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Business traveller safety: employers could do more to ensure staff is safe

business-traveller-safety

Three fifths of business travellers think that their employers could do more to ensure their travel is safe according to a new survey by Opinium.

Survey finds only 22% given travel briefings to minimise exposure to risk

A quarter (23%) say their employer lets them do their own travel research on business travel destinations

61% think a British passport gives them special privileges and powers, rising to 67% of under 34s

Three fifths of business travellers (62%) think their employer could do more to keep them safe when they are travelling, and just a fifth (22%) say they are offered a full briefing from their organisation on their travelling destination, according to a new Opinium* survey of 500 UK business travellers commissioned by World Travel Protection, a leading global travel assistance organisation.

If something were to go wrong abroad less than a quarter (23%) say they are given an emergency number to call outside of UK business hours. Also, only a fifth (22%) receive regular check-ins from their organisations to ensure their safety and comfort when travelling.

Three fifths 63% would like them to check in on them more whilst travelling, and two thirds (67%) would change employers if they thought their safety when travelling wasn’t a priority.

British passport believed to give special privileges when travelling

Concerningly, 61% of business travellers believe that a British passport gives them special privileges or powers when travelling, rising to two-thirds (67%) of under 34s.

Half of business travellers (50%) say their organisation uses a travel risk management company, rising to 57% of those in medium-sized companies (50 – 249 employees), compared to just a quarter of those in micro-businesses (under 10 employees). However, only a fifth (18%) say they have access to a travel risk app e.g., with live destination security alerts and the ability to call for emergency assistance. These are generally provided by a travel risk management company, e.g., World Travel Protection has a newly launched ‘Travel Assist’ app.

The survey finds that in just a quarter (24%) of organisations, business travel is managed by a centralised team which may explain why travellers are facing communication challenges, when it comes to risk management information, and nearly a quarter (23%) say their employer lets them undertake their own travel research.

Business traveller safety advice

Kate Fitzpatrick, Regional Security Director, UK, World Travel Protection says: “Organisations need to provide in-depth briefings to their travelling teams to ensure that any risk in travel is minimised. This includes health information from Covid and Monkey Pox, to checking the weather, such as when hurricane season is and not forgetting socio-political issues, including upcoming elections or planned protests. All of these can all have a dramatic impact on a stay.

“Ensuring your staff know what to do and what help is available, if anything does go wrong, is a very basic duty of care so it’s worrying to hear that so few business travellers say they have this support.  It’s also concerning that while this support may be available in the form of a travel risk management company, the information is clearly not reaching the right people. There was a lot of job movement during the pandemic, and one reason may be that new staff who joined just before or during the pandemic and have not travelled yet for business are unaware of the travel support available.

“It’s also very worrying that business travellers think a British passport will give them special rights and privileges, because it won’t. If you break the law in a country, perhaps by flouting cultural conventions, you can be thrown into prison and it’s not enough to plead ignorance and hope your nationality will come to your rescue.

“The world has changed since the pandemic and it’s more important than ever to get up to speed with the risks and altered landscape. If you’re travelling on business and your company has a travel risk management partner, they’ll be an excellent source of information to help you prepare for travel, as well as supporting you whilst you’re away.”

*Opinium online survey conducted with 500 UK business travellers, who travel internationally for business at least once a year, between 12 – 19 May 2022.

 

About World Travel Protection

For 30 years, World Travel Protection (WTP) has taken care of corporate and leisure travellers across the globe by providing access to 24-hour emergency assistance.

In addition to support services for medical, travel, and security emergencies, WTP – part of the Zurich Insurance Group – educates and trains businesses to mitigate exposure to inherent risks associated with travelling abroad. Emergency assistance encompasses medical case management, evacuation & repatriation together with providing access to virtual care services (telehealth) and security intelligence.

A key foundational component of a leading assistance provider is its global network. WTP’s GlobalCare Network ensures our customers have access to over 20,000 providers worldwide. Millions of travellers place their trust in WTP each year for assistance across 200 countries. For more information, visit www.worldtravelprotection.com.

World Travel Protection is a trading name of Cover-More Insurance Services Limited.

 

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