A new Duty of Care survey by Concur shows that of 53 per cent of travellers who have been near a major incident while on a work trip, 41 per cent were not contacted by their company.

Furthermore, of those who had received communication following an event, 37 per cent rated the contact as unnecessary or only mildly helpful.

The news comes despite the fact that employers are legally obligated to look after travellers throughout a business trip. Concur says the figures bring into focus the number of companies failing to deliver on their duty of care responsibilities.

Respondents also expressed a lack of confidence in their employer to deliver assistance during a major event. Only 42 per cent said they felt their company would be able to help in a situation. This is in stark contrast to the fact that 95 per cent would want their company to have a system in place to alert it of their location during an emergency.

The study of 1,050 employees also pointed to a lack of knowledge on the travellers’ part of the support on offer; 78 per cent were aware of the existence of their company’s policy, while only 36 per cent knew they would be contacted in an emergency.

However, respondents acknowledged that businesses are learning lessons about duty of care; 27 per cent noted that recent incidents – both environmental and terror-related – had spurred a change in their employers’ policies. The most noted steps taken were a restriction on trips to certain areas and investment in risk management solutions.

Chris Baker, MD of UK enterprise at Concur, commented: “What these results demonstrate is that UK organisations are not taking [duty of care] seriously and are skirting on the edge of the law. Even where companies do have the right processes in place, employees are still nervous about the assistance they receive. Data, insights and due process are clearly lacking.”


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