An internal Relocation Policy is essential for the effective management of an international workforce. It will not only act as a frame work for HR and your expatriate employees, it will reduce costs and improve communication channels between company and employ setting the way for successful assignments.
Policy will vary greatly for different companies and these points cover some of the more common issues. The principle areas a relocation policy should address are:
Who is eligible for what?
New Staff / Existing Employees / Senior Management
Different assignments and different parameters call for various levels of support from the company. It is essential to identify which employees are eligible for support and the extent of the support given.
What relocation expenses are covered?
What is covered and how. This will have tax implications for employee and company alike. Some tax regimes have an allowance for relocation expenses but this has to be managed effectively.
Is your policy competitive?
You do not want to loose your top performers but your relocation policy should provide for a level of support that is competitive with other companies policies. Expatriates tend to stick together in their new country and issues may arise if your support is not to standard.
What support is in place for families?
The employee is not alone in their decision to relocate. The family will be of highest priority in their decision to accept an assignment. What support will you offer to employees families for schooling, integration, health cover and travelling expenses?
How are existing policies affected?
Your existing policies which address such things as redundancy, pensions, promotion, bonuses and training may need to be adjusted for your expatriates. Will your employees be subject to the local policies of their new assignment or the policies they accept at home?
Is your policy accepted by your international group?
Your policies should take into account the different legislation and frameworks that your international subsidiaries and partners face. Policy development should include discussion with all HR departments in your network. This provides for a very comprehensive policy that is well communicated and understood by the expatriate, and the internal HR departments.