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Duty of care and the information gap

March 25, 2020 / Africa

Information is the lifeblood of modern business, driving revenue growth, regulatory compliance and much more. Indeed, many companies devote ever-increasing resources to the intake, processing and analysis of data across all areas. 

Travel managers are also bolstering their duty of care obligations, policies and strategies with data. And it’s with accurate and timely information about travel that they can help to ensure the security of their travellers.

Global duty of care

For businesses operating at a global scale, maintaining awareness of the threats facing travellers abroad isn’t just a moral obligation—it’s the law. Companies have a duty to maintain the physical safety of their employees, especially those asked to travel on behalf of their employer. 

By establishing travel policies and performing safety training before business-related trips, you can ensure that travellers are prepared for potential risks. Some companies maintain an internal rating system, gauging the types of threats that business travellers face around the globe and putting programs in place to meet those threats. For example, you might maintain a Red, Amber, Green (RAG) rating for every country in the world, where Green countries are safe enough to permit relatively lax security measures, while those in the Red category might necessitate full security details for high-profile travellers.

Duty of care platforms like Concur Locate and International SOS integrate directly with airlines, hotels and black car services to help businesses ensure traveller safety, keeping travel managers informed as employees move through their itinerary.

When the unexpected happens

Worldwide virus outbreaks, like COVID-19, or an impending natural disaster, like a hurricane, pose a serious threat to people planning to travel abroad on business. In these situations, companies should have a crisis plan in place and consistently communicate safety updates to employees—and limit travel or encourage people to work remotely if needed.

Even the strongest travel risk management strategies have blind spots. To fulfil your duty of care obligations and successfully mitigate traveller risks, it’s important to identify and address common information gaps.

The rise of ridesharing

As ridesharing becomes an increasingly common mode of transportation, more travellers turn to apps like Uber when travelling on business. In the US alone, 60% of all business traveller receipts are rideshares. However, 41% of businesses don’t account for these apps in their travel policies. 

Ground transportation can expose travellers to adverse road conditions, the potential for traffic accidents and even street crime. Couple the security concerns of ground transportation with the typically low level of information surrounding ridesharing trips, and you have a recipe for major headaches back at the home office.

A modern solution

Today’s business transportation management platforms can fill in the blanks. By implementing platforms like Uber for Business, travel managers decrease information gaps while gaining increased visibility into ground transportation abroad. Employees are on the map more often, empowering travel managers to fulfil their duty of care obligations.

Duty of care is about more than worst-case-scenario planning. It’s also about reducing traveller friction, patching information gaps, and minimizing leakage. By adopting modern systems, travel managers can help keep travellers safe while improving the overall business travel experience.

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