Duty of care is the moral and legal obligation of employers to safeguard their employees, contractors and anyone else in their care from harm while travelling on their behalf, using their services or participating in their activities.
As regular business travellers, your employees need assurance of your support and assistance if there’s a problem while they’re abroad, no matter when or where it occurs. When they feel safe on their travels, they’ll be more relaxed, increasing their productivity. This in turn improves staff retention and will streamline the travel experience for all concerned.
The best way to ensure your travellers have a successful trip is to prepare them in advance. This works twofold: with preparation the traveller feels reassurance, while you can relax in the knowledge that your employees understand how to respond should a problem arise. Furthermore, with careful planning, you’ll always know where your travellers will be at any point in time, so you can easily locate them in the event of an emergency.
How to prepare your staff
To avoid any potential issues, your staff should be briefed on your safety procedures pre, during and post-travel.
Ensure that your staff are familiar with your travel policy, your health and safety policy, and the risk assessment for their trip, which should identify any risks or hazards. This should include any health and fitness aspects that may impact their travels, as well as visa and vaccination advice. Make sure you provide your travellers with emergency contact numbers for both your travel insurance provider and for your emergency contact. Ensure your staff’s traveller profiles are upto-date, including their next-of-kin information, and let them know any standard procedures they will need to follow, such as sending a text or email when they arrive at their destination.
You need to ensure that in the event of something not going to plan, your travellers know where to turn. Traveller tracking technology can assist with locating your travellers when they are at risk, giving extra peace of mind to both you and your travellers. At Corporate Traveller, YOUR.CT One Simple Platform offers three dashboard reports: travellers at risk, traveller location mapping with critical alerts, and a forward trip monitor to identify any future bookings which might be affected.
It’s a good idea to survey your travellers after their journey, ensuring they understood the safety procedures and getting their feedback on any improvements that could be made
How travel management companies can help
A good travel management company (TMC) such as Corporate Traveller is invaluable. Through the experience of working with thousands of clients and travellers, your TMC can guide you on the delivery of your duty of care programme, help you analyse the risk of your business destinations and work with you to create a plan for your travellers – for pre, during and post travel. For example, a TMC can help you to:
• Keep control of your staff bookings, identifying high risk or out of policy bookings
• Set up travel alerts, keeping you and your travellers informed of potential disruptions
• Maintain your traveller profiles, including the most up-to-date emergency contact information for your traveller
• Give travellers 24/7 in-house support for emergencies or last-minute itinerary changes
• Provide traveller tracking technology to pinpoint any travellers at risk
• Implement crisis response plans to contact and locate your traveller in the event of an emergency
• Identify out of policy bookings and risky destinations through regular reporting, helping you to tighten up your travel policy compliance where necessary
When meeting your duty of care obligations, the most important things to remember are: plan ahead, train your staff, and regularly communicate any updates to your staff and key stakeholders.
By working with an expert TMC, you’ll have support throughout this process. A TMC will not only offer you after-hours and on-the-ground support wherever and whenever necessary, but can help you put together a robust travel policy, support your emergency procedures and mandate any bookings made out of policy. Support networks such as this give your employees the peace of mind that they will be looked after while away, letting them focus on the business trip in hand.
Looking for more information?
With the Covid-19 situation constantly changing, our information page has links to airline policies, official advice, information on what you should do if you're concerned about upcoming trips, and resources to ensure your travellers' safety.