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Travel and Expense Policy for Employees

Purpose

This document supports Canadian Blood Services’ efforts to ensure that business travel and entertainment expenses are managed in the most cost effective manner possible.  The policy and associated procedures provide an accountability framework and guidelines for the reimbursement of reasonable and appropriate travel and entertainment expenses for all staff, volunteers and contractors while conducting Canadian Blood Services business. Travel should be consistent with the needs of Canadian Blood Services, and should be used to accomplish business objectives in the most cost effective manner. 

This policy does not supersede any collective agreement or non-unionized terms and conditions of employment.

Reimbursement of Travel Expenses

General Guidelines

Transportation related bookings, e.g. air, hotel, rail and car rental, should ordinarily be processed through the online travel & expense management tool.

Employees are responsible for obtaining pre-authorizations,   submitting expenses promptly, and providing appropriate back up documentation with sufficient explanations.

Managers are responsible for assuring preauthorization was obtained, for the propriety and reasonableness of expenditures, for ensuring expense reports are submitted promptly and proper receipts and explanations are provided to support the claim. 

Business travel expenses will not be reimbursed to employees who reside outside of Canada, without prior written approval of the Chief Executive Officer.

Accommodations

Travelers will use preferred properties that have negotiated rates based on volume of use.

First choice: Travelers are to select Canadian Blood Services' preferred properties;

Second choice: When a preferred property is not available, travelers may select an appropriate alternative in a similar hotel category.  When non-preferred hotels are used an explanation must be included with the expense report submission in the comments field notifying the approver of the use of a non-preferred hotel and the reason.

Employees are entitled to stay in a single room with a private bath.  Employees may accept room upgrades to suites or executive floor rooms if the upgrade is at no additional cost to the company.

All rooms will be guaranteed for late arrival with the employees corporate travel card.

Employees are responsible for contacting the Approved Travel Agency in sufficient time to allow the agency to make the cancellation prior to the cancellation deadline, or to cancel directly with the hotel to avoid no show-charges.

Employees staying one week or longer should inquire about weekly/long term discounts.

Employees will not be reimbursed for personal or miscellaneous expenses such as hotel in-room movies and mini-bar refreshments.

Private Accommodations

With prior approval of their manager, employees may stay at private homes while on Canadian Blood Services business. A token of appreciation such as a meal or gift is appropriate for the hosts.  Employees will be reimbursed a set amount per night by submitting an expense report; the current allowable rate will be loaded in the designated travel & expense management tool.  No receipts are required.

NOTE: This may or may not be taxable as income to employee, depending on the relevant laws.

Airline Reservations

All domestic (Canada and the United States) air travel must be in economy class, regardless of the length of time of the flight.

Business Class travel is acceptable only where total flying time exceeds 5 hours and the destination is outside of Canada and the United States.

Employees are expected to use the lowest logical airfare available.

Employees may use their personal upgrade certificates for a higher class airfare, as long as there is no increased cost to CBS.

Car Rentals

Employees are to use a car rental when it is more cost-effective and efficient than air, train, taxis, or personal vehicles.  A cost benefit analysis should be completed when the required business travel is over 100 km/day.

Corporate travel cardholders will make arrangements for car rentals using the prescribed pre-approval and reservation methods and not directly with the car rental agency.

The approved car rental category is mid-size; free upgrades are allowed.  With preapproval, larger vehicles or vehicles with special requirements may be rented to transport excess baggage, large items such as displays, for medical reasons or winter driving. 

Use of a Personal Car for Business Purposes

Employees may use their personal car for business purposes when:

  • If it is less expensive than renting a car, taking a taxi or alternate transportation;
  • If it is more timely than taking public transportation;
  • If the business travel mileage is less 100 km/day or 500 km/week;
  • When entertaining clients.

Frequent use of personal vehicles for business is not encouraged. It is the personal responsibility of the vehicle owner to carry adequate insurance coverage for their protection and for the protection of any passengers. Employees must notify their insurance carrier that they are using their personal vehicle for business purposes on behalf of Canadian Blood Services to ensure that there is adequate insurance coverage. The additional cost for these premiums is not a reimbursable expense.

The rate per kilometer payable for the use of privately owned vehicles driven on Canadian Blood Services business is determined from time to time and is currently $0.40. When an employee uses a personal car on company business, the kilometer allowance covers all expenses except tolls and parking (ie maintenance, repairs, gasoline & insurance costs, inclusive of all applicable taxes).

Kilometers are calculated using the distance from the Claimant’s Primary Work Location or home, whichever is less.

The car allowance provided to Vice Presidents and the Chief Executive Officer is to cover the normal cost of a vehicle, insurance, repairs and fuel for business travel on behalf of Canadian Blood Services.  It is the individuals responsibility to notify their insurance company that the vehicle is being used for business purposes to ensure adequate coverage in the case of an incident.  In the event that the individual decides to use their personal vehicle on Canadian Blood Services business rather than travelling by air or rail, there will not be any reimbursement of mileage or fuel.

Rail Travel

All  rail  travel  must  be  booked  through  the  Approved  Travel  Agency  and  charged  to  the individual employee Corporate Travel Card or the central Airline Billing Account for non-cardholders

Rail travel should be used:

  • When it is less expensive than air travel
  • When it adds no more than three hours to total travel time
  • When it is more timely than driving
  • First class/reserved seating for rail service is allowed.

Meals

Meals are defined as meal expenses incurred by the employee on business on behalf of CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES away from their normal work location.  If the work location is in the same city as the employee’s normal place of business, the costs will be absorbed by the employee.  CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES will reimburse employees for meal expenses according to a per diem.  Alcohol will not be reimbursed as part of the meal. There are no exceptions to this rule. Receipts are not required when the per diems are claimed.

The per diem amounts are as follows:

  • Breakfast $13.00
  • Lunch $10.00
  • Dinner $25.00
  • Incidentals $7.00

Gratuities and taxes are included in the established per diems for meal expenses.

When a Claimant is eligible to claim more than one meal while travelling, the amounts for the eligible meals may be combined. Eligible meal amounts over adjacent days may also be combined, up to a maximum of $55.00 in any 24-hour period. As examples, the combined maximum amount is $23.00 for breakfast and lunch and $35.00 for lunch and dinner, regardless of what is spent on each meal.

Telephone and Other Technology-Related Charges

Reasonable costs for necessary personal calls home will be reimbursed while travelling. When staying at a hotel, travelers should find out the property’s local and long distance phone rates.  The most cost-effective method should be used in order to minimize costs.

Spouse/Companion

Travel or entertainment expenses incurred by a spouse or other individuals’ accompanying an employee on business will not be reimbursed.

Combining Personal with Business Travel

Personal/vacation travel may be combined with business travel provided there is no additional cost to the company.  Costs must not be charged to the Corporate Travel Card.

    Reimbursement of Non-Travel Related Expenses

    Business Phone Calls

    Employees will be reimbursed when using their personal telephone calling cards or home phone for business phone calls that are reasonable and necessary for conducting business.  The original copy of the bill should be attached to the expense report.

    Business Meal Expenses

    Employees will be reimbursed for business meal expenses according to actual and reasonable costs.  Proper and original receipts detailing items purchased must be provided. On rare occasions, there may be special events where the service of alcohol is expected. Pre-approval for the service of alcohol must be obtained from the CFO.

    Enforcement

    Travelers who do not comply with this travel policy may be subject to:

    • delay or withholding of reimbursement
    • disciplinary action
    • repayment of non-compliant reimbursements.
    Employee Travel and Expense Procedures

    Corporate Travel Card

    The company will designate a corporate card supplier. All employees who are expected to travel more than twice on behalf of Canadian Blood Services are to apply for, and use a Corporate Travel card for business related travel expenses that are in compliance with policy. 

    Exception: Employees who need to travel more than twice for new-hire orientation are not required to obtain a corporate travel card.

    Travel Authorization

    Obtain Travel Authorization

    Pre-approval is required for all travel and conference registrations.  Employees must use the designated online travel & expense management tool to obtain pre-approval for the following:

    • Conference registration
    • Airfare
    • Hotel**
    • Car Rental
    • Train

    Miscellaneous expenses such as per diems, taxis, parking, mileage, ferries, etc. are not to be included in the online pre-trip approval request.

    Verbal or email authorization may be obtained from the employee’s manager for:

    • new-hire orientation
    • emergency travel,
    • meals/per diems, taxis, parking, mileage, ferries, car rentals (when auto-approved online), etc.

    **For corporate travel cardholders, the online travel & expense management tool requires all segments included in a pre-trip approval request to be booked at the same time and without exiting the program. Therefore, when the traveler plans to use the hotel property that is organized with an event, the hotel is to be included in the pre-approval request as follows:

    Conference hotel: include the cost of the hotel as a conference expense rather than a segment

    Meeting hotel: include a comment about hotel costs in the comment field of the request header rather than as a segment.

    Reimbursement

    Canadian Blood Services will reimburse employees for all authorized, necessary, reasonable, and cost effective expenses while on authorized company business as per the policy guidelines. Claimants are expected to neither lose nor gain financially. The company assumes no obligation to reimburse employees for expenses that do not comply with the policy.

    Expense reports will be reviewed for compliance with policies.  Employees with expenses that do not comply with this travel policy may be subject to:

    • Delay or withholding of reimbursement;
    • Repayment to Canadian Blood Services;
    • Disciplinary Action

    Expenses already paid by Canadian Blood Services or reimbursed to employees may be subject to additional reviews by Canadian Blood Services’ staff, internal control or financial auditors at any time.

    Travel Arrangement Procedures

    Approved Travel Agency

    Canadian Blood Services will designate a corporate travel agency to handle travel arrangements on behalf of Canadian Blood Services. Corporate travel cardholders will coordinate all air, hotel, car rental and rail travel arrangements through the designated Travel Agency using the designated travel & expense management tool.  Non-travel cardholders will coordinate air and rail travel arrangements through the designated travel agency as per the reservation procedures below.

    Reservation Procedures

    Pre-approval, registration, and booking processes are to be completed as early as possible to take advantage of advance purchase discounts or best available travel rates.

    Corporate Travel Cardholders

    Corporate travel cardholders will use the designated online travel & expense management tool to make travel arrangements by proceeding to book from the approved pre-trip request.  However, when the travel is complex, corporate travel cardholders may contact the designated travel agency directly. Travel is complex when it is

    • multi-segmented
    • international

    The travel cardholders must use their own corporate travel Card for payment.

    Employees who do not hold a Corporate Travel Card

    Business related travel costs are to be paid by the employee personally.  The employee will be reimbursed for all reasonable travel related costs that are in compliance with this policy by submitting an expense report using the designated online travel & expense management tool.

    If the employee chooses, direct invoicing to Canadian Blood Services is available for air, train and hotel costs.

    Air and Train Reservations

    The traveler will email the required details to corporatecard@blood.ca.  A Corporate Card Program team member will record the travel requirements and notify the employee when they can proceed with booking.  The traveler will contact the designated travel agency to make the reservations.  The reservation will be billed to Canadian Blood Services.

    Hotel Reservations

    Employees will contact the hotel property to make tentative arrangements and to obtain a Third Party Credit Card Authorization form.  The employee will fill in the form, except the payment information.  The completed form is to be scanned and emailed to corporatecard@blood.ca.  The corporate card team will enter the payment information, fax it to the hotel, and then notify the employee when it is completed.

    Additional guidelines can be found on the Canadian Blood Services’ intranet.

    Air Travel Reservations

    Pre-authorization must first be acquired using the prescribed methods. Corporate travel cardholders are to book air travel using the designated online travel & expense management tool and pay with their corporate card; other employees will book air travel using the designated travel agency. Air travel is not to be booked directly through the airlines.

    Travelers are not to use first class travel, private or charter aircraft.  The use of private aircraft for business purposes is not allowed under any circumstance.

    The number of Canadian Blood Services' personnel on the same flight must not exceed 6 non-executive travelers whenever possible.

    Employees are to book as early as possible to take advantage of best available rates and discounts.  Canadian Blood Services' preferred carriers are to be used and booking should be completed at least 21 days in advance; fares booked less than seven days before departure are the most expensive and should be avoided.

    Travelers will book economy airfare for domestic and trans-border travel (Canada & United States), as well as most international flights.  The lowest logical airfare is to be booked according to the following parameters

    • routing requires no more than one interim stop with any change of plane for each way of a round trip
    • Departure/arrival should be no more than two (2) hours before or after requested time.
    • routing does not increase the one-way (origin to destination) by more than the following
    • Domestic- 60 minutes
    • Trans border - 90 minutes
    • International - 120 minutes

    Business class is acceptable for international travel (destination is outside of Canada and United States) only when total flying time exceeds 5 hours.

    Saturday night stay over is permitted if it provides a clearly demonstrated savings to Canadian Blood Services when additional costs for meals and accommodations are considered.

    Standard seat selection is allowed; preferred seating (not business class) is allowed only for medical conditions or when there is a demonstrated business need.  The rationale for a preferred seat must be included in the comments section of the reimbursement.

    One baggage fee is allowed (per carrier) from origin to destination and one for the return and when travel involves at least one overnight stay.

    Upgrades of any kind are allowed when there is no additional cost to Canadian Blood Services or at the travelers' personal expense.  Upgrades must not be charged to the corporate travel card or directly billed to Canadian Blood Service in any way.

    Denied Boarding Compensation

    Delayed or denied boarding compensation from airlines can be voluntary or involuntary.

    Employees may accept voluntary denied boarding compensation under the following conditions:

    • flying outside normal working hours,
    • the delay in their trip will not result in any interruption or loss of business,
    • there is no incremental cost to the company such as overtime hours, accommodation, or meal costs.

    Denied boarding compensation such as free travel voucher may be kept by the employee for personal use.  Employees may be liable for tax consequences depending on the dollar value of the compensation.

    Cancellation of air tickets may result in a future credit from the airline.  The designated travel management company will apply the credit to the next applicable air travel that is booked by the employee within one month of the original air travel booking; after one month the credit will be applied to the next applicable travel booking made by any Canadian Blood Services' employee.

    Overnight Delays

    Should an airline delay necessitate an overnight stay, the employee should first attempt to secure complimentary lodging from the airline.  If unsuccessful, the employee should contact the Approved Travel Agency for assistance.

    Lost Baggage

    The company will not reimburse employees for personal items lost while travelling on business. The responsibility for retrieving and compensating lost baggage lies with the airlines.

    Obtain a lost baggage report from an airline representative in the baggage claim area.

    Keep a copy of the report and claim stubs.

    Accommodations

    To meet duty of care requirements, Canadian Blood Services has to know where an employee is located when they travel.  This is achieved when employees

    • reserve hotels through the designated online travel & expense management tool  (Corporate Travel Cardholders), or
    • reserve directly through the designated travel agency when they are unable to book online (Corporate Travel Cardholders)
    • by attaching a copy of their hotel confirmation to the online pre-trip authorization request within the designated online travel and expense management tool.

    Employees will be reimbursed for actual and reasonable hotel room costs, hotel room tax and parking. 

    Car Rentals

    Corporate travel cardholders will make arrangements for car rentals using the prescribed pre-approval and reservation methods and not directly with the car rental agency.  Travelers will use the preferred agency whenever possible.  In accordance with best practices, pre-approval travel requests that contain a car rental segment, only, will auto-approve allowing employees to reserve car rentals immediately. 

    Free upgrades are allowed.  Review the Visa auto rental collision/loss damage insurance document whenever larger or special vehicles are rented to ensure they are covered by the corporate card insurance.

    Payment of all costs related to the car rental must be made with the same corporate card, including the travel agency fee.  Employees who do not hold a corporate card will pay with personal funds and then submit an expense report for reimbursement.

    The car must be inspected and any damage found must be noted on the contract before the vehicle is accepted.

    Corporate card insurance is available for collision, loss or damage for up to 30 days under the following conditions:

    • corporate cardholders decline the Collision or Loss Damage Waiver (CDW or LDW) offered by the car rental agency
    • all costs related to the car rental are paid with the same travel card, including the travel agency fee.
    • the type of vehicle complies with the Visa auto rental collision/loss damage insurance document

    Employees will purchase Collision or Loss Damage Waiver (CDW or LDW) only when:

    • the type of vehicle required is not covered under the Visa auto rental collision/loss damage insurance.  Example cargo vans, trucks, larger size vehicles.
    • the employee does not hold a corporate card

    Canadian Blood Services Corporate Insurance Policies provide coverage to employees for Third Party Liability imposed by law arising from the use or operation of any automobile not owned in whole or in part by Canadian Blood Service when renting for Canadian Blood Services business purposes.

    Car rental agencies offer a number of additional optional insurance options. Employees are to decline all optional insurance coverage including:

    • Liability Insurance Supplement (LIS)
    • Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)
    • Personal Effects Insurance (PEI)

    Employees should be aware that optional insurance premiums are not a reimbursable business expense.

    Car Rental Insurance - International

    In general, the same rules as domestic rentals above apply; however, in some countries, including some states in the United States, it is compulsory to buy insurance locally. It may also be advisable in some countries to purchase additional coverage.

    As circumstances and rules vary and are subject to change, employees on international assignments must consult with the Approved Travel Agency and/or their supervisor in advance of the travel to make the most appropriate arrangements.

    Car Rental Cancellation Procedures

    Employees are responsible for canceling car rental reservations and must contact the Approved Travel Agency. Employees should request and record the cancellation number in case of billing disputes.

    Returning Rental Cars

    Every reasonable effort should be made to return the car rental:

    • to the original rental city unless approved for a one-way rental
    • intact (i.e. no bumps, scratches or mechanical failures)
    • on time, to avoid additional hourly charges
    • with a full tank of gas where required by the rental agency. Please check with the rental agency about their specific gas policy when picking up the vehicle.

    Personal Vehicles

    Every effort should be made to use the preferred car rental rather than a personal vehicle when a rental is more cost effective; cost benefit analysis should be conducted when the weekly travel exceeds 100 km/day or 500 km/week. When an employee uses a personal car on company business, the kilometer allowance covers all expenses except tolls and parking. (i.e. maintenance, repairs, gasoline and insurance costs, inclusive of all applicable taxes.) Employees will not be reimbursed for any repairs to their personal car even if these costs result from business travel.

    Travelers will be reimbursed for business usage of personal cars on a fixed scale per kilometer. The following must be included on expense reports:

    • purpose of the trip
    • date of travel
    • departure point and destination
    • kilometers driven
    • reason why a rental car was not used when the distance driven would warrant the use of a rental vehicle

    Ground Transportation To and From Terminals

    Employees going to the same location should share ground transportation whenever possible.

    The most economical mode of transportation should be used to and from airport, bus and rail terminals when the employee is not accompanying a client. The following modes of transportation should be considered:

    • buses, subways, taxis
    • hotel and airport shuttle services
    • personal vehicle

    Private limousines or car services should be used only when valid business reasons preclude the use of more economical modes of transportation.

    Frequent Traveler Award Programs – Air, Hotel & Car Rental

    Air

    Employees may retain frequent flyer program benefits.  Participation in airline frequent flyer programs are not to influence flight selections that may result in choosing a Canadian Blood Service non-preferred carrier or result in increased costs to Canadian Blood Services.  Administration of points and membership profiles, membership fees or income tax consequences from joining these programs are the responsibility of the employee and are not reimbursable.

    Hotel

    Employees may retain membership program benefits. However, participation in these programs must not influence hotel selection that would result in incremental cost beyond the company's negotiated rates. It is the employee's sole responsibility to adhere to regulations related to the use of such travel points. Any membership fees associated with joining these programs are the responsibility of the employee and are not reimbursable.

    Car Rentals

    Employees may retain membership program benefits. However, participation in these programs must not influence car rental selection that would result in incremental cost beyond the company's specially negotiated rates

    Any  membership  fees  associated  with joining  these  programs  are  the  responsibility  of  the employee and are not reimbursable.

    Emergency Travel

    In rare occurrences, emergency travel is required.  Emergency travel is when the employee has to travel within the next 24 hours without prior notification.  In these instances, the employee is not required to obtain a pre-trip approval. Corporate travel cardholders will contact the designated travel agency directly to make travel arrangements and use their own corporate travel card for payment.  Non-travel cardholders will follow the processes outlined above for booking travel offline.

    Traveler Profiles

    All corporate travel cardholders must complete their on-line traveler profile within the designated online travel & expense management tool. Avoid entering preferences in your profile.  Preferences will trigger higher agency fees as they will require agent intervention during the reservation process.

    The traveler is responsible for updating their profile for all personal travel information changes. This will include, but not limited to corporate credit card number, updated expiry dates, work address, phone number. Information provided on the Traveler Profile is kept in strict confidence by the Travel Agency. The traveler profiles will remain active until termination of employment.

    Passports and Visas

    For assistance in obtaining visas/passports, travelers may contact the designated Approved Travel Agency.

    Ticket Delivery

    The designated travel agency will e-mail an e-ticket, e-invoice and e-itinerary to you when your travel booking is completed.  The reservation will be assigned a unique record locator, which will appear on the electronic documents and in your pre-trip approval request, if booked online.

    Always verify the reservation has been finalized by reviewing all emails received from the designated travel agency.  You must contact a member of the corporate card team for assistance if you have an interrupted travel booking alert or you received an email indicating the reservation will be cancelled if not approved; this means your reservation has not been finalized.

    When the reservations are finalized, the e-invoice you receive will include applicable taxes paid on the airfare.  An electronic image of this document is to be attached to an expense report as supporting documentation using the designated online travel & expense management tool.

    International Travel Advisories

    Employees must NOT travel to countries for which a travel advisory has been issued by The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

    Emergency Travel Assistance/En route Changes

    Travelers should use the 24-Hour, Toll-Free Emergency Travel Centre phone number for itinerary changes on the road or after normal business hours only. This number appears on the itinerary accompanying each ticket that has been issued by the Approved Travel Agency.

    When a business trip is interrupted due to a personal or family emergency, all reasonable expenses to return home are reimbursable.

    Personal Vacation Travel Guidelines

    Combining Personal with Business Travel

    Personal/vacation travel billing should not be combined with business travel billing under any circumstances. The Corporate Travel Card must not be used to pay for personal/vacation travel.

    Spouse/Companion Travel

    The company will not reimburse travel or entertainment expenses incurred by a spouse or other individuals' accompanying an employee on business.  A spouse or other individuals may accompany an employee on a business trip at the employee's expense.

    Miscellaneous Personal/Vacation Expenses

    If employees are extending their business trip through a Saturday night to take advantage of significant savings on discounted airfares, they will be reimbursed for meal and lodging expenses in accordance with standard guidelines when the cost is less than the discount obtained from extending the trip.  The company will not pay for personal/vacation expenses such as sightseeing, bus tours, souvenirs, and personal expenses such as movies, health club fees, and meals.

    Reimbursement of Dependent Care Expenses

    Expenses for the care of employee's dependents will not be reimbursed when business travel is a requirement of the employee's position.

    If the employee is requested to travel on behalf of Canadian Blood Services, and it is an exception, and other arrangements for dependent care are unavailable, costs, up to a maximum of $40/day, will be reimbursed upon proof of payment of the expenses.

    Telephone Usage Guidelines

    Business Phone Calls

    Employees will be reimbursed when using their personal telephone calling cards or home phone for business phone calls that are reasonable and necessary for conducting business. The original copy of the bill should be attached to the expense report.

    To avoid substantial charges added by hotels to telephone bills, employees should use a charge/credit card, calling card, public phone, or call toll-free or collect whenever possible.

    Travelers are strongly discouraged from using air/rail-phones due to the high costs involved. Employees may use an air/rail-phone only in the event of an emergency or critical business issue that requires immediate action.

    Hotel Phone Usage

    When staying at a hotel, travelers should find out the property's local and long distance phone rates. Travelers should avoid making phone calls that have an added surcharge.

    To avoid substantial charges added by hotels to telephone bills, travelers should:

    • use a charge/credit card, calling card, public phone or call collect whenever possible
    • press the # key after each call and wait for the tone, and then dial the next phone number when making several long distance calls
    • use an 800 number for business calls whenever possible
    • have the home office place the call or call collect when overseas
    • phone from local Canadian Blood Service office whenever possible.
    Personal Phone Calls While Travelling

    A reasonable number of personal telephone calls can be made to keep in touch with immediate family members while on business. However, employees will not be reimbursed for any personal telephone calls made from air phones or cellular car rental phones.

    Travelers will be reimbursed for reasonable personal telephone calls; however, charges considered excessive will not be reimbursed. The decision will be at the discretion of the manager approving the expense report.

    Cellular Telephone Reimbursement

    Travelers will be reimbursed for business calls made on cellular phones:

    • which are reasonable and necessary for conducting business
    • with an original copy of the bill attached to the expense report form

    When using personal cellular phones for business, employees will be reimbursed for telephone usage charges, but not for monthly access charges and annual license fees.

    Travel Insurance Guidelines

    Group Benefits – Travel Insurance Coverage

    The following applies to all Canadian Blood Services employees (not volunteers of consultants):

    Canadian Blood Services employees are eligible for the Canadian Blood Services Travel Accident policy offered effective their first day of work. A trip is defined as travel on Canadian Blood Service business, that is, any absence from ordinary place of employment that is assigned and authorized by Canadian Blood Service for the purpose of furthering Canadian Blood Services' business. This excludes everyday travel to and from work and bona fide vacations. The business trip is deemed to have begun when employees leave their residence or ordinary place of employment for the purpose of going on such a trip, which ever happens last, and continues until such time as the employee returns to their residence or ordinary place of employment, whichever happens first.

    For more information on these benefits, please contact the Human Resources department. Canadian Blood Service will not reimburse expenses for additional travel insurance coverage.

    The Corporate Card and/or Business Travel Insurance Coverage

    Insurance benefits are automatic providing the charges for transportation costs, accommodation, and car rental have been charged to the Corporate Travel Card.

    If an incident occurs, it should be reported to Canadian Blood Service Risk and Claims Administrator.

    Meals and Expense Guidelines

    Personal Meal Expenses

    Personal meals are defined as meal expenses incurred by the employee when on business on behalf of Canadian Blood Services while away from their normal work location. If the work location is in the same city as the employee's normal place of business, the costs will be absorbed by the employee. Canadian Blood Service will reimburse employees for meal expenses according to a per diem. Receipts are not required when the per diems are claimed.

    Employees cannot claim the full per diem for partial travel days or where a meal was included as part of rail, airline, or hotel service. When meals (breakfast/lunch/dinner) are provided as part of an event or conference they cannot be claimed as a per diem.

    NOTE: For international travel, where meal expenses may exceed the maximum allowable, Canadian Blood Services will reimburse employees for actual and reasonable expenses in conducting company business.  It will be up to the discretion of the approving manager to determine if the expense is reasonable and appropriate.  Proper and original receipts, detailing all items purchased must be provided in this situation.  Credit card receipts are NOT acceptable unless accompanied by the detailed listing of items purchases.  Charges for alcohol will not be accepted at any time.

    Business Meal Expenses

    Business meals are taken with external stakeholders during which a specific business discussion takes place.

    Employees will be reimbursed reasonable, actual business meal costs. Alcohol is not allowed.   Basic guidelines for tipping is 15%-20%, unless they have already been included in the bill or not expected.

    When submitting the expense employees will provide:

    • proper and original receipts detailing items purchased, quantities, price and taxes;
    • purpose of the business discussion;
    • names of the attendees, including their business title and name of the organization they represent.

    On rare occasions, there may be special events where the service of alcohol is expected. Pre-approval for the service of alcohol must be obtained from the CFO.  Include a description and purpose of the event, the number of expected attendees, general description of the attendees (donors, cabinet ministers, etc), the description of the alcohol purchase, quantities, price, taxes to be included.  This approval must be attached to the expense report.

    Business Meals Taken with Other Employees

    There will be limited reimbursement for business-related meals taken with other employees. The following circumstances qualify as occasions for business meals:

    • when an external stakeholder is present;
    • when business should be conducted off company premises;
    • when business should be conducted on company premises during non-business hours.

    Meal costs for social occasions, such as employee birthdays, etc. are not classified as business meals or entertainment expenses and will not be reimbursed. Please refer to the policy on employee recognition through the Human Resources department.

    Entertaining External Stakeholders

    Entertainment expenses include events such as nightclubs, theatre and sporting events, whereby a business discussion takes place during, immediately before, or immediately after the event.

    Employees will not be reimbursed for entertaining clients unless this activity is inherent in the employee's job function or with prior written approval from the appropriate level of authority. Canadian Blood Service has established an allowable expense amount for approved business meals or hospitality based on our standard per diem amounts.

    Payment for Meals and Expense

    When more than one employee is present at a business meal, the most senior level employee should pay and expense the bill. A description of business discussed should be included in the expense report in the comment section along with the list of employees in attendance. This will be reviewed by the employee's manager when approving the expense claim.

    Payment Method Procedures

    Corporate Travel Card

    Canadian Blood Services will designate a Corporate Travel Card Supplier as the payment method for all business related travel expenses. Corporate Travel Cards provide an effective tool to manage the processing of expenses while maintaining a high standard of public accountability. Corporate Travel Cards provide insurance coverage, streamline payment method processes, decrease administrative costs, provide travel spending reports and help to manage compliance with travel policies. All employees traveling on behalf of Canadian Blood Services must apply for a Corporate Travel Card.

    All reimbursable business expenses must be paid with the Corporate Travel Card, whenever and wherever possible. Employees that do not hold a Corporate Travel Card and need to travel before a card can be issued (approx. 7 business days), should contact Finance Services to discuss alternate arrangements.

    Travel arrangements are to be made through the designated travel agency and paid with the employees Corporate Travel Card.

    The Corporate Travel Card is only to be used by the employee to whom it is issued.

    Corporate Travel Card Distribution

    The employee's manager and the Manager, Finance Services must approve applications for corporate credit card accounts.

    1.  Employees will forward the completed corporate card application and signed copy of a Corporate Card Participant's Agreement (an acknowledgement of the employee's responsibilities and agreement to the terms and conditions governing the use of the Corporate Card), to corporatecard@blood.ca.

    2.  An email will be sent to the employee containing other required readings about policies, guidelines and instructions.

    3.  The employee will reply confirming they have reviewed the required reading

    4.  An access account to the designated travel & expense management tool will be created for the employee

    5.  The corporate card is sent to the employee.

    6.  The employee will sign and activate the card and complete their profile in the designated travel & expense management tool.

    Required Use of Corporate Travel Card

    Whenever feasible, employees must use the designated Corporate Travel Card to pay for all business related air, rail, lodging, car rental, and miscellaneous travel and entertainment expenses.

    Personal Use of Corporate Travel Card

    Corporate Travel Cards are intended exclusively for business use, and may not be used for personal expenses. In the event that there are personal charges placed on the card, the employee is required to reimburse Canadian Blood Services, as soon as possible.

    Corporate Travel Card Billing and Payment Responsibility

    A Corporate Travel Card will be issued to employees who incur business expenses on behalf of the company. Personal credit checks will not be conducted and personal credit information is not provided by Corporate Travel Card Provider to third parties. Payment of a Corporate Travel Card account is based on expense reports being submitted and approved electronically. Canadian Blood Service centrally pays all travel card expenses and reimburses the employee for any out of pocket expenses that are incurred as long as they are legitimate Canadian Blood Service business travel expenses.

    Delinquency charges levied by the Card Provider for late payment of accounts are considered to be personal expenses and will not be reimbursed by the company. Minor exceptions may be considered with appropriate justification and senior management approval.

    Lost/Stolen or Emergency Replacement Cards

    A lost or stolen Corporate Travel Card must be reported as soon as the employee discovers it is missing. Historical data on stolen credit cards shows unauthorized use of stolen cards is greatest in the first few hours after the theft.

    Cardholder Employee Termination

    Upon termination of employment, the cardholder's manager or Human Resources must notify the Corporate Card Coordinator, cut up the card, and discard. The cardholder must promptly reconcile their Corporate Card account, and prepare an expense report for outstanding transactions.

    Business Use of Personal Credit Card/Personal Funds

    Personal funds or personal credit cards may be used for business travel when the establishment does not accept the corporate travel card or when the employee does not hold a corporate card. Additional documentation will be required as proof that personal funds were used when the expense is submitted in an expense report.  When expensing the employee will be required to provide:

    • detailed invoice
    • proof of payment method that is definitive;
      • copy of the payment line from a bank account, or
      • copy of the payment line from a personal credit card statement, or
      • payment confirmation that shows the card type used was different than the corporate card type, or
      • payment confirmation that shows the last 4 digits of the card when the card type is the same as the corporate card.
    • explanation for us of personal funds is to be entered in the comment field.
    Internal Cash/Travel Advances

    The Corporate Travel Card provides valuable information to CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES for discounted vendor negotiations, budgeting and forecasting, and tracking of travel patterns. Whenever possible, employees must use their Corporate Travel Card, and are strongly discouraged from using cash to pay for reimbursable business travel expenses.

    Use of the Corporate Travel Card eliminates the need for internal travel advances for cardholders. If required, the Corporate Card provides for cash withdrawals at Automatic Banking or Teller Machines (ABM/ATM's).

    Internal Travel Advance

    Internal Travel Advance Issuance

    Subject to senior management approval, travel advances to assist with legitimate business travel expenses may be issued to employees who do not hold a corporate travel card.

    The cash advance request form must be sent to invoices@blood.ca a minimum of ten (10) working days prior to the planned departure date to allow for processing.

    An employee may have only one cash advance outstanding at any given time.  Failure to account for a prior advance will result in the denial of any request for additional cash.

    Internal Travel Advance Limits and Settlement

    The amount of cash requested should be the minimum necessary to cover anticipated, reasonable, and legitimate business related out-of-pocket expenses.  The amount requested is to be based on documented needs and should not exceed a conservative estimate.

    All cash advances must be accounted for by submitting an Expense Report using the designated online travel & expense management tool within five (5) days after completion of the trip.  All legitimate, reasonable business travel expenses for the trip are to be submitted.  The amount of the travel advance will automatically be deducted from the out of pocket expenses that are submitted through the online tool. If the travel advance is less, the employee will be reimbursed the difference; if the travel advance is more, the employee will refund the balance to Canadian Blood Services though a payroll deduction.

    If the employee is a union member, they may be required to submit meal per diems and mileage per payroll.  In these cases, the meal per diems and mileage will not count as offsets for the cash advance as payroll and expense reporting systems are not linked together.

    Non-union Employee – all out of pocket expenses are submitted through the designated online travel & expense management tool:

    Scenario 1:  Employee receives $250 cash advance; out of pocket expenses are $120 hotel, $110 per diems; $75 mileage = $305 total out of pocket expenses. 

    • the employee will be reimbursed $305-250 =$55

    Scenario 2:  Employee receives $400, the out of pocket expenses are the same as scenario 1. 

    • the employee will owe Canadian Blood Services $400-305=$95

    Union members: The per diems and mileage will be submitted through payroll and will not count against the travel advance.  The hotel expense will be submitted through the designated online travel & expense management tool.

    Scenario 1:  As above, but only the hotel will be used to offset the travel advance.

    • the employee will owe Canadian Blood Services:  $250- 120 = $130.
    • the employee will receive $185 through payroll for per diems and mileage.

    Scenario 2:  As above, again, only the hotel will be used to offset the travel advance

    • the employee will owe Canadian Blood Services  $400-120=$280
    • the employee will receive $185 through payroll for per diems and mileage.

    The examples assume all expenses were paid with personal funds - not centrally billed to Canadian Blood Services and not paid with a corporate credit card.

    Subsequent Refunds and Credits

    All subsequent refunds or credits for purchases expensed by employees must be identified as a credit on a travel expense report within five (5) days after receiving credit or refund. The credit must be immediately applied against current expenses outstanding or reimbursed via a cheque payable to Canadian Blood Services or through a payroll deduction.

    Outstanding Travel Advances

    Failure to properly account for cash advances may result in:

    • notification sent to employee's supervisor/manager;
    • suspension or cancellation of cash advance privileges;
    • non-reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenditures.

    Expense Reporting Procedures

    Timing for Expense Report Completion and Submission

    Prompt submission of expense reports is important to ensure that they are accounted for properly and accurately. Employees should submit their expense reports no later than five (5) business days upon completion of the trip. The transaction list is available online; employees do not need to wait for the statement to submit expenses. Any expense report that includes an item that is more than three (3) months old must include an explanation, Director approval and be forwarded to senior Finance personnel, for approval prior to submission to the Corporate Card team.

    Approval/Authorization

    The approving manager verifies: compliance with policy, adequacy of supporting documentation, business purpose explanation, expense type, and cost center code for each transaction prior to approval of all expense reports.

    No employee is authorized to approve their own, a peer's, or a supervisor's travel expense report. Financial Operations conducts random reviews of expense reports.

    Back office processing of employee expense reports by the Corporate Card team will be reviewed for:

    • electronic approval
    • business purpose
    • financial coding
    • supporting documentation and electronic receipts detailing items purchased
    • policy compliance
    • explanations/justification in the comment field for all non-compliant transactions such as the use of a non- preferred hotel, lost receipts or other unusual items.
    Documentation Requirements

    Detailed invoices in electronic format are required as supporting documentation for each corporate card transaction or out of pocket expense in excess of $10.   Detailed invoice images should also be supplied for transactions less than $10 whenever possible.

    Detailed invoices are ones that include: name of the merchant, location, date, a full description of the product or service purchased, who the service  is for, quantities, price, tax, total, and merchant’s GST/HST number. Other specific requirements are as follows (all documents referred must be in an electronic format):

    • copy of air/rail invoice/ticket with GST amount shown
    • hotel -hotel folio plus corporate card receipt or other proof of payment
    • car rental - car rental agreement plus corporate card receipt or other proof of payment
    • meals/entertainment (excluding per Diems) - corporate card receipt or cash register receipt plus detailed listing of all items purchased. (no restaurant tear tabs)
    • taxi receipts

    Documentation is not required for per diems, mileage, private accommodations, travel agency fees, baggage fees, cash advances, cash advance fees or late fees, Visa transactions that are classified as personal charges.

    When a receipt is missing, every effort must be made to obtain a copy (except for taxis and parking) from the merchant.  If still unavailable, a full explanation of the expense and the reason for the missing receipt is required in the comment field of the transaction.

    Where a traveler has booked air/rail over one month in advance, the expense submission can be processed before the travel occurs.

    Travelers must provide the following information in order to be reimbursed for expenditures when entertaining outside parties:

    • names of individuals present, their titles and company name
    • name and location of where the meal or event took place
    • exact amount and date of the expense (with supporting receipts)
    • list of attendees for business meals and business items discussed
    • specific business topic discussed
    • in  the  case  of events,  the  specific  time  the  business  discussion  took  place (i.e. before, during or after the event)
    Expensing Meals by Category

    Meal expenses while traveling on Canadian Blood Services business will be reimbursed as per diems, which are fixed amounts for the following types:  

    • full day,
    • breakfast,
    • lunch,
    • dinner,
    • incidentals. 

    Do not claim a full day per diem when:

    • travel is not a full day,
    • a meal has been provided to you in the form of a group meal, catering, by an event organizer or by an airline, train, or hotel

    Per diems are not allowed for meals in the employee’s normal work city or town. 

    Employees will submit out of pocket per diems using the designated online travel & expense management tool under the Travel & Expense Policy.  Any individual meals charged to a corporate card will be considered a personal charge and owed backed to Canadian Blood Services.  When on a travel card, out of pocket expenses will automatically offset the balance of the personal charges on the card.  The employee will be reimbursed the balance if the out of pocket expenses exceed the personal charges; they will owe Canadian Blood Services if they are less.  Meals charged to a corporate purchase card will be paid back to Canadian Blood Services in full.   

    NOTE:  For some business lines, meals claimed will be the actual amount spent rather than per diems, unless they are over set amounts.  Detailed receipts will be required.  Speak with your manager.

    Reimbursement of Expenses and Deadlines

    Legitimate expenses will be submitted and approved through the designated online travel & expense management tool.  Canadian Blood Services will pay the corporate card account and reimburse employees by direct deposit.  Although, the employee’s expense reimbursement will be directly deposited into the same bank account as their pay, the expense reimbursement will be separate and distinct. 

    The timing of reimbursement will be as follows:

    • employee submits the expense report within 5 days of travel or according to the corporate card deadlines,
    • their manager reviews the report and either approves it or returns it for correction,
    • once approved, the corporate card team may review the report again and either release it or send it back for correction. 
    • accounts payable group makes payment to the corporate card account on the next merchant payment run and reimburses employees out of pocket expenses on the next employee payment run.

    *IMPORTANT:  Employees are never to pay the corporate card account directly, under any circumstance.

    Corporate Card Deadlines

    Employees are to submit all corporate card transactions for statements ending on the 15th of the month:

    Purchase cardholders must submit by the 20th

    Travel cardholders must submit by the 25th

    Special fiscal year end deadlines

    Fiscal year end is the March 31st.  Special submissions of expenses are required.

    Employees will receive an email notifying them of the deadline requirements for that year.  When in doubt, review the company notes in the home page of the online travel & expense management tool beginning March 20.

    Incorrect or Incomplete Expense Reports

    Expense reports that are incorrect or incomplete will be returned electronically from the corporate card administrator to the employee for corrective action/clarification.  This may result in delay or non-reimbursement of specific items. Disregard for company policy or altering of receipts is a form of fraud and can result in disciplinary action or termination.

    Converting Foreign Currencies

    Expenses in foreign currencies are converted into Canadian dollars as follows:

    • Expenses incurred and paid directly by the traveler are converted at the actual exchange rate used by the financial institution on the credit card statement. Electronic image of the original receipts supporting the expense must be submitted with the electronic expense claim.

    Out of pocket transactions, that are paid in a foreign currency will be converted to Canadian in the online expense management tool.  If the amount claimed on the expense report is more or less than the amount of the attached receipts, a written statement explaining the differences must accompany the expense report.

    Miscellaneous Expense Guidelines

    Other Reimbursable Expenses

    Employees will be reimbursed for the following miscellaneous expenses when conducting legitimate Canadian Blood Services business and once approved:

    • air freight for business purposes
    • business office expenses while traveling out of town (fax, copy services, etc.)
    • compulsory insurance coverage (per trip or annual fee)
    • gasoline (for car rental only)
    • laundry/dry cleaning/suit pressing for trips exceeding five (5) days
    • parking
    • seminar fees
    • taxis
    • telephone/car phone/cell phone
    • tolls
    • currency exchange, ABM fees
    • visa/consulate fees
    • conference registration
    • course fees (see HR Policies and Procedures for documentation requirements)

    Group & Meeting Travel Procedures

    Group Travel Definition

    Group travel is defined as 10 people or more gathering in a common place for a common purpose. This includes travel for:

    • training or education meetings
    • new product introductions
    • management meetings
    • professional/technical meetings
    • trade shows
    • conventions
    • individual hotel rooms for mobile clinics

    This group travel policy applies any time travel arrangements of any kind (air travel, lodging or ground transportation) are made for 10 or more people, regardless of the actual site of the meeting or conference.

    This policy applies to the selection of meeting site, the arrangements for the travel participants and the arrangements for all other aspects of the meeting.

    This policy establishes the quality standards, financial parameters and other guidelines associated with planning, travel and related expenses.

    Travel Responsibility

    Individual meeting planners, meeting sponsors and travelers are responsible for ensuring all group travel is consistent with this policy. Managers are responsible for ensuring that group travel arrangements of staff members are consistent with this policy.

    When an event is planned, the plan should be discussed with the Manager, Corporate Accounting and Travel, prior to commitment of funds for lodging, travel or catering to identify any inconsistencies with corporate policies as well as to identify cost saving opportunities.

    Types of Meetings

    The company has classified groups/meetings as follows, based on their size and complexity:

    • Small  meetings  - 10  to  50  participants,       involving  meeting,  food  and  lodging arrangements at one hotel/conference/meeting location (i.e. training meetings)
    • Mid-size  meetings- 50 to 200 participants,  with more complex  arrangements  including multiple meeting rooms, receptions, off-property activities and possibly multiple hotels
    • Large groups - very complex events, based on the size or nature of the event
    • (i.e. conventions, incentives)
    Authorization Procedures for Group Travel

    All group travel must be pre-approved by the person responsible for the meeting budget or cost center as per Purchasing Policy Authorization Guidelines.

    Sponsoring a Group Travel Event

    Before deciding to hold a meeting or sponsor a conference, employees should explore lower cost alternatives, such as teleconferencing or videoconferencing to conduct their business. All travelers are expected to use the most cost-effective means available to accomplish the required business objectives.

    Booking Instructions for Group Travel

    Once group travel has been authorized, the meeting planner must coordinate the group travel using the guidelines listed below.  Contact the event management team with the designated travel management agency to see if you can utilize their services (for events with more than 10 attendees).

    Airline Reservations

    All group travel arrangements, including air travel, rail and car rental must be made through the Approved Travel Agency.

    Arrangements  should  be  made  as far  in  advance  as possible  to  take  advantage  of the  most favorable rates.

    Hotel

    To  leverage  meeting  volume  with  the  Canadian Blood Services  preferred  travel  program  for  individual  travel,  meeting planners should first consider existing preferred properties for all meeting and event needs. Where these properties are not available or do not meet specific needs, travel planners may consider alternative meeting locations. Justification should be provided where a non­preferred or higher priced option was selected.

    In accordance with Purchasing Policy guidelines, tendering may be required for both preferred and non-preferred hotel properties.  See Purchasing Policy for details.

    Any contracts that must be signed in support of meeting arrangements must follow Purchasing Policy Chapter 2 (Signing Authorities for Purchase Orders and Other Forms of Agreements).

    Payment Procedures for Group Travel

    When attending a meeting or conference, Canadian Blood Services travelers must use the Corporate Travel Card to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses. This includes:

    • air Travel
    • lodging
    • car rental
    • rail travel
    • entertainment
    • miscellaneous travel expenses

    Employees that do not hold a Corporate Travel Card and need to travel before a card can be issued (approx. ten (10) business days), should contact the Corporate Card team to discuss alternate arrangements.

    In some instances, the cost of hotel accommodations and related taxes may be billed centrally to the company with prior written approval.

    The meeting planner is responsible for ensuring that hotel charges billed to the company are allocated to the appropriate department travel expenses.

    Expense Reporting for Group Travel

    Whenever possible, travelers should pay for their own expenses and submit an expense report for reimbursement. When meal and entertainment expenses are included as a group, it is sometimes impractical to allocate a share of the expenses to each employee. Under these circumstances, the most senior employee should pay for and report the expenditure.

    All expense reports associated with a meeting must be approved by the sponsor (likely EMT, Executive Director, or Director) and must include the general ledger account and cost center to charge.

    Group Travel for Non-Canadian Blood Services Employees

    The Travel and Expense Policy applies to all group travel with non-Canadian Blood Services employees (i.e. Canadian Blood Services board members, committee members, volunteers, donors or other stakeholders), in attendance where Canadian Blood Services is sponsoring the associated costs.

    A complete list of non-Canadian Blood Services employees must be provided to Finance Services as far in advance as possible in addition to the cost center sponsoring the event. This information will be provided to the preferred travel agency to allow for direct payment of airline and/or hotel charges. Direct airline billing options are only available to non-Canadian Blood Services employees. The invoices or statements for direct payments must be approved by the sponsor.

    Canadian Blood Services consultants must pay for travel costs on their personal credit cards and invoice Canadian Blood Services as per the terms of their agreement.

    Conferences

    Employee attendance at a business conference must be approved at the Director level, at a minimum, of the business group to ensure the appropriate number of staff attends conferences and that the attendance provides valid useful information for the business group to further Canadian Blood Services mission and mandate.