ERC funds come from sacred donations of Church members. The Church will pay appropriate travel costs for staff traveling on ERS business. Travelers should be conservative and spend travel funds prudently. Personal credit cards should not be used to pay for travel.
For more information on travel, refer to your local HR policy (the U.S. Human Resource Policies and Code of Business Conduct manual can be found on the intranet) and to Policy Point, under Policies: Materials and Products: Travel.
20.2 Areas of Travel
Travel within Geographic Area
Travel within the assigned geographic area is funded through local center budgets and approved locally by the ERS manager.
Travel outside of Geographic Area
With MFO approval, it is appropriate for paid staff to attend external conferences, seminars, or workshops to enhance and update their knowledge of economic trends and technical coaching skills in job placement, career development, and small business management.
Travel outside assigned areas is approved by the MFO in consultation with headquarters staff. Center managers interested in attending or sending their staff to participate in professional development training should send their requests to their MFO and MFO for approval. Personnel attending such training seminars and conferences will prepare a brief report summarizing the sessions they attended.
20.3 Making Travel Arrangements
Coordinate with your immediate supervisor and MFO before making travel arrangements outside of your assigned geographic service area. Supervisors should approve travel requests only when the trip is required to conduct the business or meet the training needs of ERS and when the business or training cannot be completed by telephone, written communication, or other less-expensive options. Before approving travel, the supervisor should be sure there are funds available to cover the cost of the trip. Supervisors should not approve a trip until the staff member's previous expense reports have been completed and submitted.
All missionaries and volunteers should get permission from the ERC manager before renting a vehicle, purchasing an airline ticket, or paying for any other long-distance travel.
Keeping in mind safety, schedule, and price, use eTravel (where available) to select reasonable travel arrangements. Church Travel Services or the area administration office makes air, lodging, and rental car arrangements at negotiated or lowest reasonable rates. Airfare for all Church employees is restricted to coach fares; however, you may upgrade your flight using personal frequent flyer miles, if desired.
20.4 Authorized Travel Expenses
Staff will be reimbursed for the following reasonable business travel costs:
- Airfare, hotel, car rental, and meals.
- Ground transportation, taxi, airport shuttle, and similar expenses, paid at the most economical rate.
- Transportation to and from the airport, paid at the approved mileage-reimbursement rate.
- Business telephone calls.
- Personal telephone calls to immediate family. Normally, employees should limit these calls to 5–10 minutes per day. To help reduce costs, consider using Skype, e-mail, or other less expensive means.
- Laundry expenses when required on trips lasting over six days. Dry cleaning costs are excluded.
- Tips, if appropriate, at the customary rate.
- Passports, visas, and immunizations if required for international business trips.
Employer will not pay costs for personal items. These include:
- Newspapers, magazines, or other reading materials.
- Movies, events, or other personal entertainment.
- Haircuts or personal grooming items.
- Additional travel insurance.
- Parking tickets or moving violations.
- Babysitting or caretaking.
- Membership fees for frequent-traveler bonus programs.
- Exercise facilities.
- Credit card late payments or interest expense.
- Lodging and meal reimbursement when staying in a relative’s or friend’s home.
- Other personal costs.
Because meal reimbursements for employees who do not have overnight travel are a taxable fringe benefit, employee meals for single-day trips are not reimbursable. Unless the employee travel requires an overnight stay, the employee will pay for the cost of his/her own meals.
Note: Business meals with two or more individuals, for which there is a justified business purpose, do not require an overnight stay to be reimbursable.
Meals for Business Guests
Occasionally, a staff member may have to pay for meals of business guests. In such cases, staff will be paid for the actual (reasonable) meal costs for the business guests. Get a receipt and write on it the names of the guests, the date, and the business purpose. Generally, it is not appropriate to buy meals for Church ecclesiastical leaders or other employees, unless there is a legitimate business purpose.
Combined Business and Personal Travel
Staff will be reimbursed for their portion of authorized and required trip costs. They will not be reimbursed for the costs of spouses or other family members. If you choose to drive rather than fly (or vice versa), you will be reimbursed for the less expensive option. You will not be reimbursed for lodging, meals, and other costs incurred during the additional time you spend traveling if you choose transportation other than air. Also, you must take annual leave for any additional time away from work.
Expense reports are due within one week after the trip ends. Frequent travelers and travelers working away from Church Travel Services or the area administration office may get special permission to submit the reports monthly. Church Travel Services or the area administration office will reimburse travelers for authorized travel expenses as soon as possible after receiving the expense report. Provide receipts for all reimbursable expenses.
Under normal circumstances, ERC staff should use their own personal vehicles and receive mileage reimbursement or use public transportation to fulfill their professional responsibilities.
In the following cases, it is appropriate for an ERC manager to request vehicles for paid and volunteer ERCs:
- If the MFO agrees. Personal safety, insurance coverage restrictions, tax laws, or other considerations may preclude the use of private vehicles or public transportation.
- If the expected travel mileage exceeds 1,500 miles per month or 18,000 miles per year.
- If another Church-owned pool vehicle is not available on a consistent basis.
If the ERC meets these stipulations, the ERC manager may request a vehicle through the MFO. The request should be a memo stating the need and justification. The mfo prepares and submits requests.
Personal Vehicle Expenses
Where feasible, it is recommended that paid staff use their personal vehicles and receive mileage reimbursement from the ERC or use public transportation to fulfill their responsibilities. ERS will not pay for accident damage, mechanical repair, service, or insurance of personally-owned vehicles used for business. The mileage reimbursement rate includes incremental costs for these types of expenses.
Rental vehicles may also be used for business travel. When determining how to travel, remember funds come from sacred donations of Church members. In some cases, using a rental vehicle is more economical than paying for personal mileage.
See section 20.3, “Making Travel Arrangements,” for information on booking rental vehicles.
Assigned Church Vehicles
In order to be considered to receive a Church vehicle, the ERC manager must seek approval from the AWM and MFO. Fleet vehicles may be assigned when an employee’s normal job duties require business travel in excess of 15,000 miles per year.
The ERC will pay for the purchase, licensing, title, insurance, maintenance, fuel, repair, and servicing of all fleet vehicles. Follow preventative maintenance schedules for both time and mileage. Violations (such as tickets, fines, and tows) are the responsibility of the driver. Resolve traffic and parking tickets immediately.
Accidents should be reported to Church Fleet Administration within 24 hours.
Vehicles may not be used for personal use. Only the authorized driver may operate the vehicle.
Commuting with a Church-Owned Vehicle
If you regularly use a Church-owned vehicle for commuting, please contact Kimberly Hintze at email@example.com to ensure that your account in Global HR accurately reflects this. If you use a Church-owned vehicle for commuting, you are to report any non-commuting days as exceptions on your time sheet on the Global HR website for the corresponding pay period.
Similarly, if you do not regularly commute with a Church-owned vehicle but occasionally do, you are required to report any commuting days as exceptions on your time sheet on the Global HR website for the corresponding pay period.
All employees should read, understand, and comply with the Church Vehicle-Use Policy, which is found on the Intranet in Policy Point.
Following are a few important reminders from this policy:
- Church-owned vehicles may not be used for personal use.
- Approval from senior management is required prior to using the Church-owned vehicle for commuting; this approval must be submitted through your MFO.
- You must record and report the number of commutes taken annually, the value of which will be included as part of your taxable income.
Replacing Church Vehicles
To replace a Church vehicle, contact the Fleet Administration Division when the vehicle reaches 40,000 miles (vehicles are replaced at 55,000 miles). You can find the New Vehicle Application form in Policy Point on the intranet by searching for “new vehicle application” in the Tools section.
Monthly Mileage Report
Each month, fill out the Department Driver Monthly Mileage Report and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find the report in Policy Point on the intranet by searching for “monthly mileage report” in the Tools section.