Expat employers expect newbies to go it alone

Published:  5 Dec at 6 PM
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For newly arrived expat employees, the most tricky part of moving to a new country is learning the language and finding a home without the assistance of their new employer.

A recent survey conducted by Lloyds Bank International has revealed that many overseas employers fail to give new expat staff any help in settling in to their new host country. As many as 25 per cent of those surveyed were given no payment towards the cost of moving nor any help in finding suitable long-term accommodation, and 68 per cent had no help in finding suitable language classes.

Over 1,000 British expats working in the USA, UAE, Spain, France, Australia, Canada and other popular destinations were polled, and another major complaint was that no guidance or assistance in choosing the right international school was forthcoming in 60 per cent of cases. Expat parents were most concerned about selecting a suitable school without local knowledge.

Family concerns remain one of the commonest reasons for terminating an assignment before it ends, according to another survey, the 2013 Brookfield Global Relocation Trends. Over 23 per cent of respondents cited family problems caused by cultural and social differences as the reason why they returned to their home country earlier than intended.

Lloyds Bank International director Richard Musty believes that companies sending staff abroad should consider their needs more carefully in order to achieve a successful, full-length assignment, as at present 33 per cent of expats return before their contract ends. He also expressed his surprise that essential lifestyle factors seem to be ignored by employers in favour of financial considerations.
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