A study by leading business travel agency Concur has revealed UK corporates are failing to contact employees whose travels have brought them close to terror or other major events.
The firm has released the results of its Duty of Care survey looking at whether firms are meeting their legal obligations to employees while overseas.
It found that while 53% of business travellers say they have been near a major event while travelling for business 41% weren’t contacted by their company.
Concur described this finding as “shockingly high given that firms are legally obligated to look after travellers at all stages of travel”.
The firm added it brings into sharp focus the number of UK businesses failing to deliver on duty of care responsibilities.
Of those that had been contacted during a major event, the study showed that 37% rated the contact received as unnecessary or only mildly helpful.
Respondents also pointed to a lack of confidence in their company to deliver assistance in the face of a major event.
Under half (4%) stated that their company would be able to help in any situation.
Almost all (95%) of those that had been near to a major event would want their company to have a system or programme in place that would alert their company of their location during an emergency.
Chris Baker, managing director of UK Enterprise, Concur stated: “It’s unfortunate but major events, from environmental through to acts of terrorism, have become a fact of life for all travellers.
“If you’re travelling for business though, your company has a legal responsibility to provide suitable care.
“What these results demonstrate is that UK organisations are not taking this seriously and are skirting on the edge of the law.
“Even where companies do have the right processes in place, employees are still nervous about the assistance they receive. Data, insights and due process are clearly lacking.”
The study indicates the apparent disconnect between the amount of support on offer and the amount business travellers require may be due to a lack of communication.
Around 78% of those surveyed knew help existed but only 36% knew who they needed to contact.
However, employees said they had become aware that their organisation was becoming more responsible with 27% of respondents noting recent incidents had driven a change in policy.
Baker added: “It’s good to see companies reacting to the changing environment we find ourselves in, but the numbers show why we must continue developing the technology that gives businesses the awareness and infrastructure they need.
“There is no easy solution with the global marketplace many operate in, so companies need technology that allows them to accurately locate and contact their employees in the case of an emergency.
“Of course, technology is one simply one side of the coin; it’s clear that awareness and understanding of duty of care needs to be improved for both companies and the travellers themselves to provide a true environment of care.”
Run in conjunction with Innofact, the study looked at 1,050 full and part-time employees across the UK in regards to their businesses duty of care plans and attitudes.
The employees in question were based across both the SMB and enterprise sectors and were evenly distributed between men and women.