SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT TECHNOLOGY CANADA Travel & Accommodation Expense Guidelines and Policy

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1 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT TECHNOLOGY CANADA Travel & Accommodation Expense Guidelines and Policy

2 Purpose The purpose of this policy is to establish equitable standards and provide fair and consistent treatment of all employees who incur travel expenses in connection with the performance of their respective duties. Employees traveling on SDTC business will be reimbursed for all reasonable and approved expenses that are incurred. It is expected that employees will ensure that the trip is consistent with the needs of the Foundation and planned to accomplish business objectives in a costeffective manner. An employee should neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result of travel on behalf of SDTC. All claims for reimbursement must be substantiated by original receipts or evidence of such expense (i.e. electronic confirmation of registration and matching statement of account). SDTC provides personal accident insurance, emergency medical insurance and a travel assistance program through our Great West Life benefits program. Additional coverage is considered a personal expense, with the exception of rental vehicles (section noted below). All employees are responsible for complying with this policy. The approval signatory s responsibility includes the duty to accurately review expense reports and appropriate supporting documentation, such as original receipts, for compliance. SDTC assumes no obligation to reimburse employees for expenses incurred by employees that are not in compliance with this policy. All employees are encouraged to maximize their use of the teleconferencing option whenever possible as an alternative to travel. Procedures All business travel must be approved prior to the trip by following these procedures: 1. Complete a Travel Request Form (located on the SDTC Intranet in the Finance section) Selecting the least costly method of transportation and accommodation. 2. Submit the Travel Request Form and supporting documentation for approval to your direct Reporting Manager. Supporting documentation should include, for example, conference details, rationale to visit a project and related documentation to support costs. 3. Submit the approved Travel Request Form with your expense claim. New employees will be required to complete the Travel Profile (located on the SDTC Intranet in the Finance section), which lists his/her travel and hotel preferences. Once completed, the employee forwards this information to the corporate travel agency and their department's Executive Assistant (EA) for future reference. Use of a Designated Travel Agency Travelers are permitted to make their own travel arrangements or use the services of SDTC s designated travel agency which is authorized to handle travel reservations under specific directives and guidelines. Page 2

3 Air and Rail transportation The selection of the mode and class of commercial transportation must be made on the basis of cost, convenience and practicality. The standard for air travel is economy class. The lowest available airfares should be sought when making bookings, which may include charters and other reduced fares. Discount and selected fares will be selected rather than full fare economy where these rates are available and can accommodate business schedules. Any additional expenses resulting from meeting the conditions for the reduced airfare will be incurred by SDTC provided that the total cost of the expenses does not exceed the expenses that would have been incurred on a full fare economy fare with related expenses. Business/Executive Class requires the approval of the appropriate reporting Manager in advance of the travel and should only be considered when actual duration of a single flight greater than six (6) hours and/or duration of continuous travel time exceeding ten (10) hours. In cases where billing for a no-show is incurred due to traveler negligence (e.g., failure to cancel a guaranteed reservation), SDTC may pay the invoice. However SDTC reserves the right to recover the cost from the traveler after determining why the cancellation was not made. Personal travel as an extension of business travel requires prior approval and the employee is responsible for reimbursing SDTC for charges associated with the personal travel. Travel to and from an airport or train station will use the most economical and practical method and where practical, coordinate the travel with SDTC team members when traveling together. USE OF PERSONAL and RENTAL VEHICLES Automobile Rental A car may be rented when it is judged the most economical and practical way to carry out Company business in the destination location. Employees who drive greater than 300km on SDTC business should not use their personal vehicle. For trips over 300km employees should use a rental car. Employees will rent the least expensive suitable car (compact or mid-size) except when four or more people are to travel together or travel for long distances is required in which case a full-size automobile will be acceptable. The requirement for additional add-ons (i.e. GPS) must be substantiated by the employee and approved by the reporting manager in advance of incurring additional expenses for such add-ons. Employees must purchase the optional insurance coverage provided by the car rental agency with $0 deductible where possible. Drop-off charges will not be reimbursed unless it is a condition of the travel and is pre-authorized or where it may be cost beneficial. Rental cars at destination locations require prior approval as part of travel plans and where practical, coordinate the rental with SDTC team members when traveling together. Use of Personal Vehicle To ensure that travelers are adequately protected, privately owned vehicles used on SDTC business must be adequately insured (normally $1,000,000 Public Liability and Property Damage). All distances driven will be accumulated and reimbursed in accordance with the Kilometer Rates (identified below) established by SDTC. Page 3

4 Prior to using an Employee s personal vehicle for Company s business, the employee must seek approval based upon the most cost effective option. A record of distance traveled and purpose of trip must be submitted on the expense account form. Kilometer Rate The use of a personal vehicle for Company business will be compensated at a rate of $0.55 CDN per kilometer and this rate will be reviewed annually at the beginning of the year. The total cost of personal vehicle travel should not exceed rail, car rental or other carrier fares available for the equivalent routing. This allowance covers all costs of operating an automobile including (but not necessarily limited to) gas, maintenance, repairs, replacements, and insurance. When submitting a claim for the use of a private automobile, use only above allowance and do not claim specific expenses noted above. Cost of parking and tolls may be claimed in addition to allowance. To determine the distances in kilometers, use Google Maps to describe the route and estimate the distance. Parking and Taxi Actual costs will be paid by SDTC when an employee or an individual (e.g. consultant) while on SDTC related travel incurs parking and/or taxi expenses. Taxis may be authorized when the use of such transportation is justifiable. For staff convenience, taxi chits are available from the Administrative Assistant. A receipt will be required for all parking expenses incurred during SDTC related business and/or expenses resulting while on SDTC business travel. If a parking meter was used a brief note should be attached to your expense report identifying the associated amount(s) paid. Traffic and parking fines will not be reimbursed. ACCOMODATION Hotel accommodation should meet reasonable standards of comfort and ensure that business needs are met economically. Standard rather than upgraded accommodation should be the norm. Luxury accommodations should be avoided. A comparison of accommodations should be taken with the best value option being selected. Copies of comparisons should be kept as a reference. Hotels rooms are guaranteed for late arrival on the employee s personal credit card. Most guaranteed hotel reservations are held until 6:00PM on the arrival date. It is the employee s responsibility to cancel or inform their delegate, or travel service provider, if the reservation is not going to be used. Employees should be aware of the hotel s cancellation policy and some hotels require more notice if a cancellation fee is to be avoided. In cases where billing for a no-show is incurred due to traveler negligence (e.g., failure to cancel a guaranteed reservation), SDTC reserves the right to refuse reimbursement after determining why the cancellation was not made. In room movies/bar are not reimbursable. It is the employee s responsibility to always obtain a receipt, including a detailed breakdown of any meals or extras that have been charged to the room, and to ensure that no inappropriate charges are applied to the cost of accommodation. When an employee has arranged accommodation with a relative/friend while travelling on SDTC business, $50.00 per night (to a maximum of $ per visit) in lieu of accommodation charges may be reimbursed to the employee as a contribution to expenses or a gift of hospitality. Page 4

5 Accommodation date(s) and location must be provided with the claim. The expense reimbursement or gift of hospitality must be approved by the reporting manager in advance. MEALS, HOSPITALITY AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES Reasonable costs are allowed to cover the costs of meals and beverages incurred while on authorized SDTC business. Receipts are required and the most senior SDTC employee must pay for the meal when more than one employee partakes in the meal. Names of the dinner guests are to be provided on the expense report. If neither employee is deemed senior then separate receipts and expenses must be submitted individually. Meal Allowances The meal allowance covers all costs associated with the meal including gratuities and taxes. Employees required to leave home prior to 6:00am at start of a trip may claim breakfast allowance. Employees returning after 8:00pm are entitled to claim dinner allowance. Allowance may not be claimed when meal (s) are part of conference, meeting, or otherwise provided. The following will be used as a guideline, actual receipts must be attached and the expense claim reimbursement will be based on actual receipts: Meal allowance Amounts Breakfast $15 Lunch $25 Dinner $30 Total $70 As a general rule employees should not accept or give hospitality or other benefits that could influence the judgment and performance in the exercise of performing his/her duties or could be perceived as a conflict of interest. No reimbursement for meal costs shall be made for meals at home prior to departure or on return, or for meals consumed and included in the cost of transportation, accommodation, seminars and/or conferences. Where justified by business needs, expenses for meals that are incurred while working during or through normal meal periods require the approval of the person s appropriate expenditure authority. In general, working meals are to be provided in-house and orders placed with the Administrative Assistant. Business Meals Business meals are meals taken with fellow SDTC employees during which a specific business discussion takes place. Such meals must be considered beneficial to the business objectives. These meals should only be undertaken when there is not the option to meet at other times of the day and/or the meeting duration extends through lunch. The most senior employee present is responsible for paying. Expense submissions must include the names of the employees in attendance at the meal, and the business reason for the meeting. Business meals must be reasonable in the circumstances, consistent with the rates used for meal allowances and approved in advance by the next level of authority not in attendance at the meal. If the amount per person exceeds the meal allowance, explanation must be provided. Alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed. Page 5

6 Hospitality Meals Hospitality meals are meals taken with third parties during which a specific business discussion takes place, they should be undertaken only where it would be more beneficial to an in-office meeting. Hospitality meals are to build a new relationship and SDTC employees are to apply judgment so that they typically are not repeatedly with the same individual or company. Expense submissions must include the names and titles of the persons in attendance at the meal, the organizations they represent, and the business reason for the meeting. If the amount per person exceeds the meal allowance, explanation must be provided. Incidental Expenses Laundry Service An employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred for laundry and dry cleaning services if travel exceeds five days. Non-reimbursable expenses Expenses of a personal nature will not be reimbursed. Expenses include but are not limited to: Recreational purposes (video rentals, mini-bars, etc.) Personal items, Traffic and parking violations, CLAIM PROCESS Receipts Original receipts (not photocopies) must be submitted with all claims unless otherwise indicated in this policy. Credit cards slips by themselves are insufficient to support a claim for reimbursement. Time Limit for Claims Claims are to be submitted on a timely basis, and no later than the end of the month following that in which the expense was incurred. Include original detailed receipts where required to support the expenditure and document the business reason. Expense Reports The Expense Report Form (available on the SDTC Intranet site) is to be used for reporting business related claims and should be completed for each trip. All expenses related to the travel approval must be included on the same expense report and accompanied with the approved Travel Request Form. A written justification is required when the total travel expenditures exceeds the approved travel requisition and or exceeds the specific guidelines. All expense reports must be verified by your Direct Reporting Manager for approval prior to submitting to Finance. Expense claims that exceed the Travel Request Approval form require VP level sign off. All expense reports must be accompanied with original receipts for all claims. Page 6

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