Carers' expenses for conference attendance

Attendance at conferences is seen as a key academic activity and one which is formative in developing one’s career, yet it can impose additional burdens on staff with parental or other caring responsibilities. While this may be a particular barrier for women and ECRs, the policy applies equally to all staff and graduate students attending conferences, regardless of gender.


To provide small awards, up to £500, to contribute towards the additional costs of care for staff and graduate students of the Mathematical Institute attending conferences or other work-related training (see Note).

Note: Applications will now also be considered from non-members of the department to support such costs that would facilitate attendance at an activity/event organised from within the department - e.g. for those visiting us to speak at a seminar or conference.

We recognise that formal caring responsibility is not limited to childcare. Other needs should be presented as part of the request for support and considered case by case.


  1. The policy applies to everyone who attends conferences for 'work-related training': all faculty (including statutory professors), PDRAs, DPhil students and support staff. Applications from students must have the support of their supervisor.
  2. Applications must be made to the Head of Administration (by email, and will be considered on a rolling basis until the funds are exhausted. Applicants must give details of the event (what, where, when, and their contribution), why they have a need for additional expenses, and the amount and nature of the costs to be incurred.  The normal expectation is that applications will be made before the conference/event.  Funding may then be confirmed in advance.  However, retrospective applications will also be considered, so long as these are submitted within 6 weeks.
  3. The maximum award will be £500 per conference/event.
  4. Once an application has been approved, claims may be made for additional expenses of care, against original receipts and within the university's financial regulations, on the standard claim form. [Note, if receipts are not provided, payments must be paid through the main payroll and be subject to the usual deductions].
  5. The funds will be disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis until exhausted, provided the criteria set out below have been satisfied.
  6. The criteria for award are:
    1. priority to those without funding from elsewhere
    2. priority to early career applicants
    3. normally one per year per person (funds permitting, to be kept under review).
  7. Applications will be assessed by a sub-group of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, drawn from the permanent faculty members and the Head of Administration.
  8. The annual cap per individual is £2,000.


HMRC guidance states that childcare and other costs can be reimbursed tax and NI-free if they are connected with work-related training. Here are some relevant extracts:

A EIM01220 - Employment income: work-related training: meaning of "work-related training"
For the purpose of the exemption in Section 250 ITEPA 2003 (see EIM01210), "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 his/her duties or
  • will qualify or better qualify the employee to undertake the employment, or to participate in charitable or voluntary activities arising through the employment.
  • The training must relate to the employee’s current employment or to a "related employment"

B EIM01240 - Employment income: work-related training: costs related to training
Section 250 ITEPA 2003 exempts expenditure on the provision of work-related training (seeEIM01220) and on the payment of related costs which fall within Section 250(2). They are:

  • costs which are incidental to the employee's undertaking the training. For example, and having regard to the circumstances of the employee, incidental costs would include the additional travel or child care costs made necessary by the training course, but not the routine everyday costs of travel or child care.[…]

C See also EIM01210 - Employment income: work-related training: general

HMRC provides information and guidance for both employers and employees about tax contributions on employer-supported childcare.  This can be found on the HMRC website

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Last updated on 02 Apr 2022 21:54.