Duty of care clearly topped the list of priorities for every corporate travel manager in 2017 and is likely to be top of the agenda in 2018 – and for goodreason. It’s more than a legal obligation, it’s the promise businesses make to their employees to keep them safe. The best employers devote a lot of time and resources to ensuring their travel policies, programme and processes are robust enough to keep their employees protected, wherever they are. But it’s not a straightforward task and it’s certainly not sufficient to simply check employee itineraries to see where people are. Some 40-50 per cent of employee travel is booked outside of corporate systems, creating gaps in travel data.

Business travellers are also becoming increasingly aware of the challenges around travelling to certain locations and they want to make sure that they – their family, friends and colleagues – can
feel secure about their safety, especially if something goes wrong.

An increase in incidents around the world is making it more imperative for travellers to be traceable – and to have the connectivity required to check in and mark themselves as safe. In this context, businesses are increasingly being forced to reassess their responsibilities when it comes to employees and their travel: For example, the European Court of Justice ruled in 2015 that travel to work counts as working time4 . As more and more employees travel to an increasingly wide range of locations, the businesses they work for are facing new challenges when it comes to issues such as health and safety and duty of care. And while none of this may come as a surprise, it does come at a time when terrorist attacks and natural disasters are at the front of many travellers’ minds.

The first step is to target the problem at source by understanding why employees are not using the company’s booking tool. These days, travellers expect the same user-friendly tools and experiences in their business lives as they enjoy in their private lives and if the self booking solutions don’t match up then that should be the first port of call to look to address leakage.

Given the tools available today employees should be able to go in, conduct a quick door to door search and find the right flight, hotel, train or alternative transport they need at the preferred rates from the business’s travel management company. At Atlas Travel we have invested heavily in self booking solutions that work and will ensure you provide your customers with the duty of care that they need in 2018, so they don’t need to book elsewhere.