MTN has renewed its agreement with leading assistance provider International SOS. The contract, which has been extended for a further three years, will provide integrated risk mitigation solutions that prepare employees for business travel by making them aware of medical and security risks through medical screening, traveller tracking, as well as 24/7 assistance and advice.

International SOS is the world’s largest medical and travel security services group. It has helped thousands of clients adopt robust, preventive workplace programmes; including medical and travel security advice; assistance and risk mitigation planning tailored to the needs of their clients’ employees, locations and operations; and supporting business continuity plans to help avoid costly emergencies.

MTN has seen a significant increase in their global assignments in response to its rapidly expanding market. With over 10,000 business travellers, MTN have relied on International SOS to provide them with the highest quality medical and travel security advice and assistance since 2010.

In response to globalisation, more individuals are sent on assignment across borders and in unfamiliar environments, exposing them to risks which can impact personal health, security and safety. Work-related health problems are higher among travelling employees than non-travellers. Therefore it has become increasingly important for an organisation to determine its international traveller risk profile. And one of the trends driving this change or rethinking is Duty of Care.

Zain Reddiar, Head International HR Operations for the MTN Group, explains:

“International SOS understands and can help organisations identify and formulate the best strategies to meet their Duty of Care obligations. With best-in-class capabilities and services across the global, we are comfortable knowing that our travellers and expats are in good hands. Their programs are designed to mitigate risks to travellers, significantly reducing the potential for incurring more healthcare and other related costs.”

As companies face the risks associated with having increasingly global and mobile workforces, fulfilling their duty of care can seem like a daunting task. The employer is being held increasingly accountable for a whole plethora of situations that can happen to the international assignee, their dependents and international business travellers.

The Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management Global Benchmarking Study, conducted by the International SOS Foundation, revealed that organisations who take measures to mitigate health and travel security risks are not only meeting their moral and legal obligations, but are also making a wise commercial investment.

Dr Charl Van Loggerenberg, Regional Medical Director for International SOS, says:

“We are honoured to be a trusted provider to MTN. Their ongoing commitment to the well-being of their workforce and their understanding of duty of care has placed them as a leader in their industry. The company lives its brand values of leadership, relationship, integrity, innovation and can-do.”

Reddiar continues:

“You can never put a value on a person’s health and safety – their well-being is the number one priority. We know the welfare of an employee assigned to a foreign country takes precedent over any cost concerns, and this is supported by the International SOS prevention programmes that we have put in place. We believe the real value we get back as a result of our relationship could easily be ten times or more than what we actually pay in membership.”