Duty of Care: Understanding the importance of corporate travel safety

Corporate travel safety is an essential consideration for any company, and the importance of fulfilling your duty of care responsibility cannot be understated. No matter what your business, how your employees travel, or where they go, having a duty of care travel plan in place is fundamental to your organization’s success.

For companies, “It doesn’t really matter where you travel,” explains Michael Farrell, Vice President, Client Solutions and Event Strategy for Fox World Travel. “If you don’t have a plan, you should make it a priority to start the process this year.”

What’s more, companies must consider what’s known as the standard of care: if others in the industry have put reasonable measures in place to protect their staff, similar organizations can be held accountable for not doing the same.

What’s at stake? First, if travelers get into harm’s way, your company could face severe legal and financial consequences. In addition, your organization’s brand and professional reputation could be damaged. So, a duty of care travel plan is aimed at protecting your employees and your organization’s bottom line. But more than that, it can affect future recruitment.

“Every company wants to be an employer of choice. And employees want to know that someone is looking out for them when they travel,” said Farrell. “Duty of care can be a differentiator when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. Travel is stressful and anxiety-inducing, and duty of care gives the traveler peace of mind.”

Common Misconceptions about Corporate Travel Safety

It’s a common misconception that companies that travel locally or regionally can put duty of care on the backburner. “People think that only massive international travel programs are worthy of a duty of care plan, but that’s not the case,” Farrell says. “The most common duty of care issues are health-related challenges with an employee.” Whether it is a fire at a hotel, a terrorist threat, or simply a broken ankle, a duty of care plan is beneficial to the traveler and the travel program.

The bottom line? “Companies have a legal liability to take care of their people,” said Farrell.

Of course, implementing a corporate travel safety program can be complex. Let’s take a look at what’s required.

Implementation: All Hands on Deck

First, to develop a duty of care travel plan, you need a cross-functional team that should include a travel manager, HR, security and risk, and C-Team representation.

Without a cross-functional team that includes senior leadership, it will be difficult if not impossible for your organization’s duty of care plan to get the attention it needs to take hold. “You will need C-Level buy-in and even better, a C-Level champion who gets behind this. Several departments need to come together to create a duty of care plan,” explains Farrell.

Three Keys to Effective Duty of Care

Now that you have the right team in place, you’ll want to lay the bedrock for an effective duty of care program.

1. Planning

  • Assign management and stakeholder responsibility across the organization
  • Conduct a risk assessment
  • Develop policies and procedures
  • Establish third-party expertise, intelligence, resources and technology

2. Implementation

  • Manage and mitigate risks and incorporate that into policy;
  • Assemble booking process triggers
  • Traveler tracking and updated staff profiles
  • Provide destination information and security Intel
  • Train and communicate with staff
  • Provide insurance, medical assistance and evacuation in the event of an incident

3. Compliance

  • Audit and analyze the program to ensure it is being properly administered
  • Provide effective reporting that leads to continuous improvement
  • Conduct live environment tests and exercises

At Fox World Travel, Client Solutions Managers are duty of care subject matter experts (SMEs). Bottom line: they are prepared to help your organization navigate the complex process of developing, implementing and evaluating a duty of care plan.

Essential Tracking and Alerts

Tracking tools and alerts will help your organization further mitigate risk. These tools allow you to:

  • Identify travelers who are at risk
  • Alert travelers on the road
  • Identify and act when crisis occurs

At Fox World Travel, the 24/7 Global Watch team constantly monitors events around the globe. That means if an event occurs at any time—including the middle of the night—they will be alerted to the travelers who are at risk and will reach out to travel managers as the incident unfolds.

“So, while we provide the tools and the technology, we truly hold the travel manager’s hand throughout the process,” Farrell says.

That proactive approach to incident management ensures your staff has the tools and support they need if a duty of care incident occurs while on the road.

Corporate Travel Safety: An Essential Business Tool

As we’ve shown here, implementing a duty of care program is essential, whether your employees are traveling the globe, across the country or the region. And it turns out, looking out for the wellbeing of your staff is more than the right thing to do: it’s a potential recruitment and retention tool that also protects your brand.

To learn more about how to create a duty of care travel program customized to your organization’s needs, visit our web, or call 888.369.8785.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *