The Roomex Blog

Detailed safety features, seamless searching, and deeper discounts added to Roomex platforms in March

Detailed safety features, seamless searching, and deeper discounts added to Roomex platforms in March

 After 12 months of challenges and changes to everyone’s personal and professional lives, it seems the scale has begun to tip towards normality. 

Read More
Roomex announces preferred payment partnership with AirPlus International in a further step toward simplifying travel spend

Roomex announces preferred payment partnership with AirPlus International in a further step toward simplifying travel spend

Roomex has partnered with global payment provider AirPlus International to enhance its range of payment and credit services available to customers.

Read More
VAT Reverse Charge for Construction Services Explained

VAT Reverse Charge for Construction Services Explained

U.K. construction suppliers have accounted for their own VAT for the last 50 years. Beginning 1 March 2021, the recipient will now account for VAT rather...

Read More
How to ensure safe and hassle free travel even during the pandemic

How to ensure safe and hassle free travel even during the pandemic

Over the last year, we've all experienced a broad range of emotions and viewpoints when it comes to travel. Some of us never stopped travelling. Some of...

Read More
Filter by specific parking options, apartment, free cancellation and more in recent Roomex update

Filter by specific parking options, apartment, free cancellation and more in recent Roomex update

Find the best accommodation faster with new advanced filtering in Roomex. Based on recent customer feedback and the implications of the pandemic, we've...

Read More
COVID-19 Updates From Roomex

COVID-19 Updates From Roomex

05 January 2021 England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have entered another lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the NHS from being...

Read More
2020 - A Year in Review at Roomex

2020 - A Year in Review at Roomex

As we reflect on a challenging year, we're feeling exceptionally grateful for our loyal customers that have placed their trust in us amid all of the...

Read More
December COVID-19 restrictions update for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland

December COVID-19 restrictions update for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland

Across the U.K. and in Ireland new restrictions have been put into place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you’re travelling or have an employee that...

Read More
7 ways expense fraud can occur in expense reports (and ways to stop it)

7 ways expense fraud can occur in expense reports (and ways to stop it)

Expense fraud is something you wish didn’t happen, but turning a blind eye to it could cost your business thousands. 

Read More
How to travel safely in Europe this winter amid COVID-19

How to travel safely in Europe this winter amid COVID-19

Over the course of the year we've somewhat adjusted to the changes brought about by the pandemic. From strict lockdowns to slow reopenings, many workforce...

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Detailed safety features, seamless searching, and deeper discounts added to Roomex platforms in March

Detailed safety features, seamless searching, and deeper discounts added to Roomex platforms in March

 After 12 months of challenges and changes to everyone’s personal and professional lives, it seems the scale has begun to tip towards normality. 

Read More
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Roomex announces preferred payment partnership with AirPlus International in a further step toward simplifying travel spend

Roomex announces preferred payment partnership with AirPlus International in a further step toward simplifying travel spend

Roomex has partnered with global payment provider AirPlus International to enhance its range of payment and credit services available to customers.

Read More
{}
VAT Reverse Charge for Construction Services Explained

VAT Reverse Charge for Construction Services Explained

U.K. construction suppliers have accounted for their own VAT for the last 50 years. Beginning 1 March 2021, the recipient will now account for VAT rather...

Read More
{}
How to ensure safe and hassle free travel even during the pandemic

How to ensure safe and hassle free travel even during the pandemic

Over the last year, we've all experienced a broad range of emotions and viewpoints when it comes to travel. Some of us never stopped travelling. Some of...

Read More
{}
Filter by specific parking options, apartment, free cancellation and more in recent Roomex update

Filter by specific parking options, apartment, free cancellation and more in recent Roomex update

Find the best accommodation faster with new advanced filtering in Roomex. Based on recent customer feedback and the implications of the pandemic, we've...

Read More
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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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20 October 2020

Travel Restrictions - Northern Ireland, Wales and Republic of Ireland

In light of the latest restrictions, please see below the latest information and resources regarding travel in Northern Ireland, Wales and Republic of Ireland.

Northern Ireland

Hotels, guesthouses and bed and breakfast establishments will only be able to operate on a restricted basis. Accommodation can be provided for those already resident; for work-related purposes; for vulnerable people; for those in emergency situations; and people unable to return to their main address. Hotels can continue to host blood donation sessions.

Food and non-alcoholic drinks can be provided to residents staying for permitted purposes, but bars will be required to close.

Useful Link: NI Direct Government Services

Wales

Are hotels allowed to open in Wales? No. Hotels are required to be closed.

However, a hotel which is closed can still provide specific services at the request of the Welsh Government or a Local Authority. Such services would primarily be for the provision of emergency accommodation for people who are homeless or key workers provided under contract to the Local Authority or a Health body. Measures must be in place to protect people from coronavirus.

Useful Link: Welsh Government

Republic of Ireland

Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs may remain open, but only to support provision of essential services.

Hotel restaurants and bars. Take away food or delivery only.

Essential services:

  1. Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, fishing, animal welfare and related services
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Supply, repair and installation of machinery and equipment
  4. Electricity, gas, water, sewage and waste management
  5. Construction and development
  6. Wholesale and retail trade
  7. Transport, storage and communications
  8. Accommodation and food services
  9. Information and communications
  10. Financial and legal activities
  11. Professional, scientific and technical activities
  12. Rental and leasing activities
  13. Administrative and support activities
  14. Public administration, emergency services and defence
  15. Human health and social work activities
  16. Education
  17. Community and voluntary services
  18. Diplomatic missions and consular affairs

11 June 2020

Premier Inn launches CleanProtect, a new, enhanced hygiene promise

To ensure both guest and employee safety, the Premier Inn has teamed up with Diversey, a global leading cleaning and product supplier for the healthcare and hospitality industries to implement a rigorous daily cleaning regime across all their 800 properties in the U.K. and Ireland. All customer support staff at Roomex have been trained on these updates, and are free to chat through these initiatives with you. 

This programme that Premier Inn has implemented includes: 

  • Social distancing measures like Prespex screens and minimising contact at reception in place.
  • More frequent cleaning of high touch areas, and special attention to controls such as air conditioning and TV remotes in rooms.
  • Since they employ every member of their 9,000 housekeeping team directly, they are able to have better control of the standards. Management will be preforming additional room checks.
  • Linen will be laundered at over 60 degrees with disinfectant detergent and shower curtains will be replaced after every guest.
  • All team members have been provided face masks, gloves, aprons and hand sanitiser.

Read the full announcement here. 

27 May 2020

Hotels increase cleaning measures to ensure safe stays for guests 

Hotel chains large and small are stepping up to create a safer environment for those traveling during the pandemic. All hotels in our platform are abiding by the cleaning guidelines recommended by The WHO. Most have gone above and beyond to give travellers a piece of mind. 

  • Atlas Hotels (Holiday Inn Express) deep clean hotels daily and sanitize public areas every hour. They've implemented new social distancing screens and mats to ensure guest and staff safety. Learn more about the measures they have taken here
  • Penta Hotels have been carefully following safety guidelines as outlined by the WHO and have increased cleaning in common and guest areas. They've run training's for staff on how to protect against transmission, and have implemented procedures in case there is a suspected or confirmed case in one of their properties. 
  • Staycity Aparthotels are cleaning public areas multiple times each day and deep cleaning rooms and public areas. An interesting safety note was that they are leaving rooms empty for 72 hours between guests, then deep cleaning the rooms. For long stay guests, where the normal in-stay cleaning service is not available, they are offering a cleaning pack and room refills as often as required. Learn more about their detailed cleaning strategy here
  • Best Western has required all hotels to install protective barriers at reception and will clean the desk after each guest. They have provided a in-room text service to minimise visits to reception and the use of the phone. All key cards will be sanitized prior to check in, and will be handed to guests safely. They are disinfecting busy areas regularly throughout the day and deep cleaning rooms. They have removed unnecessary room elements, like bed scarves and  note pads and pencils. If possible, rooms will be left vacant for at least 24 hours in between guests- and over 72 hours if the guest was unwell. The cleaning team has been trained on a detailed and comprehensive new checklist to keep themselves and guests safe. 
  • Leonardo Hotels (Jurys Inn) have gone completely cashless and has added protective screens at reception. They've implemented deep cleaning protocols, frequently clean heavy trafficked areas, increased bedroom checks by senior management, and reduced printed materials in the rooms. Their staff has also taken part in trainings to ensure their safety and the safety of guests. Learn more about what they are doing to keep guests safe here
  • Roomzzz Aparthotels has created contact free check ins and conducted specialised training for all employees to increase staff knowledge on infection control and sanitation. They too have increased sanitation and cleaning, wiping down heavy trafficked areas multiple times a day and deep cleaning rooms. Learn more about the measures they have taken here
  • IHG Hotels now include visible verification of sanitized items (e.g. glassware, remote control) and reduced room furnishings. They've also implemented touchless transactions, sanitized key cards and promise deep cleaning on high touch surfaces displayed with 'last cleaned' charts. There is hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and wipes available in guest rooms. They are working with external specialist from the Cleveland Clinic to ensure best practices and define even better solutions for cleaning and safety during this time. 
  • Lindner Hotels have installed protective screens at check in and sanitize hotel keys prior to guest arrival. All staff is required to wear masks. All documentation in hotel rooms such as menus and TV programmes will be replaced between guests. All room service ordered will be delivered in single use containers. To increase their social distancing, they've asked guests to select an accurate check in time to avoid crowds at reception. Cash payments are no longer excepted. 

Reach out to your account manager for direct queries regarding upcoming stays in any hotel booked through Roomex. We will update this list regularly, so check back to find more information about cleanliness measures in hotels. 

28 April 2020

Roomex Key Worker Support Package sees increase in Hotel Partners

Since its launch, our Key Worker Support Package has helped provide relief and accommodation to thousands of key workers traveling during the pandemic. Every day we're adding new hotel partners to the initiative, and as of today we have secured 245 Key Worker rates across hotels in the U.K. and Ireland. 

Learn more about our Key Worker Support package here, or get in touch with our team here to get started. 

16 April 2020

Hotels now offering boxed and takeaway meals 

Hotels around the U.K. and Ireland have adapted to serve Key Workers better with grab and go breakfasts and room service dinners. Travelodge is now opening a breakfast box option available 24 hours a day at all open hotels including a muffin, cereal, a musili bar, and juice. 

Note that all Travelodge Key Worker hotels are bookable through Roomex right now, and all the other properties are open for future bookings for stays after 8 May, subject to change if travel restrictions are extended.

Remember that Roomex contacts every traveller and hotel prior to stay to ensure the traveler knows what to expect upon arrival. 

31 March 2020

Roomex launches a Key Worker Support Package, offering a customised hotel programme tailored by a dedicated account manager, special hotel rates, and new, free in-trip expense card (RoomexPay)

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, we rely on key workers to keep the country running. These heroes are caring for our families in hospitals, keeping the lights on in our homes, keeping our environments clean and keeping our shops stocked and operational.

At Roomex, we believe that the risks that these individuals are taking to keep us all safe are worth more than a simple thank you. We are honoured to work with those supporting our country in these trying times - and it’s our turn to support them.

Roomex is working with businesses, non-profits, and governments in some of the most affected areas to ensure that we reach COVID-19 responders who need accommodation away from home.

  • We have negotiated exclusive Key Worker Rates across the country that are available on your Roomex platform. Please ask us for the full list of hotels
  • We will work with you to provide a customised hotel programme based on your unique needs 
  • We are dedicating account managers to our customers that have Key Workers to ensure safety and peace of mind
  • As safety during this time is the most important, we ensure that all hotels that are offering this discount are cleaned to the standards recommended by the WHO 
  • Our team will assist you in drafting the required letter stating permission to travel that is required upon check-in at all hotels
  • We realise hotel expenses are only part of the overall requirement for you right now- so we are also offering RoomexPay free of charge as part of this Key Worker Rate package

If you're looking for support during this time, get in touch with our team at tryus@roomex.com 

Read More

30 March 2020
Travelodge to close hotels until 30 April 2020

Abiding by the new instructions by the U.K. government, Travelodge will temporarily close its hotels. However, some locations will remain open for critical and key workers. See the full statement here

25 March 2020

Premier Inn to close hotels until 30 April 2020

We have just received an update from Premier Inn that they have removed all of their hotels from sale up until 30th April 2020 in response to the government request to close all hotels.

For bookings on stays from 24th March - 31st May 2020

In order to comply with the latest Government guidelines if you have a stay in this period, please request a cancellation in your Roomex Platform. See below

For bookings on stays from 15th April - 31st May 2020

Based on the latest Government advice there is the opportunity to cancel bookings to obtain a full refund in your Roomex platform. The booking must be cancelled by 23.59 the day prior to arrival. See below

Alternatively, you can request to amend your booking. Please click on the ‘I want to amend this booking’ button to make your request to change dates.

How to cancel or amend a booking:

  • If you need to cancel a refundable booking, please log into Roomex, and click 'Bookings' at the top of your platform. To cancel a booking, click the three dots in the 'Action' column, and select 'Cancel'. Alternatively, cancel with the link on your voucher confirmation which is found just under the Terms and Conditions.  
  • If you need to cancel a non-refundable rate please log into Roomex, and click 'Bookings' at the top of your platform. To cancel a booking, click the three dots in the 'Action' column, and select 'Cancel'. Alternatively, cancel with the link on your voucher confirmation which is found just under the Terms and Conditions. A member of our Customer Success team will confirm your request ASAP. The booking must be cancelled the day prior to arrival.
  • If you want to amend a refundable booking please click on the ‘I want to amend this booking’ button to make your request
  • Please note that all refundable terms are set directly by the accommodation provider, Roomex cannot facilitate a refund on non-refundable reservations.

Please be advised that our Priority Support team is experiencing an unprecedented volume of queries and are working as best they can to get to every query as soon as possible.

Login to your platform 

23 March 2020

Travelodge to close restaurants 

Travelodge has announced also to close their restaurants this morning effective retrospectively from 20 March.

'In line with the government instruction and our commitment to the health and safety of all our customers and hotel team members, we’ve had to temporarily close our restaurants and bars at 22:00 Friday 20th March until further notice.'

20 March 2020

To ensure the fastest support:

To ensure the fastest response from our support team, if you're looking to change the date or cancel a booking please add the RX Number and the departure date in the email subject line with the words Date change or Cancellation. For example,



RX982130 - 23/3/20 - Date change 

Premier Inn to close restaurants

In response to government advice regarding social distancing, The Premier Inn has made the difficult decision to close all of their restaurants with effect from 21st March 2020 until further notice. However, their hotels currently remain open so your booking will not be affected and we will adjust the booking value accordingly.

19 March 2020

For all business travel during this time, please be advised to call the hotel in advance to ensure the hotel is fully operational. We are also in close contact with all of our suppliers and will continue to keep you updated.

18 March 2020

Over the last few weeks, both businesses and governments have come together to protect their employees and residents as the Coronavirus situation advances. Our hearts go out to all of our customers and their families that have been impacted by this virus - we’re all in this together.

For those that are still travelling, these times can be filled with uncertainty and fear. Like you - we’re constantly monitoring the situation and working with our customers to ensure that those who are travelling are safe. We’re here for you - no matter where you are, and no matter where this situation brings us. 

We will be continuously updating this page as a source of information on the current COVID-19 outbreak. Whether you need it now or later, it could be worth bookmarking. 

General Advice

As this situation develops on an hourly basis - it can be difficult to keep up. We are following the recommendations and guidance from the World Health Organization, (WHO) as well as the local governments of countries that customers are booking in. 

Useful links:

Travel FAQ’s

How to stay safe while travelling:

According to the WHO, hand washing (with soap and water or an alcohol-based gel) and social distancing are the keys to stopping the spread of Coronavirus. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth - and stay at least a metre away from others. When staying in hotels, keep the air conditioning to a minimum.

We also recommend calling hotels in advance of check-in to ensure the hotel is fully operational. 

What are hotels doing to keep guests safe? 

Hotels, of course, are playing their part - and a large number of our accommodation providers are following these steps:

  • Along with our usual cleaning protocols, Hotels are carrying out regular deep cleaning.
  • Providing hand sanitizers.
  • Holding thorough briefings with their customer-facing teams to ensure they are informed, ready for unfolding scenarios and taking preventative measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Roomex Platform FAQ’s 

Support Queries and Longer Wait Times 

Our Priority Support team is experiencing an increase in the volume of queries. They are working as best they can to get to every query as soon as possible. Please note that our accommodation providers and suppliers are also experiencing a larger volume of queries, impacting the time it takes us to best serve you.

The response time is naturally slower, but we want to assure you that we have increased the number of staff in Support to manage these queries and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

If your trip is not within the next 7 days, please hold off contacting customer service so we can help those travelling immediately. We will get back to you as soon as possible after weighing the urgency. 

To ensure the fastest response from our support team, if you're looking to change the date or cancel a booking please add the RX Number and the departure date in the email subject line with the words Date change or Cancellation. For example,

RX982130 - 23/3/20 - Date change 

Amending Bookings

If you are making a booking or changing the date of your reservation we recommend booking a refundable rate. 

  • If you need to cancel a refundable booking, please log into Roomex, and click 'Bookings' at the top of your platform. To cancel a booking, click the three dots in the 'Action' column, and select 'Cancel'. Alternatively, cancel with the link on your voucher confirmation which is found just under the Terms and Conditions.  
  • If you want to amend a refundable booking please rebook with the new details on your platform, then cancel the original booking free of charge. 
  • Please note that all refundable terms are set directly by the accommodation provider, Roomex cannot facilitate a refund on non-refundable reservations.

Hotel updates 

Premiere Inn to close restaurants from 21 March

In response to government advice regarding social distancing, The Premier Inn has made the difficult decision to close all of their restaurants with effect from 21st March 2020 until further notice. However, their hotels currently remain open so your booking will not be affected and we will adjust the booking value accordingly.

Best practices 

Focus on Duty of Care 

If an employee has a problem while travelling, a lot of factors quickly come into play - from medical costs to repatriation. The first thing you’ll need to know is exactly where they are. Remember, in Roomex Analytics, you can quickly see where every employee is with our Duty of Care feature. You’ll find their contacts, location, and hotel, as well as any historical stays. Act fast, and stay calm - and know our customer care teams are also at the other end of the phone should you need us. 

Login to your platform and view you live Duty of Care map 

Remain flexible in the coming weeks

During these times more than ever, it’s important to read the terms and conditions of your bookings both on Roomex and on any other site that you use to book air and train travel. Sometimes the fine print can leave you without a refund or an alternative flight or train. As we’ve mentioned earlier this month, we’ve recently released hundreds of exclusive Roomex Rates into your platform. These rates are refundable and extremely flexible, with late check-ins and last-minute cancellations. Learn more about these exclusive Roomex Rates here

Based on our tracking, we’ve seen the price of hotels dropping at the moment, so if you are willing to take the risk, you could also focus on organising trips later in the year. Also, always check your Roomex platform if the room your booking is refundable if you’re unsure the project will proceed. 

Get in touch with our support team at:

  1. In your platform - by clicking on the blue chat icon on bottom left of the screen
  2. Email: priority@roomex.com  
  3. U.K.: +44 20 7183 7737
  4. Ireland: +353 1 2966275
  5. Germany: 0800-0003899
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COVID-19 Updates From Roomex

COVID-19 Updates From Roomex

05 January 2021 England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have entered another lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the NHS from being...

Read More
{}
2020 - A Year in Review at Roomex

2020 - A Year in Review at Roomex

As we reflect on a challenging year, we're feeling exceptionally grateful for our loyal customers that have placed their trust in us amid all of the...

Read More
{}
December COVID-19 restrictions update for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland

December COVID-19 restrictions update for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland

Across the U.K. and in Ireland new restrictions have been put into place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you’re travelling or have an employee that...

Read More
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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Expense fraud is something you wish didn’t happen, but turning a blind eye to it could cost your business thousands. 

Expense-fraud

Before moving any further, let’s let the numbers speak for themselves, sourced from the 2020 annual report by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), and their 2019 Benchmarking Report.

  1. Theft by employees costs companies around 5% of their annual revenues or $4.5 trillion on a global level.
  2. There are many ways employees commit fraud against their employers, however, 55% of all crimes cited were of employees creating fraudulent physical documents. This is possible and most common when companies have outdated expense reporting methods.
  3. A lack of internal controls contributed to nearly ⅓ of all fraud 
  4. 60% of organisations expect to increase their investments in anti-fraud programmes over the next 2 years

Since we’re all on the same page that fraud is real and happens all around us, let’s figure out some reasons how it happens, and how it can be stopped

We’re focusing here on fraud in expense reports, as they are the most common type of fraud related to workforce travel. 

  • 1. Vague travel and expense policies
    You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of creating strong travel and expense policies. Most big companies have strong, detailed travel policies in place but even they forget to add information on alcohol, car washes, GPS, train ticket upgrades, or hotel laundry. The clearer you are in drafting these policies, the more difficult it will be for employees to cheat on their expense reports. Download our Expense policy template to get started. 
  • 2. Employees not feeling valued and ‘pay themselves back’
    Lots of employees feel burnt out, unrecognised and unfulfilled. This is due to many things, from poor compensation to micromanagement to constant travelling. Whatever it may be, they pay themselves back with small expense report deceptions. So, value and prioritise your team! 
  • 4. An oppressive travel policy
    I know we just mentioned the problem with vague expense policies- however, if you go draconian on your employees it can create an ‘us vs. them’ culture in your company, and will hurt your bottom line when employees cheat on future reports to ‘get back’. Aim for the sweet spot here where the policy is clear, but exceeding policy, especially when it’s necessary, think the cost of travelling to London vs Birmingham, will not garner punishment.
  • 5. Employees learned from their boss, who learned from their boss...and so on
    Just as kids copy the behaviour of their parents, employees will mimic the behaviour of their superiors. If your top execs are splashing out on fancy dinners and drinks, chances are at least a few employees will follow suit. 
  • 6. Human error
    Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes even the most attention oriented travel managers book a room out of policy, or an employee submits the same receipt twice. These mistakes are tough to spot in a traditional expense management system, but easy in modern ones like RoomexPay.
  • 7. Managers make mistakes too
    Managers are not accountants, and shouldn’t be. Once the employee organises their receipts and records it in the companies excel sheet, they send it on to their boss to approve. The manager typically will approve or misread some sections, maybe skipping over fraudulent claims, because again, they are not an accountant! Take them out of the equation and reduce fraud. 

And… there’s likely more. Clearly fraud doesn’t present itself in obvious ways and can be extremely time consuming and difficult for even the sharpest accountants to catch. Between the complications of detecting fraud and the lack of real-time data that traditional expense management practices provide, it’s inevitable that expense report fraud is occurring. But, it can be stopped. 

Download our 'Guide to using expense management to unlock company-wide savings' to find out how one small change to your expense management process can work to deter fraudulent behaviors. 

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