New Expenses Policy - 10 key changes

Summary of the key changes


1. Booking with Diversity Travel 

In early 2022, all travel booked on behalf of the University should be done so using the University's travel booking  system, and in accordance  with the University's Sustainable Travel Policy. Please follow this link for details of the offline travel booking process with Diversity Travel that should be followed from 1 February - 1 March 2022. Compliance with the policy will be mandatory and should be regarded as standard practice for any travel taken on behalf of the University by staff and students. Work is ongoing with colleagues from across the University to make sure all new relevant policies are aligned, such as the updated Expenses policy.

2. External funder restrictions on what expenses can be claimed

The expenses policy takes precedence unless more restrictive financial limits are stipulated by the funder. Please note that external funder restrictions must be met before submitting expense claims for approval.

3. Buying goods and services

Any items purchased on expenses with University-administered funds are University property. Staff-related payments, consultancy and mobile phone contracts must not be claimed on expenses.

4. Fuel costs in lieu of mileage rates

Please note that fuel costs can only be claimed for hire cars and that HMRC mileage rates must be claimed for use of private vehicles for University purposes (Policy section: Travel - Private Vehicles). 

5. Passport costs

Passport costs will not be reimbursed unless the claim is for the additional fee for a 50-page passport or for a second concurrent passport required for University purposes. (Policy section: Travel - Passports)

6. Per diem subsistence rates

The per diem rates of £5 or £10 per night are no longer applicable and must not be claimed for nights away from home. The actual costs of personal incidental expenses can be claimed (Policy section: Subsistence - Incidental Expenses).

7. Authorisation of claims

Expenses claims need to be authorised by the relevant approver i.e. Line Manager, Budget Holder, Principal Investigator. The person authorising the claim is also responsible for making sure the claim adheres to the University’s expenses policy (Policy section: Individual Responsibility - Approver).  

8. Delays in claiming expenses

Any claims out with the three month deadline must be submitted for approval to the Finance helpline (Policy section: Claiming Expenses/ Advances- Submission of a Claim).

9. Responsibilities

This has not changed, but we’re reminding colleagues that the staff making claims and staff authorising the claims are the ones who are responsible for complying with the policy. If you’re making a claim, or authorising one, you need to make sure that to the best of your knowledge, the claim is compliant with the expenses policy. You as a claimant, are still responsible for the claim, even if a proxy user has inputted it.  

10. Best practice

As best practice, the expenses policy will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Finance Department. By updating the expenses policy, we can make sure the policy is up-to-date, operationally effective at all levels and compliant with our charitable purpose, public expectation and tax law. But importantly it also helps claimants and authorisers to understand what can and cannot be claimed for, what is considered reasonable and what the exceptions are.


 Please take the time to read the new Expenses Policy for more details, including for travel information and further advice. For further support, please refer to the FAQs.


The Finance Department have a dedicated team to answer your questions on this policy change.

Tel: 0131 651 5151 option 1