Leave Travel Scheme

Temporary policy for use of BDSUS UKBC Leave Travel Scheme in host country

Issue
1. The 10 March 21 update of the Civ HR COVID-19 FAQs for individuals and line managers saw the temporary expansion of MOD policy to include both the ability to use your LTS to travel within the host country, and the ability to carry over your entitlement. This recognises the entitlement and important welfare requirement for staff and dependants, who are being advised not to travel back to the UK unless essential until the pandemic and associated travel restrictions ease. It also recognises the additional business benefit to supporting staff to use their LTS and Annual Leave now rather than allowing it build up into next year.

BDSUS Policy:
2. In order to ensure adequate governance and consistency across all MOD UKBC’s within the USA, Civ HR and BDSUS have provided the following guidance:

• The policy is not retrospective (i.e. you can’t claim back a visit you did prior to now);
• Only travel can be claimed and the definition of travel is unchanged from extant LTS (taken from the Overseas Transfer Guide V3; Feb 2020), which includes flights or trains to overnight accommodation, but does not include accommodation, subsistence, parking, fuel (other than MMA) or cost of hire cars, including insurance. However, if choosing to take out a private hire car, MMA can be claimed for travel to the overnight accommodation within the capped limit;
• Travel to and from the airport can be reimbursed up to a limit of $80 for each leg (as per current BDSUS policy for travel to/from US airport but extended to cover arrival elsewhere in US);
• Maximum amount to claim is equivalent to flights back to the UK as per JSP752. The JSP can be found linked here (MODNET access required) for current rates (see GYH(O) flight costs table), or for those who cannot access, please request from the In-Country Support team ([email protected]). For LTS, staff are either East or West Coast USA, and the line for this is drawn from the top of US through N Dakota, S Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma & Texas. If you are unsure which side you come under, the In-Country Support team can clarify when you request authority;
• The allowance can only be used for economy flights or standard rail tickets, no upgrades please. Baggage allowance is to be funded within the overall allowance above and should not be more than 1 standard suitcase and 1 carry on unless free of charge;
• If the cost of an internal flight is less than a flight back to the UK, you cannot keep the difference or carry it over to use towards another LTS visit;
• Cannot be used for cruises, RVs or any other mode of transport other than
listed above;

OFFICIAL

• Where a multi-trip journey, the journey leaving your home (work) location and the journey returning you home can be claimed (so long as they total under the limit above) but you cannot claim for any additional flights in the middle;
• As with normal LTS scheme, you may book your own flights and claim back, or book flights through the Travel Cell. This can be done via the In-Country Support Team ([email protected]). Staff are encouraged to book flights that can be re-arranged short notice should they need to (e.g. due to a positive COVID test).
• COVID travel restrictions between here and the US will be regularly reviewed by BDSUS J1 and the policy will revert once travel is deemed to no longer to be as restrictive. As we recognise the need to plan ahead, any bookings made prior to the relaxing of restrictions for travel before 1 September 21 will be honoured.
• As with existing policy, LTS must still be authorised by your Line Manager using BDSUS forms, found on the BDSUS.info page, and the In-Country Support Team ([email protected]), who will make sure that it recorded on O11i against your entitlement. Travel must not be booked until both approvals are in place;
• Eligibility remains unchanged, and LTS cannot be authorised more than 6 months in advance of travel or within final 3 months of tour;
• LTS entitlement cannot be brought forward sooner than your normal qualifying point in order to use within the US;
• Claims should be noted with “Claimed under COVID Temporary LTS Policy, as approved by Civ HR and BDSUS”;
• Further information on claims process can be found under existing BDSUS Policy.

3. Staff remain personally responsible for their wellbeing and safety when utilising LTS within the US, as they would be when visiting the UK. As such, staff are encouraged to consider personal travel insurance, noting that it is their personal risk should anything happen. In particular, staff should bear in mind non-medical costs associated with COVID-19 illness whilst on leave, which would not be covered by BDSUS (e.g. hotel extensions). Staff should also recognise that the pandemic continues to be on going, and ensure that they recognise local restrictions and requirements, and continue to respect these.

LTS Carry Over

4. Alongside the expansion of LTS policy to temporarily include use of LTS in te host country, LTS can also exceptionally be carried over under the following parameters:

• LTS can not ordinarily be carried over, but this has been temporarily allowed due to impact of COVID-19;
• LTS carried over should be used in the immediately following year, subject to COVID improving in the next 12 months;
• No more than one additional LTS can be carried over (you cannot hold three).

The Leave Travel Scheme enables UKBCs to travel back to the UK (or other place of normal residence) to maintain links with family and friends at home.
 
 END OF TEMPORARY POLICY
 
 

Authorising Leave Travel

With effect from 01 September 2009 applications for Leave Travel should be submitted to the individual’s line manager using BDS-US Form 111.
 

Line managers must advise individuals in writing of their refund limits (in monetary terms) in accordance with the process set out below for all PAT Travel or part PAT applications. Conversions are made at the FFR in force on the issue of the letter of authority; however, it should be noted that for final claim the FFR in force at the time of the journey must be claimed.  

Authorisations for Leave Travel must not be given more than 6 months in advance of travel.

Leave travel must be pre-authorised by line managers and BDS-US In-Country Support team to enable travel costs to be reclaimed. A copy of the completed letter confirming the refund limit for Leave Travel can be found here. This template is to be transferred onto Line Managers headed paper and must be passed to the In-Country Support team, to confirm the refund limit has been calculated correctly.

Both the completed BDS-US Form 111 and the Line Managers authorisation letter should be sent to the In Country Support Clerk before travel arrangements are booked. Travel should not be booked until the letters are approved by In Country Support.

Staff are eligible for Leave Travel after completing 12 months service overseas. DBS have agreed that individuals can anticipate their leave travel entitlement by up to 6 months (12 months under exceptional circumstances) on the understanding that if they later fail to complete the expected 12 months, the cost of the leave travel must be reimbursed in full.
 
Leave Travel can not be accumulated and carried over.
 
Both the BDSUS Form 111 and the Line Manager’s authorisation letter must be sent to the In Country Support Clerk for approval before any travel arrangements are booked. All PAT flights must be booked using economy flights only.
 

MOD Charter Flights

Staff wishing to fly on the MOD Charter Flight for leave travel should submit their request on BDS-US Form 111, attaching a copy of their line manager’s authorisation following submission to the In-Country Support officer. Applications must be submitted to the travel cell no later than 2 weeks (this will be done by the In-Country Support officer) prior to travel date. It should be noted that this does not guarantee reservation on the MOD Charter flight, which will be made based on availability, and the Travel cell will confirm flight bookings with the individual directly.
 

Privately Arranged Travel (PAT) and Part Privately Arranged Travel

The leave travel scheme allows individuals to make their own private arrangements for leave travel and to claim travel costs back provided they are within the PAT refund limits1.  
 
The PAT refund limits for leave travel for UKBCs serving in the USA are calculated as follows:
 
  • Travel to US airport – Return travel from your US home to nearest airport ($80 each way) 
  • Flight to the UK – As of 1 March 2019 UKBC personnel based outside of the DC metro area will no longer be entitled to add the cost of an internal flight from their location to DC to the cost of their flight allowance. This is in compliance with the global LTS policy and the relocations policies that are given by DBS, e.g. UKBC personnel based within Germany but not located near to the MOD Charter/Trooper flight are only entiteld to claim up to the cost of the MOD Charter/trooper in JSP 752.

Nil cost if travelling by official means – Staff may fly direct from duty station to UK, there is no obligation to transit Washington DC and flights will be booked via HRG by the travel cell up to the cost stated in JSP 752.

If travelling by PAT the cost of the MOD Charter/trooper should be used from the JSP 752.

Staff may fly direct from duty station to UK, there is no obligation to transit Washington DC.
 

For trooper flight costs please contact In Country Support (Tel: 202 588 6693 or email In-Country Support).

Changes to the cost of the trooper flight will be published by MOD in JSP 752.
 
  • Travel from UK airport – Cost of standard class anytime return rail travel from Heathrow Airport to nearest local railway station to leave address. 
  • Taxi from local railway station to leave address (£20 each way).
    Personal hire cars of a reasonable size for the family (e.g. a family of 2 should get a Vauxhall Astra or similar etc.) can be used instead of taxis/rail fare if evidence can be provided that it is more cost effective than taxi/rail fare. Only 2 days of the hire can be claimed. No additional costs (additional drivers etc.) can be claimed. If a hire car is used fuel costs are not claimable. 
Note – refund limits do not include: 
 
  • Overnight subsistence
  • Overnight accommodation
  • Parking

Claims

Leave travel claims can be submitted on either BDSUS Online Claims System or BDS-US Form 100 (must be submitted in hard copy with a wet signature and must nclude all original receipts and supporting documentation) for payment in US dollars into your US bank account or HR Form 059 for payment in GBP in to your UK bank account. A copy of the authorisation letter must be attached to the claim in either case.
 
Note – you cannot Claim for:
 
  • Any subsistence costs
  • Any accommodation costs
  • Fuel, additional insurance, additional drivers, any other extras/upgrades (if a hire car is used)
  • Parking

Advance

Individuals are permitted to claim for an advance to cover the cost of purchasing tickets via BDS Form 105 but must have purchased the tickets within 1 month of receiving the advance.  
 

Useful contacts

National Rail Enquiries: www.nationalrail.co.uk

HRG: https://isuite4.hrgworldwide.com/dt/Home.aspx

1     Individuals are authorised to claim travel costs for their journey within this overall limit of reimbursement, however, each leg limit as should be adhered to as where possible, if not it will be reviewed on a case by case basis. This includes travel from the individual’s home in the US to the departure airport – if self driving, overseas motor mileage rates at Public Transport Rates for the journey to the US airport may be claimed.  
 
Alternatively, receipted actual costs for the journey to the airport within the overall limit are permissible. In respect of the journey from the arrival airport to the leave travel address, individuals may claim receipted return standard class rail/taxi costs within the overall limit. Personnel should not exceed the 13-hour Duty Period total travel time if hiring a car. Alternatively, individuals may also claim hire car, including insurance, for 2 days (i.e. from and to the UK arrival/ departure airport). In all cases, claims will be subject to the overall limit – costs above this are a personal liability.
 
  Changes to the cost of the trooper flight will be published by MOD in JSP 752
Last Updated: Jul 22, 2021 @ 12:45 pm

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