Expenses incurred in connection with attendance at academic conferences can only be reimbursed where it can be shown that it is directly associated with an employee’s duties, and is "wholly, necessarily and exclusively" for work purposes.
Only identifiable costs incurred on bona fide university business can be claimed.
Claimants should be especially careful when claiming expenses incurred during attendance at an overseas conference.
Activities not directly associated with business (sightseeing tours etc.) cannot be reimbursed. The University cannot pay for members of an employee’s family or friends to accompany them to conferences and similar events.
Please note that HMRC may ask to see proof that a conference is of an appropriate academic nature. Details such as agendas and other papers should be retained in case of such queries.
Additionally, it is important that is shown there is no dual purpose to an overseas trip. (i.e taking a holiday at the same time as a business trip for convenience), as only business elements may be reimbursed.