, ferries and other transportation service charges/fees). Receipts, indicating the expense currency, shall only be required for expenses in excess of $12. Where a receipt is not available, a declaration will suffice.

When authorized travel or overtime causes a disruption in the employee's regular commuting pattern, the employee shall be reimbursed additional transportation costs incurred between the residence and the workplace.

  1. Commercial

    Where commercial transportation is authorized and used, the traveller shall be provided with the necessary prepaid tickets whenever possible.

    Taxis, shuttles and local transportation services are alternatives for short local trips. Actual expenses, including gratuities, shall be reimbursed. Receipts are only required for expenses in excess of $12.

  2. Other modes of transportation

    Occasionally, other modes of transportation not normally used on roadways shall be authorized for use on government business when these modes of transportation are safe, economical and practical.

    Travellers using these other modes of transportation shall be reimbursed at the applicable kilometric rate based on the direct road distances, if available. When there are no road distances, the traveller shall be reimbursed for actual or reasonable distances travelled.

  3. Vehicles

    The standard for rental vehicles is intermediate. Rental vehicles beyond the standard shall be authorized based upon factors such as, but not limited to, safety, the needs of the traveller and the bulk or weight of goods transported. When authorized, the rental cost for GPS shall be reimbursed.

    Additional costs associated with the provision of winter tires on rental vehicles shall be reimbursed.

    The kilometric rates payable for the use of privately owned vehicles driven on authorized government travel are prescribed in Appendix B. Travellers shall use the most direct, safe and practical road routes and shall claim only for distances necessarily driven on government travel.

    When an employee has been authorized to use and uses a private vehicle within the headquarters area on government travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the kilometric rate in accordance with Appendix B.

    Parking charges are normally not payable when the employee is on duty at the workplace. For every day on which an employee is authorized to use a private vehicle on government travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the actual costs of parking the vehicle for that period of time. Receipts are only required for expenses in excess of $12.

3.1.12 Weekend travel home

Not applicable to this module.

3.1.13 Weekend travel - alternatives

Not applicable to this module.

3.2 Module 2 - Travel outside headquarters area - no overnight stay

The provisions outlined in this travel module apply when a traveller is away from the workplace on government travel outside the headquarters area without an overnight stay in Canada or worldwide.

3.2.1 Accommodation

Not applicable to this module.

3.2.2 Additional business expenses

The employee shall be reimbursed for business expenses not otherwise covered, such as business calls, photocopies, word-processing service, faxes, internet connections, rental and transportation of necessary office equipment and transportation of required personal effects.

Employees whose schedules have been altered for reasons outside their control shall be reimbursed for reasonable telephone costs to attend to situations related to the employee's altered schedule.

Where required, the employer shall make the necessary arrangements for obtaining entry documents as determined by the department, and/or an appropriate passport and photos, and/or visa as determined by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and any required inoculations, vaccinations, X-rays and certificates of health, at no expense to the employee. Where possible, the services of Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada or National Defence shall be used for medical services. Any related expenses incurred by an employee shall be reimbursed.

The employee shall also be reimbursed for service charges/fees for actual and reasonable expenses for financial transactions such as but not limited to:

  • Automated Banking Machine use;
  • government travel card use;
  • credit/debit card use;
  • financial institution foreign currency transaction commission(s);
  • traveller's cheques acquisition; and
  • cheque-cashing fees.

Reimbursement claims shall be supported by receipts and indicate the expense currency.

The employee shall also be reimbursed for the cost of a safety deposit box when supported by receipts.

3.2.3 Bottled water

The cost of reasonable amounts of bottled water shall be reimbursed based on receipts, except where bottled water is part of a meal.

3.2.4 Currency exchange

The costs incurred to convert reasonable sums to foreign currencies and/or reconvert any unused balance to Canadian currency shall be reimbursed, based upon receipts, from all transactions and sources.

When these costs are not supported by receipts, the average Bank of Canada currency exchange rate shall apply. In cases where the Bank of Canada does not provide an exchange rate, an alternate bank rate from an established institution, as determined by the employer, shall be applied. The rate shall be the average of the rates applicable on the initial date into the country and the final date out of the country.

3.2.5 Dependant care

The requirement to travel on government business must be carefully assessed, particularly when the employee would need to leave dependants with another caregiver.  Alternatives to travel or scheduling to ensure employees and their dependants are not unduly separated, should be explored before travel is authorized.

For the purposes of this provision, other caregivers include:

  • the employee's spouse, common-law partner;
  • the employee's former spouse or common-law partner who share custody/time as a caregiver of a dependant;
  • other dependants 18 years of age or older residing with the employee or with the employee's former spouse or common-law partner who shares custody/time as a caregiver of a dependant, who do not have a mental or physical disability that makes them unable to provide dependant care or care for themselves; or
  • a person identified as a legal guardian of the dependant requiring care.

When authorized, an employee who is required to travel on government business shall be reimbursed dependant care expenses, up to a daily maximum of:

  • $35 Canadian, per household, with a declaration; or
  • $75 Canadian, per household, with a receipt for services provided by an individual or company in the business of providing dependant care services.

The above noted amounts apply when:

  1. the employee is required to be absent from their residence on authorized government business travel;
  2. the caregivers listed above are unavailable because they are required to work or must attend scheduled medical appointments or courses at a recognized learning institution;
  3. the former spouse, common law partner, or guardian is not scheduled to provide care; and
  4. expenses that are incurred as a result of travelling on government business are additional to expenses the employee would incur when not travelling.

Reimbursement of services under this provision will require a declaration on the travel claim that the employee had responsibility for the care of the dependant, the time period that the services were rendered, the caregiver's name and telephone number and confirmation that only one employed family member has submitted a claim for dependant care.

3.2.6 Home communication

Not applicable to this module.

3.2.7 Incidental expense allowance

Not applicable to this module.

3.2.8 Insurance

See Part II and Appendix A.

3.2.9 Meals

A traveller shall be paid the applicable meal allowance for each breakfast, lunch and dinner while on travel status.

Meal allowances shall be paid in accordance with the rates specified in Appendix C or D, as applicable.

A meal allowance shall not be paid to a traveller with respect to a meal that is provided. Where a traveller has incurred out-of-pocket expenses to supplement meals provided, the actual incurred costs, excluding costs for alcohol, shall be reimbursed, based on receipts, up to the applicable meal allowance.

Where a traveller incurs meal costs that are higher than the established meal allowances in situations outside the traveller's control, the actual and reasonable expenses incurred shall be reimbursed, based on receipts.

Reimbursement of meals for shift workers shall be based on the meal sequence of breakfast, lunch and dinner, in relation to the commencement of the employee's shift.

3.2.10 Rest periods

Not applicable to this module.

3.2.11 Transportation

The selection of the mode of transportation shall be based on cost, duration, convenience, safety and practicality. In addition to provisions outlined below under (a) Commercial, (b) Other modes of transportation and (c) Vehicles, actual expenses associated with the selected mode of transportation shall be reimbursed. Such expenses include:

  • seat selection fee for commercial, private and/or chartered carriers;
  • airport improvement fees, not otherwise paid (e.g. prepaid as part of the fare);
  • airport departure tax, not otherwise paid;
  • miscellaneous charge order, for excess baggage/excess weight for commercial, private and/or chartered carriers (written explanation also required);
  • public carrier ticket "change fee" for legitimate authorized official government purposes; and
  • legitimate, mandatory transportation service charges and fees, incurred while in travel status, not otherwise paid (e.g. docking fees, road/bridge tolls, ferries and other transportation service charges/fees).

Receipts, indicating the expense currency, shall only be required for expenses in excess of $12. Where a receipt is not available, a declaration will suffice.

When authorized travel or overtime causes a disruption in the employee's regular commuting pattern, the employee shall be reimbursed for additional transportation costs incurred between the residence and the workplace.

  1. Commercial

    Where commercial transportation is authorized and used, the traveller shall be provided with the necessary prepaid tickets whenever possible.

    The standard for air travel is economy class. The lowest available airfares appropriate to particular itineraries shall be sought and bookings shall be made as far in advance as possible.

    The standard for rail travel is the next highest class after the full economy class.

    Taxis, shuttles and local transportation services are alternatives for short local trips. Actual expenses, including gratuities, shall be reimbursed. Receipts are only required for expenses in excess of $12.

  2. Other modes of transportation

    Occasionally, other modes of transportation not normally used on roadways shall be authorized for use on government business when these modes of transportation are safe, economical and practical.

    Travellers using these other modes of transportation shall be reimbursed at the applicable kilometric rate based on the direct road distances, if available. When there are no road distances, the traveller shall be reimbursed for actual or reasonable distances travelled.

  3. Vehicles

    The standard for rental vehicles is intermediate. Rental vehicles beyond the standard shall be authorized based upon factors such as, but not limited to, safety, the needs of the traveller and the bulk or weight of goods transported. When authorized, the rental cost for GPS shall be reimbursed.

    Additional costs associated with the provision of winter tires on rental vehicles shall be reimbursed.

    The kilometric rates payable for the use of privately owned vehicles driven on authorized government travel are prescribed in Appendix B. Travellers shall use the most direct, safe and practical road routes and shall claim only for distances necessarily driven on government travel.

    Travellers who are driven to or picked up from a public carrier terminal shall be reimbursed the kilometric rate based on the distance to and from the public carrier terminal for each round trip.

    In the interests of safe driving, when employee-driven vehicles are authorized, employees shall not normally be expected to drive more than:

    • 250 kilometres after having worked a full day;
    • 350 kilometres after having worked one-half day; or
    • 500 kilometres on any day when the employee has not worked.

    Parking charges shall be reimbursed where it is practical and economical to leave a private vehicle at the public carrier's terminal during the period of absence. Receipts are only required for expenses in excess of $12.

    For every day on which an employee is authorized to use a private vehicle on government travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the actual costs of parking the vehicle for that period of time. Receipts are only required for expenses in excess of $12.

3.2.12 Weekend travel home

Not applicable to this module.

3.2.13 Weekend travel - alternatives

Not applicable to this module.

3.3 Module 3 - Travel in Canada and continental U.S.A. - overnight stay

The provisions outlined in this travel module apply when a traveller is away from the workplace on government travel overnight, in Canada or in the continental U.S.A.

A daily comprehensive allowance may be authorized in circumstances where established allowances are not practical, reasonable, or equitable.

3.3.1 Accommodation

The standard for accommodation is a single room, in a safe environment, conveniently located and comfortably equipped.

A variety of options for accommodation are available for travel. Generally these include hotels, motels, corporate residences, apartments, private non-commercial accommodation, and government and institutional accommodation.

In accordance with 1.6.1, government hotel directories shall be used for the selection of accommodation where properties are listed therein for the travel location. Where properties for a particular location are not listed, or are listed but not available for the travel period, the directories shall be used to help determine the cost of accommodation by comparing costs in similar nearby locations.

Unless the employer authorizes otherwise, when travel is related to activities held in an institution, the employee shall stay in institutional accommodations.

Where employees are in travel status at military bases, unless program-related or security reasons dictate the use of specific accommodation, an employee's request for alternate commercial or private non-commercial accommodation shall not be unreasonably denied.

Although travellers generally stay in commercial accommodation, private non-commercial accommodation is encouraged. A traveller who chooses private non-commercial accommodation shall be reimbursed the rate as specified in Appendix C. In addition, ground transportation costs shall be authorized when it is cost effective. Cost effectiveness shall be determined by comparing the total cost of accommodation and transportation in the private non-commercial accommodation with available commercial or government and institutional accommodation and the associated transportation costs.

For periods of travel status of more than 30 consecutive calendar days at the same location, accommodation at corporate residences, apartments, private non-commercial accommodation or government and institutional accommodation is encouraged. Travellers who choose to stay in a hotel after the 30th day when apartments or corporate residences are available in the area surrounding the workplace shall be reimbursed up to the cost of the average apartment or corporate residence available.

For periods of travel status of more than 120 consecutive calendar days at the same location, in private non-commercial accommodation, the private non commercial accommodation allowance will be reduced to fifty percent (50%).

3.3.2 Additional business expenses

The employee shall be reimbursed for business expenses not otherwise covered such as business calls, photocopies, word-processing service, faxes, internet connections, rental and transportation of necessary office equipment and transportation of required personal effects.

Employees whose schedules have been altered for reasons outside their control shall be reimbursed for reasonable telephone costs to attend to situations related to the employee's altered schedule.

Where required, the employer shall make the necessary arrangements for obtaining entry documents as determined by the department, and/or an appropriate passport and photos, and/or visa as determined by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and any required inoculations, vaccinations, X-rays and certificates of health, at no expense to the employee. Where possible, the services of Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada or National Defence shall be used for medical services. Any related expenses incurred by an employee shall be reimbursed.

The employee shall also be reimbursed for service charges/fees for actual and reasonable expenses for financial transactions such as, but not limited to:

  • Automated Banking Machine use;
  • government travel card use;
  • credit/debit card use;
  • financial institution foreign currency transaction commission(s);
  • traveller's cheques acquisition; and
  • cheque-cashing fees.

Reimbursement claims shall be supported by receipts and indicate the expense currency.

The employee shall also be reimbursed for the cost of a safety deposit box when supported by receipts.

3.3.3 Bottled water

The cost of reasonable amounts of bottled water shall be reimbursed based on receipts, except where bottled water is part of a meal.

3.3.4 Currency exchange

The costs incurred to convert reasonable sums to foreign currencies and/or reconvert any unused balance to Canadian currency shall be reimbursed, based upon receipts, from all transactions and sources.

When these costs are not supported by receipts, the average Bank of Canada currency exchange rate shall apply. In cases where the Bank of Canada does not provide an exchange rate, an alternate bank rate from an established institution, as determined by the Employer, shall be applied. The rate shall be the average of the rates applicable on the initial date into the country and the final date out of the country.

3.3.5 Dependant care

The requirement to travel on government business must be carefully assessed, particularly when the employee would need to leave dependants with another caregiver.  Alternatives to travel or scheduling to ensure employees and their dependants are not unduly separated, should be explored before travel is authorized.

For the purposes of this provision, other caregivers include:

  • the employee's spouse, common-law partner;
  • the employee's former spouse or common-law partner who share custody/time as a caregiver of a dependant;
  • other dependants 18 years of age or older residing with the employee or with the employee's former spouse or common-law partner who shares custody/time as a caregiver of a dependant, who do not have a mental or physical disability that makes them unable to provide dependant care or care for themselves; or
  • a person identified as a legal guardian of the dependant requiring care.

When authorized, an employee who is required to travel on government business shall be reimbursed dependant care expenses, up to a daily maximum of:

  • $35 Canadian, per household, with a declaration; or
  • $75 Canadian, per household, with a receipt for services provided by an individual or company in the business of providing dependant care services.

The above noted amounts apply when:

  1. the employee is required to be absent from their residence on authorized government business travel;
  2. the caregivers listed above are unavailable because they are required to work or must attend scheduled medical appointments or courses at a recognized learning institution;
  3. the former spouse, common law partner, or guardian is not scheduled to provide care; and
  4. expenses that are incurred as a result of travelling on government business are additional to expenses the employee would incur when not travelling.

Reimbursement of services under this provision will require a declaration on the travel claim that the employee had responsibility for the care of the dependant, the time period that the services were rendered, the caregiver's name and telephone number and confirmation that only one employed family member has submitted a claim for dependant care.

3.3.6 Home communication

Home communication is included in the incidental expense allowance.

The following exception applies: Over each contiguous three-day period away from home port, employees on board vessels shall be authorized to make up to the equivalent of a ten minute phone call home using the equipment available. When satellite communication systems are available and used, the phone calls shall be limited to five minutes.

3.3.7 Incidental expense allowance

An employee who is required to travel on government business overnight shall be paid an incidental expense allowance that covers a number of miscellaneous expenses not otherwise provided for in this directive for each day or part day in travel status as per Appendix C.

The following exception applies: Seventy-five percent (75%) of the incidental expense as specified in Appendix C shall be paid starting on the 31st consecutive calendar day of travel status while at the same location when corporate residences or apartment hotels are available to an employee in the area surrounding the workplace, or when the employee chooses to stay in private accommodation.

When an employee travels between locations in Canada and the U.S.A. on the same day, the incidental expense allowance paid shall be that for the location where the day commences.

3.3.8 Insurance

See Part II and Appendix A.

3.3.9 Meals

A traveller shall be paid the applicable meal allowance for each breakfast, lunch and dinner while on travel status.

Meal allowances shall be paid in accordance with the rates specified in Appendix C.

The following exceptions apply: Seventy-five percent (75%) of the meal allowances as specified in Appendix C shall be paid starting on the 31st consecutive calendar day and fifty percent (50%) on the 121st consecutive calendar day of travel status at the same location when corporate residences or apartment hotels are available to a traveller in the area surrounding the workplace, or when the traveller chooses to stay in private accommodation.

A meal allowance shall not be paid to a traveller with respect to a meal that is provided. Where a traveller has incurred out-of-pocket expenses to supplement meals provided, the actual incurred costs, excluding costs for alcohol, shall be reimbursed, based on receipts, up to the applicable meal allowance.

Where a traveller incurs meal costs that are higher than the established meal allowances in situations outside the traveller's control, the actual and reasonable expenses incurred shall be reimbursed, based on receipts.

Reimbursement of meals for shift workers shall be based on the meal sequence of breakfast, lunch and dinner, in relation to the commencement of the employee's shift.

3.3.10 Rest periods

Unless mutually agreed otherwise, itineraries for employees shall be arranged to provide for:

  1. a suitable rest period; and/or
  2. an overnight stop after travel time of at least nine consecutive hours.

Travel time is the time spent in any mode of transportation en route to destination and/or awaiting immediate connections. This includes the time spent travelling to and from a carrier's terminal.

A suitable rest period shall not be unreasonably denied.

3.3.11 Transportation

The selection of the mode of transportation shall be based on cost, duration, convenience, safety and practicality. In addition to provisions outlined below under (a) Commercial, (b) Other modes of transportation and (c) Vehicles, actual expenses associated with the selected mode of transportation shall be reimbursed. Such expenses include:

  • seat selection fee for commercial, private and/or chartered carriers;
  • airport improvement fees, not otherwise paid (e.g. prepaid as part of the fare);
  • airport departure tax, not otherwise paid;
  • miscellaneous charge order, for excess baggage/excess weight for commercial, private and/or chartered carriers (written explanation also required);
  • public carrier ticket "change fee" for legitimate authorized official government purposes; and
  • legitimate, mandatory transportation service charges and fees, incurred while in travel status, not otherwise paid (e.g. docking fees, road/bridge tolls, ferries and other transportation service charges/fees).

Receipts, indicating the expense currency, shall only be required for expenses in excess of $12. Where a receipt is not available, a declaration will suffice.

Where essential services such as groceries, restaurants, pharmacies, or dry cleaners are not available in the immediate vicinity of the employee's accommodation, employees shall be reimbursed the applicable kilometric rate for the reasonable use of their personal vehicle to access the required services.

When authorized travel or overtime causes a disruption in the employee's regular commuting pattern, the employee shall be reimbursed for additional transportation costs incurred between the residence and the workplace.

  1. Commercial

    Where commercial transportation is authorized and used, the traveller shall be provided with the necessary prepaid tickets whenever possible.

    The standard for air travel is economy class. The lowest available airfares appropriate to particular itineraries shall be sought and bookings shall be made as far in advance as possible.

    The standard for rail travel is the next highest class after the full economy class.

    Taxis, shuttles and local transportation services are alternatives for short local trips. Actual expenses, including gratuities, shall be reimbursed. Receipts are only required for expenses in excess of $12.

  2. Other modes of transportation

    Occasionally, other modes of transportation not normally used on roadways shall be authorized for use on government travel when these modes of transportation are safe, economical and practical.

    Travellers using these other modes of transportation shall be reimbursed at the applicable kilometric rate based on the direct road distances, if available. When there are no road distances, the traveller shall be reimbursed for actual or reasonable distances travelled.

  3. Vehicles

    The standard for rental vehicles is intermediate. Rental vehicles beyond the standard shall be authorized based upon factors such as, but not limited to, safety, the needs of the traveller and the bulk or weight of goods transported. When authorized, the rental cost for GPS shall be reimbursed.

    Additional costs associated with the provision of winter tires on rental vehicles shall be reimbursed.

    The kilometric rates payable for the use of privately owned vehicles driven on authorized government travel are prescribed in Appendix B. Travellers shall use the most direct, safe and practical road routes and shall claim only for distances necessarily driven on government travel.

    Travellers who are driven to or picked up from a public carrier terminal shall be reimbursed the kilometric rate based on the distance to and from the public carrier terminal for each round trip.

    In the interests of safe driving, when employee-driven vehicles are authorized, employees shall not normally be expected to drive more than:

    • 250 kilometres after having worked a full day;
    • 350 kilometres after having worked one-half day; or
    • 500 kilometres on any day when the employee has not worked.

    Parking charges shall be reimbursed where it is practical and economical to leave a private vehicle at the public carrier's terminal during the period of absence. Receipts are only required for expenses in excess of $12.

    For every day on which an employee is authorized to use a private vehicle on government travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the actual costs of parking the vehicle for that period of time. Receipts are only required for expenses in excess of $12.

3.3.12 Weekend travel home

The use of the weekend travel home provisions does not constitute a break in continuous travel at the same location.

An employee who is in travel status that extends through or beyond a weekend is eligible for weekend travel home provisions provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. work schedules permit the employee to be absent; and
  2. appropriate private or public transportation is available and its use is both practical and reasonable.

Every weekend:

An eligible employee entitled to travel home every weekend shall be reimbursed actual transportation costs up to an amount not exceeding:

  1. the cost of maintaining the employee in travel status for the weekend period (i.e., accommodation, meals, incidentals, and other expense allowances), if the accommodation is cancelled for the weekend; or
  2. when the accommodation is not cancelled, the weekend travel home transportation allowances stated in Appendix C shall apply.

Every third weekend on average:

There will be occasions when an employee in travel status for a period of more than 30 consecutive calendar days in Canada or the continental U.S.A. is so far from home that travel home every weekend would be impractical.

In such situations where travel home every weekend is impractical and provided that the employee is in continuous travel status, the employee may return home on average every third weekend and schedule actual weekend trips home within the maximum number permitted to meet personal needs.

The employee shall be reimbursed the most economical return airfare, the necessary return ground transportation to and from the carrier's terminal and meals en route. The lowest available airfares appropriate to particular itineraries shall be sought and bookings shall be made as far in advance as possible. Meals and incidentals at destination shall not be reimbursed. The accommodation at the duty travel location need not be cancelled.

3.3.13 Weekend travel - alternatives

The use of the weekend travel alternatives does not constitute a break in continuous travel at the same location.

  1. By the employee

    Provided that the employee is not required by the employer to remain at the duty travel location, an employee may choose to spend the weekend at an alternative location. To be eligible for reimbursement, the employee shall cancel charges for accommodation (and meals provided onsite) at the duty travel location; provide a receipt for alternative commercial accommodation when used; and not return home or to the headquarters area during the weekend.

    Reimbursement shall be limited to the cost of maintaining the employee at the duty travel location and shall include the cost of accommodation, meals, incidentals and other expenses.

    Arrangements are the personal responsibility of the employee without using the government-approved services. The employee assumes personal liability as if the employee were not in travel status.

    The use of this provision does not preclude the employee's entitlement to weekend travel home.

  2. By the employee's spouse or a dependant

    As an alternative to weekend travel home by the employee, a spouse or a dependant may be authorized to travel to the employee's assigned work location when there is no additional cost to the employer. The airfare and pertinent travel arrangements shall be processed through the government suppliers. Ground transportation to and from the public carrier shall be reimbursed. Insurance coverage for the spouse/dependant is the responsibility of the employee.

3.4 Module 4 - International travel outside Canada or the continental U.S.A.

The provisions outlined in this module apply when a traveller is away from the workplace on government travel overnight, outside Canada or the continental U.S.A. or when the point of departure is outside of Canada or the continental U.S.A.

A daily comprehensive allowance may be authorized in circumstances where established allowances are not practical, reasonable or equitable.

In the event of extraordinary conditions arising out of active hostilities and/or natural disasters, employees on foreign travel may be entitled to an additional allowance under the Foreign Services Directives.

3.4.1 Accommodation

The standard for accommodation is a single room, in a safe environment, conveniently located and comfortably equipped.

A variety of options for accommodation are available for travel. Generally these include hotels, motels, corporate residences, apartments, private non-commercial accommodation, government owned/leased accommodation and institutions.

In accordance with 1.6.1, government hotel directories shall be used for the selection of accommodation where properties are listed therein for the travel location. Where properties for a particular location are not listed, or are listed but not available for the travel period, the directories shall be used to help determine the cost of accommodation by comparing costs in similar nearby locations.

Unless the employer authorizes otherwise, when travel is related to activities held in an institution, the employee shall stay in institutional accommodations.

Where employees are in travel status at military bases, unless program-related or security reasons dictate the use of specific accommodation, an employee's request for alternate commercial or private non-commercial accommodation shall not be unreasonably denied.

Although travellers generally stay in commercial accommodation, private non-commercial accommodation is encouraged. A traveller who chooses private non-commercial accommodation shall be reimbursed the rate as specified in Appendix D. In addition, ground transportation costs shall be authorized when it is cost effective. Cost effectiveness shall be determined by comparing the total cost of accommodation and transportation in the private non-commercial accommodation with available commercial or government and institutional accommodation and the associated transportation costs.

For periods of travel status of more than 30 consecutive calendar days at the same location, accommodation at corporate residences, apartments, private non-commercial accommodation or government and institutional accommodation is encouraged. Travellers who choose to stay in a hotel after the 30th day when apartments or corporate residences are available in the area surrounding the workplace shall be reimbursed up to the cost of the average apartment or corporate residence available.

For periods of travel status of more than 120 consecutive calendar days at the same location, in private non-commercial accommodation, the private non commercial accommodation allowance will be reduced to fifty percent (50%).

3.4.2 Additional business expenses

The employee shall be reimbursed for business expenses not otherwise covered, such as business calls, photocopies, word-processing service, faxes, internet connections, rental and transportation of necessary office equipment and transportation of required personal effects.

Employees whose schedules have been altered for reasons outside their control shall be reimbursed for reasonable telephone costs to attend to situations related to the employee's altered schedule.

Where required, the employer shall make the necessary arrangements for obtaining entry documents as determined by the department, and/or an appropriate passport and photos, and/or visa as determined by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and any required inoculations, vaccinations, X-rays and certificates of health, at no expense to the employee. Where possible, the services of Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada or National Defence shall be used for medical services. Any related expenses incurred by an employee shall be reimbursed.

The employee shall also be reimbursed for service charges/fees, for actual and reasonable expenses, for financial transactions, such as but not limited to:

  • Automated Banking Machine use;
  • government travel card use;
  • credit/debit card use;
  • financial institution foreign currency transaction commission(s);
  • traveller's cheques acquisition; and
  • cheque-cashing fees.

Reimbursement claims shall be supported by receipts and indicate the expense currency.

The employee shall also be reimbursed for the cost of a safety deposit box when supported by receipts.

3.4.3 Bottled water

The cost of reasonable amounts of bottled water shall be reimbursed based on receipts, except where bottled water is part of a meal.

3.4.4 Currency exchange

The costs incurred to convert reasonable sums to foreign currencies and/or reconvert any unused balance to Canadian currency shall be reimbursed, based upon receipts, from all transactions and sources.

When these costs are not supported by receipts, the average Bank of Canada currency exchange rate shall apply. In cases where the Bank of Canada does not provide an exchange rate, an alternate bank rate from an established institution, as determined by the employer, shall be applied. The rate shall be the average of the rates applicable on the initial date into the country and the final date out of the country.

3.4.5 Dependant care

The requirement to travel on government business must be carefully assessed, particularly when the employee would need to leave dependants with another caregiver.  Alternatives to travel or scheduling to ensure employees and their dependants are not unduly separated, should be explored before travel is authorized.

For the purposes of this provision, other caregivers include:

  • the employee's spouse, common-law partner;
  • the employee's former spouse or common-law partner who share custody/time as a caregiver of a dependant;
  • other dependants 18 years of age or older residing with the employee or with the employee's former spouse or common-law partner who shares custody/time as a caregiver of a dependant, who do not have a mental or physical disability that makes them unable to provide dependant care or care for themselves; or
  • a person identified as a legal guardian of the dependant requiring care.

When authorized, an employee who is required to travel on government business shall be reimbursed dependant care expenses, up to a daily maximum of:

  • $35 Canadian, per household, with a declaration; or
  • $75 Canadian, per household, with a receipt for services provided by an individual or company in the business of providing dependant care services.

The above noted amounts apply when:

  1. the employee is required to be absent from their residence on authorized government business travel;
  2. the caregivers listed above are unavailable because they are required to work or must attend scheduled medical appointments or courses at a recognized learning institution;
  3. the former spouse, common law partner, or guardian is not scheduled to provide care; and
  4. expenses that are incurred as a result of travelling on government business are additional to expenses the employee would incur when not travelling.

Reimbursement of services under this provision will require a declaration on the travel claim that the employee had responsibility for the care of the dependant, the time period that the services were rendered, the caregiver's name and telephone number and confirmation that only one employed family member has submitted a claim for dependant care.

3.4.6 Home communication

Over each contiguous three-day period away from home, employees in travel status shall be reimbursed the equivalent of one 10-minute phone call home, based on receipts.

When satellite communication systems are available and used, the phone call shall be limited to five minutes.

Employees provided with international telephone-card privileges, or who have made use of government international telephone network facilities for home communication, shall not claim the cost of telephone calls home.

3.4.7 Incidental expense allowance

An employee who is required to travel on government business overnight shall be paid an incidental expense allowance that covers a number of miscellaneous expenses not otherwise provided for in this directive for each day or part day in travel status as per Appendix C or D as applicable.

The following exception applies: Seventy-five percent (75%) of the incidental expense allowance as specified in Appendix C or D, as applicable, shall be paid starting on the 31st consecutive calendar day of travel status while at the same location when corporate residences or apartment hotels are available to an employee in the area surrounding the workplace, or when the employee chooses to stay in private accommodation.

When an employee travels between locations in different countries on the same day, the incidental expense allowance paid shall be that for the location where the day commences.

3.4.8 Insurance

See Part II and Appendix A.

3.4.9 Meals

A traveller shall be paid the applicable meal allowance for each breakfast, lunch and dinner while in travel status.

Meal allowances shall be paid in accordance with the rates specified in Appendix C or D, as applicable.

The following exceptions apply: Seventy-five percent (75%) of the meal allowances as specified in Appendix C or D shall be paid starting on the 31st consecutive calendar day and fifty percent (50%) on the 121st consecutive calendar day of travel status at the same location when corporate residences or apartment hotels are available to a traveller in the area surrounding the workplace, or when the traveller chooses to stay in private accommodation.

Where no meal allowance has been established in a given country or where sudden changes in currency exchange rates or high inflationary trends may invalidate the specified meal allowance, actual and reasonable expenses shall be reimbursed, based on receipts.

A meal allowance shall not be paid to a traveller with respect to a meal that is provided. Where a traveller has incurred out-of-pocket expenses to supplement meals provided, the actual incurred costs, excluding costs for alcohol, shall be reimbursed, based on receipts, up to the applicable meal allowance.

Where a traveller incurs meal costs that are higher than the established meal allowances in situations outside the traveller's control, the actual and reasonable expenses incurred for all meal expenses on that travel day shall be reimbursed, based on receipts.

3.4.10 Rest periods

Unless mutually agreed otherwise, itineraries for employees shall be arranged to provide for:

  1. a suitable rest period, and/or
  2. an overnight stop after travel time of at least nine consecutive hours.

Travel time is the time spent in any mode of transportation en route to a destination and/or awaiting immediate connections. This includes the time spent travelling to and from a carrier's terminal.

A suitable rest period shall not be unreasonably denied.

3.4.11 Transportation

The selection of the mode of transportation shall be based on cost, duration, convenience, safety and practicality. In addition to provisions outlined below under (a) Commercial, (b) Other modes of transportation and (c) Vehicles, actual expenses associated with the selected mode of transportation shall be reimbursed. Such expenses include:

  • seat selection fee for commercial, private and/or chartered carriers;
  • airport improvement fees, not otherwise paid (e.g. prepaid as part of the fare);
  • airport departure tax, not otherwise paid;
  • miscellaneous charge order, for excess baggage/excess weight for commercial, private and/or chartered carriers (written explanation also required);
  • public carrier ticket "change fee" for legitimate authorized official government purposes; and
  • legitimate, mandatory transportation service charges and fees, incurred while in travel status, not otherwise paid (e.g. docking fees, road/bridge tolls, ferries and other transportation service charges/fees).

Receipts, indicating the expense currency, shall only be required for expenses in excess of $12.  Where a receipt is not available, a declaration will suffice.

Where essential services such as groceries, restaurants, pharmacies, or dry cleaners are not available in the immediate vicinity of the employee's accommodation, employees shall be reimbursed the applicable kilometric rate for the reasonable use of their personal vehicle to access the required services.

When authorized travel or overtime causes a disruption in the employee's regular commuting pattern, the employee shall be reimbursed actual additional transportation costs incurred between the residence and the workplace.

  1. Commercial

    Where commercial transportation is authorized and used, the traveller shall be provided with the necessary prepaid tickets whenever possible.

    The standard for air travel is economy class. The lowest available airfares appropriate to particular itineraries shall be sought and bookings shall be made as far in advance as possible.

    Where available, business/executive class air travel shall be authorized where continuous air travel exceeds nine hours. Continuous air travel starts at the scheduled flight departure time, and ends with the arrival at destination terminal or with an overnight stop or layover equivalent to an overnight stop.

    The standard for rail travel is the next highest class after the full economy class.

    Taxis, shuttles and local transportation services are alternatives for short local trips. Actual expenses, including gratuities, shall be reimbursed, based on receipts. Receipts are only required for expenses in excess of $12.

  2. Other modes of transportation

    Occasionally, other modes of transportation not normally used on roadways shall be authorized for use on government travel when these modes of transportation are safe, economical and practical.

    Travellers using these other modes of transportation shall be reimbursed at the applicable kilometric rate based on the direct road distances, if available. When there are no road distances, the traveller shall be reimbursed for actual or reasonable distances travelled.

  3. Vehicles

    The standard for rental vehicles is intermediate. Rental vehicles beyond the standard shall be authorized based upon factors such as, but not limited to, safety, the needs of the traveller and the bulk or weight of goods transported. When authorized, the rental cost for GPS shall be reimbursed.

    Additional costs associated with the provision of winter tires on rental vehicles shall be reimbursed.

    The kilometric rates payable for the use of privately owned vehicles driven on authorized government travel are provided in Appendix B. Travellers shall use the most direct, safe and practical road routes and shall claim only for distances necessarily driven on government travel.

    Travellers who are driven to or picked up from a public carrier terminal shall be reimbursed the kilometric rate based on the distance to and from the public carrier terminal for each round trip.

    In the interests of safe driving, when employee-driven vehicles are authorized, employees shall not normally be expected to drive more than:

    • 250 kilometres after having worked a full day;
    • 350 kilometres after having worked one-half day; or
    • 500 kilometres on any day when the employee has not worked.

    Parking charges shall be reimbursed where it is practical and economical to leave a private vehicle at the public carrier's terminal during the period of absence. Receipts are only required for expenses in excess of $12.

    For every day on which an employee is authorized to use a private vehicle on government travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the actual costs of parking the vehicle for that period of time. Receipts are only required for expenses in excess of $12.

3.4.12 Weekend travel home

The use of weekend travel home provisions does not constitute a break in continuous travel at the same location.

An employee who is in travel status that extends through or beyond a weekend is eligible for weekend travel home provisions provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. work schedules permit the employee to be absent; and
  2. appropriate private or public transportation is available and its use is both practical and reasonable.

Provided the employee is in continuous travel status, the employee is entitled to return trips home as per the table below:

Minimum of: 

7 weeks = 1 trip

12 weeks = 2 trips

17 weeks = 3 trips

22 weeks = 4 trips

 

The employee may schedule actual weekend trips home within the maximum number permitted to meet personal needs.

The employee shall be reimbursed the most economical return airfare, the necessary return ground transportation to and from the carrier's terminal and meals en route. The lowest available airfares appropriate to particular itineraries shall be sought and bookings shall be made as far in advance as possible. Meals and incidentals at destination shall not be reimbursed. The accommodation at the duty travel location need not be cancelled.

3.4.13 Weekend travel - alternatives

The use of the weekend travel alternatives does not constitute a break in continuous travel at the same location.

  1. By the employee

    Provided that the employee is not required by the employer to remain at the duty travel location, an employee may choose to spend the weekend at an alternative location. Such arrangements shall be made in consideration of security and diplomatic contexts. To be eligible for reimbursement, the employee shall cancel charges for accommodation (and meals provided on site) at the duty travel location; provide a receipt for alternative commercial accommodation when used; and not return home or to the headquarters area during the weekend.

    Reimbursement shall be limited to the cost of maintaining the employee at the duty travel location and shall include the cost of accommodation, meals, incidentals and other expenses.

    Arrangements are the personal responsibility of the employee without using the government approved services. The employee assumes personal liability as if the employee were not in travel status.

    The use of this provision does not preclude the employee's entitlement to weekend travel home.

  1. By the employee's spouse or a dependant

    As an alternative to weekend travel home by the employee, a spouse or a dependant may be authorized to travel to the employee's assigned work location when there is no additional cost to the employer. The airfare and pertinent travel arrangements shall be processed through government suppliers. Ground transportation to and from the public carrier shall be reimbursed. Such arrangements shall be made in consideration of security and diplomatic contexts. Insurance coverage for the spouse/dependant is the responsibility of the employee.