What should your company know about sending employees to hardship locations?
Some parts of the world are more challenging for expats than others. Consulting Services Specialist Katie Pietig talks about helping employees relocate to tough areas in this Relo Tip Tuesday.
Complete transcript: “Hi, I’m Katie Pietig, a Consulting Specialist here at Plus, and today we’ll be talking about hardship locations.
So what is a hardship location? And how do you know if your employee is being sent to one? That question is a little bit harder to answer than it seems. There are a lot of factors that go into determining a hardship location. And things like climate, disease, physical remoteness, political environment, and crime all play a role. And these things change over time, so the most reliable way to determine a hardship location is to use the information available from your data provider. Mercer, AIRINC, ECA all have tools available to determine where on the hardship scale a location lies. And then it’s up to you, the company, to decide how you want to compensate for it.
When it comes to relocation benefits, a hardship premium is the most common addition to the standard relocation policy. Hardship premiums are generally calculated as a percentage of salary, and that might be from zero to 40 percent. But it varies by industry, company and level of hardship.
In addition to the hardship premium, there are other benefits to think about. Many employees going into hardship locations will be going on single status, so it’s important to include enough home leave trips and R&R trips to compensate for the difficult living conditions and time spent away from family.
In locations where security is a concern, housing is another factor. Secure expat housing can be much more expensive than local norms. So make sure your budget allows for employees to choose the safest housing option. Many companies will also provide pre-departure security briefings so employees know what to expect and what to do in case of emergency.
And lastly, make sure your company is covering medical exams as a part of the pre-departure checklist. Employees going on assignment will want to get vaccinations or medications, as well as identify any pre-existing conditions prior to heading off to a location where medical standards may not be up to international norms.
Keeping those things in mind, you can set your assignee up for a successful assignment. Thanks for watching!”