- Authorization (1.1.2) – What are “special circumstances” under which travel can be post authorized?
In most instances, the authority to travel and related reimbursements should be obtained prior to travel. There may be circumstances, however, when this is not possible. These may include unforeseen situations such as emergency responses, weather delays for return trips, airline cancellations or flight deferrals, operational requirements, events at the travel destination (e.g. hurricanes, earthquakes, coups), etc. Each situation must be discussed with the manager concerned and reimbursements authorized in accordance with the relevant NJC-TD provisions. When unforeseen situations have occurred, post-authorization shall not be unreasonably denied.
- Responsibilities (1.5.1f) – How soon after travelling should I receive my reimbursement?
A new paragraph has been added to the TD. As stated in the NJC-TD, the employer shall process travel claims as soon as possible after the completion and submission of a fully completed claim which includes all supporting documentation. It is therefore very important that all required receipts be obtained and safeguarded during travel and that they be included with the duly completed expense claim. Missing information or supporting documents can delay the reimbursement. Once verified and signed off by the concerned manager, departmental finance officials should process the reimbursement within a reasonable period of time.
- Accommodation (B&B) – Can a bed and breakfast be authorized for government business travel accommodation?
Bed and breakfast type facilities can be authorized if they meet the standard described under Modules 3 and 4 of the NJC-TD (i.e., single room, in a safe environment, conveniently located and comfortably equipped; for example, with a private bathroom). The PSPC Accommodation and Car Rental Directory provides a list of accommodations available for government business travel and can be used to help locate suitable accommodation across various travel destinations.
- Accommodation (Crown Housing) – Is Crown housing deemed to be private non-commercial accommodation?
Private non-commercial accommodation is defined in the NJC-TD as “private dwelling or non-commercial facilities where the traveller does not normally reside”. Crown housing is owned, controlled, authorized or arranged by the Crown and, as such, is deemed to be Government accommodation. The private non-commercial accommodation allowance is therefore not applicable to employees residing in Crown housing while on travel status.
- Workplace change – If an employee is assigned to a different position within the headquarters area, is this deemed a workplace change?
Section 1.9 covers those situations where an employee is asked to report to a temporary location to perform his/her regular duties (because the regular workplace is unavailable, for instance) and applies to Module 1 only (“within the headquarters area”). It doesn't involve situations where an employee is asked to attend a meeting or participate in a training session nor does it refer to situations resulting from a staffing action (new assignment, secondment, acting). Meetings or training within the headquarters area can involve travel and authorized reasonable expenses incurred should be reimbursed in accordance with the provisions outlined in Module 1.
- Meal Allowance – Continental Breakfast –Can the breakfast allowance be paid if the commercial accommodation establishment chosen offers a continental breakfast? Would the contents of the continental breakfast make a difference with regards to reimbursement?
Travel requirements and related reimbursements must be discussed between an employee and his/her manager prior to a trip being authorized. When a commercial establishment is booked to accommodate an employee on travel status, and this establishment provides a continental breakfast, the breakfast meal allowance cannot normally be paid. However, if the composition of the continental breakfast provided is insufficient or does not meet the employee’s dietary restrictions, the reimbursement of breakfast expenses can be authorized based on a receipt, for an amount not greater than the breakfast allowance. If the employee’s authorized itinerary prevents the employee from consuming the breakfast (e.g. early flight), the meal allowance will apply.
- Meal Allowance – Reduction to 50% - I am on extended travel status, when will my meal allowance be reduced?
Currently, your meal allowance is reduced to 75% starting on the 31st consecutive calendar day. Under the new provisions, it will be further reduced to 50% on the 121st consecutive calendar day of travel status at the same location when corporate residences or apartment hotels are available to you in the area surrounding the workplace, or when you choose to stay in private accommodation. If you are on extended travel status on July 1, 2017, your meal allowance will be reduced to 50% of the 100% amount specified in Appendix C or D on the later of July 1, 2017 or the 121st day in travel status.
- Accommodation – I’ve been on extended travel status and staying with a friend. When will my private non-commercial accommodation allowance be reduced to 50%?
The reduction is effective on the 121st day in travel status. If you are on extended travel status on July 1, 2017, the $50 allowance will be reduced to $25 on the later of July 1, 2017 or the 121st day in travel status.
- Transportation costs – How must the « commuting pattern » transportation provisions be interpreted when travel status under Modules 1 or 2 is authorized and the normal mode of transportation is the use of a private motor vehicle (PMV)?
This question relates to kilometric calculations when employees are asked to attend training sessions or meetings under Modules 1 or 2. An NJC communiqué on this was issued back in 2005 and is still valid (http://www.njc-cnm.gc.ca/doc.php?did=278&lang=eng). However, further clarification is provided below to illustrate the intent of the "commuting pattern" provision when employees, who normally use their PMV to commute to work, are authorized to use their PMV while on travel status.
H = home; W = workplace; D = travel destination:
Scenario 1 - Travel status begins and ends at H:
Employee is going to an all-day meeting and travels directly from H to D. The employee should be reimbursed for mileage from H to D and D to H. Additional expenses may include, parking at D and any tolls/fees along the way.
Scenario 2 - Travel status begins at H and ends at W:
Employee is going to a training session in the morning and travels to W at lunch time. The employee should be reimbursed for mileage from H to D and from D to W. There is no reimbursement for travel from W to H at the end of the day, since this is the employee's normal commuting pattern. Additional expenses may include, parking at D and any tolls/fees along the way. They would not include parking at W if the employee normally pays to park at W, unless there are additional charges for parking in the middle of the day.
Scenario 3 - Travel status begins at W and ends at H:
Employee is going to an afternoon meeting that will last beyond the end of his/her normal workday. The employee would not be reimbursed for mileage from H to W, since this is his/her normal commuting pattern. However, the employee should be reimbursed for mileage from W to D and D to H. Additional expenses may include, parking at D and any tolls/fees along the way. They would not include parking at W if the employee normally pays to park at W.
Scenario 4 - Travel status begins and ends at W:
Employee is coming in to W and going to a meeting in the middle of the day. The employee would not be reimbursed for mileage from H to W, since this is his/her normal commuting pattern. The employee would be reimbursed for mileage from W to D and from D to W, as well as for any additional expenses incurred (e.g. parking, tolls/fees). The employee would not be reimbursed for mileage from W to H, as this is his/her normal commuting pattern.
In all of the above scenarios, there is no "difference in distance" calculation to be made. As stated in the 2005 communiqué, the employee is "entitled to reimbursement of the kilometric rate for all authorized distances driven".
- Parking and Car Rental – When an employee is on extended travel status - is the employee entitled to parking reimbursement (at the self-contained accommodation) and does the employer have to pay for the rental of a car for the entire or part of the temporary assignment?
Travel requirements and related reimbursements must be discussed between an employee and his/her manager prior to the trip being taken and authorization granted accordingly. Should there be parking fees at the self-contained accommodation and should the use of a rental vehicle be authorized, related expenses incurred are to be reimbursed for the duration of the travel status.
- Dependant Care –
- Who is deemed a caregiver under the Dependant Care provisions of the NJC-TD?
For the purposes of these provisions, other caregivers can 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 residing 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 can dependant care expenses be reimbursed?
Dependant care expenses can be reimbursed when:
- the employee is required to be absent from their residence on authorized government business travel;
- 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;
- the former spouse, common law partner, or guardian is not scheduled to provide care; and
- expenses that are incurred as a result of travelling on government business are additional to expenses the employee would incur when not travelling.
- What are the reimbursable maximums?
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.