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The provision of hospitality, especially that provided externally, must be for the benefit of the University.

icon denoting more information Examples of business benefit situations

This section forms part of the Employee Expenses policy. Any deviations from the policy must adhere to the key principles and be authorised by the Head of Institution. Where appropriate, any claims must also align to the funder’s terms and conditions.

Hospitality includes the provision of food, drink, and limited entertainment:

Expense category Allowable expenses Guidance / additional information
Meals and drinks Where the hospitality has been pre-authorised, costs may be reimbursed. Hospitality should be undertaken on University premises and invoiced to the institution, rather than individual employees.
Other entertainment costs It is expected that only low-value costs which are incidental to the business entertaining, e.g., taxi to a venue, would be incurred and reclaimed. Follow the specific guidance within the University’s Policy against Bribery and Corruption.

Before providing or incurring hospitality costs

When providing or before incurring the costs of hospitality, authorisation must be obtained, in advance, in accordance with the following:

  • Hospitality, wherever possible, is to be undertaken on University (and/or College) premises

icon denoting tax treatment Hospitality provided on collegiate University premises

  • Hospitality must not include anything other than the provision of food, a modest amount of alcohol and any incidental costs such as travel to a restaurant.

icon denoting further information Wine accompanying meals

  • Hospitality expenditure must be an appropriate use of University money: it must not be excessive (e.g., for staff hospitality the costs should not exceed the evening meal subsistence rates), nor should it be:

- provided frequently or regularly
- inappropriate (i.e., must not be seen to bring the University into disrepute by placing any public official under undue influence)

  • Hospitality should be procured centrally via the institution, rather than reclaimed by individual employees. Where the costs cannot be procured centrally, they are to be reclaimed by the most senior member of staff present.
  • Expense claims for hospitality must be authorised by the Head of Institution, except where they are the claimant, or benefited from the entertainment, when it must be authorised by someone at least one level higher.

icon denoting further information Authorisation of hospitality expense claims

Whether the hospitality is classified as staff or business entertaining for tax purposes is largely determined by the composition of the attendees. Accordingly, a list of all attendees must be maintained and submitted with the claim as appropriate.

icon denoting further information Business entertaining versus staff entertaining

icon denoting tax treatment Tax treatment for hospitality costs, Tax treatment business entertaining, Tax treatment staff entertainment

icon denoting further information Working lunches

icon denoting further information Annual events

icon denoting further information Team building, away days, courses

icon denoting further information Staff social events

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