According to ACAS “Legally, employers must abide by relevant health and safety and employment law, as well as the common law duty of care.” As an employer you could be found to have breached your obligation of duty of care to your employees by not doing all you could and was reasonable to ensure they are safe from harm.
So, imagine this familiar scenario. If one of your employees has been to a meeting in Frankfurt all day, caught an early morning flight and flew back late the same day, got into their car and fell asleep at the wheel, would you be confident that you did all that was reasonable in the circumstances to ensure they were safe from harm?
Examples of what is a duty of care given by ACAS include ensuring that staff do not work excessive hours and providing areas for rest and relaxation. You could have arranged for your employee to be picked up by a colleague, or you could have told them not to drive but to go home in a taxi instead of driving.
Our forward thinking corporate clients take their duty of care responsibilities very seriously. In the same scenario many of our clients would have arranged a chauffeur driven executive car from Home James. 15 minutes prior to the pickup our chauffeur would have telephoned ahead, to confirm he would be on time. The chauffeur would have met your employee at their door, assisted them with their luggage, provided spring water and a newspaper and delivered the employee to the departures door at the airport. Our chauffeur would also help them inside with their luggage, as sometimes people are taking computer equipment and or samples to their business meeting.
Many hours later, when the tired employee landed, our chauffeur would have monitored the flight in real-time, and phoned them 15 minutes after landing to let them know where they were standing to greet them in the arrivals hall. Parking the car as close as possible to the arrivals hall door the chauffeur would go and fetch the car or escort the employee to the waiting car and in complete quiet, comfort and style delivered them safely to their front door.
Again according to ACAS taking care of your employees’ physical and mental health shouldn’t be seen as a legal burden. There is clear evidence that taking care of your employees can improve trust, staff retention, productivity and better employee engagement.
So, the next time you know one of your employees is going to have a long, tiring and potentially stressful day, think about your duty of care and how appreciative you would be to have a door to door chauffeur service from Home James if you were in their shoes.