Duty of Care: Making business travel stress free for employees

Today, no matter how small or large your business happens to be, you have a duty of care obligation towards your employees. Even though there has been an exponential increase in business travel during the last decade, duty of care for travel remains an under discussed topic within organizations.    

What is Duty of Care? 

Employees have rights! Employers have a duty of care to their employees, which means they should do everything that is reasonably possible to ensure their health, safety, and wellbeing. It doesn’t matter how small a business happens to be - when there is a member of staff, there is a duty of care responsibility.  

Legally, employers must abide by relevant health & safety and employment law, as well as the common law duty of care. They also have a moral and ethical duty not to cause, or fail to prevent, physical or psychological injury, and must fulfil their responsibilities with regard to personal injury and negligence claims. 

Duty of Care during business travel 

It is common knowledge that the level of stress among employees is inversely proportional to the company's economic performance and can lead to employee burnout if not controlled. Stress however is not only a factor of the amount of work an employee needs to do, but also on the circumstances of the work done. Stress has many triggers - work overload, job security, work-life imbalance, strained work relationships, poor resources and internal communications - but a lesser known and under investigated trigger is business travel. Business travel is psychologically and physically more stressful and, managed poorly, can exacerbate all of the causes of stresses outlined above.

Traveling for business is not only stressful but also a big safety concern if you have employees that travel to high risk, incident prone areas around the globe. While many of us are aware of these areas it is less often that we are truly prepared to handle what may come our way during these travels. It is duty of care on an employers part to be able to provide their employees with both the preparation and the tools needed to have a safe trip. 

An employer can be deemed to have breached their duty of care by failing to do everything that was reasonable in the circumstances to keep the employee safe from harm. On the other hand, employees are entitled by law to refuse to undertake work that isn't safe without fear of disciplinary action. 

To ensure employee safety during travel companies are adopting enterprise level travel tracking services that help monitor the location of their employees. These travel tracking services provide constant data on the whereabouts of the traveler to the company and the families of the traveler alike, so everyone involved can sleep sound at night.  

These systems bring together real-time travel and location tracking, crisis management and evacuation support, as well as a sign of life system. They also provide country data before the trip, and ensure that your travellers are safe at every point of their journey. 

Historically these solutions have only been used by large companiesTrackBasic, a service powered by  Voyage Manager, lets you get an enterprise level solution in a simple and easy to use self service product. Be up and running in less than 5 minutes