FAQ - Policies

What do I do with my receipts?

If submitting your claim online (all expense claims for employees of Western University must be submitted and approved using Western’s Online Expense System in PeopleSoft), you can upload the receipts directly in the Peoplesoft system.

The hard copy original receipts must be filed centrally in the unit or faculty and labeled by month/year for ready access by leaders, directors, financial officers, and/or auditors for one full year following claim submission. After one year, the receipts can be shred.  

If submitting a paper copy claim (only used for reimbursements for non-employees and guests (e.g. student, visiting professors, etc.), original receipts must be provided to your designated approver for review along with your completed expense report for signature approval. 

Once the approver has reviewed your completed expense report and signed off on it, the expense claim form and the supporting documentation is mailed to:

Western Reimbursements
Support Services Building, Suite 6100
1393 Western Road
London, ON N6G 1G9
E: reimburse@uwo.ca 

**Claim backup must either be completely electronic or paper copies.

Note: If you are seeking to claim the meal allowance amount set by Western Financial Services, you do not require a receipt if claiming meals alone. All other reimbursement claims require an original receipt.

Can I submit a scanned copy of my receipt instead of the original?

If submitting your claim online, you can upload the receipts directly in the Peoplesoft system. 

The hard copy original receipts must be filed centrally in the unit or faculty and labeled by month/year for ready access by leaders, directors, financial officers, and/or auditors for one full year following claim submission. After one year, the receipts can be shred.  

If submitting a paper copy claim, or not attaching receipts in the PeopleSoft system, then original receipts (not scanned and not copies) must be sent to the Western Reimbursements Desk in order to support your claim:

Western Reimbursements
Support Services Building, Suite 6100
1393 Western Road
London, ON N6G 1G9
E: reimburse@uwo.ca 

I am seeking reimbursement for meals I personally purchased while on University-related business. What are my options?

For meals incurred on University-related business, individuals seeking reimbursement have a choice between TWO options:

  1. Claim the meal allowance amount set by Western University found on Western's Financial Services website under Meal Reimbursement Rates. Using this option, you do not require a meal receipt.

    Meal allowances are permitted regardless of the funding sources unless specifically disallowed by a granting agency.

  2. If the employee opts not to claim the Western Finance's meal allowance, the maximum reimbursement, with a detailed receipt, is listed on the National Joint Council website:

    Appendix C, Meal Allowances, Canada and USA

    Appendix D, Meal Allowances, International

I do not have the meal receipt. Can I submit my credit card receipt or sign an attestation form?

No. Credit card receipts and attestation forms will not be accepted for reimbursement. If you do not have the detailed meal receipt, you should contact the restaurant and request a copy.  

If you are unable to get a duplicate detailed meal receipt, you will only be allowed to claim the meal allowance rate as set by Western Financial Services, and not the meal allowance amount as set by the National Joint Council. This applies to all missing detailed meal receipts, including room service when staying at a hotel.

Is there a maximum meal amount an employee can submit with a receipt when travelling?

If the employee opts not to claim the Western Finance's meal allowance (please refer to the meal allowance table available on the Western Financial Services website), the maximum reimbursement, with a detailed receipt, is listed on the National Joint Council website:

What happens if I spend more than the National Joint Council meal rate guidelines?

Employees will be reimbursed for the actual meal expenses as per the itemized receipts up to the National Joint Council meal guideline amounts.

Any costs above the National Joint Council meal and accommodation guideline amounts will not be reimbursed.

Employees should look to the National Joint Council meal guidelines for the range of what is normally considered acceptable.

When claiming any expense, prudent and responsible use of taxpayer dollars should be taken into consideration.

Costs that are not substantiated with a business purpose will not be reimbursed.

Please note: itemized and detailed receipts (even when charged to hotel rooms) are required for reimbursement.

The meal and accommodation guidelines adopted by Western can be found on the National Joint Council website.

Which is the preferred method of payment for team lunch and event venue/catering?

Team Lunch - Personal credit card by the most senior person in attendance, and then submit an Expense Reimbursement Claim.

Using a PCard at restaurants is a high risk expense so it is strongly discouraged. Entering into a contract with an establishment in advance of an event is always the best route, followed with a PO and official invoicing. Most establishments will accommodate this if arranged in advance.

Event Venue & Catering - Purchase Order (One PO for both the deposit and balance).

Do I need to keep the conference handout and my conference name tag to prove I attended the conference?

Yes. The conference program and details are to be included with every travel and expense claim submission (this has always been a requirement) as it outlines meals that are included as part of the conference.

The conference program is to be provided to not only support the meal allowance, but also to prove conference attendance.

Our team attended a conference. Dinner was not included as a meal at the conference, so our leader took us out for dinner (total of 9 attendees). What are the rules with this situation?

The preferred option is that each person pay for their own and submit a meal allowance as part of their travel claim. Reimbursement would pay up to the National Joint Council meal rate allowance or the amount on the receipt if less.

If the most senior person pays for the group, s/he will only be able to claim up to the National Joint Council meal per diem rate, and would require the itemized meal receipt and proof of payment to be submitted.

Can I upgrade my hotel room?

Reimbursement for hotels and other lodging will be limited to the single occupancy, standard room accommodation.

Any room upgrades are considered to be personal expenditures and must be paid for personally by the employee. Use of university funds is prohibited.

Please see Schulich Medicine & Dentistry's Hotels/Accommodations Policy for details.

Can I upgrade my train ticket?

When considering rail fares, travellers are expected to book the class that provides the best value for money up to a maximum of Business class.

Considerations would include exchange and refund policies where travel could reasonably be expected to change for valid business purposes, and meals provided during longer trips.

If the Business fare is comparable or less expensive than the Economy fare, employees may book it. Sometimes Business class also works out as the best value for money, as it might include a meal, and if the employee is eligible to claim a meal, Business class might be the more cost effective option.

If you are claiming a fare other than the Economy fare, you must provide screen shots of the different price options available at the time of booking to prove the cost of the higher fare provides the best value for money. If such proof is not provided, the reimbursement will be processed using the Economy fare rate. 

Note: Business Plus fares are not eligible for reimbursement.

See C.1.2 Rail Travel in Western University’s MAPP 2.16 Travel & Expenses Reimbursement Policies for more information.

Can I upgrade my airline ticket?

Travellers will be reimbursed for the lowest-priced, most direct economy airfare available when booking domestic and international air travel.

Any seat upgrades are considered to be personal expenditures and must be paid for personally by the employee. Use of university funds is prohibited except in certain limited circumstances.

See C.1.1 Air Travel in Western University’s MAPP 2.16 Travel & Expenses Reimbursement Policies for more information.

Can I select my airline seat in advance? What about baggage allowances?

Standard fees for advanced seat selection are eligible for reimbursement. To qualify for reimbursement, the seat selection fee must be incurred at the time of booking.

Checked baggage fees are eligible for reimbursement up to a maximum of two (2) standard pieces of luggage.

Excess or oversized baggage charges may be reimbursed if justified by the traveller for conducting business of the University.

See C.1.1 Air Travel in Western University’s MAPP 2.16 Travel & Expenses Reimbursement Policies for more information.

When is it appropriate for a leader to take a team out for lunch and use University funds to pay?

There are certain times when a team can go out for lunch together, and use University funds to pay for the team lunch.

Please see Schulich Medicine & Dentistry's Hospitality Policy for details.

Will I be reimbursed for the purchase of alcoholic drinks?

There are certain times when you may be reimbursed for alcoholic drink purchases.

Please see Schulich Medicine & Dentistry's Alcohol Policy for details.

When is it appropriate to use University funds to purchase a gift or send flowers to an employee?

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry acknowledges it is important to recognize certain events in employees' lives and outlines the specific events/circumstances when appropriate gifts of compassion, condolences or celebration are eligible university expenses.

Please see Schulich Medicine & Dentistry's Gift Giving Policy for details.

Can I buy a Gift Card for an employee?

Canada Revenue Agency has specific rules regarding gifts and awards to employees. Gift certificates and gift cards are considered to be cash and are therefore taxable benefits to the employee. Therefore, the purchase of gift certificates or gift cards for any Western employee is prohibited.

Purchasing small denomination gift cards for students who have contributed to research or other academic projects is allowable.

Please see Schulich Medicine & Dentistry's Gift Card Policy for details.

When do I use a PCard vs. Purchase Order?

The PCard should be used for payments under $500.

For more information, refer to Western University's Purchasing Card Guidelines.

Can I use the PCard to book travel?

If you have a travel coordinator role, you can use the PCard for visiting guests.

The PCard is not to be used for Western staff or faculty (with the exception of conference registration).

Do I have to use FCM to book travel?

FCM Travel Solutions is Western University’s preferred travel management company, however it is not required to use them.

Whenever you are booking any type of travel, you should try to find the most economical option.

Please note: Economy class is the standard for booking travel.