The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Employment Policies and Procedures

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1 The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Employment Policies and Procedures Procedure for Processing Claims for Travel Expense Reimbursement Version No.: 3.0 Effective From: 15 January 2014 Expiry Date: 31 December 2016 Date Ratified: 04 December 2013 Ratified by: Employment Policies & Procedures Consultative Group 1 Introduction This procedure sets out the arrangements for checking and certifying that authorised signatures on all claim forms for travel expense reimbursement are correct before they are sent to Payroll for payment. 2 Scope 2.1 This procedure applies to: a) All employees. b) All claims for travelling expenses (with the exception of 3.2 c) below). 2.2 It does not apply to the authorisation of the following as these are covered by separate arrangements: 3 Aims a) Appointment and Termination Forms b) Claims for telephone rental/calls reimbursement c) Claims for financial assistance and expenses associated with training and/or study leave. d) All other claims that are authorised either through the Trust Bank or HR Department (e.g. relocation expenses, domiciliary fees for medical staff, locum sessions). The purpose of this procedure is to ensure: a) All claims from employees for travel expense reimbursement are authorised in accordance with the Trust s Corporate Governance Manual: Scheme of Delegation. b) Authorised signatures on all claims are checked and certified correct. c) All claims are completed, batched and paid on a monthly basis. d) A schedule of authorised signatories is maintained at all times. 4 Duties (Roles and Responsibilities) 4.1 The Executive Team is accountable to the Trust Board for ensuring Trust-wide Page 1 of 7

2 compliance with policy. 4.2 Directorate managers and heads of service are responsible to the Executive Team for ensuring policy implementation. 4.3 Managers are responsible for ensuring policy implementation and compliance in their area(s). 4.4 Staff are responsible for complying with policy. 5 Procedure 5.1 All employees must ensure their claim form(s) are completed, signed and submitted to their manager for authorisation at the end of each month to which the claim relates. It should be noted that the Trust is currently operating two systems in parallel. The Trust is piloting an e-expense system; this system requires a different process as outlined in Paragraph The officer authorising the form(s) must ensure each claim is appropriate and correct before certifying for payment. This will include checking: a) Expenses claimed have been incurred b) Mileage claims are an accurate representation of distance travelled and the reason for each journey is completed correctly. c) The claimant s identity on the form (e.g. name, job title, assignment [ESR] number) d) Claim forms are signed and dated by the claimant e) The correct financial code and cost centre are stated (where appropriate). 5.3 On no account should a form be returned to the employee after certification. This is to avoid any attempts to submit fraudulent claims. Furthermore, appropriate arrangements must be made to ensure forms are handled and processed securely both before and after batching. For example, forms should only be accessible by certain members of staff and sealed envelopes should be used for transportation. Forms should be sent to Payroll via the courier service that collects from the Human Resources Department. 5.4 Claim forms should be collated and attached to a Batch-header (see Appendix 1) which should be signed by the relevant authorised officer (see Corporate Governance Manual: Scheme of Delegation Guidelines on the intranet) to certify that all authorised signatures on the claims are correct. 5.5 An officer authorised to sign a Batch-header should normally be at Level 2 (Directorate Manager/Head of Department) or above. The Batch-header signatory should normally be different to the authorised signatory on the claim form(s). Where it is not expedient or reasonably practicable to do this, the same officer can authorise a claim(s) and the Batch-header. 5.6 The above steps in the procedure should be completed promptly after each calendar month end to ensure all claim forms are received by Payroll no later Page 2 of 7

3 than the 5th day of the following month. This will ensure that payments are made that month i.e. one month in arrears. Any batches received after the 5th day will not be paid until the following month i.e. two months in arrears. 5.7 Certified Batch-header forms must be retained by the relevant manager for record purposes for three months after the date of signing. Payroll will store the original Batch-header form with the relevant claim forms received for each respective period. 5.8 The Finance Department will maintain a schedule of authorised signatories. (The Human Resources Department will send the Finance Department a list of leavers each month). 5.9 The Finance Department will ensure that Payroll has access to an up-to-date list of authorised signatories for checking purposes Payroll will check all Batch-headers against the Schedule of Authorised Signatories to ensure the signature is correct. They will also check all the attached claim forms for accuracy and to ensure they are signed If a Batch-header form has not been certified correctly, Payroll will return the form with the attached batch of claims to the relevant Manager to check and certify. Similarly, if claim forms are received by Payroll without an accompanying Batch-header, Payroll will return them to the Manager for action Where Payroll find an error/query on a claim form that affects the total amount due, they will only process payment for the correct/non-queried information. The original form will be returned to the Manager to investigate and, if necessary, recertify and return for payment. Payroll will retain a copy of the original form as evidence for the payment processed Where the authorised signature on a claim form or Batch-header is either incorrect, or does not match the sample signature, Payroll will report the matter immediately to the Head of Financial Management so that he/she can investigate. Any claim(s) subject to investigation must not be paid unless approval is given by the Head of Financial Management or nominated deputy Any questionable claim form, or where a fraud is suspected should be brought immediately to the attention of the Trust s Counter Fraud Specialist see intranet for contact. 6 E Expenses 6.1 Detailed guidance for the completion and approval of expense claims are included on the home page of the E Expenses system, please click the link View my Company Policy 6.2 Employees must submit expenses claims on a monthly basis, claims which are more than two months old may be rejected. Page 3 of 7

4 6.3 Approvers of expenditure will receive an automated to inform them when a claim has been submitted by a member of staff. Approvers should authorise claims promptly, the cut off date for payroll submission is available each month from the system. Claimants will be notified when their claim has been approved. 6.4 Employees submitting claims do so by entering the postcodes of the locations they have visited, the actual mileage is generated by the system. Where there are circumstances which prevent an employee using the system generated route detour miles may be approved. Detour miles should only be approved in exceptional circumstances such as the closure of a road or an obvious problem with the route recommended. In approving detour miles the manager must be satisfied with the explanation given. 6.5 Within E Expenses all approvers of expenditure are consistent with the Trusts scheme of delegation at the point details are loaded into the system. Directorate Managers receive a checklist from Financial Management every two months to update changes and leavers. All notified changes will be sent to payroll to update the approvers in E Expenses. 6.6 Where a claim is rejected by the approver the claimant will receive an notifying them of this action. The matter can then be discussed and an amended claim submitted if this is required. 6.7 Other than mileage, claimants are required to submit evidence in the form of a receipt or ticket for subsistence or parking for example. Approvers should have sight of the evidence and this should be scanned into the system by the claimant who can attach an image to the claim. Where a scanning facility is not available the hard copy must be forwarded to payroll noting the month the claim was processed and the employee number. 6.8 Employers and employees have a duty of care to ensure that employees making journeys on Trust business have an appropriate licence, insurance, MOT and Vehicle Excise Duty. The required documentation should be viewed and an image held in the expenses system. 7 Training Training will be provided by the HR Department to managers following implementation of this procedure. 8 Equality and Diversity The Trust is committed to ensuring that, as far as is reasonably practicable, the way services are provided and the way staff are treated reflects their individual needs and does not unlawfully discriminate against individuals or groups. This policy has been properly assessed. Page 4 of 7

5 9 Monitoring Compliance with the Policy Standard / Process / Issue Reporting of information held on Electronic Staff Record for the purpose of the number of employees subject to disciplinary investigation/action as a result of expense related fraud Monitoring and Audit Method By Committee Frequency Reports will Director of Heads of Annually be Human Human generated Resources Resources from the ESR system 10 Consultation and Review of this Policy This policy has been reviewed in consultation with the Employment Policies and Procedures Consultative Group. 11 Implementation of the Policy (including raising awareness) A summary of the key changes will be notified to managers following implementation. Further advice and guidance will be available from the Human Resources Department. 12 Additional Documents Travel and Expenses Policy Author: Employment Policies and Procedure Consultative Group Page 5 of 7

6 The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Appendix 1 Batch-header for Expense Reimbursement Forms Hospital: Ward/Department: Month: Year: Please find enclosed forms for processing and payment. The enclosed forms have been certified as correct by an appropriate authorised signatory of the Trust. Signed: Date: Print Name: Designation: To be delivered to Payroll Services at the following address by no later than 5th day of each month: North of Tyne Payroll Service Unit 7/8 Silver Fox Way Cobalt Business Park Newcastle NE27 0QJ Copies: Original to Payroll Copy to be retained by Authorising Officer for 2 years Page 6 of 7

7 THE NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST IMPACT ASSESSMENT SCREENING FORM A This form must be completed and attached to any procedural document when submitted to the appropriate committee for consideration and approval. Policy Title: Procedure for Processing Claims for Travel Expenses Policy Author: Mrs Rachel Holmes, HR Manager (Projects) Yes/No? 1. Does the policy/guidance affect one group less or more favourably than another on the basis of the following: (* denotes protected characteristics under the Equality No Act 2010) Race * No Ethnic origins (including gypsies and travellers) No Nationality No Gender * No Culture No Religion or belief * No Sexual orientation including lesbian, gay and bisexual people * No Age * No Disability learning difficulties, physical disability, sensory impairment and No You must provide evidence to support your response: Policy applies to all employees of the Trust. It is underpinned by Trust s overriding policy on Equal Opportunities. mental health problems * Gender reassignment * No Marriage and civil partnership * No 2. Is there any evidence that some groups are affected differently? No There is no evidence to support any group is affected differently 3. If you have identified potential discrimination which can include associative discrimination i.e. direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic, are any exceptions valid, legal and/or justifiable? 4(a). Is the impact of the policy/guidance likely to be negative? (If yes, please answer sections 4(b) to 4(d)). No 4(b). If so can the impact be avoided? N/A 4(c). What alternatives are there to achieving the policy/guidance without the impact? N/A 4(d) Can we reduce the impact by taking different action? N/A Comments: N/A Action Plan due (or Not Applicable): Name and Designation of Person responsible for completion of this form: Mrs Rachel Holmes, HR Manager (Projects) Date: 3 June 2013 Names & Designations of those involved in the impact assessment screening process: Employment Policies and Procedures Consultative Group (If any reader of this procedural document identifies a potential discriminatory impact that has not been identified on this form, please refer to the Policy Author identified above, together with any suggestions for the actions required to avoid/reduce this impact.) Page 7 of 7

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