Protection lacking for employees on international assignment
Despite recent natural disasters and the looming spectre of terrorism only 23 percent of companies that participated in a recent global survey had a specific emergency plan to evacuate employees on assignment in foreign countries. This is one of the findings of KPMGs Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey 2005. In terms of danger planning, industries such as high tech and manufacturing are leading the pace, according to Sandra Cittadini, Director in KPMGs Global Mobility Services group. At the time the survey was conducted, 26 percent of all participants, 31 percent of high tech respondents, 30 percent of manufacturing respondents and 17 percent of the financial services industry respondents had a global emergency plan in place. However, only seven percent of high tech industry respondents, 17 percent of respondents from manufacturing companies and 13 percent of financial services respondents had a specific plan in place for each country where they had assignees, said Ms Cittadini. In the currently unpredictable environment, now more than ever, companies have a duty of care to fully appraise their assignees on what they should do and who they should contact in an emergency situation, prior to leaving their home location. Precious time can be lost if there is uncertainty surrounding correct procedures, which can further endanger the lives of the assignee or their family, said Ms Cittadini. Forty-three percent of financial services respondents had a contract with a service provider for emergency evacuations and assistance during a crisis, compared to 33 percent of all participants. In response to a perceived increase in danger for assignees abroad, 44 percent of all organisations surveyed said they would reduce the number of assignees in high-risk locations, 18 percent said they would reduce operations in high-risk locations, while 24 percent would increase their reliance on local nationals in the area. Other survey highlights include: Thirty-three percent of assignees leave an organisation after returning from an international assignment, because they are offered a better job in another organisation. Fifty-three percent of organisations surveyed include de facto partners of the opposite sex in the definition of family this year, compared to 24 percent of companies surveyed in 1999. Forty-one percent of survey respondents include de facto partners of the same sex in the definition of family in 2005, compared to only 17 percent of those surveyed in 1999. Twenty-six percent of respondents didnt provide job search, visa assistance or allowances to accompanying spouses or partners of assignees whose careers were interrupted by the assignment. Forty-one percent of all survey participants provide an unlimited hardship or danger allowance. About KPMGs Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey The Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey is a web-based survey. The survey is dynamic, changing every time a new participant logs in and answers the questions. These survey results are based on the responses of 282 multinational organisations. For the purpose of this report, the results of the survey were taken at January 2005.