Guidelines for business travel to high-risk areas

The Executive Board has executed guidelines for business travel to high-risk areas.

If you plan to travel to an area where there are safety risks, you often know the risk area well. The risk aspect of the area might actually even be the topic of research. In that case there is a tension between between your (and our) professional interest and our responsibility as an employer for your well-being. For this reason the Guidelines for Business Travel to High-Risk Areas have been adopted.


Employer's approval

Depending on the destination of your business trip abroad and the travel recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you can use one of the forms below to obtain the employer’s approval. When travelling to a high-risk area (colour code orange), you need to ask the mandate holder for permission beforehand. Business travel to areas with colour code red is not allowed.

  • On the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website you can read what travel recommendation applies for the country you want to visit. The travel recommendations on the website are classified by colour code.
  • For business travel abroad that is not advised against (e.g. designated as colour code green or yellow) you can fill out a form (or have it filled out for you).
  • For business travel to destinations with the colour code orange (only necessary travel) previous permission from the mandate holder is required. In such cases you should use a different request form.
  • For business travel to destinations with the colour code red (do not travel) previous written permission of the Executive Board is obligatory. To get permission you should submit the application form for business trip to code Red, with the filled out Risk Analysis Form attached, via the Faculty Board to the Executive Board.

General principles for business travel

  • We follow the colour codes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We base the decision as to whether the business travel is to a high-risk area and/or there is a (threat of a) catastrophe, partially on the information provided by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A high-risk area is in any event an area which has been designated colour code red or orange.
  • No approval will be granted for work-related travel to regions designated as colour code red (meaning: do not travel).
  • For work-related travel to areas designated as colour code orange (meaning: only necessary travel), prior approval from the mandate holder is required.
  • Approval that has been granted can be rescinded if an updated inventory of risks warrants doing so.
  • During your business trip you should take no unnecessary and/or irresponsible risks with respect to your own safety or health and that of others. You are responsible for your own safety and health over the entire course of your trip.
  • Just as in the Netherlands, you are obliged to carry out any instructions from your employer.

Colour code red

In principle, no approval will be granted for work-related travel to areas designated as colour code red (meaning: do not travel). The responsibility we bear as an employer to not knowingly put employees in a position that could compromise their safety or health does not permit sending people to such areas. In very exceptional cases, if the trip is necessary and cannot be delayed, the Faculty Board may ask the Executive Board prior to the trip for permission for a business trip to an area which has been designated as code Red. Business trips to areas designated as code Red can only be made when the Executive Board has prior granted written permission for the trip.

Procedure
When requesting permission, the application form for business trip to code Red and the Risk Analysis Form with accurate travel information must be submitted. ‏Trips to areas designated as code Red can be made only if travel insurance has been obtained that also covers molest and war risks. In deciding to grant permission for the business trip the Executive Board weighs the interest of making the trip at that moment versus the risk of the business trip.

The Executive Board will ask the Travel Advisory Team for their recommendation. This advisory team varies in composition. In any event the members include the University’s Safety Manager, a staff member of the Administration and Central Services HRM department and the Academic Director (WD) from the institute where the employee works. Certain conditions can be attached to this approval.

Approval that has been granted can be rescinded by the Executive Board if motivated by an updated inventory of risks. The employee may always reserve the option not to go.

Reporting your trip to the ministry
The employee must duly prepare his/herself for the trip, including reading the safety recommendations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and reporting his/her stay abroad to the ministry. The employee is expected to be given the opportunity to undergo safety training.

Colour code orange: noteworthy issues and available information

For business travel to regions designated as code orange, prior written approval from the mandate holder is required.

Important points:

  • You should discuss the trip with your supervisor in a timely fashion so that the request can reach the mandate holder in time and in a form that is as complete as possible. You should do this using the designated form on the website. The mandate holder makes his decision on the basis of the information available to him at the moment.
  • An inventory of risks will be conducted, which in any event should include your own estimation of the risks and the information from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • If relevant, the questionnaire from the booklet Risico’s van het werken in het buitenland (“Risks of Working Abroad”) from the Health, Safety and Environment service shall be attached by the employee to his request.
  • The travel must be necessary. Necessary means that you cannot do your work without undertaking the trip. Furthermore, it must not be possible to postpone the travel for a later date.
  • If the intended trip is to an area where a catastrophe has taken place or threatens to take place, that shall be grounds for not granting approval. (The threat of) a catastrophe shall in any event be understood to include the following: an uprising (domestic unrest), a (terrorist) attack, a (civil) war, a (natural) disaster, the outbreak of an infectious disease.
  • To limit the risks of the work-related trip, the mandate holder can make agreements with you and/or attach conditions to the approval. Points that should be considered include (but are not limited to): a. who you will leave the available information with (see below); b. for a stay longer than 3 weeks, a safety plan should be submitted before approval can be granted; c. for a stay longer than 3 weeks, you need to take a safety training course (at, for instance, the Centre for Safety). 
Before you leave (or as soon as possible during the business trip if not possible before your departure), you should provide us with the following information:
  1. travel information, such as dates;
  2. any flight information;
  3. information concerning the address where you are staying abroad;
  4. the telephone number and e-mail address at which you can be reached during your stay;
  5. the name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of at least one contact person in the Netherlands who is informed about your stay abroad;
  6. the name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of a contact person at your department at the university;
  7. the name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of one or more contact persons in the country/countries where you are staying.
You should provide any changes and/or supplements to this information as quickly as possible.

(Threat of) catastrophe and/or colour code orange or red after the trip has started

If you are travelling in an area whose colour code designation has been changed to red, you should leave the area immediately. You should make contact as quickly as possible using the emergency telephone number of the university’s travel insurance company, Centraal Beheer Achmea, as well as when the code changes to orange. The phone number is +31 55 579 8442 (available 24/7). The university’s policy number is 141663701. You shall immediately follow all instructions given by or on behalf of the university. Any instructions by or on behalf of the Dutch government shall also be complied with immediately. Should you have non-Dutch nationality, the relevant instructions shall be those of the government of your country of origin.

Staying informed during your business trip: travel recommendation updates

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues colour-coded travel recommendations to inform you about safety in a given country. It does this on the basis of information from entities such as embassies, intelligence services and local authorities. Stay informed by signing up for updates to the travel recommendations.

Travel recommendation app
You can also access travel recommendations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) using an app. The BZ Reisadvies app helps you adequately prepare for your trip. With the app, you always have the contact information of the nearest embassy or consulate at your fingertips in case of an emergency. And with the notifications, you are always informed of changes in the travel recommendation for your destination. You can find more information on the national government website. For up-to-date travel recommendations you can also follow the ministry’s Travel Recommendation Twitter account.

Stay reachable in emergency situations: register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In case of an emergency (such as a natural disaster or political unrest), it is a good idea for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have your information on record. In that way, the embassy and the consulate will be able to reach you. You can register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Further information


Guidelines and contact information
You can find more information in the Leiden University Guidelines for Business Travel to High-risk Areas. If you have any questions, please contact Beatrix Pehlemann (HRM).

Last Modified: 08-03-2017