UK businesses see opportunities abroad but need help to look after employee needs
More than half of UK employers are targeting new markets abroad although many admit to struggling to get relocation packages for staff right.
Research published this week suggests that emerging BRIC economies are the location of choice for most British businesses looking to expand internationally, with 41% considering expanding their operations in China and India. Russia also features prominently on the list of destinations for a quarter (25%) of employers surveyed for international private medical insurance (iPMI) provider Aviva UK Health.
One in five employers (21%) surveyed say that they have sent more employees abroad over the past few years, while a further 13% are looking to increase the number of staff they send on overseas assignments.
Macro-economic issues have prompted businesses to consider international opportunities, with over half (55%) of companies targeting new markets to expand their business. Just under a third (29%) believe they can make more money in overseas markets.
However, the survey also suggests that despite an appetite to increase global workforces, 68% of employers describe the re-location process as challenging, with 60% saying that different rules and regulations in relation to issues such as health provision cause them the biggest headache. The survey also reveals that the risk of international assignments failing remains high.
Half (50%) of employers admit that they struggle to get their rewards package right and three quarters (75%) of employers include iPMI as part of their relocation package, second to housing (78%). Other widely offered benefits include paying expenses (72%), arranging schooling (52%) and life insurance (40%).
Other research published this year highlights similar employer concerns about expanding overseas. Only 5% of employers at a seminar held by Jelf Employee Benefits, the intermediary, said that they felt they completely understood the rules for international healthcare in all the countries in which they had employees deployed.