For every business, whatever its size, duty of care and travel risk management should be a top priority. It’s your legal requirement to keep employees safe and to take reasonable steps to ensure a safe working environment. However, it’s an unfortunate reality that a number of issues – strike action, natural disasters, world health warnings, and the like – can put them at risk.
Take a couple of minutes to take our travel risk quiz and see where your company stands. Don't like the results? Below are some questions to ask yourself.
Do you know the risks your employees face?
If you do, you’ll be able to identify how to mitigate them and keep your employees safe. Try and put yourself in their shoes to prepare them for every eventuality. For example:
- Are they able to navigate unfamiliar locations and conditions?
- How might health issues such as stress and fatigue from travel delays affect mental health and illness?
- Can they speak the local language, do they understand the culture?
- Are they fully aware of health risks and local medical facilities?
- Do they know who to contact in case of an emergency, such as line managers or a safety representative?
Can you spot your duty of care gaps?
Even if you have a good track record of safety and security, there might be hidden duty of care gaps you won’t spot until it’s too late. Ask yourself, do you:
- Educate your business travelers on general and specific travel risks?
- Keep track of when an employee was last given travel safety advice?
- Consider high-risk foreign travel, domestic travel, and remote working?
- Document your risk management strategy with a dedicated team?
- Regularly test your crisis management plan?
- Ensure procedures are in place for reasonable care and situations of ill health?
Do you know where your employees are?
If your duty of care program is disconnected from your travel and expense process, it can be difficult to locate and communicate with employees that may be in harm’s way. Technology can improve business travel visibility to help you track and communicate with your employees whenever and wherever needed. You can use company credit cards to access real-time visibility of travel and expense spend and when combined with location-based analytics, you’ll be able to fulfil your duty of care obligations and legal duty.
Are you prepared for the new norm?
As organizations continue to expand their operations, business travel becomes more essential. That, combined with the rise of flexible working, makes managing a remote or mobile workforce the new norm. The demographic of your workforce is also changing – employees are increasingly independent, booking their own trips and choosing their own places to stay. While changes in the working environment, and having mobile and flexible options gives employees the freedom and personalization they want, it raises concerns for organizations whose current solutions don’t capture employee spend where and when it’s happening. If your travel program is stuck in the past, it’s time to prepare for the future.
It is also important to ensure your business is compliant with employment law and you follow the correct safety regulations with regards to your employees' duty of care. Ensuring your employees are safe when traveling on business, can help avoid issues such as personal injury, whilst maintaining the health and wellbeing of staff. This in turn helps with overall staff retention and performance, which ultimately is in the best interests of a business.
To see where your business stands, use our risk analysis tool.