Family support fund for training
Our School wishes to ensure that staff and PhD students with caring responsibilities are not disadvantaged in their ability to attend work-related training.
HMRC rules (at the time this policy was approved) define when an expense can be claimed and reimbursed without the deduction of PAYE and NIC liabilities).
The rules allow an exemption from tax for additional childcare or caring expenses paid by employees where the additional costs are incurred as a direct result of the staff member undertaking training and there is a valid reason for those additional costs to be incurred. For example, a child is being breastfed and the child and partner are required to travel in order to care for the child while the staff member attends the training.
The tax exemption does not apply where the partner/child travel with the staff member as a personal preference.
Work-related training is defined as any training course or other activity which is designed to impart, instil, improve or reinforce any knowledge, skills or personal qualities which:
- are, or are likely to prove, useful to the employee when performing their duties or
- will qualify or better qualify the employee to undertake the employment or participate in charitable or voluntary activities arising through the employment.
Attendance at a conference will be covered (assuming it meets the broad criteria above). However, in situations where an academic staff member is delivering a research paper or an external seminar it should be noted that this is regarded as a performance of their role as an academic (i.e. they are delivering and not receiving job-related training). If the delivery of the external seminar was a work-experience activity, then they may be eligible for the funding - for example, if the academic or PhD student was inexperienced in delivering external seminars.
There is no exemption from tax for additional childcare or caring costs paid by employees who have to work in exceptional circumstances (e.g. working on a non-working day or working on a day of planned leave).
We will endeavour to provide financial support to staff and PhD students to assist with childcare/dependent care costs incurred on such occasions. Eligible expenses might include, for instance, the cost of a child and partner travelling with the individual or the cost of a carer to remain at home with the dependent.
In general, the expectation is that the fund will support people who will be away from home overnight or longer and for whom no viable alternative caring arrangements are possible. This is in line with HMRC rules for individuals to be reimbursed such costs without incurring tax and national insurance liabilities.**
The fund supports career development (including networking and research presentation opportunities) rather than meeting day-to-day work responsibilities.
Amounts up to £350 can be applied for where there is no other source of funding for such costs. Staff and PhD students will need to pay for the costs upfront and then claim back via the University’s expense reimbursement procedure. Receipts for all expenditures will need to be provided. No more than two awards will be made to any individual within any financial year.
While we aim to support all requests, there will be limited funding available each financial year and we therefore encourage early applications.
Staff and PhD students can make an application at any time by completing the School's Family Support Fund application form available on the School website. Each case will be considered by the Director of Professional Services and HR Administration Manager.