Part 2: So you need to send an employee on an assignment – now what?
By Sean Pratt
Jul 23, 2019
What To Consider When You Send an Employee Overseas on Assignment (Part 2)
Sending an employee overseas on work assignments is often easier said than done. Once you get the process started, you come face-to-face with complex tax and immigration laws. The good news is that these complexities are not insurmountable.
With the right talent mobility software and services, you can make the process a smooth and easy one. Here are three key things to keep in mind. If you missed our part one of this blog, you can view it here.
Is Your Business and Employee Prepared for Local Culture and Employment Laws?
Top companies invest heavily in employee training before sending them overseas. Training often involves basic language skills, cultural expectations, and even safety measures. For employees who plan to take their families with them, family members are usually included in this training. This helps them to better adjust to life overseas.
Companies themselves also need to do some adjusting. Depending on the location, duration, and type of work given a specific visa type may be required. Local culture and employment laws may also require gestures, gift payments or other actions that are specific to the area. For instance, some countries fund Christmas bonuses by having 13-month payrolls. There may also be different public holidays or different expectations in how business is conducted.
How Will You Address the Employee’s Compensation?
One of the most complicated aspects of international assignment management is navigating compensation due to the intricacies in overlapping local and international tax laws. Some countries have treaties between them to eliminate or reduce double taxation, while others do not. If the employee is in a country with higher taxes and must pay those taxes, how will you adjust their pay? What about cost of living adjustments for expensive locales? Some companies may also pay a hardship bonus for moving to less-developed locations.
In addition to this, the company must consider what happens to at-home financial responsibilities. For example, the employee may choose to maintain their life insurance policy in their home country. They may also want to make retirement contributions, such as 401(k) in America. To add to this, they may also still need to pay some social security taxes. To make overseas assignments attractive, companies need to ensure these additional costs do not lower the take-home pay of employees.
What Preparations Will You Make for The Employee’s Family?
While it may seem prudent to choose bachelors and bachelorettes to avoid the additional obstacles of procuring visas for the employee’s family, sometimes the best person for the job is married with children. Relocating a family comes with additional considerations, including:
Where will the kids go to school?
Will you help find employment for their spouse or the near-adult children when they come of age?
If it is a volatile environment, what security precautions should be made?
Overseas assignments come with their own unique considerations that need to be addressed to ensure success. These are just some of the important considerations an organization must make if sending an employee across international borders. Thankfully a Global Mobility Management platform can help you manage these concerns. If you are looking for a more efficient way to navigate the complexities of a globally mobile workforce, request a free demo of Topia’s global mobility management software to see how technology can help you effectively leverage your global workforce.