Business travel is a vital activity for business growth and expansion. It helps businesses enhance their brand value, reach to new prospects, offer customer service and more. Hence, traveling to meet business objectives is a part of the employee’s job. However, the activity exposes employees to myriad risks and uncertainties. Employers are accountable for the safety and well-being of their employees traveling for business. The legal and moral obligation of employers toward the safety of employees is the actual meaning of Duty of Care in legal terms.

Duty of Care meaning

Each organization must take care of its employees regardless of their traveling location. Employers must strive to reduce or eliminate risks by taking steps to provide safety and comfort to employees. The Duty of Care encompasses office staff, remote workers, contractual workers, consultants, and board executives. Duty of care covers the following risks to the physical and mental health of employees:

  • Stress
  • Contamination of food and beverages
  • Fire accidents
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Medical issues like injuries or illnesses
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination

The obligation towards the physical safety and mental well-being of employees confines not to the office or factory premises only. The Duty of Care obligation also extends to employees in the field.

Employees covering remote locations for business travel should receive regular updates about emerging threats besides knowledge and tools to take care of themselves in specific situations.

Why is Duty of Care crucial?


Failure to implement Duty of Care can cause catastrophic consequences because it is the legal responsibility. Each employee has a legal right to receive care from the employer while on duty or business trips. Some countries perceive non-compliance to the Duty of Care as criminal negligence on an employer’s part.

Besides the legal and moral aspects of Duty of Care, employers can ensure more productive business travel by implementing a well-defined Duty of Care policy. It will improve employee satisfaction and trust. Proper implementation of the duty of care policy will ensure successful business travel.

As organizations spread their wings to cover faraway destinations for business expansion, the Duty of Care becomes an integral part of their travel program. The Duty of Care policy implementation is more crucial for employees in the field because they have a greater risk to health and safety than office staff. Comprehensive travel policies and standard procedures are vital to ensure the safety of employees traveling on behalf of the employer.

How to create a Duty of Care policy

There are a lot of gray areas while creating travel risk management guidelines to achieve total compliance with the Duty of Care legislation. However, the following can help travel managers achieve optimum Duty of Care compliance.

1. Evaluation of the present business travel program

Invite suggestions from the stakeholders to improve the existing travel program. Understanding the risks and analyzing the events in the past will help create an outline for a Duty of Care policy. Additionally, involving a travel management company will help you leverage tools and expertise to implement travel safety.

2. Have a pre-travel procedure in place

Travel managers can design reports assessing risk factors by using real-time data. They can send automated alerts by integrating these with the particular travel itinerary. They can also fetch health data of the employee, including past illnesses, present health parameters, and vaccination status. Accordingly, they can take action if necessary.

3. Have an all-inclusive approach

The Duty of Care policy should cover employee safety during travel by leveraging employee tracking. One should consider all business trips, including local, regional, national, and international tours and create unique safety considerations for each type of business travel.

4. Backup strategy

One should design Plan B and C to help employees feel safe in emergencies. The backup plan should also include contact details of emergency services and embassies.

How to implement Duty of Care


1. Involving employees in policy making

Practical recommendations by employees enhance the customizability of the Duty of Care policy. As it will be the employees that will carry out travel, their engagement will help in greater compliance with the policy.

2. Leverage technology

Adopting a SaaS-based travel management platform provides innovative tools like employee tracking. Additionally, these platforms can help employees book flights and hotels seamlessly.

3. Be proactive

Booking accommodation in a safe location provides immunity from local disturbances. Employees in such cases can remain away from the unwanted unrest and focus solely on the business trip.


Political unrest, natural calamities, and health issues are a few risks employees may face during business trips. Employers have a moral and legal responsibility for their safety and well-being. Travel management platforms like Paxes provide excellent support during an emergency on corporate travel.

The platform’s Duty of Care services comprises round-the-clock access to travel safety tools to cover employees traveling across time zones. It monitors global safety threats in real time, besides providing employee tracking, real-time alerts, and emergency services.

Suggested Read: How To Enhance Business Continuity With Travel Risk Assessment

Duty of Care Meaning FAQs

What should be a post-travel activity to enhance the Duty of Care?

Collect feedback on travel risks to make travel policy improvements. The post-travel health assessment may help arrest the spread of viral infections.

How to ensure the successful implementation of the Duty of Care policy?

Sharing the purpose and asking for feedback and suggestions can improve compliance. Providing helpful guidelines about the destination and sharing relevant contact numbers is necessary for a successful Duty of Care program.

What is a travel risk assessment?

Travel risk assessment involves an analysis of each aspect of travel, including the destination, accommodation, weather, epidemic diseases, and political situation.

Is Duty of Care relevant after the pandemic?

Duty of Care covers most risks during business trips. Pandemic-related threats are under the category of health risks. Employees may face several travel hazards such as injuries, accidents, theft, and natural disasters.

How does the Duty of Care program help employees besides safety and risk management guidelines?

Employees become confident in undertaking business trips to unfamiliar locations because of the Duty of Care program and focus on the business objectives. They know the organization is with them despite traveling away from the office.

Who has a duty of care?

Duty of care is a legal and moral obligation of the employers who send their employees on trips for business related activities.

What is the purpose of duty of care?

The purpose of the duty of care is to forecast travel risks and mitigate their effects for a traveling employee.

How does duty of care relate to negligence?

Negligence in duty of care occurs when a person or entity breaches their duty of care by failing to meet the expected standard of care, which results in harm or injury to another party.

What happens if someone breaches their duty of care?

Employees can seek compensations for their injuries and losses in case a duty of care is breached due to negligence of the employer.

Are there any legal consequences for breaching duty of care?

Yes, the employer may have to pay for damages caused due to negligence.

Can duty of care be waived or transferred?

In some situations, duty of care can be limited or transferred through legal agreements or contracts.


Pratyush is a traveling enthusiast who always looks for innovations in business travel management. He has 5 years of experience writing content on corporate travel management and working closely with expert business travel facilitators.

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