An important area of focus for travel managers right now: duty of care
Whilst the pandemic has made many things uncertain, one definite is that duty of care is now top of the priority list for most corporate travel programmes.
An important area of focus for travel managers right now:
duty of care
It’s more than a legal requirement…
We might not have a crystal ball to predict how business travel will look in the coming months and years but there is a general consensus that corporate travel will return - it will just look slightly different to how it has done in the past. Therefore, now is the perfect time to get prepared and make some much needed adaptations to your travel programme.
One of the most important areas that you can focus on as a travel manager right now to ensure that you’re ready to manage your organisation’s corporate travel comeback is your duty of care programme.
Travel managers have long understood the importance of duty of care within their travel programmes, not only as a legal requirement that ensures organisations protect their travellers’ wellbeing and safety but also as a way of managing their brands reputation.
Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has made many things uncertain, one definite is that duty of care is now top of the priority list for most corporate travel programmes. In order for your organisation and travellers to feel comfortable with the prospect of travelling, provisions will need to be more comprehensive than just providing support and assistance before, during and after their trip.
The heightened importance of duty of care may also mean that certain items that have been on your travel programmes wish list, such as a more sophisticated traveller communication tool, will have to become a reality in order for travel to restart.
The first step in preparing for your organisation’s corporate travel comeback is to assess what duty or care measures you had in place pre-Covid-19, what you have implemented as precautionary or emergency measures over the past nine months and whether what is currently in place is fit for purpose when travel restarts. It’s likely that some duty of care provisions will need a slight tweak, whereas other organisations’ programmes may need a major overhaul.
The next step is to then reach out to your travel management company (TMC) with a list of questions and discover how they, and potentially a third party security specialist, can assist you further. They can share best practice and recommendations to ensure that you can make the necessary changes to support your organisation’s travel requirements.
Is your current duty of care provision fit for purpose?
Is your current duty of care provision fit for purpose?
Does your travel duty of care programme need bolstering with further technology or support from your TMC? Would you feel confident with your travellers hitting the road again with the procedures you currently have in place?
Take some time to assess your organisation’s current duty of care provision. Although it might have been fit for purpose prior to the coronavirus pandemic it’s important to review it through the lens of today- if you don’t feel that it’s up to scratch then you have the opportunity to amend it.
Begin your evaluation by asking these questions:
• Is there a requirement for a trip authorisation process before your travellers start planning their trip?
• Do you know where your travellers are and where they’re staying when they travel for business?
• Do you have full visibility of your travelling population’s whereabouts whilst they are on the move via a traveller tracking tool? Is this information reliable and easy to access 24/7? Do all the relevant departments within your organisation have access to this information? Does this include all necessary travel types, such as car rental and rail travel?
• Do you have visibility of those who are due to travel or those who have just returned home?
• Are your travellers able to access 24/7 travel support in the event of an emergency?
• Are you confident that you can communicate with your travellers whilst they are travelling? This could vary from checking their safe arrival at a hotel or verifying their emergency contact details and will depend on the culture of your organisation.
• Is there a process should someone suspect they have coronavirus symptoms whilst travelling or on their return home?
• Are your traveller booking confirmations and itineraries tailored to include your companies travel messaging and links to relevant information?
• For many travellers, it would have been many months since their last trip. Is now the time to re-educate employees on why duty of care is important, what your organisation’s duty of care obligations are and how they are also responsible for their own duty of care?
• Is there an established emergency response procedure should an incident occur?
• Is there an established process for travellers wishing to travel to high-risk destinations?
• Do you have access to a travel-risk monitoring tool that updates in real time?
• Do you have access to information from professional and independent medical and security providers?
• Do you collate feedback from your travellers in regard to duty of care such as:
- Travellers stating that they feel comfortable and confident travelling and that they feel sufficiently prepared and supported by your organisation before travelling for business?
- Travellers opinions on your organisation’s duty of care efforts whilst on the move?
Once you have ascertained your current duty of care programme and any gaps, reach out to the specialists. Your TMC or a third party security provider should be your partner in this and bring a wealth of experience and tailored options to the table.
Duty of care best practice: peace of mind 24/7/365
Peace of mind 24/7/365
Find out how one of ATPI’s clients now has total peace of mind that all their travellers will be contacted should they be located near a critical incident in this ATPI case study.