When it comes to travel, the involvement of a travel management company (TMC) is now a crucial part of managing the risks of a mobile workforce with TMCs
advising on best practice, helping to facilitate risk management strategies and providing central point of contact for all travel bookings.
FCm has put together a checklist of traveller safety and security recommendations to help your organisation strengthen it duty of care systems.
Bring all of your travel arrangements together under the one TMC and your travellers will have a single point of contact if an emergency strikes. Don’t forget hotel and rail safety. City central bombings (such as those in Mumbai and in the London Tube) were a sober reminder that crisis and risk are not limited to air travel. Companies should continually reiterate to staff the importance of booking all travel through the one TMC so travellers can be easily located. Any changes to traveller bookings and itineraries should be made by your travel manager to assist with monitoring of staff in the event of an emergency.
Safety on the ground
Businesses should have policies and procedures in place with information on arrivals, transfers and escorts when staff are travelling internationally. These should include detailed arrival guidelines for certain countries that are considered a higher security risk to foreign travellers. eg in Indonesia it is common practise for travellers to register with their local Indonesian office to declare their arrival and departure dates; in India generally a car would be arranged for international passenger collection; in Pakistan travellers are advised to register with their local office and have an escort (local work colleague) with you when commuting to and from work locations.
Safety on the ground also includes having the ‘basic stuff’ in order, eg make sure you have enough credit on your credit card to pay for additional travel expenses if your travel plans are delayed and check that your mobile phone has international roaming enabled.
Ensure your internal communication systems support your risk management plans and objectives. While TMCs can assist with regular travel alerts and advice on important industry issues, your organisation can build its own internal travel pages and alerts to help advise staff on travel policy changes and security management alerts and guidelines.
Valid passports and visas
Your TMC can assist with any relevant visas for international travel. Your travellers should also photocopy their passports and visas – one copy is for the employee to take with them, and the other is for your company to keep on file. This will help if your employees lose critical documentation once they are abroad.
The right insurance
Make sure your company, including individual employees, has comprehensive travel insurance. Staff should be familiar with their company’s business travel insurance policy for coverage of personal items, medical expenses, hospital treatment, medical evacuation and activities such as adventure sports. Travellers should also carry the proper insurance identification cards with them if required by an insurance provider.