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  3. Are meals for an employee’s spouse reimbursable?

Are meals for an employee’s spouse reimbursable?

The Conference and Meeting Expenses guideline 4.0.1 provides that the spouse’s attendance during a meal must have a business purpose and provides for interpretation by including the wording “could be eligible for reimbursement” based upon different business case scenarios.

4.0.1 Spouse Meals
Expenses for a spouse/partner of a university guest or employee may be reimbursed if the attendance of the spouse/partner is for a business purpose.

The most common examples where spousal attendance could be eligible for reimbursement are:

1. Gift development,
2. Faculty/staff recruitment, retention or extraordinary business achievement, and
3. Meetings with guest speakers.

Spousal meals can be reimbursed after determining the business purpose for the spouses attendance. Therefore, we first should ask:

  • What is the university business purpose?
  • What is the benefit to the university for the spouse’s attendance?
  • Does the spouse have a bona fide business purpose for their presence?

The spouse simply attending a meal event is not a university business purpose or university benefit and does not automatically provide eligibility for reimbursement.

Updated on May 8, 2023

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