Managing Travel Disruptions

Delays and disruption to travel for circumstances such as terrorist activity, adverse weather conditions or isolation requirements can be both costly for your business and stressful for employees. Have a clear travel policy in place so your employees know how to act should they encounter any problems when travelling for work or leisure.

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What you need to know…

Costs of travel disruption:

  • Direct financial costs - last minute tickets and accommodation.
  • Health and safety risks to employees when travelling to certain countries.
  • Stress to the employee - travel disruption can be stressful, especially if the employee is stuck abroad.
  • They may be concerned that they have bills to pay and don’t want to lose their job.
  • Lost hours of productivity, however remote working might mitigate this.

Legal obligations:

  • You are not required to pay your employee if they are unable to get to work due to adverse weather following leisure travel.
  • There is also no legal right to paid time for travel days, unless the travel itself is constituted as working time. You should have a policy to clarify what is paid when travelling for work.
  • If an employee is required to work outside the UK for more than four weeks, then revised written terms must be agreed before they leave.

What you need to do…

Be prepared!

  • Transparent travel policies that outline instructions in the event of travel disruptions and policies that control how overtime and expenses are approved.
  • Have a plan to deal with travel disruptions due to adverse weather conditions or other issues.
  • Consider a Business Continuity Plan to deal with emergencies and ensure employees are able to function quickly in the event of a disaster.
  • Budget for extra costs for business travel to ensure employees are taken care of and can stay productive if travel disruptions occur. Ensure employees record and report any extra expenses.
  • Be clear how policies differ for work and leisure travel.

In the event of travel disruption

  • Keep an open line of communication should they need your assistance with rebooking travel or accommodation etc.
  • Consider alternative working patterns - such as remote working, Video Conferencing calls or rescheduling projects or meetings, if possible.
  • Deal with issues fairly and consistently to retain a good working relationship with employees