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Temporary Remote Work: Reimbursement Guidelines

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, many employees are working from home or another remote location, outside of their regular working location.  This page provides guidelines on expenses that are considered appropriate for reimbursement while working from home or another remote location.

NOTE: See the COVID-19 information page for how the current pandemic is impacting the various services provided by Supply Chain Management.


The rules below are not new, but are provided as a reminder, as many employees are working remotely/from home at this time.  If you have questions regarding these rules, please contact the Travel Help Desk at, or the UCDHS AP Help Desk at for Hospital and School of Medicine employees.

Not Considered Travel: Travel and Mileage Rules Do Not Apply

Employees working temporarily from their home or alternative location due to the pandemic are NOT considered to be on travel status. As such:

  • there is no reimbursement for meals, and
  • normal commuting expenses remain non-reimbursable. This includes occasional travel to/from your traditional university facility location (i.e., your office on campus), even if you are temporarily working remotely.

Read more in the Business and Finance Bulletin G-28, Travel Regulations.

Not Considered Entertainment: Entertainment Rules Do Not Apply

Entertainment events require the presence of an in-person host, with the expectation that events are either in-person or on-premises. As such:

  • no reimbursement is permitted for morale or business entertainment meal expenses related to a virtual or “Zoom” meeting, including gift certificates or expenses from a food delivery service.

Any consideration of entertainment expenses to be accrued for essential workers physically working at a university facility must include all health and safety guidelines described on the Campus Ready website.

Read more in the Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-79, Expenditures for Business Meetings, Entertainment, and Other Occasions.

Internet and Cellular Service

Employees may request reimbursement for internet or cellular services, if, and only if:

  • such service required to perform UC business, is approved by their department head, AND
  • the employee does not already have high speed internet or cellular service available at their home, or alternative work location.

No reimbursement shall be made for business calls, or the percentage of business use of internet or cellular service, if such use is within the existing internet or calling plan contract.

Read more in the Business and Finance Bulletin G-46, Guidelines for the Purchase and Use of Cellular Phones and Other Portable Electronic Resources.

Office Supplies and Equipment

Only business-related equipment that can be returned to the office at the end of the remote work arrangement is permitted for reimbursement, including computer monitors and other general office equipment. Department heads are responsible for determining and approving such activities, taking into consideration the longevity and need of individual employees.

If the department head approves a new purchase or reimbursement, it is only allowable if the University-issued office equipment can’t be taken home, or the employee does not already have personal equipment at home to enable them to perform their work duties. In all cases, the employee and the department are responsible for ensuring that University equipment in the employee’s off-site workspace is used primarily for University business.

Signed Form Required for University Equipment Used at Home/Off-Site

For any University-issued office equipment that is taken off-site, or purchased/reimbursed on behalf of an employee who will use the equipment off-site, the employee is required to complete the Employee Agreement Concerning Use of University Resources form. This signed form should be kept on file with the department.   Refer to these step-by-step instructions on how to electronically sign a PDF.