Four things employers need to consider when sending employees abroad

Expanding your company into new territories? Or need to fill a role in an overseas office? Here are four things you need to consider when sending employees abroad.

In today’s global business world, sending employees overseas to international offices has become increasingly common. But with new horizons comes a host of extra responsibilities and legal requirements for you as an employer.

So while your employee will need to get used to a new office, home, manager, climate, language, food and customs, as an employer you’ll need to be ready to support and assist them in making a smooth transition to their new role. Here are the four main things to be aware of when stationing employees overseas.

1) You may need to amend their employment contract

In some cases, you may need to make amendments to an employee’s contract of employment, particularly if they’re going to be moved to a host office overseas. (If they’re transferring to a host employer, they’ll definitely need a change of contract.)

Even if they remain with your company, you may still have to make changes. Any continuous service should be preserved and stated in the new contract to protect employees from unfair dismissal and ensure their right to a redundancy payment.

2) They’ll need to adapt to new management

In order for a global mobility programme to be successful, you’ll need to support your employee in adapting to a new role with new management – as most professions who responded to the global mobility survey by Santa Fe Relocation agreed.

If you’re facilitating a relocation for employees from another country, it’s also important to ensure that they are prepared for any cultural norms, values, and traditions which may impact their work experience. For example, the hours of work may be different from what they are used to, and public holidays will often differ.

If you’ll be managing employees from overseas, you may want to use timesheets, like these from Clockspot, to track their hours.

3) You’ll need to help them with visas and living arrangements

When moving an employee to a new country, you’ll want to ensure you cover all safely and legal bases. And when transferring an employee to an overseas assignment, it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that they are provided with the correct visa for the duration and reason for their stay.

You may also be required to help employees find temporary or permanent accommodation for them and their families during the assignment. For example, if you are assigning your employee to your office in Chicago, you might need to find corporate apartments in Chicago for them to stay in. For permanent relocations, you should also consider family needs, such as spouse work and children’s education.

You need to anticipate the unique needs of your employees and prepare for it. One way to best facilitate your employees’ move is by using a relocation company such as ARC Relocation that can provide assistance in finding temporary housing, spousal employment and more.

4) You’ll need to consider tax changes and reimbursement

Lastly, you’ll need to make clear any tax differences when working in the new country to your employee. For example, you may not deduct the same amount of tax, or deduct tax in the same way that the employee has been used to.

Any differences in tax amount or collection should be detailed in the contract to prepare the employee for any changes. In some cases, employees working overseas may be eligible for a tax reimbursement – ensure that any details of this are provided to your employee.

Photo by Gabriel Ghnassia