Duty of Care to Staff Travelling Overseas on University Business

Duty of care is not simply an ethical concern but a legal obligation which is embedded in workers compensation laws in the UK. Protecting the University's employees also helps to protect against the University's business, financial and reputational risks.

Employees who travel overseas often find themselves in unfamiliar environments and situations, subject to increased risks, and less prepared to handle these situations than if they were in their home country.

It is the responsibility of the line manager (or other identified member of staff) to ensure that the employee is as well prepared for the trip as possible. This can include many factors such as  –

  • Ensuring that the employee is fully briefed on the area he/she will be visiting
  • Ensuring that an adequate risk assessment has been carried out by the employee and that action has been clearly identified which will help to reduce, as far as possible, any perceived risks
  • Ensuring that travel insurance has been orgnaised well in advance of the trip
  • Ensuring that the employee is keeping up-to-date with the latest information on their destination by accessing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website - www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Travel insurance is one means of helping to alleviate problems that can arise on trips overseas but this does not prevent the incident happening in the first place – it merely helps to address the consequences.

However, the University’s travel insurance policy does provide additional facilities, including a mobile app, that can help an individual both prepare for a journey and assist them during the trip. Staff are encouraged to make use of these support facilities which include detailed updates on the location(s) being visited and a health portal which gives the employee 24/7 access to a remote nursing service.

Staff need to register at the travel insurer’s web site before they can access the various services that are available –


The policy number will be required to register - this will be shown on the cover note issued after the application for travel insurance has been submitted. It can also be obtained by contacting the Insurance Section.

The following is a list of some of the services that are available via the travel insurance policy to someone travelling on University of Glasgow business -

Mobile APP:

The AIG Travel Assistance app includes a number of features:

  • Alert Subscriptions
  • Medical Tranlsations
  • Medical Provider Directory
  • Automatic dial to AIG Travel Assistance

Before travelling:

  • Security Articles (including online Travel Security Advice)
  • Travel Security Awareness Training
  • Country reports
  • Daily news reports

Services when you are travelling:

  • Emergency medical and travel assistance
  • Other assistance services
  • SMS and email security alerts

Any time services:

  • Medical Provider Finder
  • MyHealthPortal - 24/7 remote medical support
  • Medical second opinion
  • Drug Equivalency Guide

Custom Security Services can also be procured through Travelguard including -

  • Secured transportation services
  • Risk / threat assessments
  • Security training
  • Cultural training