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FirstRand bags award for looking after the safety of its travelling employees

FirstRand bags award for looking after the safety of its travelling employees

As more people travel and work away from their home countries, better measures are required to ensure their safety and wellbeing. Global mobility levels are predicted to double by 2020 – 90% of mobile employees are now non-executive, up from 50% and only 30% of organisations have a system in place for tracking business travellers. The employer is increasingly held accountable for unforeseen risks that can threaten a mobile workforce.

In view of the responsiblities towards its employees, FNB parent, FirstRand Limited last week won the Duty of Care award in the category, – Return on Investment in Travel Risk Mitigation – at a gala banquet in Berlin, Germany. The awards are conferred by the International SOS Foundation.

The Duty of Care award recognises the extraordinary commitment from FirstRand to ensure the safety of its employees when working in foreign territories.

Receiving the award, FirstRand’s Chief Risk Officer, Jaco Grobler, said, “FirstRand is committed to safeguarding all staff working and travelling abroad against medical, security and other travel-related risks. In line with this commitment and given the group’s expansion into Africa and other territories, an independent assessment was undertaken in 2014 to identify how best to approach international security.”

Following the assesment, FirstRand instituted its International Travel Security plan to mitigate risks associated with travelling and working in countries outside South Africa.

The team embarked on a formal project to improve and standardise the Group’s duty of care obligations to staff and in-country expatriates. The company’s programme creates a positive risk management culture by encouraging requests for travel advice, resulting in improved safety awareness and practice, and improving operational efficiencies.

FirstRand’s Head of International Security, Gert Kriel said, “We are extremely proud to be recognised by the International SOS Foundation. Implementing innovative International SOS solutions such as Travel Tracker, an online traveller tracking and risk mitigation solution that tracks travellers, expats and assets using itineraries, mobile check-ins and GPS tracking has allowed us to build a robust risk mitigation programme which is key to our travel risk strategy.”

The International SOS foundation appointed a panel of judges who reviewed entries the entries from 17 organisations and industries spread over 32 countries.

Philippe Couturier, International SOS Regional General Manager – Africa, said, “We are honoured to be a trusted provider of travel risk mitigation solutions to FirstRand. Their ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of their workforce and their understanding of duty of care has placed them as a leader in their industry.

Other awards from the foundation comprise the Communications award to Marks and Spencer plc, the Innovation award to Asea Brown Boveri, the Partnership award to Windea Offshore GmbH, the Remote Healthcare award to Nestlé Australia, the Resilient Care award to Toyota Boshoku, the Thought Leadership award to Johnson & Johnson, and the German Mittelstand Duty of Care Programme award to KHS GmbH.

The International SOS Foundation is the corporate social investment arm of medical and travel security risk service company, International SOS.



About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.