Family following employee for a business trip

Dear HR Community,

I would like to seek your experience or advice on an employee’s family or spouse joining an employee for a business trip.

What is your opinion on this from an official HR perspective? Does your company have an official guideline that discourages or encourages the employee from allowing their family on business trips?

If not, what could be the pros of allowing the employee to do so?

If this is allowed, are there any rules on the hotel accommodation in terms of reimbursing their hotel expenses? or shared rental car?

Appreciate it if any community subscribers could share your opinions on the handling of such circumstances for your organisation.

Thank you in advance for your valuable input!


Family following employee for a business trip

We encourage this: 9.09%

We discourage this: 13.64%

We don’t have guidelines: 75.00%

We are not sure: 2.27%


We don’t have a set policy guiding this but we have allowed it (to a certain extent). First employee needs to inform his/her manager in advance that a family member is joining him. Second, he/she ensures that personal costs are separate from business — i.e. claimable meals should only be for his share and not the whole family’s. Hotel accommodation is ok provided that he does not book above what he would usually be entitled to as a solo business traveler. Any hotel stay extension is at the employee’s expense. At the end of the day, it all boils down to trustworthiness. – Christine

As long as his claims are submitted only for himself, it should be fine for him to bring along his family. – Calin

We do not have official guidelines however it can be an additional benefit for staff. But on a side note, the family member(s) has to make arrangements and pay all expenses (flight, hotel, land transport, etc.) on their own. If staff would like to share a room with their family member(s) instead of a colleague, the company can reimburse the staff’s portion of the room fee; for example: for twin sharing S$200, the company reimburses the staff’s share of S$100 who choose to share room with family members instead of colleague. Personally, I think it is good to allow staff to bring family member(s) as people are looking for work-life balance and it will entice staff to join company events more often. However, the company should have its own set of rules to avoid jeopardising the company event due to circumstances/requests that different staff may have; for example: staying at a different hotel with their family members as the hotel that the company has chosen may be expensive for them to afford. The company should weigh the pros and cons depending on the events planned in case staff(s) arrive late as they are staying a distance away from the hotel where the company is holding the event. Perhaps could encourage them to stay with colleagues and join their family members after the company event? That would be another win-win solution as well. – Grace

There is a capped amount that the employee can claim based on the expense for a single person. We didn’t give an official guideline. However, if you use an agent, I believe it is harder to arrange. – Jessica

If the employee wishes to bring along their spouse, they pay for additional costs incurred. – Ann

We are allowing the employee’s family to join the business trip, as long as it does not affect the employee’s work. – Theresa

Our company also does not have such a policy. It should depend on the position of the employee. – Jaslyn

To have an info-sharing session on how other companies are practicing. We already have guidelines but looking into improvement. – Alizah

If the spouse wants to come along, all expenses are to be borne by the employee. – Jolene

If the family member or spouse joins the employee for a business trip, the hotel accommodation as there is no extra cost, we are fine with it. But for breakfast, the family member or spouse will have to pay for it; this will apply to other expenses too. – Jessie

I have seen cases where this is fine as long as no additional costs to the company. The company has guidelines on in-room service caps for reimbursement and additional surcharges arising out of additional party staying are to be borne by the individual. – Chua

We don’t have guidelines on this. Just to ensure that costs and expenses would not increase if it were just the employee going alone. – Diona

If this is too frequent on the same employee, will propose to impose some sharing costs not to encourage the family to tag along which may affect the staff performance. – MK

We have guidelines for when this occurs, however, we do not encourage or discourage, we stay quiet on this. – Kim

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