HRO Today July/August 2015 - 39

Relocation
and others the more robust traditional package, there
may be challenges unless the justification for the
different approaches is made clear. Employees that
understand and buy into the objective of the assignment
will accept the approach being used.
Payment of salary, benefits, and other compensation
elements in line with host location practices is referred to
as a local package. Employees do not receive any ongoing
benefits during the assignment based on their status as
temporary and/or foreign workers. This is why it is most
commonly used for international transfers, where the
relocation is considered permanent.
But there are two cases where an employee transitions to
local status for a temporary assignment:
1. Compensation and living conditions in the home and
host locations are very similar and the assignee does not
have any continuing obligations at home.
2. Employees are from very low wage countries on
assignment in very high wage countries.
Otherwise, a full transition to local status is rarely
practical for temporary assignees. So organizations are
leveraging a local plus approach, where the employee
transitions to host compensation but also receives
additional benefits traditionally associated with the
home country.
Local Plus Policy Blueprint
The most common local plus element is host location
housing assistance since many temporary assignees
keep their home country housing since it's likely they
will be returning within one to three years. Most
employees don't have the financial resource to support
two residences. Some homeowners may lease out their
homes while on assignment-with or without company
assistance with property management services-and
using that rental income to offset carrying costs and pay
for host location housing.
A range of policy elements that provide additional
assistance to assignees include:
* Settling-in assistance. This may be offered as a standard
or optional element, depending on whether the
assignment location is familiar to the assignee.
* Local transportation. Assistance with transportation in
the host location is most often provided in locations
where a car is required but the employee is not eligible
to receive a company car or where it is not safe for
assignees to drive.
* Dependent education. In cases where it is not possible
for accompanying dependents to attend local schools
due to language barriers, companies may assist with
international school tuition, either fully for the term of
the assignment or on a declining basis.
* Home leave. This is commonly included in local plus,
especially if the assignee is not in a position that
provides for business trips to the home location or if
immediate family remains in the home location.
* Emergency leave. Since this is not commonly used and
is relatively low cost when needed, some companies
include it as part of a local plus package even though it
is not a necessity.
Many programs or policy elements associated with
helping assignees prepare for assignments and relocation
are similar in traditional home country balance sheet
based and local plus policies. Examples of provisions that
are standard in both policy types include:
* Immigration support. This element is standard, as it is in
the company's best interest to ensure compliance with
immigration requirements.
* Assignment orientation. The value of reviewing the
policy and practices of assignment assistance is high and
the cost to deliver the orientation is low.
* Tax briefing. Often included as standard because tax
compliance is critical to the company.
* Home search trip and/or temporary living. One or both
may be provided.
* Shipment of household goods and/or personal effects.
Inclusion of furnishings may depend on housing norm
in the host location.
* Relocation allowance. While typically included, the
amount for local plus policies may be less than what
is provided for home country balance sheet based
assignments.
In policies where the objective of local plus is to reduce
the cost of the assignment, some elements that are
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HRO Today July/August 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HRO Today July/August 2015

HRO Today July/August 2015 - 1
HRO Today July/August 2015 - 2
HRO Today July/August 2015 - 3
HRO Today July/August 2015 - 4
HRO Today July/August 2015 - 5
HRO Today July/August 2015 - 6
HRO Today July/August 2015 - 7
HRO Today July/August 2015 - 8
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