Protection of employees in high-risk countries

Employees abroad coverage
At the end of August this year, the world witnessed how chaotic conditions can be during the evacuation of foreign nationals and domestic employees. As an observer, one feels helpless in such moments - as the person in charge, one must be able to react.

However, the situation in Afghanistan has shown above all that public structures and political decision-makers are overwhelmed by emergency situations. Relevant decisions are delayed for so long that those affected can no longer be helped.

Companies cannot therefore assume that sich "the state" comprehensively in the event of unforeseen events at they or their employees caren Sync and corrections by n17t01 In other words: On certain scenarios must be you as a company, especially in the responsibility for its employees, prepare themselves. 

Risks in supposedly safe countries

For a medium-sized European company, Afghanistan at first seems far away and the situation irrelevant to them.

But there are other high-risk countries where the risk of e.g. political & social unrest, state despotism, natural disasters (e.g. earthquakes), terrorist attacks and kidnappings is above average. These are also countries in which European companies are active and employ staff locally or send them there on a regular basis. 

Are you prepared for such situations and could act ad hoc?

In recent months, we have seen that medium-sized companies in particular are often not sufficiently prepared for critical situations in these countries. For example, there may be contingency plans to maintain production, but risks that go beyond this are rarely considered. How can you tell?

Companies have usually taken out standard insurance policies that do not cover operations under 'realistic conditions' on site. If liability claims arise, the companies are left to bear the costs.

Risks for local employees are often left out.

Companies often do not have clear protocols for risky and dangerous situations abroad that allow for quick intervention.

If emergency protocols are available, they are not accessible to everyone, not digitized. 

Employees often unknowingly put themselves in high-risk situations - either of their own volition or on the instructions of the company.

Without prior preventive measures such as clear emergency plans and awareness-raising, not only employees but also decision-makers are quickly overwhelmed by unforeseen developments. Nobody feels responsible, decisions are not made quickly enough. Precious time is lost and enormous costs arise that are not covered by any insurance. 

When employees unknowingly get into (high-)risk situations

Often these are situations that were not classified as dangerous in advance either by the company or by the employee himself. Here are some examples from practice:

  • An Employee experiences during a company visit in Turkey an earthquake and does not have adequate means of communication, for his Location to be communicated and call for help. There is uncertainty for several days as to whether the employee has been injured or alive at all.
  • An entsandter Employee visits in his spare time in Mexico a major event without being aware of the uncertain situation. In concretem Case: A football game between rival teams. Mass panic ensues and the employee becomes ...badly injured, almost trampled to death. 
  • A senior staff member will on critical Dispute negotiations with a local Business partner in India sent to. The situation escalates and the employee suddenly has to worry about his physical Fear security (Murderdrohungen) and becomes a victim of his partner's "good relations" with the local police: on flimsy grounds he is arrested for 14 Days imprisoned. 
  • Local employees get involved with "wrong" networks and behave in a way that is harmful to the company (e.g. sabotage) due to enormous pressure ("we hurt your family").

Can you relate these examples to your own business history in certain countries or do the examples even sound familiar to you because you have already experienced such or similar situations? 

Not sure if your emergency protocols address all possible risks?

We know the particularities and specific risks of deployment or activities in high-risk areas. Together we check your emergency or crisis plans and insurances or train your personnel who are sent to high-risk countries.

You can find out more about our approach here:

Have you already dealt with the issue?

Test yourself and your company: Can you answer the following questions with 'yes'?

  1. Are there set protocols and rules of conduct that your employees can follow if you find yourself in a crisis or emergency situation - for example, experiencing an earthquake or going on a rampage?

  2. You yourself and/or your employees spend professional time abroad - regardless of whether it's two days or four months a year. Have you ever dealt with the risks in the respective countries?

  3. Could you say ad hoc what risks your insurance covers when your staff travel abroad?