BLOG: The Duty of Care Obligation

traveler programs

Has your organization considered what its duty of care obligation is to its employees that are traveling on behalf of the company? Hopefully so, but if not, there’s no time like the present. With the seemingly endless barrage of incidents (terrorism, extreme weather, crime, etc.) being reported from all corners of the earth, it’s wise to have a plan in place to keep your travelers safe and meet that obligation. Essentially, the obligation consists of knowing when and where an incident happens in the world, the severity of that incident, if any travelers are potentially affected and how to communicate with those travelers. Disregarding traveler safety could be endangering travelers and opening your company up to potential legal liability issues. The good news is that it’s not difficult to provide a basic duty-of-care solution for your travelers.


At a minimum, providing pre-trip advisories, incident alerts, traveler tracking and traveler communication is a good start for your duty of care plan. In the past, these duty-of-care components were often put together piecemeal, as there wasn’t one solution that encompassed all of them. Furthermore, those tasks were often performed manually, slowing down processes that needed to be accomplished quickly to determine the well-being of travelers.


If you have an employee that has plans to travel to a dangerous location, you surely want to advise them of the dangers before they journey to that area and then decide if you’ll try to mitigate risks or simply cancel the trip. Doing your own research on a location is time-consuming and not necessary, as there’s now technology that will automatically send pre-trip intelligence to travelers based on the threat-level of that particular destination.


Your employees may not ever travel to locations deemed dangerous, however, it’s possible that an incident such as terrorist activity or extreme weather could happen around them in “safe” places. Therefore, it’s important to know when incidents like these occur and what the severity level is, as well as if your travelers are in close enough proximity to where they could be potentially affected. Travel risk management technology can now automatically alert your travelers and risk management department when these types of incidents occur, alleviating the burden of trying to determine what constitutes an actual severe, threat incident.


Once you know of an incident that has occurred, do you have a quick and easy way to communicate with all potentially affected travelers to find out if they are okay or if they need assistance? Individually reaching out to each traveler may not be feasible when time is of the essence, especially in larger companies that have hundreds of travelers on the road at any given time. Imagine a travel risk management dashboard where you can send out a message to hundreds of travelers in an instant and they can reply back advising if they are safe or need assistance – that’s all possible now.


Duty of care is an important part of every travel program and if you don’t have a plan in place to fulfill that obligation, contact Travel Leaders / Destinations Unlimited to get started.