For international employers, it’s only a matter of time before it’s time to bring an expat into a target country; the next conversation is usually about expatriate benefits. Some companies actually choose to do a full compensation and benefits investigation for the expat with a consultant. If that is out of the question we put together a list of items for international employers to keep in mind and help shape an approach.
Why expatriate benefits packages matter?
In this section, we are going to bring to light some of the issues employees may have with being relocated before we go into how to make the process easier.
Expatriates may not see relocation as a job “perk”
Despite the story employers tell themselves, relocation is typically a stressful process. Employees may seem eager to become an expat, but there is always potential for catastrophe. Forbes put together a great article that highlights all the challenges employees face. Some of the notable and/or rare ones are:
- The employee feeling a combination of relocation stress with job performance pressure
- The expat will need to finding schooling for children
- The expat will need to feel secure and safe
- The spouse of the employee will also need to find work in many cases
As an employer, you need to leave plenty of time for your new expat to get ramped up. You need to focus on relieving the potential stressors of the relocation. Read more about expatriate benefits for international employers.
Expat living is almost always more expensive
A trap employers can fall into is NOT increasing the employee’s salary with a relocation. The employee may agree to this because the baseline cost of living is cheaper in the target country, but they may not factoring all the expenses. It is your responsibility as the employer to avoid a dissatisfied employee, especially abroad. Some of the expenses they may not be considering are:
- Private schooling
- Language training
- Travel home to see family
Make sure you do not underpay your expat because it is almost always shortest path to a confrontation.
Expatriate benefits options
You understand why it’s important to have great benefits, as a result you have conquered half the battle. Your options for benefits are pretty straightforward:
- Increased salary
- Relocation benefits
- Language training
- Family benefits: Schooling, health insurance, spousal job placement, etc.
- Accommodation benefits: Subsidized or free housing to offset cost of living
You should have an open conversation with your employee to see what matters to them, rather than assume. Most of all when relocating an employee, especially abroad, honesty is the best policy to have a successful outcome.