Supply chain · 14 April 2016

Just one-in-four small firms assess risks before sending staff to dangerous regions

Latin America is now one of the world’s most dangerous regions to do business due to drug trafficking, gang war and political instability
Half as many British small business owners are likely to conduct risk assessments before sending staff to high-risk territories than larger companies, new research has confirmed.

More than half the UK’s larger corporate firms reportedly assess risks prior to an employee travelling to a region perceived to be dangerous, whereas just 25 per cent of small firms do.

Data compiled by Collinson Group also revealed that smaller business owners were less likely to have a risk management strategy within their firm’s business travel policy. A quarter of larger corporates said they didnt have such a strategy in place as opposed to 31 per cent of small firms.

When questioned, just under half the HR professionals at Britain’s larger firms said theyd ensure an employee was issued with safety and security guidelines before travelling to high-risk regions on business, as opposed to just 40 per cent of those in smaller companies.

In a sign that firms of all sizes struggle to adapt to the changing nature of global risks, 22 per cent of larger corporates and 25 per cent of small businesses reported that clarifying the risks presented by different geographical locations was the most challenging aspect of developing risk assessment strategies. Many employees described the information and guidance they received from their employer before travelling to high-risk zones as ‘standardised and not relating to my specific business travel needs or risks.

The process of sending employees on business trips has also become more complicated and difficult from a duty of care perspective according to HR professionals, with 73 per cent of and 44 per cent of those at larger firms and smaller companies respectively having strongly agreed with that statement.

Commenting on the research, Collinson Group head of corporate travel products Randall Gordon-Duff said that the majority of UK businesses lacked sufficient resources dedicated to risk management. Now is a very good time for businesses large and small to review and reassess their current and projected traveler profiles, associated policies and their subsequent approach to duty of care requirements, he said.



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

Business Advice