12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Corporates can not delegate their duty of care for travelling employees to travel management companies (TMCs), John Caldwell told a Belgian Association of Travel Management/ACTE meeting in Brussels.
"Corporates have two basic duties of care: they must provide a safe working environment and protect their employees and they must warn travellers of known hazards.
"Failing that, if there is damage or injury through lack of warning, you the company are liable," the president of the American consultancy Caldwell Associates said.
"But you can't delegate this duty of care to a TMC or anyone else. You can ask them to help, you can rely on them but it is your duty of care and you can't sub-contract it."
More than 80 delegates attended the Forum on 'Are Your Travellers Safe?' which included sessions on airport security and best practices for a security programme.
Mr Caldwell said enormous strides had been made since 9/11 in companies keeping a track on their travelling employees.
But while TMCs had geared up quite a bit since 2001 and could track employees, they could not offer risk assessment.
Many TMCs in the States were now working with specialist risk assessment companies to provide this advice.
Mr Caldwell also said employees should know who in their company was responsible for security. In some companies it was the travel managers, in others it was the security department or the chief financial officer.
Cindy Van Der Elst, European travel manager for Honeywell, said her company had adopted a "best practice" security programme which covered pre- on- and post-trip security and they worked with their TMC and a security company to implement it.
Major points included that all travellers had to provide their name, ID number, e-mail address and mobile phone number while travelling.
All journeys were risk assessed and authorisation was required from the company's security department for travel to countries like Libya. Serious precaution were required for other countries and precautions were required even for Belgium because of the NATO HQ.
Airlines were also assessed and some like EL AL banned because of the risk of terrorism.
Travellers were given advice on not showing off "riches" like expensive cameras.