If Africa and other hardship locations are on your agenda for forthcoming employee relocation activity here are some areas you might want to consider, in addition to the normal relocation support your global mobility policy provides.
- Immigration – the process and documentation requirements for African countries can be particularly complex and time consuming and with a lack of formalised process in some countries so you may need to be ready for moving start dates or to allow longer lead times for obtaining work permits and visas.
- Hardship allowance – according to a recent survey by the Forum for Expatriate Management, most companies (62%) will offer a monetary hardship allowance in addition to cost of living, one off disturbance allowances etc. This is normally either a percentage of salary or lump sum payment.
- Rest & Relaxation Trips – according to the same survey, around 75% of companies will offer employees based in hardship locations additional allowances or paid for trips to give them a break from the difficulties of day to day life.
- Medical cover – You may have a good programme in place overall but it is worth checking this provides adequate cover in all locations and provides for medical evacuation should this ever be necessary.
- Accommodation and security – in some African countries secure compound living is the norm. In other locations it would be normal to have a full time security guard at the home, in addition to security lighting, burglar alarms, secure fencing etc. Security checking is an important step in these locations. In addition availability of secure housing can also be an issue in locations with high expat populations. You might need to allow a little extra time to source already secure properties or to negotiate installation of security at a new property or work with your DSP to manage upcoming relocations in the pipeline in the early stages.
- Emergency evacuation – You’ll need to consider putting in place emergency evacuation support and contingency plans in the event of civil war, terrorism, war with neighbouring countries, medical emergencies or natural disasters to ensure your assignees are evacuated quickly and safely.
- Driving – in many African countries where driving standards are poor and the roads are dangerous companies will provide extra support for example employing drivers or providing employees with comprehensive “defensive driving” courses if they preferred to drive themselves.
- Cultural and Language training – cross cultural training courses may be particularly helpful for employees and families relocating to difficult locations. Within Africa almost 6000 different languages are spoken and up to 6 frequently used in business, depending on the location of the company and many business and social practices will vary from what your employees are used to at home.
If you’d like to find out more about relocating employees to hardship locations including Africa and other emerging markets and better understand the individual requirements of these locations please contact our experienced team to discuss further.