Reimbursement of Study Fees Policy and Procedures
|Date Approved||28 November 2005|
|Date Last Amended||21 February 2012|
To provide a system for reimbursement of study fees to eligible staff members who are undertaking an approved course of study.
2. Definitions and Acronyms
Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) - is a tax paid on certain benefits employers provide to their employees in place of, or in addition to, salary or wages. FBT is separate from income tax and is based on the taxable value of the various fringe benefits provided. See ATO for further information.
3. Policy Principles
The University is committed to encouraging and supporting all staff in the pursuit of further studies and qualifications in line with the vision, mission and values contained in the University’s Strategic Plan.
4.1. Those eligible to apply for reimbursement of fees are staff members who are continuing or on a fixed term or contingent employment contract of at least 12 months.
4.2. Reimbursement of study fees will normally be available for study leading to a formal qualification contributing directly to current or likely future duties, including:
(i) enabling and bridging programs;
(ii) bachelor degrees;
(iii) post graduate study, higher degrees or approved awards;
(iv) study essential for staff member to gain recognition of existing overseas qualifications; and
(v) other appropriate programs of study.
5. Reimbursement Approval
5.1. Before commencing the proposed program of study the staff member will complete an application form for approval to be reimbursed. The form will give details of the study program and an indication of the total cost and duration. The application form is available from the following link:
5.2. In considering a staff member’s application to be reimbursed for a proposed program of study, the Pro Vice-Chancellor/Head of Division will take into account the following:
(i) Relevance - The course of study must be considered relevant and appropriate to the staff member's current or likely future duties and responsibilities at the University, and/or may be identified as a development opportunity through Managing for Performance.
(ii) Equitability – Equitability for all staff in the Faculty/Division in accessing the limited funds for reimbursement. This includes consideration of the number of study programs the staff member has previously undertaken that have been supported by the University and the estimated total cost of the proposed program of study.
(iii) Employment Provisions - Previously agreed employment arrangements for example, traineeships where there has been a commitment made to support prescribed studies.
5.3. Approval by the Pro Vice-Chancellor/Head of Division will apply for the duration of the program.
6. Rate of Reimbursement
Once approved by the Pro-Vice Chancellor/Head of Division the rate of reimbursement is 50% of the individual tuition course fees.
7.1. Reimbursement of any fee or charge will only be made on production of proof of the successful completion of each course/subject, such as an official transcript of grades.
7.2. To avoid unnecessary cost to the University, staff are expected to apply for credit for previous study where applicable.
7.3. Reimbursement does not apply to repeat courses.
8.1. This University-wide policy and procedure covers continuing and eligible fixed term Academic and Professional staff.
8.2. This policy does not cover:
(i) University initiated staff training and development such as short programs/prescribed courses and conferences;
(ii) Special Studies Program (SSP); and
(iii) reimbursement of professional association/body fees.
9. Reimbursement Procedure
9.1. Where applicable, staff may choose to pay their study fees ‘up front’ or defer payment of them through HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP.
9.2. Timing of application for reimbursement:
(i) Applications must be made in the calendar year the course(s) is undertaken.
(ii) A new application must be lodged after each semester/trimester for which the reimbursement is sought.
9.3. Application for Reimbursement:
(i) Applications for reimbursement must be accompanied by evidence of payment or deferral of payment of study fees and proof of the successful completion of each course/subject such as an official transcript of grades. The application form is available from the following link:
(ii) Each application for reimbursement requires approval by the Head of School or Head of Portfolio on the understanding that approval to commence the program has already been granted by the Pro-Vice Chancellor/Head of Division.
9.4. Approved applications are to be forwarded back to the staff member after the PVC or Head of Division has approved their application. Then the staff member must claim reimbursement through Spendvision by:
(i) submitting a cash claim,
(ii) attaching their approved Reimbursement of Study Fees Form to their Spendvision statement, and
(iii) forwarding the documents at (ii) above to Spendvision, Commercial Services.
NOTE: The Spendvision Reimbursement Guide is available from this link with the relevant information at Section 4.3 How to create a new Cash Claim.
10.0. Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) Implication
10.1. Total reimbursement costs can attract Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).
(i) FBT can apply to any reimbursement of HECS fees paid to staff. Other course fees are exempt from FBT as long as the staff member could have claimed the expense as an income tax deduction. For any transaction subject to FBT, the current tax rate is 48.5% of the grossed-up value of the expense. The current gross up rates are 1.9417 for GST-exclusive expenses, and 2.1292 for GST-inclusive expenses.
(ii) PELS reimbursements, to the extent they relate to work and would otherwise be deductible in your personal income tax return, are not subject to FBT.
(iii) FBT will be charged to the relevant Faculty/Division on a regular basis, in addition to the reimbursement. The correct detail code must be used to ensure the transaction is identified by Financial Accounting as being subject to FBT. Please contact the Financial Accounting Team on telephone (02) 4921 5347 if you require further information.
11. Further Information
General enquiries regarding this policy and procedure should be directed to the HR Service Team in Human Resource Services.
Concerns about the application of this policy should, in the first instance, be directed to Human Resource Services. If concerns persist, staff also have the option of raising a complaint with the University Complaints Manager.
Supporting Guidelines, Related Documents and Attachments
|Date Approved||28 November 2005|
|Date Last Amended||21 February 2012|
|Date for Review||15 September 2012|
|Policy Sponsor||Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Services)|
|Policy Owner||Director, Human Resource Services|
|Policy Contact||Manager, Human Resource Services|
Change in terminology from "general" to "professional" staff, approved by the Vice-Chancellor 21 February 2012, effective 1 January 2012.
Amendment Cl 4.1 for consistency with workplace agreements, Approved Director HRS, 15 September 2010.
Procedural amendment at 9.4 approved 7 May 2010
Nomenclature updated 18 September 2007
Nomenclature updated 29 August 2007