If an employee abroad on a work-related trip is affected by travel disruption, is the employer responsible for the cost of alternative travel arrangements for the employee to return home?

Whether or not an employer is responsible for the cost of alternative travel arrangements if an employee is unable to return home as planned will depend on the terms of the expenses policy. Most policies will include a requirement for the travel expenses to be "reasonable". The employee should remain in contact with the employer to provide updates on the options for his or her travel and, where possible, obtain prior authorisation for any expenditure.

The reasonableness of the alternative travel arrangements will depend on the circumstances. For example, if the employer insists on the employee returning as soon as possible by whatever means he or she can arrange, it should pay the cost. However, if the employee makes unreasonably expensive arrangements without the employer's prior agreement, for example by hiring a taxi when he or she could have taken a train, the employer could argue that it is not required to pay.