'Bleisure' trips leave corporate travellers without cover
- Almost three
quarters (72%) of corporate travellers say they bolt leisure days
on to business trips
- The vast
majority (89%) of companies allow this so called 'bleisure'
- Despite this,
almost a third (31%) of firms say employees aren't protected during
those additional days by the company's travel risk
- Collinson Group
believes that employers should look to address the 'grey area' of
bleisure days within their corporate travel policy - particularly
in the absence of a set legal precedent over the question of
Almost three quarters (72%) of business travellers bolt-on
additional leisure days to their trips, but new
research1 reveals that many may be doing so without the
protection of their firm. The study commissioned by Collinson Group
highlights that despite 89% of companies allowing this so called
'bleisure' travel, almost a third (31%) do not extend the
protection offered by their corporate travel risk policy, to cover these
With the average corporate traveller saying they extend their
business trips by five days overall a year, the findings raise
concerns that employers may not be fulfilling their Duty of Care
obligations to employees. It also means staffers could be spending
added time abroad under the misguided belief that they are
Collinson Group is urging employers to ensure the matter of
leisure stays is addressed within the organisation's corporate
travel policy and to understand from their insurer or broker what
exactly is, or is not backed by the terms and conditions of their
company insurance policy.
When it comes to ways of keeping in touch with their business
travellers, manual call-in was the most common method used by 38%
of companies, followed by outsourcing via a travel management
company (28%) or an assistance or travel tracking company (26%).
Just over a fifth (21%) use GPS tracking while one in 20 (5%)
However a further 15% of HR professionals surveyed said their
firm had no process in place to monitor their employee whereabouts
or wellbeing whilst abroad. This can expose businesses from a Duty
of Care perspective if an employee is subsequently involved in an
incident - even if they are not working - as the reason for the
outbound trip was business related.
Randall Gordon-Duff, Head of Product, Corporate Travel,
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
"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."
According to Collinson Group, companies should look to take
basic steps or introduce key guidance to make their travel policies
more explicit with regards to bleisure days. This could include:
- Limiting the
number of days that can be extended/ taken for leisure purposes (to
contain the risk to the individual and/ or the
that employees will only be covered for travel that does not
represent a significant departure from their original travel
itinerary (i.e. travel must be within the same region and not to
destinations that are deemed as 'high risk');
that, certainly in higher risk destinations, employees must be
prepared to adhere to required aspects of the corporate travel
policy (e.g., risk assessment, tracking, call ins);
- If not prepared
to observe terms of the corporate policy then provide proof that
they have arranged their own cover.
Such steps will help companies better identify and manage risk,
while providing clearer parameters regarding the limitations of the
corporate travel policy for employees.
At the end of 2015, Collinson Group launched 360 Assistance, a
unique assistance solution to help corporate clients proactively
manage their Duty of Care towards employees who undertake
international business travel.
360 Assistance is a fully integrated medical and security advice
and emergency response service aimed at corporates employing
frequent business travellers, short-term assignees or expatriate
workers. With the growing trend for 'bleisure' trips as just one
consideration, it has been designed to help users in any situation,
in any time zone around the world through Collinson Group's
extensive global network.
1 Research conducted by Atomik Research among 103 HR
professionals in December 2015 and by Opinium research amongst 2005
UK Adults 4-8 December 2015.
For more information please contact: PR@collinsongroup.com
Get in touch
To ask for more information about us, leave us a message or to get in touch, see our Contact page.