Managing Employee Security & Duty Of Care
In 2016, the U.S., Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East experienced random lone shooter and terrorist attacks resulting in the murders of 15,976 innocent people, including business travelers and tourists. Countless others were injured in these attacks.
As global travel becomes more commonplace for corporate employees, especially in emerging markets, companies are focusing on risk management and duty of care. Travel is inherently risky since it puts people in unfamiliar environments and circumstances. Business travel, whether international or domestic, exposes employees to higher levels of risk and increases employers’ responsibility for their safety.
What is Duty of Care?
Duty of care isn’t just making sure employees arrive at their destinations safely. Companies assume responsibility for ensuring safety risks are managed prudently throughout each employee’s trip. The concept of duty of care presumes that organizations have a moral and legal obligation to safeguard traveling employees and ensure their safety amid reasonably foreseeable risks. Employers need to prepare traveling employees to react proactively should they find themselves in unsafe situations.
What Risks do Business Travelers Face?
In addition to terrorist attacks and other acts of violence, kidnapping, random street crimes, or natural disasters, business travelers can face numerous unforeseen risks, including:
- Auto collisions or accidental injury
- Canceled or missed flights and lost luggage
- Health risks such as malaria, food poisoning, and the flu
- Local political or cultural unrest
By developing a corporate travel plan with the help of an experienced security specialist, organizations can identify potential risks employees may face in their travels, calculate intelligent protective and evasive strategies, and train in executing them. The key to keeping traveling employees safe is preparation. Travel security training is essential and should include:
- A discussion of general travel risks, situational awareness, and how to avoid or reduce risks
- Medical risks
- Destination-specific preparation and intercultural training
Managing Duty of Care Obligations
A travel management specialist can help analyze your travel program to determine which health and security precautions are prudent to a particular destination. A travel management advisor should be able to help you develop a corporate travel security management policy that includes measures for providing protection services, preparing evacuations, and arranging for medical treatment.
The travel management specialist should also provide 24/7 personal support services to your traveling employees, as well as contact information for travelers to reach them at any time. In addition, the company should provide adequate travel insurance and online awareness training to ensure their employees are properly protected.