Five best practices for handling duty of care for travelling employees
Business travel, while often essential, comes with increased risk for travelling employees and heightens the corporate liability of employers in providing duty of care to staff.
As employees become more autonomous and book less of their travel through a corporate travel agency, organisations have less visibility into the whereabouts of travelling employees. This can negatively affect employers’ ability to fulfil their duty of care.
Murray Warner, business development director, Concur, said: “Companies must know where their employees are at all times when they are travelling for business. If your organisation can’t contact an employee, especially if they need to be removed from a dangerous situation, you are failing in your duty of care to staff and placing the business at moral, legal, and financial risk.”
When identifying threats and communicating them to your employees, it is important to be proactive. Concur recommends that organisations follow a five-step process to handle duty of care requirements and keep staff safe when travelling:
1. Assess the threat
Is it a risk to an employee’s health and safety, or an impact to your business? Building a rubric for your business will let you scale life safety and business impact ratings for any given security disruption.
2. Define threat levels and next steps
Once the organisation has developed a specific threat level structure, it’s important to plan contingencies for each level. It’s not enough to know a level-five incident is occurring; management must also know what to do about it.
3. Send concise, clear communications
Tell all employees what the threat is and what its impact is likely to be. Ensure you use language that all employees will understand. Keep it short and simple, without jargon.
Warner said, “Implementing a tool that captures all corporate travel bookings, keeps track of all flights and hotels, and has push notifications to reach employees via a mobile app can help the business contact employees and keep them safe in the event of a threat.”
4. Find out if any of your employees are affected
Are you aware of employees being in the affected area? Using a risk messaging tool can help the business rapidly pull a report of any employees who may be travelling to, from, or through a high-risk location.
5. Reach out to travellers
When employees are travelling they may have limited communication channels due to power outages, downed servers, overloaded mobile phone towers, or loss of communications infrastructure. As with all company-wide communications, it’s essential to keep messages simple, short, and adaptable to a variety of mediums.
Warner said, “When businesses are identifying risks and communicating them to employees, it’s important to be proactive. The organisation may be able to mitigate the risk to employees, or at least minimise their discomfort and inconvenience, until they return safely. This is essential for staff morale and security when employees travel on behalf of the business.”
Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?
Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.
Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.
JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.
Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.
Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?
A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.
The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.
According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.
Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.
“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”
How did JungJin get there?
JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.
Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.
And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.
With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.
“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”