Businesses are increasingly sending staff on international assignments to riskier locations in terms of safety, security and health – and demanding iPMI providers respond to meet changing duty of care requirements. This is according to an independent study* of UK HR professionals commissioned by global insurance and assistance provider, Collinson Group.
The research found that around a quarter of HR professionals (23 per cent) are increasing the number of staff deployed to pursue new opportunities in ‘tier two’ emerging economies such as China and Russia.
When looking at international assignments to frontier territories such as Nigeria and Argentina, 8 per cent reported managing more of these trips. Living and working in many of these countries is regarded as a higher risk by insurers for a variety of reasons, including the heightened risk of terrorism and civil unrest, as well as natural disasters.
In line with this trend many businesses are demanding more travel and security advice from their iPMI providers – 56 per cent said it was the most vital product or service for staff on long-term international assignments.
Lawrence Watts, Commercial Director at Collinson Group, said: “Customers of iPMI providers recognise the strong growth prospects that emerging economies and frontier markets offer, with their abundance of natural resources and rapidly growing populations often fuelling major infrastructure investments.
“However, they also acknowledge that the heightened risk profile of many of these locations requires duty of care and iPMI policies that are fit for purpose. Businesses have the option of using our security and risk alerts as part of their offering, for instance”
Businesses are now implementing robust employee benefit policies that go beyond solely health and medical issues. In fact, 79 per cent of respondents felt it was important for their iPMI partners to provide services such as security, repatriation, pre-travel arrangements and cultural advice to support their employees. Long-term assignees need the reassurance that they have access to best-quality care, wherever they are in the world.
Michelle Elmore, Head of Business Development, Accident and Health at Collinson, added: “In Nigeria, for example, we are seeing an increase in the level of healthcare provision locally. However, a lack of reliability on medical supplies, combined with the challenge of securing and retaining the appropriate clinical staff, may mean that treatment out of the country is still required.”
Ultimately, with nearly half of respondents (46 per cent) expecting more staff to be sent on long-term international assignments over the next three years, businesses must adequately prepare staff for any eventuality and have the necessary support in place if a critical event does happen – in any location and at any time.
Collinson’s iPMI products protect employees working overseas by giving them access to the best global healthcare including hospitals, medical evacuation, dentists and wellness benefits. They help keep staff safe, happy and in good health, allowing them to focus on the job at hand and make international assignments a success.
*Based on an independent survey of 200 UK HR professionals commissioned by Collinson and conducted by Atomik Research in August 2017.