Make Sure Duty of Care is in Your Travel Policy

As international business travel becomes more commonplace, employers are facing their responsibilities when it comes to managing the risks associated with overseas travel.

Duty of Care is the legal term that refers to the obligations employers have to take practical steps to safeguard their employees against any reasonably foreseeable dangers in the workplace.

For employees who travel abroad, the risks can be quite different from those in the home office. Threats of overseas assignments include terrorism, lawlessness, crime, political instability, infectious diseases, accidents and travel-related illness. Employers are expected to be familiar with the threats associated with a particular work assignment and take steps to inform and prepare employees for those risks.

Safe Harbors has the technology in place to:

  • Track your employees throughout their trip.
  • Alert your employees about any pending changes, problems or emergencies.
  • Reach your employees should circumstances require it.
  • Do everything possible to bring your employees home safely.

Bring Duty of Care into Your Company or Organization

Develop a Travel Policy, or if you have one, confirm the Duty of Care component is current. Safe Harbors Business Travel will guide you through the process and help you customize the Travel Policy most appropriate for your company or organization.

In crafting the Duty of Care portion of your organization’s travel policy, keep in mind that while various stakeholder—such as security officers, finance directors, risk managers and legal officers—may wish to contribute to the policy, their interests may conflict. Financial officers may be overly concerned about minimizing costs, while risk managers may lean in the opposite direction and try to remove virtually all risk. The solution lies somewhere in the middle. 

It is generally acknowledged that prevention of harm is less costly and more sustainable than dealing with its ramifications. It is recommended that employers develop privacy policies for employees; ask employees to sign risk assessment forms, indicating they know, understand and accept the risk of their assignment, and agree not to force an employee to work in a hostile environment.

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