First of all, your people need to feel they’re safe
WHETHER it’s an assignment at one of the world’s great sporting events or a sole posting in a remote location, employee security is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for organisations that want to recruit and retain quality staff.
In a tightening job market, companies recruiting people to work overseas need to offer more than just an attractive salary package - these people need to be looked after in every respect, including preventing them from coming into harm’s way and responding effectively in the event they are affected by an incident or accident.
In a nutshell, this means meeting the duty of care to your overseas employees.
DDW is both an acronym for ‘‘ don’t die wondering’’ and the name of Australia’s premier security provision firm, but not in the sense of a uniformed guard and a few CCTV cameras.
DDW staff have a diverse range of security, major event and transport related operational contingency and strategic security planning skills. They have assisted in four Olympic Games, have high- level policy experience in both the public and private sectors and boast military experience in both conventional and special operations.
Company consultants have worked extensively in the US, Europe and Asia in the security and operations fields which has equipped them with a unique set of experiences, skills and knowledge.
DDW managing director, Richard Holgate, has extensive military and corporate experience and has worked on some of the world’s largest events, but his focus is just as firmly fixed on relatively minor assignments that can have enormous consequences for all involved if something goes wrong.
An example of what can go wrong if a duty of care framework is not in place can be clearly shown by recent events in Queensland: The Australian revealed that a nurse working in a remote community was allegedly raped after little had been done by the nurse’s employer to prevent the incident ( such as replacing broken locks on doors) or provide adequate response when the incident actually occurred ( the nurse was told to ‘‘ put it behind her’’ and just return to work the same morning).
‘‘ That was basically a demonstration of how to do everything wrong in that situation,’’ Mr Holgate says.
‘‘ The extensive media coverage not only highlighted that that an employee had been let down badly by her employer but that it will take some time for the organisation to rebuild its reputation and to recruit quality staff in the near future.’’
He describes duty of care ‘‘ as the responsibility to ensure everything reasonably practicable is done to protect the security and safety of overseas employees’’ with the emphasis on reasonable as costs for meeting duty of care obligations need to be kept to a minimum.
‘‘ In fact, these measures are not that expensive as the emphasis is on communication and information flows,’’ Mr Holgate adds.
In essence, meeting duty of care is a matter of preventing incidents where possible and responding effectively when prevention is not possible.
The achievement of your overseas business objectives are very much determined by the quality of the people you have in key positions offshore, and attracting - and retaining - these quality people is a challenge for most organisations.
Demonstrating that your organisation is serious about duty of care sends a strong message to both prospective employees and clients.
DDW is an organisation with extensive experience in delivering services to enable organisations to meet duty of care for employees engaged overseas and ensuring organisations are prepared for adversity.
These services include security, information technology and communications, Business Continuity Planning ( BCP) and risk management services which DDW has delivered to both government and corporate clients.