Per Diem

Per Diem

Per diem

A per diem is a daily allowance paid to staff to cover all meals and minor incidental expenses while travelling on approved business related domestic and international University business. A Non-Order Payment Form will need to be completed in order for your claim to be processed (please open the spreadsheet and select Per-Diem in sheet named "Step 1 - Form"):

The payment of a per diem is intended to ensure that an employee neither loses nor gains financially by receiving a per diem.

When can a per diem be claimed?

A per diem can be claimed:

  • only if requested prior to the travel taking place
  • where the duration of the travel is no more than 30 days* (for longer travel periods, a University credit card will need to be used or a travel advance obtained)
  • incurred outside the Sydney metropolitan area (outside a 50km radius from Macquarie University)
  • only when there is a possibility that a travel-related cost will occur.

Note: * Australian Taxation Office treat per diem allowances greater than 30 days as a living away from home allowance which is taxable at the highest marginal rate and must be shown on an individual’s payment summary


A per diem is only payable if no part of the trip is excluded under the exclusions listed below eg. if a person is travelling for outside studies program (OSP) then the whole trip is excluded and other forms of funding must be used eg. travel advance or reimbursement.

A per diem cannot be claimed for any of the following:

  • the cost of accommodation and conference registrations (these are to be paid on a University credit card before travelling or by reimbursement upon return)
  • OSP expenses
  • personal or private travel
  • a cost which is not likely to occur
  • travel when the traveller has a University credit card, except if it can be substantiated that credit cards are not readily accepted in an area, in which case a travel advance is to be obtained
  • the same period of travel for which a travel advance has been claimed
  • same-day domestic travel which is more than 50km from Macquarie University. If meals are included on the flight, a per diem for the meals may not be claimed and the per diem rate will need to be reduced.  If meals are provided at a meeting, the per diem rate will need to be reduced.

What does a per diem cover?

The per diem covers the cost of:

  • meals
  • sustenance other than meals eg. snacks
  • minor incidental expenses, such as:
    • low cost incidental transport eg. transport expenses up to $20
    • laundry
    • telephone or internet

Note: that individual taxi fares in excess of $20 may be claimed at the end of the travel on evidence of receipts. The amount reimbursed will be the difference between the actual fare and $20).


A per diem can be used for conference travel but it must be reduced for all meals that are included at the conference and/or in the accommodation (eg breakfast).

Where meals are not included in the conference, a copy of the conference program will need to be supplied. Where this is not provided it will be assumed the conference includes all meals. If all meals are included only an incidental conference rate will be available.

Current Per Diem Rates

The current per diem rates are:



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