Travel can be risky, even when traveling for business purposes. Beyond the expectations of delays and cancellations, there are the less familiar issues to deal with such as language barriers, civil unrests, terror, technology discrepancies, exposure to illness, and natural disasters to name a few. With the political climate growing more unstable, employee safety is increasingly top of mind with 67% of travelers saying there was a psychological effect on them or their families when they went to a region where they didn’t feel safe, according to a survey from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives.
The basic laws regarding an employer’s responsibility for their employee’s safety has not changed much throughout the years. Rather, the United States is increasingly recognized as a platform for lawsuits coming about for injuries that occur anywhere in the world. In California, a former employee who was wrongly imprisoned in Qatar sued his past infrastructure engineering company for not properly warning him of the risk to his legal rights when accepting that project. This is one of many popping up in court. See what companies are legally obligated to provide for traveling employees in the US code.
Thus, it’s crucial that both companies and traveling employees are familiar with duty of care, a company’s legal and moral responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees. Travel risk programs should be built for each company’s specific needs and collaborated on between all cross functional teams such as travel, legal, HR, and management. Some companies, especially those with a dispersed workforce, might find they are unprepared for the risks their employees could face while traveling and should be aware of the gaps in their plans.
According to a study by the Global Business Travel Association, travelers have many misperceptions when it comes to their employer’s program. They found that 22% have no idea who to alert in case of an emergency, 36% have little confidence that their organization would provide correct information during overseas emergencies, and 52% would consider legal action if they were not supported properly.
There is a common six step process to tailor a travel risk management program for your company:
- Assign management responsibility
- Determine risk types
- Assess risk exposure
- Mitigate or manage
Your business travel management system in use should provide an outlet for assessing necessary traveler information and monitoring their safety. This includes traveler trends, spending data, and real time access to employee’s locations.
Employees are the lifeblood of every company so as a modern, mobile-first travel management company, TripActions believes it is essential to provide employees with the appropriate training and tools to feel safe on the road. To get started, look for our next post showing the latest features we’ve implemented to help our customers better care for their travelers and communicate with them on the road.