Duty of Care

Up in the Air, Whose Duty is Duty of Care?

Hanneke van Leeuwen |

There are more than one million people in the air right now.

More than 400,000 of them are traveling for business.

And odds are, you have no reliable way of knowing how many of them are yours.

These figures, reported by Security Magazine in 2017, should cause some concern for anyone in management. Think about it: Dozens or potentially hundreds of your employees, taking business on the road in an increasingly unsafe and unpredictable world. And you may not know where they are, where they’re going, or what’s happening in that particular part of the globe today.

Add to that the number of employees already on the ground in…China? Germany? Argentina? And where were those riots you were just reading about?

Again, it should be elevating concerns in the C-suite—but it’s barely registering. According to a 2018 SAP Concur customer survey, 98% of organizations “express confidence” in their approach to duty of care, even though:
  • Nearly 25% don’t store or regularly update employee contact information
  • More than 40% either don’t capture every trip within their booking program or are unsure whether they do
  • Almost 75% rely on information from that same booking tool to track employee location


It’s not all about danger. It’s about the day-to-day.

It should be a concern for management, because the world is a more dangerous place than it used to be, and there are legal and moral obligations to protecting the people who work for you—with serious financial repercussions that, one way or another, eventually land on the CFO’s desk.

And while these are critical issues to have under control, this isn’t just about T&E safety. You must also have a handle on what your travelers are going through when they take your business on the road. How much more work does it take to work while traveling? How difficult is it to be productive when they’re away from their desk? How hard is it to manage spending—while trying to figure out and follow the rules and regulations of a volatile region?

These answers don’t fall to finance alone, but, as a finance leader, it is your job to know how they impact the bottom line.


Who’s there to help?

Protecting and supporting your team takes a team from across your organization.

As the people in charge of people, your HR department will be heavily involved in the process. Your security team will play an integral role, as well. And perhaps more than anyone else, your travel managers and TMC will be critical to providing traveler support and protection.

As a financial leader, however, you’re in the ideal spot to pull this team together and make sure your entire organization—from employees to T&E spend—is protected.

With the right approach and technology, you can combine the strengths of these individuals and departments and build on the capabilities of the T&E systems you currently have in place. You can be fully in charge of your duty of care to know where your employees are and support them in times of need, while you stay on top of how they’re spending your travel budget.

You can keep them safe while keeping an eye on spending.

To find out how you can find and reach every employee everywhere download this free eBook: Who’s in charge of Duty of Care?

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