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Dear Workforce What Should Go in a Travel Policy?

Big decisions to make: Hotel movies, calls to home, laundry and more.
June 18, 2000
Related Topics: Policies and Procedures, Dear Workforce
Dear Workforce:
I am a human resource administrator of an Internet start-up company in the shipping industry. I need to prepare a travel reimbursement policy for the company. What should a good travel policy include?
A Dear Shirlyn:

Here are some questions and clauses you may want to answer in your travel policy:
  • Specify who makes the arrangements (e.g. does each employee make them for themselves, or does one employee make them for everyone, etc.)
  • Include a clause about special requests. For example, if an employee has any special requests (e.g. vege meals, frequent flyer) should s/he pass that information on to the employee making travel arrangements?
  • Include a clause that says employees should make an effort to get the best rates, and a clause on spending company wisely. Perhaps encouragement to get compact or midsize cars, coach flights, and other economy arrangements.
  • Indicate what rental car insurance employees should get.
  • Indicate the car mileage reimbursement rate you offer.
  • Give instructions on who must approve the arrangements (supervisor or management, for example).
  • Indicate how to charge/expense the items (e.g. on a corporate credit card?)
  • Expense reports: When should expense reports be turned in? For example, seven days after the return from a trip. Indicate that failure to do so will remove the guarantee or reimbursement. Also, you may want to indicate that all items, such as hotel bills must be explained. Who was present at the dinner you ordered? What was the purpose? Explain what is and isn't reimbursable...e.g. hotel movies, laundry, how much for restaurant meals, other expenses. Who are expenses submitted to? What should be attached? (e.g. airline itinerary, meeting schedule). When are receipts required? For example, for parking? For meals?
  • Will you reimburse calls made from the hotel to your family at home? (Workforce, for example, does). Will you reimburse hotel laundry? Health club fees?
  • When are advances allowed? How much? When do employees need to make the advance request, and to who?
Happy travels.
SOURCE: Todd Raphael and other staff at Workforce, May 9, 2000.
E-mail your Dear Workforce questions to Online Editor Todd Raphael at, along with your name, title, organization and location. Unless you state otherwise, your identifying info may be used on and in Workforce magazine. We can't guarantee we'll be able to answer every question.

 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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