Corporate travel: managing legal risk in the wake of ISO 31030

Corporate travel: managing legal risk in the wake of ISO 31030

Our executive director Bob Quick recently took part in a panel discussion to help corporates, travel managers, and employees better understand the new ISO 31030 standard and how the new guidance impacts work travel crises.

Setting the standard for global travel risk

ISO 31030 arrived in September 2021 as the first truly global benchmark for travel risk management. It is a great practice framework for corporate organisations wishing to understand the extent to which they are meeting their duty of care to business-travelling employees.

Safety, security, and wellbeing have often been cited as a priority for travellers and corporate travel managers, but there have been several instances in recent years that has increased the levels of anxiety around safety and security during travel. Attacks in Mumbai, Jakarta, London, Tunisia, Sri Lanka, and Las Vegas; civil unrest in Paris and Hong Kong; the heavy and unexpected flooding on Germany’s western borders are all examples of complex and unpredictable travel risk. It is therefore crucial that an organisation takes steps to avoid unnecessary risk.

But what are some of the reasonably foreseeable risks of travelling to a particular destination and how can these by avoided? If the destination has a high propensity for crime, or is under threat from natural disasters or civil unrest, then an organisation must have processes and procedures in place that mitigate these risks. Failing to do so would be a possible breach of their duty of care, which could open them up to civil or criminal liability claims.

It is essential that a company conducts thorough due diligence prior and during a business trip. Whether it is ensuring an accommodation’s security is up to scratch, the means of transport is safe, or having the ability to track an employee’s activity and contact them in an emergency situation – all shows a court of law that steps have been taken to protect an employee throughout their trip.

The GSA seal of approval

At GSA, we offer two services to organisations looking to mitigate legal risk and ensure their current travel risk management policies are ISO 31030-ready:

  • Assessment: An initial assessment of current policies, practices, and procedures to see whether these are in line with the ISO 31030 standard. A trained auditor first analyses the company’s approach to travel risk management before providing a report outlining the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses, with a checklist of actions required to meet the ISO 31030 standard.
  • Certified Audit: Following the assessment, a trained auditor reviews documentation, interviews key personnel, and provides an audit of ISO 31030 compliance. If the organisation successfully meets the standard, SFJ Awards issues an ISO 31030 Certificate of Organisation Readiness Assessment & Audit

All too often, corporates spend more money on the fallout from a tragedy, through internal and external investigations or cooperating with local embassies, than if they were to do due diligence in advance. ISO 31030 helps solve this by giving clear guidance to corporates, travel managers, and employees on the risks associated with business travel and how these can be addressed.

To find out how we can help ensure your organisation delivers on its duty of care requirements to employees, click here.