The world and its ever-changing security situation is nothing new, from violent extremists to extreme weather events making organising travel a somewhat complicated task at times and it’s something we in the travel industry are well versed in, however, what has changed is the attitude to traveller safety and what a company’s duty of care towards their employees consists of.
There are many different aspects of a business ensuring they provide an adequate duty of care to their employees from a moral and legal perspective and how it encompasses the business traveller. From ensuring you have processes in place for flight delays and overbooked hotels, right up to making sure a traveller visiting an area of political/social unrest or at high risk of infectious disease is prepared and aware of any risk they may encounter. It can be complicated and if not addressed can result in liability issues if the worst does happen.
There are a few basic elements you can implement as part of your overall duty of care within your business travel policy, here are a few we would suggest:
#1 – Communication...
Ensure you have a robust and effective level of communication with your travellers, so as to provide assistance 24 hours a day if needed, especially if something unfortunate happens, this may be ensuring you have a direct mobile number for your traveller to obtaining the telephone numbers of the hotels and companies the traveller is visiting.
#2 –Taking Risks
Ensure your employees are aware of any risks associated with the area they are visiting, be it a health or security risk, to ensuring they are aware of any potential weather events and what to do if they find themselves in a precarious situation.
#3 –Know your traveller
Cater for any existing occupational health issues, do they need a specific type of seat on an aircraft due to an existing medical issue? or do they have any specific dietary requirements in which you need to make any hotels or caterers aware of?
#4 –Location, location, location
Know the location of your travellers, this can be done with technology and also communication, knowing where your travellers are at any one point puts you in a position to act quickly when needed.
#5 –Keeping an open mind...
Keep a culture of openness around traveller safety and risks for your travellers, openness from both sides can help mitigate a multitude of potential issues. If a traveller feels they can share their concerns and issues regarding their travel ,then you can plan and put processes in place. If a business informs there travellers of any potential risks before they embark on a journey then this can help raise awareness and in turn avoid any future dangerous occurrences.
The safety and security of employees is paramount and the lack of any plan of action is no longer a legal or moral “nice to have”, companies need to ensure they have a robust and effective plan in place to make sure the travellers are 100% prepared. With new technology enabling you to locate and provide travellers with real-time information 24 hours a day, you can help keep them safe even when on the road.