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The devil’s in the details when relocating

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As companies continue to move employees internationally, their biggest challenges often stem from having to comply with local regulations.

Country-specific challenges such as cost control (61%), local laws (51%) and housing regulations (41%) make up the biggest barriers relocation managers of MNCs face when processing an international assignment, a survey by Cartus found.

Because companies are still focused on cost control, this may affect the assignee as it puts direct pressure on benefit levels, while managing local laws and regulations may cause the employee to face issues such as difficulties in opening a banking account.

Housing is another major concern as it may have “a disproportionate impact” on the employee and the success of the assignment. Accommodation in developed cities may be comfortable but costly, while those in less developed areas will be affordable but with lower living standards.

“The challenges associated with many of these locations – limited schooling options, the need for security precautions, and often the cost and scarcity of housing – are leading a growing number of companies to consider ‘split-family’ solutions,” Kenneth Kwek, senior vice president and general manager of Cartus Asia Pacific operations, said.

A split-family solution means the dependants of the employee either remains in a more developed city of the host country while he travels to the office or plant location, or they remain in the home country with only the employee making the move.

Kwek said it is also important for companies to realise there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to relocation as challenges will differ country-to-country.

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