Payment for overnight meals and accommodation

By David Ferguson

OCAA members in non school based teaching service positions in the Department have requested clarification regarding access to the Subsistence Allowance when overnight accommodation is required.

Some members have been told that the Department can no longer pay the relevant subsistence allowance. This is not the case.

While access to the allowance is available, it is not necesarily available in all cases. The access to the allowance is outlined below, based on correspondence from the Department to the Federation.

The Department is following NSW Government public sector guidelines which require the Department to ‘book and pay for accommodation for staff where possible and to reimburse staff for meal expenses'.

However, the Department goes on to say in correspondence to the Federation that ‘Where the Department does not book and pay for the accommodation in advance the staff member may elect to be paid the full subsistence allowance or to be paid actuals on production of receipts’.

The Department has therefore made it clear that a non school based officers may elect to be paid the subsistence allowance whenever the accommodation is not booked and paid for in advance by the Department.

Whilst ‘actuals’ are available, it is the officer who is to incur the travel expense who has the choice as to whether they claim the subsistence allowance or the actual accommodation and meal costs.

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