UK companies not providing enough benefits for expat workers

by Ray Clancy on January 9, 2013

UK companies not providing enough benefits for expat workers

Many UK companies with employees working overseas are not necessarily providing them with the health benefits, school allowances and relocations costs considered part of the job, new research suggests.

Some 41% of employers said that the overall package offered to international staff did not differ from that offered to UK based employees despite those working overseas and needing specific benefits such as a relocation allowance and private medical insurance. The majority of employers questioned in the poll typically look to post an employee overseas for between three to six months, with 27% looking to send their employees abroad for six months to a year.

The research found that businesses are increasingly looking to capitalise on growth opportunities overseas, but that they are not offering the necessary tailored benefits packages for their international staff.

Quote from ExpatForum.com : “If you’re moving abroad for work, find out what rights you have under your destination country’s employment law. Let your tax office know if you are moving abroad, and if you are claiming benefits, talk to your Jobcentre Plus office, Jobcentre or social security office.”

The research from international healthcare provider Expacare found that employers place a low priority on offering a relocation allowance to staff, with less than a quarter seeing this as a core provision. Only 8% placed any importance on family, with a school allowance not being seen as a core part of an employee’s international package. Employers did place more importance on providing private health insurance with 32% providing this benefit for both international and domestic based staff but just 17% of employers regarded offering critical illness cover to their staff as important.

‘The research has shown that employers are all too often leaving their staff vulnerable when relocating them to work overseas,’ said Beverly Cook, managing director of Expacare. ‘There seems to be real confusion over policies, with far too many businesses assuming that their employees will be covered if they are located in the European Union and that an employee’s travel insurance policy will cover all their health needs, which is rarely the case,’ she explained.

Relocating employees internationally poses unique challenges to employers large and small and with health inflation at an all time high it has never been more important for them to ensure that their staff are properly protected,’ she added.

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