The challenge of managing Expats

Managers of International Mobility Programs face a great complexity when dealing with their Expatriates. No worldwide harmonized legislation exists in the different subjects related to international assignments: immigration, taxes, social security and occupational safety. The complexity is multiplied by the number of countries, and increases with factors such as:

  • the disparity of social security agreements and applicable tax treaties.
  • the existence of different tax periods in the countries of origin and destination, for example, Australia (July-June) or UK (April to April) whose fiscal year does not coincide with the calendar year
  • pressure from business leaders to obtain residence and work permits in record time

In Addition, HR teams face other management challenges around the Mobility Programs: cultural change, negotiating each case, international suppliers, dual careers and overall, maintaining a consistent line to strengthen the credibility of the program.

All this complexity leads to different issues you need to resolve with consistent criteria. If not, Expats will find out as they meet over the weekends and talk about their compensation and allowances. If they feel unfairly treated, they will complain and lose confidence on the Program.

You want to ensure you have a consistent Global Policy and a robust Communication Strategy  for your International assignees. At the end, the valuable employees who move with their families to a different (sometimes remote) country need to trust their Expat Program.