Collinson study highlights moral ‘duty of care’ responsibilities for ‘bleisure’ trips

Collinson study highlights moral ‘duty of care’ responsibilities for ‘bleisure’ trips

Business travellers who add on leisure elements to their trips are being left at risk with a third not ensuring they are covered by their corporate travel insurance policy.

Marketing services provider the Collinson Group commission research in the UK, which was carried out last December, into what is known as the ‘bleisure’ phenomenon.

The study found 72% of business travellers bolt-on additional leisure days to their trips with 89% of companies actively allowing this to happen.

However, almost a third (31%) do not extend the protection offered by their corporate travel risk policy to cover these additional days.

With the average corporate traveller saying they extend their business trips by five days overall a year, Collinson said there are concerns employers may not be fulfilling their duty of care obligations to employees.

Collinson warned it also means employees could be spending added time abroad under the misguided belief that they are protected.

Randall Gordon-Duff, head of product, corporate travel at Collinson Group, said: “The legalities around the question of employer accountability for those who bolt leisure days on to a business trip are a somewhat grey area.

“However, if a company’s travel policy allows leisure days to be tagged onto a business trip, 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.

“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.”

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