Tuesday, October 28, 2008

News You Can Use: Number of expats doubles

The economy hasn't soured employers on expatriate assignments, as new research from Mercer finds that the number of that the number of employees working abroad has nearly doubled in the last several years -- from 50,000 in 2005-2006 to 94,000 today.

Benefits factored highly in employers' expat plans, as 86% of respondents consider benefits provisions for expatriates as a medium or high priority. However, strategy appears to be lacking, as 26% have no overarching policy for providing expatriate benefits and 64% report no specific procedures in place to measure the success of their expatriate benefit programs.

Among specific benefits for expats:
* 32% of companies offer international plans (a nearly 10% increase from 2005)
* More than 80% do not consider the local social security provision when providing medical benefits for expatriates.
* 86% cover expat death benefits.
* 78% provide long-term disability benefits.

With such significant investments going into expatriate assignments, coupled with the unforgiving economy, selecting the right employees for expat assignments is crucial. Read the current EBN for tips on conducting "expat profiling," and listen to a "Five Minutes With..." podcast with expat expert Steve Watson on what employers should be looking for in expat candidates.

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