Business travel is unavoidable, and it introduces the possibility that an employee may face certain risks. These risks range from illnesses to natural disasters, and even civil unrest. They can be detrimental to employees and companies alike. However, these risks can be managed if companies adhere to a duty of care checklist.

Matt Goss, managing director ANZ, Concur, said, “Mistakes when managing risks associated with employee travel can cost a company big money. Organisations can manage those risks and deliver on their duty of care if they think ahead of time, in detail, about the landscape their employees are entering.”

Concur has identified the three of the most important items that companies should tick off their duty of care checklist before sending employees overseas:

1) Plan ahead

It might seem obvious, but forward planning is essential to employees’ safety on the road. An organisation should establish a travel or journey management plan prior to any deployment, make sure everyone knows it. Most importantly, they should stick to the plan if something happens.

2) Conduct destination research and risk assessments

Most people travelling for pleasure will make a point of doing some research on a destination country’s security standing, its cultural habits, and current events. It should be no different for corporate travellers. Organisations should make an effort to research the detailed security, safety, and cultural sensitivity issues specific to the country where their employees will be working.

3) Develop a communications policy

A robust communication policy and procedure will help inform the first, and most important, actions of an employee abroad who runs into trouble. Such a policy should be written, implemented, tested, and exercised to promote a culture of travel safety and security.

Matt Goss said, “A well-developed policy can make the difference between whether corporate travellers can extricate themselves from tricky situations before they become serious problems.

“If a call comes in from a corporate traveller halfway around the world, in a country where an earthquake, storm, or riot has suddenly changed all of the reference points, the first point of contact at home will be able to use an established plan to act quickly to help that traveller out of trouble.”