We often talk of an employer's 'duty of care', but what does this really mean? Simply put, employers should take all steps reasonably possible to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of their employees.
Globally employed feel unprotected
The 2017 Cigna Global Mobility Trends Survey reports:
- >50% of globally mobile individuals feel their employers don’t offer adequate duty of care.
- 74% believe they don’t have sufficient funds to support their family’s healthcare needs and expenses.
Organisations with employees working and traveling overseas have an increased obligation. Globally mobile employees can find themselves in unfamiliar environments and situations, which they may be less able to handle than they would at home. For many globally mobile employees, their contract includes support for the accompanying family so the duty of care extends to the entire family throughout the assignment.
Responsibility and resources
Phil Austin, CEO of Cigna Europe, believes that most companies sending employees overseas on business, are aware that they are responsible for their health and wellbeing, but perhaps underestimate the complexities attached.
‘Fulfilling their duty of care requires employers to research their employees’ needs, plan properly according to the destination and to prepare for every eventuality.’
Cigna provides a wide range of tools available before, during and post assignment to protect the health and wellbeing of employees, such as:
- Dedicated online portal and apps for access to Cigna benefits anytime and anywhere in the world
- Health and targeted risk assessments
- Clinical Coaching and Lifestyle management programmes
- International Employee Assistance Programme (IEAP)
- Online & telephonic coaching
At Cigna we encourage employers to embrace a duty of care mind-set – to go beyond the legal minimum and promote ‘duty of care’ as a core value, aiming to protect employees wherever they work. In turn, employee retention, loyalty and productivity are increased.