What employers can do
Broadly speaking, duty of care responsibilities can be grouped into three categories, before, during and after travel.
Before international assignment
- Ensure that the employee is suitable to conduct the work in question i.e. regarding education, training, experience, personal health in relations to occupational and destination risk etc.
- Inform him or her about the risks and dangers involved in the assignment – both related risk as well as the general situation in the destination country.
- Train the employee to avoid such risks and danger.
- Inform about how best to use their international health, travel and expat insurance in case of an emergency.
During international assignment
- Have regular contact. For employees on long term international assignment, employers should periodically follow up to ensure that their personal health in relations to occupational and destination risk is adequately protected.
- Ensure that there is a robust report structure for employees to follow. This will ensure consistency.
- Plan for emergencies. In high risk geographical areas, have an insurance coverage that is capable to protect, keep safe and inform all parties about necessary developments.
After international assignment
- Provide homecoming information ahead of employees return.
- Conduct post-assignment debriefs to ensure that employees personal health in relations to occupational and destination risk has been and is adequately protected.
- Ensure continuous learning. Contact your insurance partner to debrief and reflect on the experience.
The above shows that, as employers, duty of care responsibilities are both a moral and legal obligation what we owe to our employees.
Gilbert Kofi Adarkwah
(1) Precedent setting case: Aid worker successfully sues NGO. (2016). Radio Canada International. Retrieved 12 December 2016, from NGO http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2015/12/01/precedent-setting-case-aid-worker-successfully-sues-ngo/
(2) Game-Changer. (2016). AidSpeak. Retrieved 12 December 2016, from https://aidspeak.wordpress.com/2015/11/27/game-changer/
(3) NRC kidnap ruling is 'wake-up' call for aid industry. (2016). IRIN. Retrieved 12 December 2016, from IRIN http://www.irinnews.org/report/102243/nrc-kidnap-ruling-'wake-'-call-aid-industry
(4) Heum, P. (2013). Vekst og internasjonalisering i norske storforetak. Brage.bibsys.no. Retrieved 12 December 2016, from Brage https://brage.bibsys.no/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/166734/A39_13.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
(6)The Working Environment Act from 2005. (2005). Arbeidstilsynet.no. Retrieved 12 December 2016, from Arbeidstilsynet http://www.arbeidstilsynet.no/binfil/download2.php?tid=92156