Corporate Travel Policy

10 Treasury and Trade Solutions Duty of Care Duty of care refers to the obligation an employer has to ensure the safety and security of employees; 95% of companies view duty of care as a strategic priority for their travel program 5 . There are many aspects to duty of care, and here we focus on three. Capturing Offline Bookings Travel managers encourage the use of company designated booking tools; in fact, a study by TripActions found that 75% of business travelers are required to use their company provided booking tools and resources 6 . But travelers don’t always comply. Sometimes they find a flight route they like better than what’s offered in the booking tool. Sometimes they are trying to stay at a hotel where they can collect just enough reward points to make the vacation in Fiji feasible, and that hotel is not on the preferred supplier list. Organizations require visibility into offline bookings to know where travelers are and how to help them during emergencies, whether they are complying with preferred supplier programs, spending beyond the intent of the policy, or creating a potential optics issue for the organization by staying at resorts, spas, or casinos. If adherence to an organization’s mandated booking tools continues to be an ongoing challenge, there are tools available that capture offline bookings when travelers buy directly from suppliers. These tools make it possible to pull bookings made in other channels back into the managed travel program prior to travel. Though some travel managers have concerns that this gives travelers permission to book outside of the mandated booking tools, the benefits may outweigh the risks. A post-trip method for collecting offline booking information is to identify them through the expense reporting process. While this method does not provide pre- or real-time insight, it can function as part of an educational compliance management program that identifies noncompliant spend and educates travelers as to the nature of noncompliance, and the reason it is not acceptable. 5 “Simplifying Managed Travel,” Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) , October 2017, 6 “10 Business Travel Trends for 2019”, and TripActions , December 2018, Types of Transportation Today, there are more transportation options than ever before (e.g., air, rail, car, bikes, scooters). Travel policies should clearly state which methods are allowed, but balance the stated methods with letting the traveler determine the best type of transport for their business purpose. Understanding the potential safety impacts along a traveler’s route is important, but even more critical is understanding and accommodating the unique safety requirements of the individual traveler. Traveler Tracking Organizations have an obligation to know where their employees are at any point in time when traveling for work, but this can be challenging with so many options for booking transportation. There are a few duty of care tracking tools available to organizations in the marketplace today. An employee’s consent to the organization’s use of tracking tools should be part of the onboarding process, at which point it can be explained why and how tracking tools are being used. It should also be made clear that the organization is committed to not violating an employee’s privacy based on the employee’s consent around travel tracking, except in emergencies where evacuation may be necessary for their safety and security. Because travelers can be confronted with life or death situations, mandating the use of a traveler tracking tool can help ensure employee whereabouts are known.