Offshore Teaching Remuneration Guidelines

1. Application

These Guidelines apply only to academic staff employed in accordance with the Federation University Australia Union Collective Agreement 2015-2018 (Academic and General Staff Employees).

These Guidelines do not apply to:

  • any University employee permanently residing offshore; or
  • any casual or sessional academic employees; or
  • any general or TAFE teaching Staff.

2. Overview

The purpose of these guidelines is to:

  • provide direction on the remuneration of employees engaged in offshore teaching;
  • assist in the administration and management of offshore teaching payments; and
  • ensure compliance with the University's applicable industrial instruments.

The University recognises:

  • the importance of the work done by academic employees teaching overseas and the challenging nature of delivering high quality education in offshore locations, and
  • the highly competitive nature of some offshore markets and the importance of maintaining profitability for the University as a whole and for Faculties which are reliant on this income.

Reimbursement of payments made in relation to expenditure for offshore travel is covered under the University's Travel Policy.

3. Definitions

"Offshore teaching" describes programs where students are located in a country different from the one where the awarding institution is based and are normally studying through a partnership arrangement.

"Per Diem" is an upfront travel payment paid through the Payroll System which is a definite, pre-determined amount to cover the estimated reasonable travel costs of Academic employees not to exceed the maximum rates prescribed by the current Australian Taxation Ruling.

"Teaching" includes delivery of a course and all teaching related activity.

4. Guidelines

Academic employees engaged in offshore teaching as part of a recognised University academic program are required to follow these guidelines unless exemption is granted by the Vice-Chancellor or nominee.

  • 4.1 | All position descriptions and performance plans for academic employees engaged in offshore teaching should reflect the responsibility associated with the offshore programs.
  • 4.2 | Within each work area (usually School) there will be a consistent application of the workload formula to teaching onshore and offshore.
  • 4.3 | It is the University's preference that offshore teaching is conducted within workload, having regard for clause 36 of the Federation University Australia Union Collective Agreement 2015-2018, and in particular sub-clauses 36.9, 36.13 and 36.15. No additional payment shall be made where offshore teaching forms part of normal workload. A per diem will apply.
  • 4.4 | Offshore teaching above workload (above-load) may occur where it is unavoidable and an employee agrees to such occurring. A per diem will apply.

5. Above-load offshore teaching payment

  • 5.1 | Employees engaging in above-load offshore teaching, that is teaching addition to the employee's normal workload allocation, shall be entitled to payment
  • 5.2 | Payment shall be in accordance with Schedule 1, as amended from time to time.
  • 5.3 | Payment for above-load offshore teaching is not payable for offshore non-teaching days including days spent in travel.
  • 5.4 | Employees may elect to receive payment for above-load offshore teaching in either of the following ways:
    • 5.4.1 | Payment through the payroll system with normal marginal tax rates applied. Payment of offshore teaching will be in addition to normal salary and any per diem paid during such period; or
    • 5.4.2 |  Payment placed into the relevant Faculty or Directorate consultancy account, to be used exclusively by the electing employee for conference attendance by no later than 31 December of the year following the year in which performance of the above-load offshore teaching occurs.
  • 5.5 | The employee is required to make an election pursuant to either section 5.4.1 or 5.4.2.
  • 5.6 | Once an election pursuant to section 5.4.2 is made the monies cannot be paid to the employee through payroll at a later date, including upon termination of employment for any reason.

6. Other Conditions

Superannuation

Offshore teaching payments paid through the University payroll system will attract a University superannuation contribution where this is required in accordance with applicable superannuation legislation and/or the rules of the UniSuper Trust Deed.

Salary sacrifice payments to superannuation

Offshore teaching allowances that would otherwise be paid as salary, may be salary sacrificed into the staff member's superannuation fund. Acceptance of this arrangement is dependent on the rules of the staff member's superannuation fund.

At the time the staff member enters into discussions about future offshore teaching, it is recommended that the staff member is made aware of the option to salary sacrifice future payments to their superannuation fund.

The following principles apply:

It is the responsibility of the staff member to download a Superannuation Member and Voluntary Contributions Form (docx, 53kb).

Salary sacrifice to superannuation must be prospective; therefore a Superannuation Member and Voluntary Contributions form must be lodged and received by University Payroll prior to the commencement of duties for which a future payment is to be made.

If the staff member wishes to salary sacrifice the allowance to their superannuation fund the following two steps must be completed:

  • A Superannuation Member and Voluntary Contributions form must be completed and lodged with University Payroll prior to the commencement of the offshore teaching activity instructing that the additional/voluntary amount from the allowance is be salary sacrificed.
  • A second separate Superannuation Member and Voluntary Contributions form must be completed and lodged with University Payroll instructing that the salary sacrifice additional/voluntary amount from the allowance is be ceased and reduced to zero ('0').

It is important that both forms in the above two steps are correctly completed and submitted to University Payroll.

  • When completing a Superannuation Member and Voluntary Contributions form, the staff member or nominee must indicate the amount to be sacrificed and the fund to which the payment is to be made.
  • Acceptance of this arrangement is at the discretion of the University and the superannuation fund.

For any further queries please contact University Payroll on 5327 9519 or by emailing: payroll@federation.edu.au.

Employees are responsible for ensuring they do not exceed the concessional cap for voluntary contributions into their superannuation accounts. Payroll is unable to provide advice regarding whether electing to salary sacrifice offshore teaching allowance(s) will cause an employee to exceed the concessional cap.

7. Responsibilities and/or authorities

Responsibility for the application of these guidelines is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or nominee.

Executive Deans/Research Institute Directors/other relevant Managers, in negotiation with the employee/s concerned, are responsible for the organisation of offshore teaching workload.

8. Associated documents

University Travel Policy

9. Further Assistance

Management and employees may seek further advice about offshore teaching from Human Resources.

Forms

The following form must be completed for offshore teaching payments to continuing and fixed-term contract employees through the University payroll system:

Employees electing to receive payment for above-load offshore teaching via payment being placed into the relevant Faculty or Directorate consultancy account (pursuant to section 5.4.2 of these guidelines) must complete the following form which is to be retained by the Faculty/Directorate and a copy must be forwarded to Human Resources for placement on the employee's file.

10. Authorisation

Offshore Teaching Payment forms will need to be authorised by a Head of School/Research Institute Director/other relevant Manager.

Schedule 1 | Offshore teaching remuneration

Offshore teaching is paid per day of actual teaching conducted at the current Academic Level B, step 1 as calculated for 7.35 hours (non-teaching days do not attract payment).