Business Events Travel
CAN I MAKE MY OWN Business Events Travel BOOKINGS?
Some people can prefer a different organisation, and this instance should be clearly set out in the policy. If the employees choose to select a different organisation or hotel, there should be clear criteria set by the company and plausible reasons outlined by the employee as to why they want to deviate from the standard. For example, if you have a traveller who uses a wheelchair, then it is wise to listen to them if they tell you that the hotel’s “accessible” rooms are just over the bathtub showers that they are unable to use.
Some businesses have a selection of favourite hotels — in which case workers should be allowed to receive loyalty cards. It could be fair for an employee to select their hotel, as long as it is equal in price and distance from the meeting. For in-hotel meetings, if possible, you can tell them that you want them in the hotel. Giving travellers too many choices is a fast way to increase costs and reduce enforcement.
Companies that encourage workers to book on their own journey appear to find reporting issues. People may not forward their itineraries to a travel management company, making it difficult to track spending data. If you plan to leave your employee’s book on their own, please have your policies outline exactly what would enable them to book on their own and what documentation they will need to disclose.
WHAT HAPPENS If I go out of the TRAVEL POLICY?
There may be emergencies and individual incidents on the road that require an employee to break the travel policy. This will also rely on the culture of your business. More corporate businesses would be tougher than tech start-ups because they have less laws to deal with than tech start-ups. Be sure to describe the situations and protocols to be followed when the exceptions are encountered.
Your policy can also include such topics as how long in advance to book air tickets to minimise costs, if workers are expected to pre-register for conferences, and how to seek reimbursement for mileage on personal automobiles. Having the policy robust and partnering with a TMC with more expertise in designing corporate travel policies would save a lot of time and trouble in the long run.
HOW MUCH CAN I SPEND ON FOOD?
The most straightforward solution is to use the government’s per diem amounts, which saves time for various places to figure out costs. You can also set a distance cap to pay per diem (45 or 50 miles is normal, with 50 miles being the distance the IRS uses to decide if the hotel and per diem are deductible).
If it is fair for an employee to come home for dinner after a meeting, the employer does not feel compelled to pay for it. Make sure the travellers know the per diem often covers other incidental costs and does not contain free food such as airline meals, meals charged by the seller or customer, etc.
WHAT ARE ALLOWABLE EXPENSES FOR EMPLOYEES?
A business trip should never result in financial benefit for an employee. It is also prohibited to assert for parts of the trip which are leisure and not business. Ensure that workers recognise the value of sending detailed records and receipts.
If your employer needs an employee to fly or stay overnight away from home, they are entitled to demand the food and drink expenses incurred on their travels. This is referred to as a “subsistence allowance” on which you can demand tax relief as long as the expenses are incurred in the performance of the duties of your workers “wholly, solely and invariably.”
WHAT CAN I NOT EXPENSE on Business Events Travel?
Getting a definitive list of what you would not cover in your strategy is a smart idea. This may include items such as childcare, expenses incurred as the traveller refused to cancel reservations that were no longer required, membership of the airline club, evening wear, etc.
You may make exceptions in some cases. For instance, if you send an overseas employee who never travels abroad and does not have a passport, you could pay for their passport, while for an employee who already has one, you will not pay for the passport renewal.
An ideal way to minimise the amount of times you hear this question is to build a list of things you won’t pay for or repay.
Having a good travel policy that addresses these variables will help save time for you and your travel management company. A successful travel management company would help make sure everybody understands and adheres to the policy.