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Easing Employees Concerns Linked to Relocating During Economic Uncertainty

It’s no secret that the economy is tough at the moment. Established companies are going out of business, and the news is full of doom and gloom of hardships still to come. However, with layoffs apparent and recruitment freezes in place, many companies are assessing their Global workforce and are needing to re-allocate individuals to locations where they are needed to steer departments and projects through the cycle.

With reticence high amongst individuals to relocate during such uncertain times, one common concern amongst expatriates we spoke with is:

What happens if my assignment is cancelled due to economic factors,
and I’m sent home?

Like a pre-nuptial agreement before you get married, it seems a little defeatist to talk about sending the transferee home at the start of their assignment. Relocation policies focus typically on the financial aspects of selling houses, car allowances, schooling allowances, and more- all of which continue to be important. However, the driving factors at this particular time are far more focused on what will happen should the company run into difficulties. Be prepared for and clear on issues such as:

How quickly would they need to return home should company needs dictate? They may have tenants residing in their property in their Home Country or may need to find new accommodations entirely. Knowing they will have appropriate time to manage these aspects is important.

What costs will be covered? These can include: flights, assistance with selling accommodations or goods purchased in Host Location, costs of initial accommodation in Home Country and so on.

Career in Home Country? No company can 100% guarantee this aspect, but clarification on what the company can commit to under extenuating circumstances will ease the potential transferee’s decision to leave one role for another.

Support for repatriation? What will be available to the transferee? Will they be faced with organizing everything themselves, or will a company such as Coppergate International be provided to ease the burden? If so, what program will be available to them? If internal support is given, what will that be?

The importance of repatriation support is usually discussed at the end of the assignment. In today’s climate the comfort of knowing they will be looked after should the unthinkable happen and the company need to repatriate them under financial hardship needs to be recognized at the start of the process. Doing so might just be the tipping point to entice your much-needed employee to make the move and keep you one step ahead of your competitors when the inevitable upturn begins.

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