Duty of Care: Securing the Safety of the Traveling employees and developing a Plan B.
As fearless as I can be, I am fearful too. I fear for the safety and security of everyone who is living a lifestyle or a dream of traveling around the globe whether for leisure or for business. We hear all the horrific news every day. With this being said, it does not mean that the fear will stop me or any other fearless person from pursuing their dreams and goals.
In today's business ecosystem, doing business globally is the smartest way to build a stable business, as it diversifies the stream of revenue from different markets. Many companies concentrate only on the growth of their global business, thus leaving their employees traveling abroad to fend for themselves when it relates to safety and security issues.
Today more than ever, global companies must realize there is a direct moral, social and, of course, legal responsibility that links U.S. employees on international assignment to their company. Unfortunately, too many C-level executives are not aware that they are ultimately responsible for what happens to their employees abroad. Therefore, Duty of Care is needed now more than ever to understand the Safety and Security obligations towards the employee of any organization. It is imperative for C-suite executives and small business enterprises to take international travel seriously and demonstrate proper care toward their workforce.
I dealt with Duty of Care issues first hand when my father was on an overseas assignment in Yemen when he had a heart attack. Unfortunately, I had to step in and personally made the arrangements for a medical airlift out of Yemen, making arrangements to pay up all the medical and other bills etc. It surely left an impact on me, as I am also a female business owner traveling solo around the globe. I am declaring Duty of Care Day on October 26, 2016, to help the Corporate world, small business owners, HR and security professionals understand and learn from the global safety and security issues, which include cyber security, identity theft, medical issues, accidents, jurisdiction law issues, even selection of safe and secure accommodations along with choosing the safe travel means or any financial issues
Ensuring the safety of your expatriate workforce and traveling employees involve both workplace and domestic management. The traditional HR and corporate security functions extend far beyond the workplace in order to identify and analyze the foreseeable risks which an expat assignee or business traveler may be exposed to while on assignment. As workforces become more mobile, fulfilling duty of care can seem like a daunting task for employers which are made more challenging by the inconsistent standards across the globe. The balance between having reasonable processes in place to protect staff overseas and conducting business in an efficient and profitable manner can sometimes be difficult.
Duty of care is not an ethical concern but a legal obligation which is embedded in workers compensation laws and can extend as far as the dependents of international assignees. By protecting your employees, your most valuable asset, you are protecting your Business, financial and reputational risks.