A few weeks ago at the Business Travel Show, one topic that frequently came up was the rising importance of adequate duty of care controls in business. Every time a member of staff travels for work, you have a legal duty of care to predict the risks they face and be able respond to them.
Effective travel and expense management is more than just better cashflow visibility and streamlined administration. It’s also about people. Tools such as Concur Locate give businesses powerful solutions that enable them to know where employees are when necessary and proactively monitor risk.
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You could say that the likelihood of something happening to a traveling employee is small and to try not to worry too much. The fact that 77% of UK finance leaders said they weren’t confident their business could quickly and accurately locate business travellers in the event of an emergency suggests no one thinks this is a viable approach.
And quite apart from your legal obligation, you also have a human obligation. As the Global Business Travel Association says: “One incident could destroy a family or an organization.”
So, if all this has got you thinking about how you can fulfil your duty of care obligations, what should you consider? Effective duty of care combines common sense and cutting-edge technology. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Have a plan: Perhaps the most important thing is to know what you would do in the event of an emergency. Compile a plan that considers all the risks your employees could face while they’re travelling and what you would do about them. Get all stakeholders involved, including your travel suppliers, so they can add their expertise. The plan can’t prevent unforeseen emergencies but it can put you on the front foot when it comes to dealing with them.
- Communicate and educate: Crucially, make sure your employees know who they should contact in an emergency. But also make sure you’re sharing your travel security plans and policies so employees know the support that’s available and the things they can be doing to stay safe.
- Encourage responsibility: Information on your employees’ whereabouts when they’re travelling is only as good as the information you’ve got. Encourage your staff to take responsibility about communicating changes of plan to people back at base. It means that in an emergency you’ll know whether it’s something they’re likely to be caught up or not.
- Have a team approach: Duty of care isn’t something that rests with one person or one department. It’s something everyone has an input in. From HR to management to the finance team, everyone has got something to bring to keeping travelling team members safe.
- Harness technology: We’d also suggest looking at Concur Locate, including the partnerships we have with security specialists, letting you communicate with and safely recover employees in the event of an emergency.
A travel risk management plan enables you to assess safety levels and locate all employees – no matter where they are or how they booked their travel – even when travel plans change. It isn’t Big Brother. It’s an easy-to-use tool that helps you fulfil your duty of care obligations – and your human obligations.
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