Civil Service Community Services Employees: Clarification re: Per Diem Meal Allowance

Dear members,

It has recently come to your union’s attention that management within DCS has made the following statement:

  • If you are claiming lunch on your expenses, we trust that you have bought lunch on that specific day.

This is not in accordance with your collective agreement.

We wanted to make sure you were aware that the meal allowance language is not met by purchasing or eating a meal – it is dictated by travel over the lunch hour, on Employer business, only.

If you are entitled to a lunch per diem because you are traveling over the lunch hour on employer business, you claim the per diem amount ($15). No receipt or proof is required. You alone make the decision to purchase or pack a meal each day.

We trust the employer to follow the language as set out in the Civil Service Master Agreement (CSMA) and the employer’s own travel policy.

If you are asked to show proof of purchase for a meal per diem you have put on your expense claim, please reach out to your Employee Relations Officer to investigate.

A reminder of the language set out in the CSMA and Travel Policy, respectively.

From the CSMA

32.05 Meal Allowances

Subject to Article 32.02, an employee required to travel on business for the Employer may claim a per diem meal allowance in respect of meals, that are not otherwise provided, in accordance with the following:

Breakfast $8.00 per day may be claimed when the employee has been travelling on the Employer’s business for more than one hour before the recognized time for the start of the day’s work.

Lunch $15.00 per day

Dinner $20.00 per day may be claimed when the employee is not expected to return to their residence before 6:30 pm.

From the Employer’s Travel Policy (Chapter 26)

General – Travel Within Nova Scotia

Meals for travel within Nova Scotia will be reimbursed at the per diem rate. Reasonable meal expenses above the per diem rate incurred by an employee on the business of the Employer may be reimbursed subject to the Manager’s approval.



Detailed receipts must be obtained and submitted (as described by the Operational Accounting division of the Financial Services Delivery branch of Internal Services) to support all travel expenditures, including transportation ticket stubs; pre-paid transportation and meals or accommodation shall also be noted.

The only expenses for which receipts are not required are as follows: • parking meter • claims for per diem meal allowances (unless otherwise specified) • incidental expenses • taxis utilized on trips for which the cost is $7.00 or less • claims for car mileage or allowances • private accommodations.

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