The Ultimate Guide to Duty of Care For Corporate Travel

Duty of care isn’t just a legal obligation; it’s a commitment to the well-being of every employee. Even beyond the office walls, this responsibility becomes paramount, especially during corporate travels, where unique risks might emerge. Business travellers encounter a different set of challenges compared to their office-bound counterparts.

In this article, we’re diving into corporate travel duty of care. We’ll unravel the common complexities, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of how to navigate the nuanced landscape of safeguarding your team on the go.

What is duty of care?

Duty of Care, in the context of corporate travel, refers to the legal and ethical obligation that organizations have to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of their employees when they are travelling for work-related purposes.

This involves taking proactive measures to identify and address potential risks, providing adequate training and resources, and establishing clear communication channels for emergencies.

Organizations that neglect their Duty of Care responsibilities may face legal consequences, including lawsuits and reputational damage.

A comprehensive Duty of Care policy encompasses various components, including risk assessments and management, employee training, technology integration, and communication protocols.

Understanding Employer’s duty of care

To comprehend the depth of an employer’s Duty of Care, one must first navigate the legal landscape governing these responsibilities. Labour laws, occupational health and safety regulations, and industry-specific standards create the foundation upon which employers build their commitment to safeguarding employees during business-related travels.

By exploring these legal nuances, organizations can ensure compliance and lay the groundwork for a comprehensive Duty of Care policy. However. the challenge lies in coordinating the business objectives with the importance of employee safety.

Beyond legal obligations, instilling a culture of safety and responsibility is pivotal for successful Duty of Care implementation. This involves creating an environment where employees are not only aware of safety protocols but actively contribute to them.

How to align duty of care with corporate values

Here is how employers can align duty of care principles with their corporate values, ensuring a genuine approach to employee well-being.

Identify shared values: Begin by identifying and defining their core values. This involves a thorough examination of the principles that drive decision-making and culture within the company.

Incorporate safety into corporate DNA: Duty of Care should not be a standalone initiative but rather an integral part of the corporate DNA. This means weaving safety considerations into the day-to-day operations and decision-making processes. From project planning to strategic initiatives, safety considerations should be second nature, reinforcing the organization’s commitment to employee well-being.

Communicate values to employees: Transparent communication is key to fostering a culture of trust and safety. Employers should effectively communicate how duty of care aligns with corporate values, emphasizing that it is not just a set of rules but a genuine commitment to the welfare of each employee.

Empower employees as safety advocates: When employees understand and identify with the organization’s values, they become natural advocates for safety. Empowering them to actively participate in the implementation of the duty of care measures fosters a sense of ownership. This can involve training programs, open forums for feedback, and recognition for contributions to safety, creating a collaborative approach to ensuring employee well-being.


Importance and Benefits of Duty of Care

Implementing duty of care in corporate travel goes beyond regulatory compliance; it stands as a strategic importance offering a lot of advantages to both employees and organizations.

At its core, Duty of Care prioritizes the well-being of employees during business travels, fostering a culture of security and trust. This commitment is a backbone for enhancing overall job satisfaction, improving morale, and ultimately contributing to a healthier and more resilient workforce.

Beyond the interpersonal impact, these measures function as a shield against legal and reputational risks. Compliance with relevant laws and regulations not only ensures a lawful operation but also safeguards organizations from potential legal consequences.

Practically, it translates into increased employee productivity and loyalty. Supported employees can direct their focus to work responsibilities with confidence, resulting in heightened performance.

This investment in employee well-being also cultivates loyalty, reducing turnover rates and associated costs. Moreover, organizations are better equipped to navigate unforeseen challenges, showcasing a level of organizational resilience that goes beyond crisis management.

How to write a duty of care policy for business travel

Here’s a guide on how to write a duty of care policy that prioritizes the safety and well-being of employees during corporate travels.

1. Conduct a risk assessment

Identify Potential Risks: Begin by identifying the specific risks associated with business travel. Consider factors such as destination safety, health risks, geopolitical situations, and transportation challenges.

Assess Severity and Likelihood: Evaluate the severity and likelihood of each identified risk. This step helps prioritize and focus on the most critical aspects that require attention in the Duty of Care policy.

These risks/dangers may include: 

  • Natural disasters, 
  • Conflicts, 
  • Civil or political unrest, 
  • High crime rates, 
  • Current health problems, 
  • A lack of access to medical care, 
  • Safety issues related to identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or other factors. 

2. Define policy objectives and scope

Clearly Outline Objectives: Clearly articulate the objectives of the organisation’s travel policy and best practices. Whether it’s ensuring employee safety, complying with legal obligations, or enhancing organizational resilience, establishing clear objectives provides a foundation for policy development.

Specify Scope: Define the scope of the policy, outlining which aspects of business travel it covers. Consider whether it applies to all employees, specific roles, or certain types of travel.

3. Incorporate legal and ethical considerations

Understand Legal Requirements: Familiarize yourself with relevant legal obligations related to employee safety during business travel. Ensure that the Duty of Care policy aligns with and exceeds these requirements.

Consider Ethical Standards: Beyond legality, consider ethical standards and industry best practices. Strive to create a policy that not only meets regulatory standards but also reflects the organization’s commitment to ethical business practices.

4. Establish employee training programs

Identify Training Needs: Based on the identified risks, determine the training needs for employees. This could include emergency response training, cultural awareness programs, or specific skills relevant to the nature of their travel.

Implement Ongoing Training: Develop a plan for ongoing training programs. Regularly update employees on new risks, technologies, and best practices to ensure their preparedness during travel.

5. Establish communication protocols

Define Communication Channels: Clearly define communication channels for emergencies and routine check-ins. This includes establishing primary and secondary contact methods and outlining the frequency of communication.

Develop Crisis Communication Plans: Create detailed crisis communication plans, specifying roles and responsibilities during emergencies. Ensure that employees are aware of these plans and know how to initiate them.

6. Regularly review and update the policy

Set Review Periods: Establish regular intervals for reviewing and updating the Duty of Care policy. Changes in travel patterns, emerging risks, or updates in legal requirements may necessitate adjustments to the policy.

What are the 4 responsibilities of duty of care?

1. Risk assessment and mitigation

The initial responsibility involves the identification of potential risks associated with corporate travel, encompassing health, security, transportation, and geopolitical factors. Aligned with legal requirements such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), organizations must conduct a thorough risk assessment. This entails evaluating the severity and likelihood of each risk, prioritizing them, and formulating mitigation strategies.

2. Training and preparedness

The second responsibility centres on identifying employees’ training needs, including emergency response training, cultural awareness, and specific travel-related skills. These ensure employees remain well-prepared for evolving risks and challenges during their travels.

3. Utilization of technology solutions

The third responsibility entails selecting and integrating technology tools such as GPS tracking systems and communication apps, reinforcing employee safety. In line with data protection regulations and industry standards, organizations need to ensure employees are trained in the responsible use of technology tools to maximize their effectiveness.

4. Establishment of communication protocols

Establishing clear communication protocols, including primary and secondary contact methods and defining communication frequencies. Aligned with international standards and laws like ISO 22320, organizations must develop detailed crisis communication plans. These plans outline roles and responsibilities during emergencies, ensuring a coordinated response to safeguard employees.

Practical Examples of business travel duty of care

Understanding duty of care in business travel involves recognizing its applications in various scenarios. In business travel, companies often turn to travel solutions that extend duty of care services, including:

1. Real-Time Alerts and Safety Updates

Providing real-time alerts, notifications and safety updates to your team is crucial during unexpected events. Whether it’s health concerns, flight changes due to bad weather, or potential risks from political unrest, real-time alerts keep travellers informed.

2. Emergency Support

Employees need round-the-clock assistance in case of missed flights or emergencies. Many corporate travel solutions offer 24/7 support, covering medical aid, evacuation plans, and even legal help.

3. Health Guidelines and Vaccination

Especially relevant in the post-pandemic era, business travellers should have access to health guidelines and information on required vaccinations before entering a new country.

4. Safe & Secure Accommodation

Ensuring accommodation meets safety standards and is located in secure areas is crucial for minimizing risks during business trips. Business travel tools with extensive databases help identify reputable hotels that meet specified criteria.

5. Comprehensive Travel Insurance Coverage

Acknowledging life’s uncertainties, comprehensive travel insurance is offered to protect employees from unforeseen events, medical emergencies, or trip cancellations. This added layer of security enhances the overall duty of care for business travellers.”


Why is duty of care crucial for corporate travel?

Duty of care is crucial as it not only safeguards employees but also shields organizations from legal liabilities.

What key aspects should a Duty of Care policy cover for corporate travel?

A comprehensive Duty of Care policy for corporate travel should cover risk assessment, employee training, technology integration, communication protocols, and regular policy reviews.

How can organizations enhance their risk assessment processes?

To enhance risk assessment processes, organizations should regularly update their risk profiles, consider emerging threats, and leverage technology for real-time monitoring and analysis.

What are the key components of an effective risk assessment?

Regularly update risk profiles, consider emerging threats, leverage technology for real-time monitoring, and maintain a dynamic approach to adapt to evolving circumstances for robust risk assessment.


Understanding your duty of care responsibilities can be complex sometimes, especially in business travel. Yet, when executed effectively, the duty of care transcends formalities, but as a commitment to the safety, health, and support of your team. Through adequate risk assessment, strategic planning, and continuous communication, you can equip yourself and your team to navigate the complexities of corporate travel confidently. Embracing duty of care is a practical move to ensure the well-being of your team in the face of any challenge.