Last update: December 9, 2020
The HR toolkit of short-term staff relocation: The key considerations to take into account your staff relocation and expat management.
With new highs in the number of global travellers, relatively small companies developing both domestic and international divisions, and lower prices both for transport and accommodation, temporary relocation is much more attractive than relying on local agencies.
Table of Contents
The benefits to the bottom-line
Having your staff relocated will save time and cash. They know the work much better than anyone else, which means the HR work can be focussed on travel and accommodation, and not on the fine details of training and explaining how projects need to be carried out.
Hiring local agents and training them will provide you with the right service to meet your challenge, but they don’t know your company, and it can take time to set up the right working practices between your company and the agencies in the field.
But relocating your staff has its own set of issues to overcome as smoothly as possible, the two first key-considerations are the tax obligations in your home country, and the accommodation in the relocation country.
Key considerations in short-term staff relocation
Private to-let short term stay platforms have impacted this market in ways we never expected. So the incumbent hotel industry has had to drag down its prices to compete. This makes for more savings and choice in staff relocation.
Temporary relocation adds benefits both to employers and employees. Those willing to spend some time away have the benefit of a short-term move, without the headaches of shipping furniture and goods.
Letter of assignment
Be sure to prepare internally for any temporary relocations. For taxation, a short-term relocation must have a duration of one year or less, each employee must be delivered a formal letter of assignment which can be presented to ensure expenses are not taxed.
Local documentation and visas
If you are relocating to Europe, each country has a vastly different process for visa application and local councils also require notification of short-term stays.
Use this checklist to make sure you’ve covered all of the bases.
Communication from HR
- How will communications take place across territories, what software costing is implied?
- Keep communications light and motivated, short-term relocation is a big thing for some people.
Choosing the right staff for short-term relocation
- Find the key personnel that actively want to relocate.
- Check contracts for any amendments or objections to temporary relocation?
- Will you need to offer any incentives to relocate? This comes back to finding the right staff.
- Check local expenses and prices in the country. You may need to discuss salary as places like Belgium can be expensive in cost of living.
- Will you need to find any advisory consultation? Almost certainly a lawyer in the destination will be required
- Be sure to carry out background checks before applying for visas/permits.
- What authorisations in the destination will be necessary and how will they be obtained? Again, local advice is almost a necessity.
Information and consultation
- How will national information and consultation obligations in relation to relocation and redundancies be managed?
- Do the plans trigger transnational information and consultation obligations?
- Will uncertainty require retention arrangements to be introduced such as a “come-home” clause?
- Prepare for staff to get comfortable in the destination. You may face resignations or longer-term stays.
- What are the potential costs of relocation? In the planning stage, you should ballpark the figures against leasing a local agency
- What resources are being made available to set up the relocation project? Will you be taking resources away from other departments?
- Does the new jurisdiction have a sufficient talent pool to employ in the destination?
We hope this checklist comes in handy. If you have experience in this and would like to inform others of the pitfalls, contact us and we’ll include it in this post.