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In recent years, the volume of employees taking international assignments has significantly increased. For this reason, organisations have a greater responsibility to care for their LGBTI – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex – employees who may face, or may fear facing, victimisation while on an assignment. Here, we’re taking a look at what LGBTI expatriates require from their employers.

Standardise parental leave policies

In order to standardize parental leave policies, businesses must offer unlimited parental leave for all of their employees. A policy such as this makes a bold statement that a business values its employees, no matter their role as a parent. By standardizing parental leave policies, businesses may experience increased employee retention and enhanced support for employees during what will be one of the most stressful family transitions to experience.

Encourage internal LGBTI networking & communities

One of the most important, yet one of the most often overlooked aspects of good employee retention is providing mentorship among LGBTI colleagues and team members, not just in a department, but across the organisation. In order to successfully support LGBTI employees, businesses must encourage an internal LGBTI network community within their organisation. While this may seem small, it is incredibly important when you take into account that a shocking 23 per cent of LGBTI employees admitted that they were discriminated at their place of work.

Strong culture of inclusiveness

Sending a corporate email claiming an organisation’s commitment to inclusiveness is no longer enough to support LGBTI expatriates. Today, LGBTI expatriates require their employers to provide employee leadership in this area in order to create a strong culture of inclusiveness. In order to ensure a strong culture of inclusiveness, employee policies should be created, if not updated and revised in order to accurately reflect the new focus within the organisation, outlining that negativity or harassment on assignment will not be tolerated.

Support LGBTI issues in the community

Employers who want to make a difference within the communities they proudly serve, as well as their organisation, should begin supporting LGBTI events and issues if they haven’t already begun to do so. This could be something as simple as emboldening team members to partake in the Gay Pride Parade, or peacefully taking a stand against local law impacting LGBTI employees.

Furthermore, according to a report conducted by BGRS, Russia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are among the world’s most challenging expatriate assignment destinations for multination firms. The main reason for this is because a number of these countries support the death penalty for homosexuality. China and Brazil, however, present far less sensitivity to homosexuality.

Expats and their employers both face challenges and opportunities formed not only by the general demands of the business, but by economics, politics and culture. Due to this, businesses must strive to meet those demands in response to shifting pressures and the inclusion of LGBTI employees in international business.

If you’re considering relocating an employee abroad on an international work assignment, and you want to discuss how we can help,  get in touch with a member of our expert team today!

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