Are child care expenses reimbursable while employees are travelling on University business?
*Effective May 1, 2021
There are situations in which additional costs related to dependant care are incurred when an employee must attend a conference or other necessary University business travel. Examples include, but are not limited to, when a breastfeeding mother must travel with her child to a conference, or a parent/primary caregiver must pay additional child care costs or incur the cost of airfare for a child when travelling for business. This policy applies to the cost of care for child or adult dependants.
Dependant care claims will be considered when:
- the employee is required to be absent from their residence on authorized University business travel;
- the usual caregivers are unavailable or not scheduled to provide care; and
- expenses that are incurred as a result of travelling on business are additional to expenses the employee would incur when not travelling.
Actual costs or a per diem allowance may be claimed for allowable dependant care expenses with a declaration on the travel claim that the claimant had responsibility for the care of the dependant, the time period that the services were rendered, the caregiver’s name and telephone number, and confirmation that only one parent/primary caregiver has submitted a claim for dependant care. In addition:
- Actual costs – original receipts for services provided by an individual or company in the business of providing dependant care services are required;
- Per diem – a fixed allowance covering dependant care costs may be claimed, without receipts, in lieu of a claim for actual costs, up to a daily maximum of $35 Canadian, per household.
Other eligible costs incurred for the provision of dependant care may be considered (e.g. dependant’s airfare), when appropriately justified and documented as part of a travel claim. The guiding principle is that employees should neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result of additional dependant care costs when on University business. Pre-approval of additional dependant care expenses is required, and such approval would consider the existence of funding to cover these expenses (i.e. eligible grant or operating funds). If no eligible sources of funding are identified by the claimant, then these expenses will not be reimbursed. In addition, the approver is responsible for ensuring these costs are reasonable and appropriate.