International business travel: employer responsibilities

International business travel: advance research and planning


Having as much advance notice as possible of an overseas trip enables you to make cost-efficient travel and accommodation arrangements.

Make sure employees have valid passports and ensure you leave enough time to apply for a visa if necessary. See business travel to Europe.

Ensure you have comprehensive insurance, covering personal accidents, medical and emergency medical care, cancellations, delays, theft or loss of property, vehicle use, etc. See international business travel: health and safety.

Also, check that employees have a mobile phone, laptop, business cards, sufficient marketing material, access to money or a credit card and anything else they might need to make their business trip a success.

Clarifying business trip objectives

Brief employees on the objectives of their business trip before they leave. Make sure the employee has set up meetings or checked clients' needs before they depart. Advance communication (by phone or email) from the UK should be used to set up meetings or check specific client needs. The employee should take with them confirmation of any appointments.

Drawing up a detailed itinerary is a must if the business trip's objectives are to be achieved. Make sure you have a copy so that you know where the employee will be and when. Encourage them to contact you on a regular basis to keep you informed of their progress.

Local knowledge of local laws and cultures

Ahead of the business trip, both you and your employee should learn more about the destination - particularly any potential threats to their health or personal safety. To avoid mishaps and the possibility of causing any offence, check key cultural and business dos and don'ts. The employee must be mindful of laws that are different to those in the UK, eg alcohol consumption.

The employee must also make sure they comply with UK law as it is possible to be prosecuted for some crimes even if the crime did not take place in the UK.

See how to avoid corruption and bribery overseas.

In addition, if the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against travelling to certain regions, it's wise to heed such warnings. See foreign travel advice.