Organisations have a moral and legal duty of care to their people (employees, contractors, volunteers and others), which means they must take all reasonable steps to maintain their well-being, safety and security.
Duty of care doesn’t stop at the office door either, but extends to ensuring the well-being of individuals working from home, remotely on ‘home soil’, or posted on international assignments.
It means being able to account for all of your people at any one time, in particular your travellers and expatriate personnel. It means being able to communicate with those people through multiple channels if they are potentially at risk.
It means taking the right measures to keep your people safe, your assets secure and your organisation resilient.
Demonstrating concern for employee well-being shouldn’t be seen solely as a legal obligation – there’s a strong business case for duty of care in the workplace too. Actively reassuring employees of your support can boost both mental and physical health, improving productivity and engagement across the organisation.
This in turn can encourage employee loyalty, attract top talent and improve retention, leading to long-term productivity improvements and results. Likewise, affording employees your full-support when working remotely or travelling for business can help to minimise stress, mitigate risks and ultimately improve the results of a trip.
The impetus lies with your organisation to proactively fulfil your duty of care in the workplace and ensure all reasonable protective systems are in place.
So why is duty of care crucial to your organisation? Well, not only is it a legal obligation, but failing to protect those in your care can lead to severe financial, reputational, legal and operational impacts that may cause irreparable harm to your organisation.
Just remember that while threats can never be eliminated 100%, you can still safeguard your people and fulfil your obligations by taking appropriate measures based on an accurate calculation of risk.