The duty to protect employees,the French version of duty of care, must be carried out by the employer. Indeed, the increase in business travel and the potential risks associated with them, lead companies to evolve their travel policies to protect their employees as best they can during their missions abroad. In the event of an obstacle to the security of an employee, whether he is an expatriate or simply on a mission of a few days, the criminal responsibility of the company can be incurred. So what are the obligations of companies and the means to ensure the safety and protection of business travellers?
Duty of care of employees abroad and regulation.
It is a reality, more and more French people are moving outside our borders for many reasons. One of the main ones, is obviously professional. Moreover, without necessarily settling abroad, French employees are also very much to travel regularly for their work. To ensure their safety while travelling, companies must then better understand the potential risks, mainly related to the countries where the missions take place, by putting in place preventive security measures and protocols respect in the event of a crisis.
Protection of employees abroad: what does the law say?
According to Article L4121-1 of the Labour Code, “The employer takes the necessary steps to ensure the safety and protection of the physical and mental health of workers. These measures include: actions to prevent occupational risks; Information and training actions setting up an organisation and appropriate means. »
In addition, in a judgment of the Court of Cassation of 5 March 2018 « (…) The employer is bound by an obligation to ensure the safety of the results, which requires the employer to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of the workers; that it is prohibited, in the exercise of its power of management, from taking measures that would have the purpose or effect of compromising the health and safety of employees.”.
What are the penalties for breach of the duty of protection?
In the event of negligence, the company may risk criminal consequences. In addition, according to Article 223-1 of the Penal Code “Directly exposing others to an immediate risk of death or injury likely to result in permanent mutilation or infirmity by the manifestly deliberate violation of a particular duty of safety or prudence imposed by law or the settlement is punishable by one year’s imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 euros.”
“Duty of care”: an important part of corporate travel policy (PVE).
Safety is one of the main concerns of business travellers. In addition to budget management, a company travel policy (VEP) must also take into account the comfort and safety of its employees when travelling on behalf of the company. However, changing risks force the travel manager to have to rethink the PVE in order to anticipate all types of dangers and situations.
To make sure you don’t forget anything, these 10 tips for business travellers will help you establish your checklist before you leave.
The main risks during a business trip.
The company must ensure the safety and protection of its employees on business trips abroad from various possible risks. On the one hand, we find health risks and accidents: infectious diseases, local environment (hygiene, access to drinking water, infrastructure). It must also ensure access to care and medicines when needed. On the other hand, it must ensure their protection in the event of a geopolitical or climatic risk: kidnapping, conflict, vandalism, terrorism, natural disasters…
Duty of care in the face of the global evolution of insecurity.
Over the years, the list of potential risks has expanded. While some areas or countries can be classified according to their level of danger, in the current context, it is almost impossible to pit them against “safe” zones or destinations. In addition, climate change, as well as the events of recent years, are proof that danger can occur everywhere. This unpredictability confirms the importance and necessity of duty of care for business travellers. Coronavirus is a stark reminder of this obligation to prevent it.
Before any business trip abroad, it is strongly recommended to consult the “Travel Advice” section of the reference site France Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which gathers all the necessary information about each country as well as the regional maps of the zones of vigilance. It is updated very regularly.
On the other hand, in the face of insecurity, business travel is changing, thanks in particular to new technologies dedicated to the protection of professionals when they travel. Some companies specializing in safety and medical interventions around the world can be of great help.
What should a duty of care policy be based on?
The main concern of the company and the travel manager is to enable employees to travel efficiently in optimal safety conditions. That is the whole point of duty of care. If each trip is to be studied closely, a risk management policy must be based on the prevention of these latter, through the preparation of the upstream trip and the definition of specific rules, but also on the implementation of a procedure to follow in case of crisis or crisis situation. Finally, to ensure the smooth running of this policy of risk prevention and logistics put in place, it is imperative to communicate well with employees in order to train and inform them.
The company must take out international health insurance.
As an employee of a company travelling abroad, whether to attend a trade show, a congress, a business meeting, or as part of a long mission or an expatriation,the latter must take out international health insurance and risk prevention for its employees. It allows the employee to cover during his working time, during his travels to go to his place of work but also, during his free time. During a mission abroad, the responsibility of the company is very broad and the employee is covered beyond his working time. If an employee is injured while jogging, shopping or at a party with friends, the company may be responsible. The responsibility of the company is often incurred throughout the stay, the air ticket is often authentic, day or night, weekend included.
Employees should be informed of the risks and the protocol to follow in the event of a problem.
Every foreign assignment of an employee, regardless of whether it lasts a few days or whether it is an expatriation, must be prepared upstream. The aim is to prevent risks to the maximum. This preparation must include employee information. They must be informed of the company’s obligations to protect employees, potential local risks and procedures to follow in the event of danger. This duty of information also helps to reassure employees on the move.
The MagicStay furnished apartments, perfectly integrated into the duty of care policies of companies.
More than 30% of business travellers have already felt insecure while travelling. According to them, to feel safe, the choice of accommodation and its location is the most important criterion. Hotels, places with strong passages, can participate in this feeling of insecurity. MagicStay furnished apartments around the world for long or short-term rental missions in Paris, for example, fit perfectly into the duty of care policy of companies and help to reassure the traveller.
MagicStay won the Safety Of the Laurels Of Business Travel In December 2019.
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Are you going on a business trip soon? MagicStay offers a selection of comfortable and secure accommodations all over the world.