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Buyers urged to address issues of duty of care on ‘bleisure’ trips

Buyers have a ‘moral obligation’ to address the matter of leisure days employees add to their business trip to ensure duty of care obligations are met.

According to research from travel services firm Collinson Group, almost three quarters of business travellers bolt-on additional holiday days at the end of their stay but may be doing so without the protection of their firm.

The study found despite 89 per cent of companies allowing ‘bleisure travel’, almost a third do not extend the protection offered by their travel risk policy to cover these additional days.

Collinson Group’s head of product and corporate travel, Randall Gordon-Duff, said the question of employer accountability for those who add leisure days on to a business trip is a “grey area”.

“If a company’s travel policy allows leisure days to be tagged onto a business strip, there is a moral imperative to ensure that employees are aware of any stipulations of cover where the company offers this, or of the need to arrange their own cover if they do not,” said Gordon-Duff.

He added: “Where corporate policies do accommodate leisure stays the quid-pro-quo should be that employees uphold key aspects of the corporate travel policy such as pre-travel risk assessments or traveller tracking – particularly when in destinations deemed higher risk – as this can impact the company’s own risk or ability to fulfil their duty of care.

“We advise those responsible for international business travel to talk to their insurer or broker about what is and is not covered in terms of leisure days, to modify their policies accordingly and ensure this is communicated to staff,” said Gordon-Duff.

The study also found that when it comes to ways of keeping in touch with business travellers, manual call-in was the most common method used by 38 per cent of companies, followed by outsourcing via a TMC (28%) or travel tracking company (26%).

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