Corporate Traveller

Away on business: who is responsible for your safety?

In a world where security concerns have become commonplace – even in destinations not normally affected by incidents or turmoil – your company has a legal and moral Duty of Care to keep you safe.

Not only should your company make sure they reach out to you in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack, they should also assist with smaller mishaps. Your employer should ensure to take care of everything from flight delays, lost baggage, car accidents, medical emergencies and even instances of lost productivity if you have been asked to travel too much.

Your company should communicate the process to follow in an emergency while you’re at destination. They must ensure all the right measures are in place to mitigate any risks, inform you on health requirements as well as travel insurance. They need to give you advice on data security and keep in constant communication with you to update you on any breaking travel news while you’re at destination.

Some of the responsibility lies with you, the traveller

Before you dust off your scuba gear however, you should know there are limits to the company’s responsibility. Some of the responsibility lies with you, the traveller.

Your company is responsible for ensuring the basics are covered in terms of managing risks and providing adequate communication around safety.  However,  you as a traveller has a certain amount of responsibility towards using your common sense and not putting yourself in harm’s way.

A recent study conducted by On Call International shows that one in four business travellers admit to binge drinking while on business trips. Other travellers might neglect the advice received by their company prior to travelling at considerable risk to their personal safety. As an example, in some countries it is not advised for women to take a taxi on their own. This kind of advice should never be ignored.

What’s is acceptable and what is not?

Your company travel policy should also outline your obligations and the permittable activities included in any bleisure trips. It needs to say what activities are off-limit for business travellers  in as much detail as possible.

A recent study from the Collinson Group shows that most companies and travellers are very unclear about who is responsible for the traveller’s safety while on a bleisure trip. Travellers seem to think the responsibility lies with the company, whereas companies think the responsibility lies with the traveller. In short, this means that a great number of employees are spending added time abroad under the misguided belief that they are protected, when they’re actually not.

If you’re unclear about whether your travel policy sufficiently covers your duty of care, speak to any of the Corporate Traveller consultants who will tell you more about who is responsible for your employees safety and when.