Executive Summary Emergency in Philippines:
A Singaporean traveling to the Philippines on business falls and suffers a serious brain injury. His family fears he may die unless he is evacuated back home for medical care and rehabilitation.
Stranded due to ash cloud:
Thousands of employees are stranded on three continents as a result of the ash cloud, and corporate travel departments are flooded with requests for help.
Government contractor assigned to Iraq:
A 60-year-old engineer, sent for nine months to Iraq, experiences shortness of breath due to the extreme heat conditions after a few days on the job.
Expatriate family in Egypt during riots:
While accompanying her Australian husband on a one-year sabbatical to teach at an Egyptian university, the mother of two becomes very concerned for their safety as riots erupt in Cairo during the Arab spring revolution.
UN agency worker killed in Somalia:
A United Nations agency worker, assigned to hunger relief in Somalia, is killed in a car accident on his way to the food distribution area.
At-sea measles outbreak:
On an offshore oil rig in Bohai Bay, Northeast China, a measles outbreak infects three people. In this isolated environment, there is threat of the virus spreading to the 130 workers onboard, as well as a potential public health risk when workers leave the vessel.
Aid workers attacked:
Two people from an international aid organization are attacked by an armed gang in a central African country. They require an immediate evacuation flight to Europe.
An employer’s Duty of Care responsibility for employees who travel across borders on business is documented by Professor Lisbeth Claus of Willamette University in a 2009 White Paper entitled, Duty of Care of Employers for Protecting International Assignees, their Dependents and International Business Travelers, published by International SOS. The author’s main recommendation is for companies to develop an integrated risk management strategy to assume their Duty of Care obligations.
After its publication, International SOS conducted a series of global roundtables and webinars to discuss an employer’s responsibility for the health, safety, security and well-being of their globally mobile employees. In these sessions, it was evident that once employers assumed greater awareness of their Duty of Care responsibilities, they needed more research, tools and advice to follow up on the White Paper’s recommendations.
In 2010, International SOS commissioned Dr. Claus to undertake a benchmarking study, exploring three fundamental Duty of Care questions:
1. What types of activities are companies currently undertaking?
2. How do global companies benchmark against each other in regard to these activities?
3. What does this concept really mean to organizations needing to apply its obligations to employees?
This Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management Global Benchmarking Study is the first comprehensive and authoritative research publication on the topic.
As a result, measurement instruments were designed to benchmark (i.e., compare) employer practices, indicators and a baseline as it relates to Duty of Care, providing empirical support for the ideas presented in the 2009 Duty of Care White Paper.
The Global Benchmarking Study was conducted using information from 628 companies and 718 respondents worldwide from November of 2010 through February of 2011 to develop an initial Duty of Care baseline for the following topics:
Perceived high-risk locations in which global companies operate;
Risks and threats faced by employees;
Awareness by company, industry, key stakeholders and departments;
Primary, coordination and decision-making responsibilities within companies;
Employer motivation for assuming responsibility; Legal and moral obligations; and Company and respondent characteristics.
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