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Dual Purpose Travel (DPT) Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Procedure gives effect to the ‘Private Travel’ provisions of The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Travel Policy and applies to any person who meets the definition of a UQ traveller. The objective of this Procedure is to facilitate UQ traveller and Travel Approver understanding and compliance with dual purpose travel (DPT).

(2) DPT (defined as a combination of part UQ travel and part private travel) may be permitted in some circumstances provided the UQ travel is in accordance with this Procedure and the UQ Travel Policy.

(3) This Procedure applies to all forms of UQ travel be it for operating, research, project, or consultancy purposes. This includes ‘externally funded travel’, such as research, industry / collaborator funding, as well as travel funded via consultancy accounts. 

(4) This Procedure applies to air travel; and/or ground transportation options that are selected in lieu of such air travel (e.g., car, train, bus, ferry, cruises, etc.).

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Section 2 - Process and Key Controls

(5) Dual purpose travel must satisfy the criteria in the ‘Private Travel’ provisions of the UQ Travel Policy.

(6) The process for seeking approval and booking dual purpose travel is as follows:

  1. UQ traveller prepares draft itinerary and submits travel request, confirming private travel is only in business locations AND total private days are less than total business days.
  2. Travel Approver reviews and approves travel request, confirming UQ business is the primary purpose of the UQ travel.
  3. UQ’s travel services provider (FCM Travel Solutions) books travel arrangements and UQ fully funds the air travel and/or ground transport costs as well as directly attributable travel costs on business days.

(7) The key controls for dual purpose travel include:

  1. The UQ travel approval request (and imbedded travel diary), including the review and approval of the request by the UQ Travel Approver.
  2. Supervisors, Travel Approvers and budget holders will monitor all travel (and travel related expenses) within their areas of responsibility to ensure compliance with this Procedure.
  3. Ad hoc reviews of travel bookings, travel diaries and costings for compliance with this Procedure.
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Section 3 - Requirements

(8) Dual purpose travel may be allowed if the private days are:

  1. only in the business location where the traveller is currently undertaking business; AND
  2. total private days must be less than total business days for the entire UQ travel journey.
Example 1: Acceptable Dual Purpose Travel
A UQ traveller is heading to the United Kingdom for UQ business. Their business itinerary is drafted as:
    • 1 day travel to fly from Brisbane to London
    • 1 day in London due to invitation to present at the University College London
    • 1 day travel to Edinburgh
    • 5-day conference in Edinburgh
    • 3 days of collaborator meetings/workshops at The University of Manchester
       (includes travel from Edinburgh to Manchester)
    • 1 day travel from Manchester to London to fly home to Brisbane.

The UQ traveller would like to include some private days as part of this trip:
    • 5 days private in London
    • 3 days private in Manchester
    • 3 days private in Edinburgh.

This proposed dual purpose travel passes the key requirements above, as the total private days (11) are less than the total business days (12) and are only occurring in business locations.

(9) Where the requirements of dual purpose travel are met, UQ can fully fund the air travel and/or ground transport costs as the UQ travel is predominantly for UQ business purposes. The private travel is ‘merely incidental’ to the UQ travel and wouldn’t have occurred if not for the official UQ business activity.

(10) Other than under the circumstances outlined above, UQ travellers will not be able to take any additional private days during their UQ travel and UQ will not contribute any funds, provide travel insurance or be responsible or liable in any way for any private travel that contradicts UQ’s dual purpose travel position.

(11) UQ travellers who choose to undertake personal holidays, and take leave, separately from the UQ travel (e.g. before or after UQ travel is undertaken) must:

  1. book and pay personally (not through UQ suppliers);
  2. be personally responsible for getting themselves to and/or from the business location; and 
  3. arrange their own personal travel insurance.
Example 2: Separate Personal Holiday
Assume the same circumstances as Example 1. However, the UQ traveller would like to visit family in Ireland after completing their authorised UQ travel in Manchester. In this instance, the UQ traveller would only submit a travel request for booking of a one-way flight to London and the direct costs in London, Edinburgh, and Manchester. Once the dual purpose travel is completed in Manchester, the UQ travel would cease. The traveller would then be responsible for all costs to travel to Ireland and return home to Brisbane. According to the ATO, costs associated with a personal holiday location (including flights) must be paid for separately by the traveller to negate Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).

The UQ traveller is still required to comply with the UQ Travel Policy and this Procedure, evidencing that there are no additional costs incurred by UQ with this revised travel (i.e. one-way flight to London).

Note: the UQ traveller CANNOT include Ireland in the UQ authorised travel OR request to personally fund only the cost of travelling to Ireland and back to London, with UQ funding a London return flight. This fails the key requirements of this Procedure as the locations visited in Ireland are not business locations. The UQ traveller cannot choose to work remotely from Ireland to ‘convert’ a holiday location to a business location. This would be in direct breach of this Procedure and the UQ Travel Policy and must not be requested by the UQ traveller or approved by the Travel Approver.

Types of Locations

Business Location

(12) In accordance with a ruling received from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), a business location is defined as the city/town/village where the authorised UQ business is currently being undertaken. It is not the state/country/continent the traveller is in.

Example 3: Business Locations
Assume the same circumstances as Example 1. The business locations are London, Edinburgh and Manchester. The UQ traveller cannot treat “United Kingdom” as the business location for assessing their travel against the dual purpose travel requirements.

Unavoidable Stopovers

(13) It is reasonable for a UQ traveller to spend an evening in a location if they have an unavoidable stopover in that location, enroute to their business location. This is on the basis that they take the first available connecting flight, and the most logical and economical route on to the business location. The UQ traveller cannot add private days to this stopover location as it is not considered a business location.

Example 4: Singapore Overnight Stopover onto Europe
A UQ traveller is required to travel to Zurich for official UQ business. Due to scheduling, the most direct and economical flight requires an overnight stopover in Singapore. When assessing dual purpose travel, the night in Singapore would be treated as business as the stopover was unavoidable.

Transit Locations

(14) An overnight stopover is different to a transit, which is typically a gap between the next available connecting flight, with the UQ traveller remaining in the airport.

Example 5: 2-hour Transit in Singapore
Assume the same circumstances as Example 4. However in this example, the traveller only has to wait 2 hours between disembarking in Singapore and connecting to the next available flight to Zurich. Singapore would not be considered a business location for assessing dual purpose travel. If the UQ traveller wants to remain overnight in Singapore instead of continuing on to Zurich after the 2 hour transit, Singapore would be considered a private location and fails the dual purpose travel requirements.

(15) International flights typically connect via common airport hubs. Examples include but are not limited to: Los Angeles, London, Frankfurt, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai.

(16) Connecting to and from business locations via these common hubs does not make these locations business locations. They are transit locations and to spend private days at these locations, the traveller must also be currently conducting authorised UQ business in that location in accordance with this Procedure.

Example 6: Transit via Common Airport Hub
A UQ traveller must attend UQ business in Munich, Germany. The traveller could fly via Singapore direct to Munich, or via Singapore and Frankfurt. Under both options, Singapore and Frankfurt are only considered to be transit locations and not business locations. The traveller cannot request private days in either location under UQ’s dual purpose travel rules.

(17) A recovery day is not to be taken in a transit location enroute to the business location (refer to the ‘Definition of Business Days’ provisions below for further guidance on the applicability of recovery days).

Entry/Departure Location which require Ground Transportation to the Business Location

(18) UQ travellers may go to a business location that does not have an airport, or the logical route is for the traveller to arrive in an entry location and then take ground transport to the business location (or vice versa).

(19) In those instances the traveller can treat the entry/departure location as a business location in accordance with this Procedure.

Example 7: Entry/Departure Location – Pass
A UQ traveller is undertaking research collaboration at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. The nearest airport to Mainz is Frankfurt, a 30min drive or train ride. Frankfurt would be considered their logical entry/departure location. As such, the traveller could request private days in Frankfurt, provided they were less than 50% of the business days in Mainz.

(20) Note, the traveller must not request travel that includes an entry/departure location that is not the logical and reasonable route to the business location. 

Example 8: Entry/Departure Location – Fail
A UQ traveller is attending a conference in Paris, France. Flights are available from Brisbane via Dubai. The traveller instead requests to fly via Dubai and London with a couple of private days in London on arrival. The traveller will then catch the Eurostar from London to Paris for the conference. The Travel Approver must reject this travel request. London is not considered to be an entry/departure location as the traveller could have flown direct to Paris from Dubai. The private days requested in London are not permitted unless there is authorised UQ business activities occurring in London.

Day Trips from a Business Location

(21) During authorised private travel days, it’s understandable UQ travellers may wish to travel to other close areas within the same country during the day. However the UQ traveller must return to the business location to stay overnight in order to meet the ATO requirements. These days would still be considered ‘merely incidental’ private days in business locations. In those situations:

  1. UQ travellers must not take air travel to other locations unless it’s for a UQ business reason.
  2. UQ travellers cannot cross country borders unless it’s for a UQ business reason.
Example 9: Sightseeing on Private Days
A UQ traveller is required to be in Rome, Italy for authorised UQ business. Based on their business days, the UQ traveller can include up to two private days in Rome and still comply with the dual purpose travel requirements. The UQ traveller would like to visit Pompeii on one of those private days. They personally book a day tour which collects them early in the morning and returns them to their hotel in Rome the same evening. This would meet the dual purpose travel requirements as they have not stayed overnight at Pompeii, not crossed country borders nor taken air travel for a private reason.
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Section 4 - Assessing Dual Purpose Travel (Business vs Private)

Definition of Business Days

(22) ‘Business days’ whilst on UQ travel are defined as a day on which official UQ business is undertaken for a period exceeding three hours of the day, not including meals or rest breaks. Examples of official UQ business activities include but are not limited to:

  1. preparing for and/or attending a business-related conference, workshop, forum or similar;
  2. preparing for and/or presenting at a business-related conference, workshop, forum or similar;
  3. undertaking approved research; and
  4. attending business meetings.

(23) Business days also include:

  1. a day on which a UQ traveller travels to or from their normal place of work to a business location;
  2. a day on which a UQ traveller travels to a business location; or
  3. a public holiday recognised in the business location, where the preceding day and the following day are business days.

    Note: a public holiday recognised at the UQ traveller’s home base (e.g. Brisbane) but not recognised in the business location does not meet the definition of a business day.
Example 10: Public Holiday in Brisbane
A UQ traveller from Brisbane is in London on 3 October 2022. The 3 October 2022 is a public holiday in Brisbane (Queen’s Birthday). The UQ traveller is not entitled to take this day off in London and treat it as a business day (as the Queen’s Birthday public holiday is not recognised in London on that day). If they work in London on 3 October 2022, the UQ traveller may negotiate with their Supervisor for an appropriate day off in-lieu upon their return to Brisbane. If they choose to still take the 3 October off in London, it will be treated as a private day requiring personal funding for any directly attributable or incremental costs. 
  1. A recovery day - the day following the UQ traveller’s arrival in a business location, provided the UQ traveller was required to complete a flight of seven or more continuous hours to arrive at that business location. Based on the activities undertaken, UQ travellers and their Supervisor should consider, and agree on, whether a recovery day is suitable or not to address fatigue management.

    A recovery day would not usually apply:
       (i) if the day after the recovery day is not being used to conduct official UQ business;
       (ii) if it is being taken at a different location enroute to the business location; 
       (iii) if the UQ traveller was approved to fly Business Class; or
       (iv) for the return of a UQ traveller to their home base.

    A recovery day does not apply on return from the business location. Whether the traveller can take time off upon their return is not covered by this Procedure.
Example 11: Recovery Day
A UQ traveller from Brisbane is required in London for a conference that commences on Monday. The UQ traveller arrives in London on Saturday. As the Monday will be for official UQ business and it took more than seven hours to reach London from Brisbane, the UQ traveller and their Supervisor agrees to a recovery day on the Sunday in London.
  1. A Business Weekend – the Saturday/Sunday in the business location where the UQ traveller undertakes official UQ business on the preceding Friday and the following Monday. UQ will fund the distinct travel related costs (accommodation, meals, incidentals) on the Saturday and Sunday at the business location.

    If the UQ traveller is not conducting official UQ business on either the preceding Friday or following Monday, these weekends are personal weekends, therefore Saturday and Sunday are considered private days. UQ will not cover the costs associated with personal weekends and they will need to be funded by the UQ traveller personally.
Example 12: Extending a Business Trip to include a Personal Weekend
A UQ traveller requests to attend a conference for UQ business in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday. As the conference starts early on Thursday, they are approved to fly out Wednesday. The traveller is an avid Harry Potter fan and would like to remain in Melbourne to attend the show on Friday and Saturday evenings. The traveller would then fly home on the Sunday. UQ could fully fund the return flight as the itinerary meets the dual purpose travel requirements: the private days are less than the business days and the private days are in the business location. If the conference finishes Friday afternoon and the traveller could have returned home on Friday evening, they are choosing to stay on for private purposes and must fund the Friday and Saturday nights' accommodation. Alternatively, if the traveller’s conference finishes late on the Friday, or there is a requirement to attend a closing dinner, meaning no flight home is suitable, their Travel Approver may agree for UQ to fund the Friday night accommodation. This is on the basis they would have needed to fly home on the Saturday morning. Given the Saturday and Sunday are private days, UQ would not fund any other direct costs on those days (i.e. meals, incidentals, local transport around Melbourne).

Private Days

(24) In accordance with this Procedure and the UQ Travel Policy, UQ travellers can take private days during their UQ travel however the UQ traveller must personally pay all direct or incremental travel costs attributable to private days. UQ will not cover any costs incurred on private days.

(25) Directly attributable travel costs associated with private days include, but is not limited to:

  1. accommodation;
  2. meals;
  3. vehicle hire;
  4. local transport; and 
  5. incidentals. 

(26) If private days are taken on a workday, UQ staff must take some form of leave (annual, long service or leave without pay) and record the leave in UQ’s HR system prior to departure (except for workdays gifted to UQ staff).

Definition of Private Days

(27) ‘Private days’ whilst on UQ travel is defined as any day that is not a business day (refer to the ‘Definition of Business Days’ provisions above). Examples of private days include:

  1. days of booked recreation leave, long service leave, days of time-off-in-lieu or flexi-days;
  2. personal weekends (refer to Example 12 above);
  3. public holidays (in the business location) where the preceding day and the following day are not business days;
  4. workdays gifted to UQ staff (e.g. UQ shut-down periods in Australia) if not worked in the business location;
  5. the non-workdays of part-time, casual, and sessional staff; or
  6. sabbatical days not spent undertaking official study/work.

Personal Contributions for Private Travel Days

(28) The UQ traveller will identify any personal contribution that is required and will pay their contribution upfront at the time of booking.

(29) Any costs incorrectly incurred by UQ that can be directly attributable to or associated with private travel will be charged to and recovered from the UQ traveller. 

(30) Any incremental cost to accommodate a non-UQ travel companion must be paid by the UQ traveller personally. Examples of incremental costs include:

  1. booking larger hotel rooms or a homestay rental to accommodate the accompanying person/s;
  2. choosing to take ground transport between business locations instead of personally paying airfares for the accompanying persons (when a flight would have been more direct and economical for the UQ traveller to undertake the business/academic objective); and/or
  3. including unnecessary stopovers and/or overnight accommodations between business location/s (e.g. taking the scenic route).

Travel Diaries

(31) The Australian Taxation Office requires a travel diary for all UQ travel, which is stored in UQ’s travel approval system.

(32) UQ travellers, where appropriate, may be required to provide copies of necessary travel-related records and supporting documentation. All travel-related records must be finalised within 30 days of return from UQ travel and stored for seven years.

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Section 5 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

UQ Traveller

(33) The UQ traveller is responsible for:

  1. identifying the inclusion of private days for the Travel Approver and UQ’s travel services provider FCM Travel Solutions, private costs and/or accompanying persons that are to be privately funded;
  2. maintaining a high level of probity when requesting dual purpose travel. This includes being accountable for using public resources appropriately and ensuring all decisions made are transparent and defensible;
  3. understanding the UQ travel insurance coverage with respect to the inclusion of private days. For more information on what is and is not covered under UQ travel insurance, refer to the UQ Insurance Services (UQ Travel Insurance brochures for Staff and Students); and
  4. undertaking the most logical and economical route to / from the business location; and return via the same most logical and economical route.
  5. Not directing the choice of a flight or route based on their:
    1. private preference of the route; or
    2. private preference of an airline provider; or
    3. private travel needs.

UQ Travel Approver

(34) UQ Travel Approver/s are responsible for:

  1. Reviewing and making sufficient enquiries as to validate the essential nature of a business location that includes private days.
  2. Reviewing traveller’s substantiation that UQ is not incurring any additional costs by accommodating the private travel requests.
  3. In instances where there is doubt as to the business or private nature of travel, liaising with the UQ Taxation Unit to ascertain the appropriate treatment of those days prior to approving the booking of dual purpose travel. 
  4. Enforcing the mandatory repayment of travel costs by travellers who are found to be in breach of this Procedure.

UQ Taxation Unit

(35) The Taxation Unit is responsible for:

  1. managing, overseeing, and communicating information related to UQ’s FBT compliance and application with respect to dual purpose travel; and
  2. helping Organisational Units, as required, with assessments of dual purpose travel and the treatment of business and private days by UQ travellers.
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Section 6 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(36) Supervisors, Travel Approvers and budget holders will monitor all travel within their areas of responsibility to ensure compliance with this Procedure.

(37) The Taxation Unit(with the assistance of the UQ Travel Team) will conduct ad hoc reviews of travel bookings, travel diaries and costings for compliance with this Procedure.

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Section 7 - Recording and Reporting

(38) Travel requests will be recorded in UQ’s travel approval system.

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Section 8 - Appendix


Term Definition
Non-UQ Travel companion As defined by the ‘Non-UQ Travel Companion/Person’ provisions in the UQ Travel Policy, including family members such as spouse, partner or dependent etc that are not employed by UQ; or are employed by UQ but are not travelling in their authorised capacity as an employee of UQ.
UQ Travel As defined by the UQ Travel Policy, UQ travel is an approved journey that includes either a flight or overnight accommodation away from a UQ traveller’s normal place of work. UQ travel is authorised travel approved by UQ, regardless of funding source, for the purpose of UQ business.
UQ Traveller As defined by the UQ Travel Policy, being persons undertaking UQ travel.