Questions have recently been raised with regard to the correct calculation of the 80% non-accountable vacation travel assistance benefit. Consequently, the National Joint Council (NJC) – Isolated Posts and Government Housing Committee (IPGHC) is issuing this Communiqué on the topic.
The 80% non-accountable vacation travel assistance benefit is not intended to be a reimbursement of expenses incurred or to be incurred. Rather, it is a value assigned to a benefit for which employees are not required to travel away from the post or to take "paid leave", or "vacation, furlough, compensatory leave, or lieu time off".
In calculating the 80% non-accountable vacation travel assistance payment, departments are to use the return full economy class airfare, identified as "Y" class fare (i.e. without restrictions/penalties), between the post and the point of departure. Excursion, advance booking or seat sale fares must not be used.
While GST is to be included, fees such as NAV CANADA fuel surcharges, airport improvement fees, travel agent fees, etc., are excluded from the calculation.
When more than one airline offers service from the post to the point of departure and different "Y" class fares are in place, the lowest fare is to be used for the calculation.
As indicated in section 2.6, the calculation is as follows:
- If the isolated post has an airport, the payment will be 80% of the return full economy class airfare (as specified above) between the post and the point of departure.
- If the isolated post does not have an airport, the payment will be 80% of the sum of the following:
(i) the return full economy class airfare between the nearest airport and the point of departure (as specified above); and
(ii) the return traveling expenses (i.e. meals, incidentals and ground transportation) between the post and the nearest airport (including lodging if that airport is over 500 km from the post).
- If travel by road is the only means of reaching the point of departure, the payment will be 80% of the return transportation and travelling expenses between the post and the point of departure (including lodging if the point of departure is more than 500 km from the post).
100% ACCOUNTABLE VACATION TRAVEL ASSISTANCE
Employee wishing a full reimbursement of up to the maximum entitlement of eligible transportation and travelling expenses can opt for the 100% accountable VTA (see section 2.5.8 of the IPGHD) and obtain their reimbursement on presentation of appropriate (or required) documentation and receipts.