Employee relocation during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted by By Bournes Relocation Solutions - June 18, 2020


Operating in the world of Global Mobility during the Coronavirus pandemic is complicated to say the least! In this article we share some key areas we believe it is important to consider in managing your relocation programmes and working with your Relocation Company right now. 

Are relocation companies operating during the Coronavirus pandemic?

In most cases, yes. However, this depends on government restrictions and guidelines in individual countries, and each company's ability to operate safely. The situation is changing frequently so it's best to talk directly to your provider(s) to find out how the situation is affecting them. 

In the UK for example businesses that can operate safely are now being encouraged to return to work. Guidelines have been provided to ensure workplaces are Covid-19 secure prior to services commencing. 

Questions to ask your provider about relocating employees in Covid-19 Conditions: 

Duty of care: Operating Relocations safely 

We know you have a duty of care to your employees for their safety. Open discussions with your relocation company as quickly as possible to find out what they are doing to protect your employees and theirs from the risk of Covid-19. Use their detailed technical knowledge of their industry and their experience to ensure your own due diligence is comprehensive.

Here are some typical areas you should consider covering: 

Questions about Safe International Removals Services:

  • Has your provider completed risk assessments and implemented local government Covid-19 guidelines?
  • Are alternative pre-move survey solutions available to avoid consultants needing to visit in person? (for example video or electronic surveys)
  • How are they implementing social distancing during the move? (between their own crews and your employees)
  • What PPE will crews utilise where social distancing cannot be maintained (for example where items require more than one person to lift). 
  • What advice and guidance is being provided to your employees and what are their responsibilities for safety during the move? (e.g. do they need to wear face coverings or complete any cleaning in advance?)
  • How are they training their removals crews on Coronavirus safety?
  • Are they doing any health monitoring of their crews for symptoms?
  • Are they discussing health risks ahead of the move with your employees? (for example identifying high risk individuals or those who have experienced symptoms)
  • What is their response plan should anyone become ill during the move?
  • Are they implementing any additional cleaning and sanitisation requirements for vehicles and equipment used?
  • How are they keeping customers up to date with any differing requirements at destination?
  • How are they ensuring safety is maintained throughout their supply chain (e.g. origin or destination partners)?

Questions about safe Destination Service provision:

  • Has your provider completed risk assessments and implemented local government Covid-19 guidelines?
  • Are alternative service delivery methods available for any services? (for example virtual viewings for home search or online cultural training).
  • Have any service processes been adapted (such as travelling separately between property viewings)?
  • How are they maintaining safety during any physical service delivery (for example maintaining social distancing and use of PPE)?
  • What advice and guidance is being provided to your employees?
  • How are they training their teams and any partners on Coronavirus safety?
  • Are they undertaking any health monitoring with their employees for symptoms?
  • What is their response plan should anyone become ill during the relocation?
  • How are they keeping customers up to date with any differing requirements at destination?

Safe mover code logoYou can find out more about how Bournes Relocation Solutions are repsonding and implementing our 'safe mover code' during the Coronavirus pandemic in our Coronvirus Udate.

Forward planning 

Many companies have had to adjust their plans, either changing strategy or putting plans on hold for a while. Now is a great time to have an open, two way conversation with your provider about what has changed with your global mobility strategy. This will help you to understand the external factors more deeply and may influence your strategy going forward.

Here are some ideas of what to cover in your conversation: 

Questions to ask about Relocation planning during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • What are some of the current service impacts in the geographic areas for which we have upcoming activities?
  • What are some of the potential impacts we might see? What is the level of risk and what can we do to plan to mitigate these risks?
  • Are there any alternative or additional services our employees might need at this time?
  • What benchmarking knowledge can you share with us that might be valuable?
  • What best practices are you seeing implemented elsewhere in the industry that might be worth us considering? 

Relationships are key, now is the time to use them. 

It is always important to have a great relationship with your service providers, and perhaps now that's more beneficial than ever. Conversations should be open and two way. A strong partnership that delivers maximum value to your organisation is built on trust, the ability to be responsive and flexible to needs as they evolve, and a mutual desire to do great work. 

In summary:

  • To fulfill your duty of care for safety make sure you've done your due diligence and asked all the relevant questions to allow you to assess risk and ensure it has been mitigated as far as possible. Use your providers experience and knowledge to ensure your due diligence is comprehensive. 
  • To maximise the success of your global mobility programme going forward, have open two way conversations with your provider about the situation external to your company, your future plans and the best way to achieve them, and the best practices your provider can share to add value to your plans. 

Book your Relocation Programme Impact Assessment with Bournes

Understanding the impact of Coronavirus on your Employee Relocation programme can be complex, especially as no two Global Mobility programmes are the same, and where the situation in each host country is different.

Even if you're not a client of Bournes we'd be happy to help you with a free initial relocation programme impact assessment for your business to help you plan for your upcoming requirements. 

Book a relocation programme impact assessment

Topics: Coronavirus

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