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Where does Global Mobility sit within Global Employee Benefits?

Thanks to Thomsons Online Benefits, who’s Employee Benefits Watch Report shed a little bit more light on how Global Mobility features in the list of priorities for Global Employee Benefits professionals.

As a relocation management company, it has been interesting to see the relationship between Employee Benefits and Global Mobility transition over the years. Last year, the RES Forum reported that over half of respondents to their survey said that Global Mobility reported into Compensation and Benefits – a figure that we have also seen reflected in other surveys of the Global Mobility function.

It was therefore heartening to read in the Thomsons Online Benefits report that Global Mobility did indeed have a place in the list of top priorities for Global Employee Benefits professionals.


Global Mobility is on the Global Employee Benefits Agenda

So it would appear that Global Mobility are viewed by many businesses as a high priority, sitting alongside those more traditional factors  you would normally expect to see on the employee benefits agenda; pensions, global health, employee wellness and flexible benefits (see Figure 1 below).

The fact that “Suppor Global Mobility” is positioned so low on the top priority list of Global Employee Benefits objectives begs the next question “How will Global Employee Benefits support Global Mobility?”

Furthermore, should Global Mobility sit within Compensation and Benefits or should it be a specialist standalone function within every organisation with international interests? Should Global Mobility report directly to the Board? And should it have its budgets ring-fenced to ensure the continued development of an organisation’s international success? So many questions.


Global Mobility as a Specialism

On the surface, Global Mobility appears to be fairly straight forward. You have a business case for a role that requires fulfilling and the best person fro the role is located in another office overeas. The employee requires relocating internationally by the company. The company needs to ensure they arrive ready to perform in the role as efficiently as possible and it has a duty of care to the employee. So who in your business can support this requirement? Invariably it will end up in your HR department. If this is the first time they have had to support an employee relocation they will often seek advice – possibly through the internet and through the use of a relocation company.

The truth is, this is just the start of your HR department’s journey into a whole new world of relocation and global mobility. One which can become more convoluted as your HR department gets further into the detail, and the more your business will need to consider establishing a structured approach to managing the process. It will involve immigration, payroll, employment law and inevitably tax implications. Taking action early and engaging with a relocation company and specialist providers can help you get off to the best start. We have published a Guide to Starting your Global Mobility programme, with the things you need to consider from the outset. We can also make sure that you get off to the best start and don’t become overwhelmed.

As HR and Employee Benefits become more aware of the implications, there is often a realisation that Global Mobility is a specialism which requires a specific set of skills and understanding of the areas of compliance, policy, resource and management requirements. Which is why those businesses who understand Global Mobility will most likely have a Global Mobility specialist, or department, dedicated to Global Mobility.


The Thomsons Global Employee Benefits Watch Report 2018/19

If you do work in Global Employee Benefits, or have an international role within Comp & Ben, Reward or International HR, then the Thomsons Global Employee Benefits Watch Report 2018/19 is worth reading.

If you don’t want to provide your personal details in the download, we have a copy we can email to you

If you want to get a more detailed understanding of the key areas you need to understand within Global Mobility, then you can speak to one of our Global Mobility Advisers us here at Gerson Relocation – just call us on +44 (0) 20 3837 5999, or watch our video discussion with a Head of Global Mobility and a Head of Reward.


Global Employee Benefits Watch 2018/19 report
Figure 1: Global Employee Benefits Watch 2018/19 Report. Source: Thomsons Online Benefits

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