Duties and obligations of the employer towards its expatriates and its business travelers

Security constraints related to international mobility of companies’ employees have changed significantly in recent years.
Faced with terrorist attacks or abductions, business travellers and their families have sought the employer’s liability in the courts as to obtain compensation for damages.
Several judgments in France have set legal precedent(1). They pose the conditions in which the employer’s responsibility may be retained after one of its employees was faced with such a situation. It ensues from these judgments that the employer must fulfil two main obligations towards his employees:
-to deliver a comprehensive and genuine information to its employees
-to guarantee their security abroad by anticipating and monitoring the risks
The geopolitical and security expertise as well as the safety training provided by Lyon Risk Management will help companies in preventing and responding to threats in many countries to mitigate the risk to its lowest possible level.
1-A tour operator and its insurer were sentenced on 7 June 2006 by the Paris District Court to pay one million Euros in damages to the former hostages of the Malaysian island of Jolo. The tour operator had failed in its information obligation towards its customers, despite being aware of the security risks in the region.
– Following the death of 11 workers working for the French Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) in an attack on the 8th May 2002 in Karachi, the families of the victims brought an action for damages against the DCN. The company was critised for not having taken into account the security risk to its employees. The court retained an accident caused by the employer’s inexcusable negligence who had not taken the necessary measures to ensure the safety of its employees.
– On 16 September, 2010, in Arlit (Niger), an AQIM’s militant group abducted five Frenchmen, employees of Areva and Sogea-Satom. Four of the hostages spent three years in captivity. Besides the losses due to the payment of ransom and the likely use of Private Security Companies for the negotiations, the companies found themselves taken to court for breach of the safety obligation towards their employees.
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