By Chief Information Officer Sam Hart and Senior Account Manager Simon Hawley.
With the Covid-19 pandemic shining a light onto travel safety and security, this no longer falls within the remit of procurement teams and cost control is no longer the priority. We wanted to give you a whistle-stop best-practice guide on where to start with managing employer duty of care and traveller confidence. Starting with the risks to travel safety and security, it could be anything from travel disruption and natural disasters to crime and conflict, or more recently, disease outbreak.
Likewise, when you look at compliance, you have to consider the impact of immigration assessments, posted worker directive, corporate and employment tax implications.
The best way to break this down is as follows:
Pre-booking– assess in the options from risk management solution providers, using travel risk intelligence to assist in decision making and working out who is best to give the business approval.
Pre-trip - Get advice on location-specific information, set-up travel alerts for the destination and wellbeing support.
During – Provide support by ensuring travel disruption alerts are set, there is in-country support (even if it is at a local level) and there are facilities for repatriation and tracking (should an incident occur).
In the worse-case scenario and an event is triggered, you have to be ready. Having a Business Continuity Plan within your organisation is key. Make sure it has an owner and they have included all the potential travel scenarios, engaged with your TMC to understand responsibility, tested and communicated these plans so all employees are aware.
Having both worked on the customer and TMC side, we have seen first-hand there is often confusion of who is responsible for providing safety and security provisions. Which is understandable – these services have a symbiotic relationship - and it is critical to know who does what:
Visa, immigration, social security and tax risk management specialists:
Pre-trip assessment, approval and processing to ensure regulatory compliance and reporting.
Medical, safety and security specialists:
Pre-trip risk assessments and approval. Pre and in trip medical and security support. Lost visa/passport/funds support. Destination information. Evacuation from hostile and remote environments. GPS tracking capabilities. Pre-trip assessment, approval and processing to ensure regulatory compliance and reporting.