Practicalities for the USI community

Indemnities and compensation

Indemnities (reimbursements) are governed by the provisions set out below.

Applications should be made:

The staff members who handle applications are:

The administrative managers responsible are:

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  • Regulations on indemnities and compensation

    As of 01.10.2003; updated: 01.06.2015


    Art. 1 Scope

    1. The present Regulations apply to Faculty members (e.g. professors, lecturers, assistants, researchers and teaching assistants) and Staff members – administrative, librarians, technical, support – (hereafter: USI Staff) at USI Università della Svizzera italiana and its associated Institutes (hereafter: USI), as well as visiting faculty or staff as per art. 2, para. 1, let. d), and are in general applicable regardless of the source of funding.


    Art. 2 Setting of indemnity

    1. In accordance with the present Regulations, indemnities are accounted as follows:

    a) for all USI Staff: travel, board and accommodation expenses that incur in pursuance of assigned duties and which are foreseen by the relevant budget

    b) for resident Faculty: expenses incurred at scientific conferences, subject to approval by the relevant Institute and foreseen by its defined budget

    c) for administrative, librarians and technical Staff: training or educational costs approved by USI Administration and foreseen by USI budget

    d) for fixed-term lecturers and visiting Faculty (e.g. guest speakers, invited lecturers, committee and board members): travel and accommodation expenses approved by USI Administration and foreseen by the relevant budget, with the exception of the provisions as per art. 3 para. 2 for fixed-term lecturers

    2 In principle, all other expenses that have not been approved or authorised by USI Administration and the ones which do not comply with the definitions as per para. 1 shall not be reimbursed, unless chargeable to project or personal funds.


    Art. 3 General reimbursable expenses

    1. In principle, USI grants entitlement to compensation to all USI Staff, except para. 2, for duties pertaining to the Staff’s related position at USI. Refund is subject to authorisation from one’s line manager / supervisor. USI Staff are required to limit expenses whenever possible. USI Administration reserves the right to reduce indemnities in case of evident variance in terms of costs. Expenses deemed unnecessary for the carrying out of assigned duties shall not, in principle, be reimbursed and shall therefore be borne by USI Staff.

    2. Fixed-term lecturers are entitled to an indemnity only if their domicile is outside the daily commuting range (Ticino and Lombardia, approx. 100 km from Lugano/Mendrisio); in this case the terms of reimbursable expenses are finalized in the contract.

    3. The right to indemnity is void when the contract provides for a lump sum.

    4. Indemnities are to be claimed with the relevant form, to which all related and original receipts must be attached and, in principle, all information about the related business trip / assignment that allow an accurate inspection (e.g. travel plan, booking of flights, train, shuttle buses, hotel, invitation to conferences etc.). Credit or debit card bills must include the original expense receipt or invoice for expense detail validation. The form has to be signed by the line manager or supervisor within 30 days of the conclusion of the event that generated the expense. Expense claims must be complete and accurate so that the expense reason may be clearly identified.

    5. Approved expenses are generally reimbursed within 30 days.

    6. The right to indemnity is void at the beginning of the following calendar year.

    7. Flights, trains and other means of transportation, hotels, and other services are to be booked with suitable advance and, in principle, by addressing USI’s internal business travel offices.

    8. Expense claims are subject to audit, for Regulations compliance purposes, by the appointed delegates of USI Administration.


    Art. 4 Travel

    a) Principles

    1 For work-related travel, USI Staff are entitled to use the following means of transport, in order of priority:

    a) public transport and shuttle buses to/from airports and/or hotels
    b) aircraft
    c) private vehicle
    d) taxi

    2. When choosing means of transport, journeys should be optimised and overall costs minimised (actual cost and travel time). Car rentals may be envisaged whenever this option follows the principle of cost and time optimisation. In the event of evident excesses USI Administration reserves the right to reduce the indemnity.

    3. Taxi transfers to/from the Lugano and Mendrisio campuses, and in particular those to/from Lugano and Mendrisio FFS train stations and to/from the Agno airport are, in principle, admitted to fixed-term lecturers, guest lecturers, guest speakers and other invited Faculty, whereas to USI Staff these are acknowledged only when public transport is not available. For the Mendrisio campus, Faculty and Staff are required to use the in-house shuttle service whenever possible.

    4. Use of taxi service is acknowledged in out of Canton and abroad trips (e.g. unfamiliar places) given that it complies with the principle of cost and time optimisation. The related expense has to be duly accounted for.


    b) Reimbursement terms

    5. Travel expenses are reimbursed in correspondence to the shortest distance between the workplace (or domicile) and the destination.

    6. Work-related travel is compensated as follows:

    a) public transport:

    the cost of the ticket – Swiss FFS Half-fare travel card equivalent (travel passes, season tickets, travel passes or other reduced-fare arrangements are to be considered) – in 1st class (professors and lecturers), in 2nd class for all other Staff.

    b) private vehicle:

    up to maximum the cost of the equivalent public transport fare (see let. a)). The journey must be duly documented. CHF 0,55 per km fee is admitted only under special circumstances or when duly justified and is subject to prior request and authorization by USI Administration (i.e. when the use of a private vehicle should prove to be more cost/time effective in comparison to public transport or when the latter is unavailable). The fare includes fuel, parking, maintenance, repairs, insurance. Departing airport parking may be reimbursed when compliant to the principle of cost optimisation, as per para. 2. Toll fees are reimbursed, in addition to let. b), when duly documented with original receipts. USI is not responsible for any damage to things or persons incurred when travelling with private or rented vehicles.

    c) aircraft:

    price at economy class fare. Self-booking of airplane tickets is admitted, provided it complies with the principle of cost optimisation, as per para. 2


    Art. 5 Board and accommodation

    1. For resident Faculty, assistants and USI Staff (but not fixed-term lecturers, as defined by art. 3, para. 2, expenses for meals and accommodation incurred outside of the Canton are reimbursed as follows:

    • meals with original receipts: lunch CHF 35.-, dinner CHF 40.- (maximum amounts admitted by the ACC - Cantonal Tax Administration)
    • meals whitout receipts (duly justified special cases): CHF 25.- per meal (in conformity with the SNF Swiss National Science Foundation regulations). USI Administration is entitled to apply different rates in case of long-term travel.
      Tips, as well as beverages and snacks between meals, will not be reimbursed.
    • accommodation: max. CHF 160.- per night, breakfast included (excluding private expenses, e.g. in-room telephone, minibar, laundry service, pay-tv, etc., which will not be reimbursed)

    2. In special cases, duly justfied (courses, conferences), the additional expenses may be admitted, provided they are duly accounted for and have been granted prior authorisation by USI Administration.

    3. Internet access costs may be reimbursed up to a maximum amount of CHF 10.- per day. Telephone expenses will not be reimbursed.

    4. USI acknowledges solely travel and accommodation (overnight stays in a single- room) expenses for fixed-term lecturers and visiting Faculty entitled to compensation as per art. 2 para. 1 of the present Regulations; meals, phone/internet and other expenses are not reimbursed.


    Art. 6 Entertainment expenses

    1. For meals with guest lecturers, in particular for public conferences at USI, speeches during courses or events related to third-party funded research projects, following rules apply:

    • lunch: CHF: 40.- per person
    • dinner: CHF: 50.- per person

    2. The expense claim must clearly indicate the purpose of the claim and the names of the invitees.

    3. Tips, as well as breakfasts, beverages and snacks between meals, shall not be reimbursed.

    4. Expenses exceeding the spending limits are not reimbursed or else charged on personal funds whenever available.


    Art. 7 Waiver

    1. Any exceptions to the present Regulations are subject to prior approval, on a case- by-case basis, by USI Administration.


    Art. 8 Effective date

    1. The present Regulations become effective from June 1st, 2015.

  • Addendum – Regulations on indemnities and compensation

    The indications below integrate USI Regulations on indemnities and compensation for the staff of the Lugano Campus (both academic and administrative), and are available also on the online reimbursement platform of the campus.


    Legal basis

    • Regulations on indemnities and compensation (see above)
    • Guidelines reference (in Italian) – Swiss Fiscal Conference


    Preliminary remarks

    • All expense claims must be duly accompanied with original receipts and, in general, information that endorse or justify the purpose for travel (travel plan, flight schedule, train reservation, shuttle bus, accommodation, conference invitation and proof of participation), enabling therefore an accurate review.
    • Should the reimbursement claim lack necessary pieces of information / explanation to ensure a correct handling of the same, USI standards are applied (e.g. travel by private vehicle, use of taxi, hotel rates etc.).
    • Use of private credit / debit card: payment receipts and/or bank statements reporting solely the amount paid are accepted only if combined with the original receipt.
    • Expenses that are not strictly related to the claimant’s line of duty at USI will be further verified by USI Administration, which reserves the right to refuse them, as appropriate.
    • Expense claims should be submitted in timely manner (no later than 30 days after the conclusion of the event that generated the claim, see art. 3, para. 4 of the Regulations on indemnities and compensation), and in all cases by the end of the calendar year (Regulations on indemnities and compensation, art. 3, para. 6).
    • Collaborators and staff are invited to verify on a regular basis the status of their expense claims in the Reimbursement platform. Once approved, expense claims can no longer be amended. All changes to claimed expenses are detailed and justified on the relevant form in the said portal.


    Meals – flat rate

    • A flat fee for meals is applicable only under special circumstances, e.g. when collecting receipts is particularly difficult (excluding Europe, the United States and all other major urban and developed centres around the world).
    • For conference attendance it is required to enclose the receipt of payment of the registration fee and relevant confirmation and/or programme from which it can be inferred whether meals are included or not.
    • Expense claims presenting flat rate for meals must be duly justified; if not:
      1) USI administration is entitled to ask for further explanations;
      2) the claimed amounts may be refused.


    Entertainment and representation expenses

    • By art. 6 of the Regulations on indemnities and compensation, main meals with guests (mainly lunches and dinners) are claimable. In principle, breakfasts, beverages and refreshments will no longer be reimbursed.


    Online bookings

    • For online bookings or orders (travel, other goods or services etc.), the expense claim must include proof of payment, i.e. bank account or credit card statement in addition to the order confirmation.
    • For online reservations, the relevant hotel receipt (available upon check out) must be enclosed in the expense claim.



    • Confirmation of registration and certificate of attendance (where issued, or, if not available, any document that proves attendance) and the programme of the conference must be enclosed.
    • If the claimed expense for accommodation is significantly higher than the limits established by USI (Regulations on indemnities and compensation, art. 5, para. 3), it is required to enclose the list of special rate hotels provided by conference organization.


    Air travel

    • - It is required to enclose all boarding passes, even for flights booked and paid in advance by USI.


    Private vehicles

    • In accordance with the Regulations on indemnities and compensation, USI reimburses the cost of travel by private vehicle up to the public transport equivalent fare, especially when the destinations are within reach of public transport.
    • Travel by private vehicle must be duly documented (e.g. with or other route planner websites) and accounted for.
    • The reimbursement of the defined fee per kilometer is admitted only under special circumstances or when duly justified (in particular, when travelling with other individuals, transport of materials or goods, absence of public transportation or when the private vehicle is more cost/time effective than public transport). USI Administration has to give its prior authorization.
    • For long haul (e.g. exceeding 400 km), the expense claim may be considered by presenting all original receipts for petrol, road tolls, parking etc., and is subject to prior request and authorisation by USI Administration.


    Dropbox account

    • The purchase of licences and additional storage space on Dropbox is permitted only with personal or research project funds (for the latter, if the project covers such expenses).
    • Alternative solutions are provided by USI IT Service (


    Scientific paper submission and publishing fees

    • Fees for the publishing of scientific papers are reimbursed only on personal funds or on projects/mandates that cover these expenses; for projects funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation the said fees will be reimbursed only if they are included in the budget and if indicated on the list of journals acknowledged by the SNSF.



    • The procedure for ordering books is to purchase them through the USI library.
    • Books that are purchased privately can be reimbursed only with personal or project funds, when foreseen by the relevant budget.


    Hardware / software

    • The procedure for the purchase of hardware and/or software is to purchase it through the USI IT service.
    • Private purchases may be reimbursed only with personal or project funds, when foreseen by the relevant budget.


    USI Business Travel Desk

    • By general rule, for cost containment reasons (Regulations on indemnities and compensation, art. 3, para. 1) it is recommended that all travel be booked in advance through the USI travel management office (Mr. Mattia Tamò,, and Mrs. Janine Caggiano, for the Faculty of Informatics, by reporting all useful information on the cost approval form transmitted by the USI Business Travel Desk


    Expense claims for externals and guests

    • The expense claim and personal data forms for guests are available for download at the Reimbursement platform (


    Lugano, November 8th, 2015





Updated on: 08/03/2019