12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
A majority of UK companies is reviewing or changing their policies on fleet and private car use because of possible new laws on corporate manslaughter.*
Research by the UK and Ireland Institute of Travel Management (ITM) has found that 65% of companies have reviewed or are reviewing policy on private car use.
Of those which have switched policy to make more use of taxis or private car hire, 33% had based their choice on environmental issues.
This latest research by ITM found that changing work patterns, the corporate manslaughter bill and corporate social responsibility (CSR) were driving change in ground transport policies among buyers.
As more people worked from home, companies are also being faced with the problem of whether a trip to the office for a meeting is a commute from home or a business trip – and if it is a business trip what are their responsibilities.
Paul Tilstone, ITM's executive director, said: "Although all trips to or from the office are basically business travel, the main consideration has always been who pays for it.
"However CSR is changing corporate thinking. 25% of companies already consider the carbon footprint associated with their employees' commuter travel to be their concern.
"And whilst only a minority recognise this type of trip as business travel right now, 42% are unsure."
Mr Tilstone said that as more buyers focussed on ground transport, it was no surprise that the same issues of CSR, the environment and security were having an impact on their policy decisions.
But Colin Goldney, managing director of Argate Consulting which does the research for ITM, said buyers were not yet applying the same principles on the environment across the board on ground transport.
"Recognising that rail is better for the environment than air or road is the easy part. Few are comparing public and private transport; bus or tube versus the taxi," he said.
"Another challenge is that of overcoming human nature. Convenience is still a major decision making factor for travellers, with 54% of buyers believing that convenience and cost are of equal importance.
“However if travel buyers are handed responsibility for commuter travel, it's unlikely that employees will take much notice of any attempts to influence what is basically a lifestyle decision."
* The Corporate Manslaughter Bill for England and Wales (Corporate Homicide Bill for Scotland) will create a new offence of corporate manslaughter. An organisation or corporate will be guilty if it organises its affairs through its senior management in such a way that it causes a person's death and this amounts to gross negligence of a relevant duty of care owed by that organisation to the deceased. The Bill is currently going backwards and forwards between the Houses of Commons and Lords over a disputed clause. If the situation is not resolved by July 20, the Bill will fall.