At first glance, it seems like the two most important concept in business travel – Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management – are just the same, except that they aren’t. While these two aspects are mainly concerned about ensuring the employee’s comfort and safety while travelling on business, there are certain facets on which they differ.
However, their difference does not mean that one aspect is more important than the other. In fact, having a reliable risk management program and duty of care policy is extremely critical for any business. To shine a light on this topic, we detail in this infographic what duty of care and travel risk management really means, and why businesses should take each matter seriously in today’s changing business travel industry.
What is Duty of Care?
Duty of Care refers to the moral and legal obligations of employers to their employees, contractors, volunteers and related family members in maintaining their well-being, security and safety when working, posted on international assignments or working in remote areas of their home country. In those circumstances, individuals and organisations have legal obligations to act prudently to avoid the risk of reasonable foreseeable injury or exposures leading to ill health.
What Does Duty of Care Mean for Business Travel?
Travelling overseas poses increased risks due to complications, delays, and safety issues. Therefore, your employees travelling abroad are counting on you to ensure that they are safe.
To meet this obligation, you need to have a complete understanding of your responsibilities – from doing research about your employee’s travel destination, arranging their transportation and lodging, to providing off-site assistance and points of contact in case of emergency situations.
What is Travel Risk Management?
Basically, travel risk management is the plan of action that ensures you provide duty of care to your employees. Security Magazine has provided a genius analogy to describe the relationship between duty of care and travel risk management:
“Think of a hotel building, and the fire alarm starts ringing. The alarm and fire exit represent the duty of care, and the plan of how to get to the fire exit when the alarm sounds represents the travel risk management plan.”
Traveller Assist Head of Security Jonathan Bancroft also clarifies what travel risk management program is: “The proverbial ‘what’ should be answered with ‘how’. What do we need to do [keep people safe] and how do we do that? [with a travel risk management plan].”
What Does Travel Risk Management Entails?
While the clarification is easy to explain on paper, putting a risk management program into practice can be very tricky. Risk management is an all-encompassing term, and there’s no law in any country that guides an employer on what specific steps and precautions they must take to ensure the safety of their employee travelling overseas.
For many years, the standard for effective travel risk management has been defined by companies that excel in providing duty of care. Many experts believe, however, that a risk management program must include the following premises:
- Complete understanding of the risks your travellers could face.
- Determining the ways how to mitigate the risks.
- Providing additional assurance against high-level risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.
That said, some travel managers incorrectly assume that their coverage should only include tragic events like terrorist attacks and natural disasters. This little slip up could easily distract you from the everyday risks your travellers might face like pedestrian and car accidents while abroad.
Shouldering the Responsibility
Many business owners, especially those who run smaller companies, feel burdened for most of the duty of care and travel risk management. In small organizations, these responsibilities may fall on the shoulders of the CEO itself, or even of the secretary who arranged the itinerary of the travellers. If this is the case for you, it is recommended that you consult an external HR professional to ensure your policies and program are adequate and updated.
For larger, complex organizations with multiple departments sending employees overseas from time to time, these responsibilities could land virtually to all departments. Security, HR, legal, insurance, and communications are just few who can get involved in shouldering the responsibility.
These are everything you need to know about duty of care and travel risk management. To learn how our premium chauffeured services can help you meet these obligations, visit our website today at www.hyryde.com