While moving abroad for an overseas assignment or a new job can be an exciting and fun experience, British employees often don’t receive enough relocation support from their employers. Although the majority of international assignees are happier abroad than in the UK, 22% didn’t receive any support from their employer when they relocated abroad, according to a recent survey by Lloyds International Banking.
According to the survey, which interviewed over 400 Britons on international assignments, over 45% would have settled down easier with more support from their employers. Workers cited the importance of a relocation allowance, support with finding housing, cultural integration and language courses. Only 50% of employees had their relocation expenses paid by their employer, 42% received financial help with flights back to the UK and just over 40% received help with rental costs.
Employees are often not given enough financial advice either. According to the survey, only 21% of international assignees got any financial advice, and over 50% agreed that they would have benefitted from more advice on financial planning, more information about taxation abroad and more support with their pension arrangements.
Support for employees’ spouses is often not satisfactory either. Over half said that they received no support at all from their partner’s employer, when moving abroad, only 13% received support with flights home and 3% help with language courses.
Employers are trying to reduce costs, especially nowadays, with many companies also pressured by the rather negative economic climate. At the same time, good employees, especially if they can adapt quickly to a new environment and settle down easily, are a real asset for a company. For this reason, more support and advice from the employers when it comes to international assignments and relocations would benefit both parties. Similarly, if an international assignee is planning to move with his or her partner abroad, more support for the partner will also mean that the employee will settle down more quickly.
As Nicholas Boys Smith, Directors of Lloyds TSB International comments: “Many companies are currently under pressure to reduce costs and we’re all aware how expensive overseas assignments can be for employers. But we’re also aware that most employees really value any help their companies can give to guide them through the logistics of moving overseas.”
If you are moving abroad with a job already secured, you are already on the way to a smooth removal process. It is however always important to try to negotiate a good relocation package with your employer:
Firstly, you will often need your employer’s support to obtain a visa.
You should also ask your employer to cover your potential relocation expenses, including flights and the shipment of your belongings.
Your employer can also give you useful advice on finding somewhere to live, arranging language courses, if necessary, helping with financial planning and insurance arrangements.
If your partner plans to move with you, it is essential that you let your employer know as they will often be willing to help with your partner’s expenses as well.