Refusing a business trip

Refusing a business trip

Refusing a business trip: is it possible? Can I refuse a business trip? Those are the questions you are currently asking yourself. Indeed, refusing a business trip raises many questions. That is why we will answer these questions.

How to refuse a business trip? When can I refuse a business trip?

What is a business trip?

A business trip is when one travels for business purposes, for a professional activity outside the company’s main premises. So, you may have guessed it: a business trips are also called a corporate trips.

A business trip can be national or international. In fact, business trips can be used for several types of missions. Indeed, a business trip can include a simple participation in a seminar or meeting with clients. 

Sometimes an unforeseen event prevents us from making a business trip. But in what cases can a business trip be refused?

Can I refuse a business trip?

Did you know that if a job in a company requires several moves, then it is not compulsory to put it in an employment contract? Nevertheless, the company can always add a mobility clause to the contract in order to be able to modify it more easily.

However, whether or not a mobility clause is included in the employment contract, or whether the employee’s job does not involve travel, refusing a business trip is not possible. This is because a business trip does not change the employment contract.

4 cases for refusing a trip

Can I refuse a business trip
Is it possible to refuse a business trip?

As the previous section points out, an employee cannot generally refuse a business trip. But fear not, there are several cases where an employee is entitled to refuse a business trip.

Indeed, the cases we will see very quickly, give an employee the possibility to refuse a business trip. And this, even if there is a mobility clause in the employment contract. Let’s see now what are the 4 cases in which refusing a trip is possible:

  1. Health problems
  2. Compelling family reasons
  3. To cover expenses
  4. Safety issues

How to refuse a business trip?

1. Health problems

The employee must then present a medical certificate to justify the refusal. In theory, if the employee can directly or indirectly risk his or her health for a business trip and thus present a medical problem, then he or she can refuse the business trip.

2. Compelling family reasons

As for health problems, the employee must be able to prove to his employer his compelling reasons with valid supporting documents. Here are two examples of family emergencies: caring for a sick relative, having to look after children, etc.

3. Covering costs

In some business trips, it is possible that expenses are advanced by the traveller. The employee must then advance and claim reimbursement, usually through expense reports. Read how to automate expense reports. However, this system may not satisfy the employee. In this case, the employee has the possibility to refuse a business trip.

4. Security issues

There is an employee safety risk when there is a physical and/or moral risk. For example, if the trip is to a high-risk weather area, then it is possible not to participate in the trip. 

Please note: When an employee goes on a business trip, there is always a risk that an accident will occur. Therefore, as a company, it is important and even a legal obligation to ensure the safety of your employees on business trips.

Ultimately, the Duty of Care is about the safety of your employees when travelling on business. Our 5 Duty of Care tips for business travel.

What are the employer's obligations?

As we have already seen, the employer has an obligation of safety towards his employees. This is the Duty of Care. Implement the duty of care in your travel policy. Secondly, the company is obliged to reimburse all expenses incurred by the employee during the business trip. Generally speaking, these costs relate to meals, transport and accommodation. 

What sanctions can an employee face?

If the company fulfils its obligations and the employee refuses the trip, then sanctions are possible. Depending on the cause, the sanctions differ. But if the refusal is justified by one of the above causes then these sanctions are voidable. However, if no justification is given then the employee can be sanctioned, for example, by paying compensation or by having his salary reduced.

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