Engagement key to Wellcome Trust's inclusive travel policy

27 February 2018

The Wellcome Trust (WT) plans to engage with its internal network of special interest groups as part of a review of its travel policy.

Rod Richardson, travel manager at the medical research charity, said he will work with all internal networks ­­­– including the group’s disability network, LGBTQ+ network and a newly-formed women’s network – for an upcoming review.

The aim will be to determine whether any of the groups need special mention in the policy and to find out “what is it they expect from us as an organisation to support them while they’re away on business”, he said.

Speaking at the Business Travel Show in London last week, Richardson added it was important when adding or changing something in a policy relating to a particular demographic to ensure “they’re comfortable with that, that that sits well with them”.

He said: “Because there’s nothing worse than picking something up that affects you directly and you’ve had no say, you’ve had no input and it doesn’t reflect your experience.”

WT spends around £4m a year on travel and operates a flexible “values based” travel policy that has “very few rules”, said Richardson. “Travellers are treated as adults, they manage their own budgets and they are – within certain set parameters – allowed to book their travel whichever way they see fit.”

It is suggested to travellers that they use the travel service provided by the TMC the WT has in place, “but if they don’t and decide to book via a different channel, it’s mandatory that they provide that information for duty of care”, said Richardson. “The values-based proposition is something that is probably slightly unusual, but we have a 92% compliance to policy so it works. 

“Once the traveller is happy that they are being seen to do the right thing, I think that the other things fall into place.”

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