Overseas Employment

Approving Authority:
Vice President, Human Resources
Date of Approval:
July 1996
Last Amended:
Contact Officer:
Vice,President Human Resources


The University will provide for all reasonable costs for staff members, either academic or professional, who are required to work at an overseas location for periods up to one semester. This will be done in accordance with current UNSW policies and procedures for relevant items particularly those relating to financial accounting as outlined in the University of New South Wales publication "UNSW Accounting Manual".

This document covers the most common items associated with overseas duties. The rates to be used are either:

i. the current rates as prescribed by the ATO, or

ii. the rates prescribed by the UNSW Accounting Manual.

Where no rate is prescribed the Dean will authorise an amount they believe would be reasonable based ont he specific location. The Dean (or equivalent) may authorise additional expenditure where they feel that it is justified.


The University will pay the return costs for a staff member:

(a) on completion of the specified period
(b) on evacuation, or early termination, of the staff member in accordance with a direction given by the Dean
(c) on early termination before the end of the specified period by the staff member, if the relevant Dean is satisfied that it is reasonable that the University should pay the cost of the staff member's transport.

Note: For evacuations the staff member is expected to communicate with the Dean wherever possible to obtain a direction before leaving the country. However it is recognised that circumstances may prevent such communication. If such communication with the Dean is not possible the staff member is expected to communicate with the relevant Australian (or equivalent) embassy and follow directives for evacuation of other expatriots. In extreme cases the staff member may make a personal decision to evacuate.

Related Expenses

The following charges may be paid for by the University:

(a) transportation costs on official business in the locality
(b) personal accident and baggage insurance whilst overseas. (This is covered under a blanket policy with the University's insurers. Limits of coverage apply. Specialised official equipment, such as computers, is not covered but may be insured by the School/Faculty for a small additional premium. Personal illness is covered provided pre-existing conditions have been declared. Details are available from Mr. Bob Noble, Finance and Property, ext. 53694)
(c) charges for official telephone calls made at the overseas locality
(d) charges for necessary health examinations, inoculations and vaccinations
(e) fees for necessary visas
(f) entry or exit taxes applied at airports
(g) necessary expenses incurred in the handling of official material and documents

(Refer to  UNSW Accounting Manual for any further details)


The usual University provisions will apply ie. economy class travel, unless the relevant Dean has sufficient reason to approve business class travel.


The staff member is expected to use the most economical means of transport available having regard for time constraints and comfort. Prior approval from the Dean should be obtained wherever possible for travel other than the most economical available.


If a staff member undertakes a flight with a travelling time of more than 18 hours, the staff member is not required to attend for duty before taking a reasonable rest period at the destination or during a stopover en route.

Generally the rest period at the destination will be exceed 24 hours, but for very extended journeys a maximum of 48 hours may be approved by the Dean.


The University will pay actual accommodation expenses only. Wherever possible accommodation arrangements must have prior approval of the relevant Dean.


A miscellaneous expense allowance will be paid for each complete day (and pro rata for part days) the staff member is at the specified location or travelling to or from it:

This will comprise:

(a) an allowance for meals (at the rate specified by the ATO for reasonable amounts for overseas travel. Tax DeterminationTD 2010/19 except where meals are provided at no cost to the staff member (e.g. while travelling by air or included in the accommodation rate); and
(b) an incidental allowance (at the rate specified for the location by the ATO for reasonable amounts for overseas travel. Tax Determination TD 2010/19.



Note: "Spouse" includes a person who is living with the staff member on a bona fide domestic basis although not necessarily legally married to the staff member.

It is expected that for most short-term missions spouse accompanied travel will not be necessary and will therefore not be authorised and paid for by UNSW. However a staff member who wants to have a spouse accompany him or her at their own expense may do so provided the Dean receives prior notification.

If due to special circumstances a staff member is authorised to travel on a short-term mission, the relevant Dean may, for the purpose of enabling the staff member's spouse to accompany the staff member during the travel, recommend to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) authorisation of payment to the staff member, for travel by the spouse to accompany the staff member, of

(a) the cost of transport for the spouse to accompany the staff member by the same mode and class of travel as the staff member; and
(b) the reasonable additional cost of accommodation associated with the travel.


The Dean may authorise an allowance (for special clothing e.g. for tropical or cold climates) if it is deemed necessary at the rate specified by the ATO.  

The relevant Dean may approve an additional amount where they believe the staff member would require additional clothing for the duties and climate of the locality which cannot be purchased for the specified rate.  


The University will ensure that appropriate pre-departure orientation is provided for staff members required to perform duties at an overseas location. Such orientation will include (as required):

(a) information on political, religious and cultural orientations and expectations at the locality (including dress codes)

(b) language training

(c) information on taxation requirements in Australia and the locality

(d) expectations of the host institution for an employee of UNSW on overseas assigment

(e) expectations of the staff member as an employee of UNSW on overseas assignment

(f) legal issues e.g. intellectual property and copyright provisions   


For the purpose of improving policies and procedures, staff members returning from overseas assignments may be asked to complete a questionnaire to provide the Director, Human Resources, with relevant feedback. Feedback on any academic matters should raised with the Dean.