Navigating the Duty of Care Maze

When a company transfers an employee overseas, it has a duty to ensure the employee’s well-being, safety, and a successful transition to the new location. This duty of care extends beyond the workplace and covers various aspects of the employee’s life during the relocation process, including repatriation. Here are some of the most important to consider.

  1. Pre-departure Preparation:
  • Provide comprehensive information about the destination including social customs and business best practices.
  • Offer support in obtaining the necessary visas, work permits, and immigration documents.
  • Assist with housing arrangements.
  • Help with logistical aspects.
  1. Healthcare and Insurance:
  • Inform the employee about vaccination requirements and health precautions.
  • Ensure the employee has access to appropriate healthcare and understands their insurance coverage in the new location.
  1. Cultural Support:
  • Offer some kind of online cultural training to help the employee adapt to the new culture and understand local customs and norms.
  • Provide language training to help overcome language barriers.
  1. Safety and Security:
  • Make sure the employee registers with the local embassy or consulate.
  • Review a risk assessment of the destination for security concerns.
  • Develop a plan in case of emergency and discuss the procedure if employee needs to contact the company.
  1. Family Support (if applicable):
  • Provide support and resources for the accompanying family members.
  • Assist with school enrollments and spousal employment.
  1. Mental Health and Well-being:
  • Recognize the potential stress and mental health challenges associated with an international relocation.
  • Offer access to counseling services or an employee assistance program to support well-being.

While this is a lot to take in, having a resource available like the International Relocation Center can provide peace of mind to both the company and the relocating employee.. Living Abroad offers support in all the aspects listed above.

Additionally, companies need to offer support in the following areas: legal and tax compliance, employment and career development, repatriation planning, and maintaining communication throughout the relocation.

Meeting these duty of care obligations provides well-being and safety for the employee and contributes 100% to the overall success of the international assignment. Failure to provide adequate duty of care can lead to legal, reputational, and employee moral issues for the company. Advanced planning will lead to a successful relocation for both the company and the employee.