Employers are underestimating the threat of the kidnap and ransom of their employees


It may seem like something out of a James Patterson novel but with business travel becoming an integral part of corporate growth, employers need to become more aware of the threat of kidnap and ransom of their employees as they expand into new territories, states The Health Insurance Group.  

There are approximately 40,000 reported kidnappings that occur each year and over 40% of these involve business personnel or their dependants. The regions with the highest risk are Mexico, Libya and Bangladesh and employers should be well aware of the risks, however kidnappings can occur in any region and employers need to take precautions when they send their employees on business trips.

Result Group has also reported a significant deterioration of safety across certain parts of Africa in the last four years, a continent which is experiencing rapid economic growth and data has shown that more businesses are expanding to these high-risk areas.

It is not surprising that research from ABTA has revealed that safety is now an employer’s number one concern for staff that travel abroad frequently for work. As a result, it is now a priority for employers to conduct research before allowing their employees to travel, this includes getting advice from experts, ensuring all the relevant insurance is in place as well as informing employees of how to stay safe and to have kidnap and ransom policies in place before employees travel abroad. This will enable companies to fulfill their legal obligations and provide reassurance for staff working abroad.

Sarah Dennis, head of international for The Health Insurance Group adds: “Sadly, we have to recognise that the risk of kidnap and ransom is increasing and it isn’t just limited to high-risk areas. The good news is, there are specific kidnap and ransom policies that have been designed to specifically protect companies with staff working abroad. A kidnap and ransom policy should be an integral part of the provisions that employers make to meet their duty of care for overseas and travelling staff – wherever they’re working.”