Rules for reimbursement

Below is the revised set of rules adopted by the Governing Board in March 2010. These rules came into force on 1 April 2010.


RULES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL, SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES AND OTHER EXPENSES FOR EXPERTS INVITED TO MEETINGS ORGANISED BY EUROFOUND

The Governing Board of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound),

HAVING REGARD to Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1365/75 of 26 May 1975 on the creation of a European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, as amended by Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1947/93 of 30 June 1993;

HAVING REGARD to the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions’ Financial Regulations adopted on 28 March 2003 and amended on 7 December 2007;

HAVING REGARD to the necessity of clarifying and updating the previous rules;

HAVING REGARD to the necessity of simplifying administrative procedures for both Experts and Eurofound in order to focus on research;

Has adopted the following rules:

Chapter I. General Provisions

Article 1

Persons to whom these Rules apply:

- Persons, not employed by Eurofound, invited to participate in meetings organised by Eurofound in an Expert capacity, excluding members of institutions and other bodies of the European Union (‘Experts’);
- Eurofound’s Board, Bureau Members and Advisory Committee members (collectively termed hereinafter ‘Board members’);

Article 2

Experts and Board members attending Eurofound’s meetings should arrive and depart as close as possible to the beginning and the end of the meeting.

Travel expenses shall be reimbursed and Daily and Hotel Allowances paid in accordance with the present Rules.

In the case that Eurofound is offering an ‘all-inclusive’ package, i.e. organising and paying directly for transportation (e.g. flights, train, bus), accommodation, meals and local transport, no further allowance shall be paid to the Expert/Board member. Any deviation from an arranged travel package does not establish any right to reimbursement.

Article 3

Experts and Board members shall comply with the administrative formalities applicable at the time of the invitation. The applicable administrative formalities are described in Annex A.1.

Article 4

The services in charge of reimbursement shall have the right to carry out any checks that might be needed and to request any proof from the Expert and Board member required for this purpose. They shall also have the right, where it appears to be justified, to restrict reimbursement to the rates normally applied to the usual journey from the Expert’s and Board member’s place of work or residence to the place of the meeting, unless stated differently in the following rules.

Chapter II. Means of Transport and Travel Expenses

Article 5

5.1. Travel costs shall be refunded on the basis of the principle of the most economical overall expenditure.

5.2. Experts and Board members shall be entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses incurred in travelling between the place of origin and the place of the meeting.

5.3. If, for personal or professional reasons, Experts and Board members travel from or to a different place than their place of origin, a fictional fare of the return journey ‘Place of origin – Meeting place’ must be provided by the Expert/Board member that will serve as the basis for reimbursement. In the absence of a fictional fare, the single journey ‘Place of origin – Meeting place’ shall be reimbursed twice. If the single journey fare is not known, the rate normally applied for this journey shall be used.

5.4. The following indicative ceilings shall apply to travel costs:

Maximum reimbursement possible (ceiling):
- Travel within Europe 800 EUR
- Travel outside Europe 1,500 EUR

5.5. If travel costs exceed these ceilings, prior approval by Eurofound is required in order to obtain full reimbursement. In the absence of such approval, reimbursement will be limited to the ceiling amounts. 

5.6. Travel costs shall be refunded to only one Expert or Board member per meeting unless invited otherwise (e.g. Alternate Board members to Group meetings). If one Expert or Board member is replaced by another one in the course of the meeting, the latter shall not be entitled to travel costs.

Article 6

6.1. Travel by train and/or long-distance bus

In principle, for journeys of less than 400 km (one way, according to official distance by rail), first-class rail or long-distance bus is the adequate means of transport.

Travel by train and/or long-distance bus does not include local transport  to an airport which is included in the Daily Allowance.

The shortest and most economical route between the place of origin and the place where the meeting is held must be used. The cost of seat reservations and transport of necessary luggage are eligible expenses.

Train tickets should be booked as soon as possible after receipt of the invitation from Eurofound.

6.2. Travel by air

Travel by air should be used only if the distance between the place of origin and the place of the meeting exceeds 400 km or when a sea crossing is involved.

Air tickets should be booked in the lowest Economy Class available and as soon as possible after receipt of the invitation from Eurofound.

Air tickets booked in a class higher than Economy shall not be reimbursed. If under exceptional circumstances, the booking of an Economy Class air ticket is not possible, Experts and Board members should seek prior approval by Eurofound.

If no prior approval has been given, Eurofound shall reserve the right to reimburse the Economy Class rate normally applied  for the journey.

If  the flight duration time is six or more hours, business class can be booked

6.3. Late booking, changes in meeting times and cancellation of meetings

If tickets are booked very close to the meeting time, i.e. less than 10 days beforehand, Experts and Board members shall seek prior approval of the booking by Eurofound.

If no prior approval has been given, Eurofound shall reserve the right to reimburse the rate normally applied for the journey. This rule does not apply if the invitation to the meeting was sent less than 20 days prior to the meeting.

If Eurofound changes meeting times in a way that requires changes in the travel schedule, or cancels the meeting, any travel cost already incurred shall be reimbursed on presentation of the original supporting documents.

6.4 Eligible Travel costs

The following items are considered eligible costs:

- Airfare taxes
- Travel agent’s fees
- Credit card fees
- Seat reservation
- Transport of necessary luggage
- Airport check-in fees.

6.5. Non-eligible Travel costs

The following items are not considered eligible costs:

- Excess baggage unless justified on grounds of official requirements
- Cost of health, life and luggage insurance
- Cancellation, rebooking or changing fee unless requested by Eurofound
- Local airport transfer by taxi, bus, train or other public transport means. In the case of meetings held on Eurofound’s premises in Dublin, transfer to and from the airport can be reimbursed if no transfer arrangements were organised by Eurofound and no reasonable public transport is available (e.g. outside operating hours of buses or if the hotel is not close to a bus stop for the Air Coach or Patton Flyer airport shuttle services).

6.6. Travel by car

Experts and Board members travelling by car or motorcycle do so at their own risk. Eurofound disclaims all liability in respect of any accident that may occur during the journey.

The use of a private car (motorcycle by analogy) is refunded on the basis of a flat rate set out in Annex A.2, between the place of origin to the place of meeting and back for one person travelling alone, taking into account the shortest route from the place of origin to the place of meeting.

Where two or more persons entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses use the same car, only the person responsible for the car shall be reimbursed at the rate of 150%.

The number of kilometres covered and car registration number must always be provided.

The following items are not considered eligible expenses:

- Motorway toll costs
- Car rental and fuel costs
- Costs of transporting the car by sea
- Airport and Hotel parking costs.

Article 7

Travel expenses are reimbursed upon presentation of the original documents, tickets or Internet printouts in case of online purchase. The documents submitted should show the travel class, the travel times and the price paid. If no price is mentioned on the documents, an invoice shall be required.

Chapter III. Allowances

Article 8

8.1. Experts and Board members invited by Eurofound to a meeting may receive Subsistance Allowances, provided that it is stated in the invitation and that they can declare on their honour that they have not received similar allowances or are not entitled to similar allowances from another organisation or person for the same trip.

8.2. Subsistance Allowances comprise:
- a Daily Allowance covering all expenses at the place where the meeting is held, including the cost of meals and local transport (bus, tram, underground, taxi, etc;
- a Hotel Allowance covering the Accommodation costs at the place of meeting.

Rates are set out in Annex A.3.

8.3 The Daily Allowance reimbursed shall always be equal to the number of meeting days.

8.4 The Hotel Allowance reimbursed shall be equal to the number of meeting days. The total number of Hotel Allowances reimbursed at the place of meeting can be increased to the total number of meeting days + 1 if travel arrangements so require.

In exceptional cases, the Hotel Allowance can be further increased to the total number of  meeting days + 2, if there is no possibility to leave the place of meeting on the following day. For this purpose, prior approval by Eurofound is required on the basis of a written justification by a travel agent.

The Hotel Allowance is only reimbursed if travel documents (e.g. air tickets) give evidence of the need for such reimbursement.

Article 9

9.1. Where the place of origin referred to in the invitation is equal to or less than 100 km from the place of meeting, no Hotel allowance shall be paid but Travel costs and Daily allowance shall be reimbursed.

9.2. Meals (lunches or dinners) offered by Eurofound or any other third party during a meeting organised by Eurofound shall be deducted from the Allowances at the rate of 30% of the Daily Allowance.

9.3 Snack Meals offered by Eurofound or any other third party during a meeting organised by Eurofound shall be deducted from the Allowances at the rate of 15% of the Daily Allowance.

Chapter IV. Other Provisions

Article 10

10.1. Copies of all travel documents must be retained by Experts and Board members until payment has been received.

10.2. Any additional travel costs, Hotel and Daily allowances incurred by Experts and Board members arising from unforeseen personal circumstances (i.e. family matters, illness, etc.) shall only be refundable if a justification (e.g. a medical certificate) is provided to the Authorising Officer of Eurofound, who may grant a derogation for a (partial) reimbursement of costs already incurred.

10.3 An Expert Fee may be paid to Experts if authorised by the Eurofound Head of Unit responsible for organising the meeting. The amount shall be in accordance with Eurofound’s internal policy on the matter.

10.4. Experts are bound to respect a time limit for the claiming of Travel Expenses and Subsistence Allowances of two months following the end of the meeting. Beyond this deadline, Eurofound is absolved from any obligation to reimburse travel expenses or pay any allowances.

Chapter V. Arrangements for Payments

Article 11

11.1. Travel expenses shall be reimbursed in Euro at the European Commission’s exchange rate ruling on the first day of the month in which the meeting is held.

11.2. All reimbursements shall be made to one and the same bank account within two months after having received the complete reimbursement claim.

11.3. At the beginning of a Board member’s mandate, s/he has to make a statement declaring whether the reimbursements should be to the Board member’s private account or to his/her employer’s account. In the case that the private account is chosen, Eurofound shall inform the employer of this request. In the case that the employer is to be reimbursed, Eurofound will send the Rules for reimbursement of travel, subsistence allowances and other expenses for experts invited to meetings organised by Eurofound, to the employer.

In the absence of a statement from the Board member, Eurofound will submit the reimbursement to his /her employer.

11.4. Eurofound may at any time cross-check the statements made in an application for reimbursement with other signatories of the application.

11.5. Experts and Board members may be required to repay any sums paid in error.

Chapter VI. Special Provisions for Experts and Board members with a Disability

This chapter applies to any person accompanying a person with a disability invited as an expert or Board member.

Article 12

No moral, material or bodily harm incurred either by an Expert invited by Eurofound or by the person responsible for accompanying an expert with a disability in the course of the journey or of his stay in the place where the meeting is held may be the subject of a claim against Eurofound unless it can be imputed to Eurofound.

Article 13

All expenses incurred by an expert with a disability and his/her accompanying person which are not covered sufficiently by the Subsistence Allowances may be reimbursed at the request of the responsible authorising officer and upon presentation of the necessary documents.

Chapter VI. Final Provisions

Article 14

These rules replace:
- the rules governing the reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses incurred by persons not employed by Eurofound who are invited to attend meetings in an expert capacity (Doc. EF-AB 50/8(d)), which entered into force on 29 November 1994;
- the rules concerning the reimbursement of the travel, subsistence and miscellaneous expenses of members of the Administrative Board (Doc EF-AB 6/9 (b)/1), which entered into force on 3 March 1978.

These rules shall enter into force on the first day of the month following their adoption by the Governing Board. 

For the Governing Board,
Done at Dublin, 5 March 2010
The Chairperson

ANNEX A.1

Administrative Formalities

1. Registration

For each meeting a registration has to be made following the instructions sent in the invitation letter/email.

2. Meeting

All relevant travel documents must be produced during the meeting.

Experts who previously attended a meeting reimbursed by the European Commission, or whose personal and bank details are already registered with the European Commission (and hence already have a ‘code’), have to provide the travel documents only.

Experts not registered with the European Commission must provide, in addition to travel documents, the duly filled in and signed Legal Entity Form (personal, private or public) and the Financial Identification Form.

The Financial Identification Form should either be signed by the Expert and stamped by the bank or signed by the Expert and accompanied by a recent copy of a bank statement where the Expert’s name and IBAN code are clearly visible. On-line bank statements are not acceptable.

Experts must ensure that the forms submitted are all legible, do not contain any crossed out words and are accompanied by the complete supporting documentation where requested.

All the above mentioned documents must be submitted in paper form to the meeting secretary.

3. After the meeting

After each meeting Experts must claim their expenses using the online reimbursement form in the link sent in the invitation letter/email.

ANNEX A.2

Car travel allowance:  0.22 EUR per kilometre.

ANNEX A.3

List of daily allowances by country [.pdf, 20kb]

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