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The Australian National University

Staff allowance

Staff allowance is provided by the college to fund work-related expenditure a staff member may require while working for the college. Staff allowance is payable in addition to salary for specific items defined in this procedure and after prior approval by a college delegate.

Applies to

Academic and professional staff of the ANU College of Law


  1. Academic and professional staff of the college are responsible for discussing a request for payment from staff allowance accounts with their immediate supervisor.  Once the request has been evaluated and approved the staff member is to organise for the submission of the paperwork to the Finance Unit.
  2. The Deputy Dean (Law school academics), the College General Manager (all professional staff), the Director of Legal Workshop (Legal Workshop academics), as delegates, are responsible for financial approval for requests for staff allowance. The Dean approves the expenditure of the delegates.
  3. As per the Finance Unit turn around times, the Finance Unit is responsible for the timely processing of payments, monitoring funds available to each staff member, and for maintaining an information database of staff allowance expenditure

1. Background

1.1 Eligibility

Academic staff and professional staff who are on a continuing or fixed term appointment are eligible for assistance. Assistance for those on a fractional appointment will be allocated on a pro-rata basis according to their time fraction. A pro-rata amount also applies in the case of staff commencing an appointment during the calendar year, resigning during the year, and taking leave without pay.

1.2 The allowance

Each eligible staff member has access to $2,500 per calendar year or the relevant pro-rata amount for work-related expenses. By negotiation with the Dean, an additional amount may be made available to staff who take on additional responsibilities.

The amount unspent at the end of year is carried forward into the following year. The maximum amount of carryover per year is the staff member's current annual entitlement. An unspent amount is not payable in cash and advances cannot ordinarily be made on a future year's allowance.

The allowance is not salary, nor an entitlement, and must be devoted to expenses related to work and on that basis is not subject to personal income tax.

1.3 Allowable expenditure

  • Travel and accommodation for conferences, and research field trips and child care costs and other related expenses associated with the travel
  • Conference registration
  • Subscriptions for membership of professional and academic associations
  • Research assistance
  • Teaching books, materials and equipment purchases (such purchases although used by the staff member while employed remain the property of the College)
  • Administrative assistance for preparation of student materials, grant applications, conference and seminar organisation, filing, web posting, photocopying
  • Further tertiary study
  • Purchase of uniform
  • Other related expenses as determined by the delegate

Please note that the cost for training courses that are required for development of skills directly related to a position, and identified in the process of performance management, will be directed through the staff development budget. Certain items may be liable for fringe benefits tax (FBT). Where an FBT liability is identified, the amount payable will be deducted from the remaining amount available in the staff allowance. Please seek advice from the Finance Unit in relation to FBT rulings.

Advice on the types of allowable expenditure is available from the Deputy Dean, College General Manager, Director of Legal Workshop and from the Finance Unit.

2. Procedure

2.1 Items of expenditure

All items of expenditure such as books, professional subscriptions, minor equipment, uniform, travel, IT purchases, further tertiary study and salary expenditure relating to the employment of a research or administrative assistant is subject to prior approval by the Deputy Dean (Law School academics), College General Manager (all Professional Staff) or the Director of Legal Workshop (Legal Workshop academics) as appropriate, before completion of the relevant forms depending on the nature of the expenditure. Please note that all IT purchases must be discussed with, approved and purchased by the IT and Communications Unit to ensure compatibility with our systems.

Claim for reimbursement and advance payment of expenses forms are available on the Finance forms page.

The relevant form must be lodged with the Finance Unit after receiving approval by the delegate (Deputy Dean, College General Manager, Director of Legal Workshop).

2.2 Salary expenditure

In the case where a staff member incurs salary costs through the employment of research assistants and administrative assistants as casual employees of ANU the following arrangements must be followed.

Please complete an application to employ casual Research /Administrative Assistant (PDF, 85KB) to commence the employment process.

As a general rule, a research assistant who is a current Law student is appointed at the level of ANUO 4 step 1, and an administrative assistant is appointed at the level of ANUO3 step 1. It may be appropriate to appoint at a different level in a specific case.

The primary responsibility for recruiting research and administrative assistants lies with the staff member. The Finance Unit maintains a record of applications for potential research assistants. You may review these applications on request.

Timesheets relating to the employment must be signed by the supervising staff member and lodged with the Finance Unit in accordance with their procedures. The salary and on-costs (superannuation, workers’ compensation, payroll tax and casual loading) are debited to the staff allowance.

Please note that employed students will not be given access to staff accounts or computers, the internal web site or any system containing student information (eg Student 21). Computers for the use of student employees are located in the Whitmore Walk, and the IT and Communications Unit will approve accounts for students to use to access any information that academic staff will share with them.

2.3 Non-salary items

Travel and conference expenses may be paid in advance upon submission of an approved advance payment of expenses (PDF, 29KB) and relevant invoice. Staff should read the ANU Travel Policy and lodge the appropriate paperwork with the Finance Unit.

For other items, an approved claim for reimbursement form (PDF, 37KB) must be submitted to the Finance Unit, together with receipts or other proof of expenditure or charging.

Updated: 24 October 2011/ Responsible Officer:  Manager, Finance / Page Contact:  Finance officer