Business Travel Concerns and Legal Considerations


business Travel

By Bill Swan, Principal Consultant

Business travel presents a blend of exciting opportunities and potential challenges for employees. While it offers the perks of exploring new destinations, meeting people, and gaining deeper understanding into the business, it also often entails costs for the organization and the traveler. HR professionals can play a key role in ensuring that business travel is a positive experience for the company and its employees. Here’s an overview of key concerns and actionable steps HR can take to address them effectively:

General Business Travel


  • Work-life balance: Extensive travel can disrupt sleep schedules and personal time, leading to burnout. The more frequent the travel, the greater this can be an issue.
  • Safety and Security: Travelers may face risks like theft or accidents in unfamiliar environments. Depending on the destination, this is a greater or lesser concern.
  • Expenses: Employees may wonder about managing out-of-pocket costs or adhering to expense limits.

HR’s Role

  • Develop clear policies on expected work hours during travel and encourage breaks for well-being. Business travel often involves long work hours, and we need travelers to perform their best.
  • Provide resources on safety precautions, including emergency protocols and information on local laws. Give them good information and resources before the departure.
  • Implement a transparent expense management system with clear guidelines and efficient reimbursement processes. Review these details before the travel.

International Business Travel


  • Visas and Immigration: Travelers need to obtain proper visas for their destinations and understand immigration regulations. 
  • Health and Safety: International travel can expose employees to unfamiliar health risks, requiring vaccinations and precautions. 
  • Cultural Differences: Navigating cultural nuances can be challenging, potentially impacting business interactions.

HR’s Role

  • Guide employees on the visa application process and provide resources for obtaining necessary documentation. HR needs to understand each destination.
  • Offer information on health risks and vaccinations required for different destinations. Be sure these are covered well before the departure date.
  • Provide training on cultural etiquette and business practices in relevant countries. Review this and even roll play before the travel begins.

Legal Considerations

Domestic and International

  • Duty of Care: Employers have a legal and ethical duty to ensure employee safety during travel. This includes providing clear guidelines and resources for managing risks the traveler may encounter.
  • Labor Laws: International travel may involve compliance with foreign labor laws. It is important to understand each destination and the company’s obligations.
  • Data Security: Travelers may handle sensitive company data, requiring awareness of data protection regulations in different locations and having a plan for each country or region of travel.

HR’s Role

  • Develop comprehensive travel policies outlining safety protocols and acceptable conduct. Provide them with resource contacts if they need help in the country.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant labor laws in countries where employees will be working.
  • Educate employees on data security measures and best practices while traveling. Be sure to involve your information systems experts.

By addressing these concerns and legal considerations through the establishment of clear policies, comprehensive training, and readily available support resources, HR can help employees confidently approach business travel, derive greater satisfaction from their experiences, and minimize potential risks. For assistance, reach out to FIT HR today!