With global relocation becoming the new normal, millions of professionals take up different assignments and relocate annually. Mobility is proving to be the cornerstone for business expansion and increasing revenue. Business owners must understand that there are a range of issues, mental and physical, that an expatriate is likely to encounter with a relocation. This is where the duty of care, the common longstanding principal law, comes into play. It can be defined as the company’s obligation towards its employees to protect health and safety. Hence, the duty of care must be incorporated into an employee relocation policy. The policy should consider warranting the welfare not only of the employee, but also their family throughout the relocation and new location assignment.
When health insurance is portable within the home country, the employer must ensure the employee and the family get all the current benefits in the new location. Since healthcare coverage and systems vary not only from country to country but from region to region, it is the employer’s job to make sure that the employee has global healthcare coverage. The employer should ensure benefits in the coverage area are in place before the transferee arrives at the job location. It is also essential to have a policy that includes medical evacuation services when required.
Another thing to consider is the treatment for mental health. According to psychologists, the relocation process is ranked as one of the top stressful events in someone’s life. Part of the duty of care is to provide mental health coverage, and companies should acknowledge the inherent stress. Many companies provide an Employee Assistance Plan (EAPs). These plans provide the employee a great mental health resource.
Benefits of Duty of Care in Relocation Policy
When you have a proper duty of care instated within the employee relocation policy, it will help your employees and the development of your business. Here are some reasons why the duty of care in employee relocation is necessary.
Attracting and Retaining the Right Talent
Irrespective of the industry you are operating in, you always want to have the best employees for your business. Since talent doesn’t always reside locally, you must provide the right relocation policy to attract and retain talent.
Getting the Right Support from the Right Places
When you have a duty of care within the employee relocation policy, you will be warranting that the employee gets all the right support from the HR department and other suppliers who are part of your relocation policies. This may include many types of providers who will provide information about schools for children, finding the right home in the new location, selling a home in the old location, in addition to many other services.
One of the biggest hassles that employee relocation managers and businesses face are different relocation benefits among the same grade of employees. This is exacerbated when there is not a relocation policy in place. A proper relocation policy and duty of care outline the support and benefits that an employee is supposed to have during and after the location to a particular place.
The last thing you want as an employer is to throw away money for lack of a relocation policy, or for your company to get embroiled in a legal battle with an employee for not taking care of them. When you have a relocation policy along with the duty of care, you will keep your employees happy and benefit from cost-effective relocations.
Contact us to discuss creating or reviewing your current relocation policy.