Business travel is becoming more common for all employees. Today, it's not just C-suite executives that make business trips every year.India is a big part of business travel, with
90%of businesses expecting employees to travel for work in 2021, and close to
80%of India-based employees keen to travel again for work.Whether you have employees traveling to, throughout, or through India, there's a lot you need to know when building a policy that accounts for the country's travel policies.Greater demand in business travel in India means a greater demand in travel expenses, India air travel or car rentals, travel budgets, company credit card allowances, and more.Plus,
corporate travel in India—both domestic and international travel—can come with significant expenses like airfare, hotel rooms, and personal expenses, to name a few. You need to ensure you outline how your company handles reimbursements for employees in India in a way that's accessible, learnable, and adaptable.This article focuses on providing you with a solution to make travel reimbursements, and other typical problems of business travel in India, a whole lot simpler by formulating a company travel policy for employees in India.
- Whether employees are permitted to fly business class or economy class
- When bookings need to be made
- Guidelines that need to be followed for traveling to a specific destination
- A company dress code or code of conduct
- How and with who all bookings need to be made (including hotels and airlines)
A travel policy streamlines your business's travel management process, from bookings to reimbursements. You can even allow self-booking so your employees can make travel arrangements for themselves.Self-booking is more prevalent in the United States but is quickly catching traction in India as well. This allows your admin staff to free up some time that can be better spent elsewhere.
- Expense policy: your travel policy should have an expense policy section that lists the expenses payable to the employee. For instance, an employee may incur business expenses like travel and meals, entertainment expenses, and personal expenses while traveling.The expense policy should clarify if your employees will be reimbursed only for expenses incurred for business purposes, or also for any personal-related expenses.
- Reimbursement process: The process of expense reimbursement should be communicated upfront with employees so they're prepared with the documents required by their approver or manager—if any.This also lets an employee know when they can expect their expenses to come through, and how.
- Approved travel agency or vendors: Let your employees know your preferred vendors for travel bookings, travel insurance, hotel rooms, personal vehicles or ride-shares like Uber and Ola. It’s worth noting, you’re able to automate this process if using a self-booking tool.This can help you cut costs if you've made an arrangement with a vendor that has a presence across the travel destination.
- Allowable booking costs: You should mention any total or per diem caps on room rate, dry cleaning, airfare, or incidental expenses, to avoid any awkward conversations at the end of the trip.
- Special rules for tier-1 cities: Outline any additional guidelines for employees traveling to metro cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, or Pune and mention the reimbursable expenses for these particular locations.Since entertainment expenses may be high in these cities, you may want to exclude them from travel or provide a higher budget.
- Travel support and duty of care: From losing passports to falling ill while on a business trip, there are several things that can go wrong for employees. As an employer, it's your legal and ethical duty to ensure their safety as best as possible.You’ll also want to provide employees details of how they can seek travel support while on the go. Mention the health expenses that are eligible for reimbursement and any insurance plans they’ll be on when traveling to locations throughout India or overseas.
The non-compliance with trip policies isn't an employee-specific issue, nor a cultural issue, it's a global problem, but what that can be solved with the right tech.Companies can address this issue by digitizing their travel policy. Here, digitizing doesn't mean creating a word document and emailing it to your staff, it means
using booking technology like TravelPerk’s to implement the policy for you.