It becomes the primary responsibility of a company to offer safety cover to its employees against unforeseen events. This should be exhaustively covered in the company’s Duty of Care (DOC) towards their employee as part of the business travel policy.

There are several aspects of business that needs to be integrated into their employee’s duty of care from a legal and moral perspective. Right from implementing a process in place for overbooked hotels and flight delays to ensuring the safety of a traveller visiting areas of social/political strife or high risk security or increased risks of infection outbreak, various security issues should be elaborately addressed lest in case of worst-case scenario. Here are a few basic elements that factor in as part of the overall duty of care within the travel policy.

Communication is the key. A high level of communication is required to offer them effective assistance 24 x 7, if required, especially if something unexpected turns out. Getting the direct mobile number of your traveller will be considered mandatory, in addition to the telephone numbers of the clients the traveller is visiting and those of the hotels.

If any field visits involves risk taking efforts such as visiting conflict-affected and high-risk areas, inclement weather or those which pose health issues, the DOC must cover what a company’s employees need to do so as to avert or be alert under such circumstances.

Know your traveller:
Understanding your traveller’s health or dietary issues and needs should be covered in the DOC so that a specific seating airborne can be allotted citing medical issues. Also, the caterers or hotels can be informed of one’s particular dietary needs.

Location, location, location:
The integration of smart technologies and seamless communication should help tracking a traveller at any point and draw out instant response if help is sought out.

An open mind culture:
Maintaining an open-minded culture in matters of travelling can help tone down a number of potential risk issues. If a traveller shares his/her concerns about travelling to a particular place, then the company can plan and put a suitable process in place. If there is any risk involved travelling to a place, the potential risks must be updated suitably pre-trip in advance to avert undesirable consequences.

The security and safety of employees is paramount and the non-availability of any plan to support the same can spell disaster. The travel manager must ensure there is a proper system in place first to develop DOC within the business travel policy for travellers when on the road.

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