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With the news emerging that Shenzhen and Silicon Valley are fast merging into one gigantic trans-Pacific markers hub – Calichina (the ideas are developed in California’s Silicon Valley but things are made in China) – employers must begin to take into account the key benefits and drawbacks prior to sending their assignees abroad. With large European state-owned companies such as Airbus recently announcing their move to what was once a small fishing village just 40 years ago, and Shenzhen already being home to tech companies such as Foxconn and Huawei, more businesses are looking at the opportunities Calichina offers. Below, we explore the aspects employers should consider before sending their assignees to Calichina.
The Employment Contract
Regardless of whether the employee is remaining with their current employer or are transferring to a host employer, the employment contract must be amended as soon as possible.
Employees often expect the service with their current employer to be preserved, and thus this must be stated in the contract in order to avoid the occurrence of dispute. This is incredibly important because not only does it offer the assignee protection from unfair dismissal from their assignment in Calichina, but it also gives them the right to redundancy payment.
Management During The Assignment
Employers considering sending their employees to Calichina must consider how local customers and laws may affect the assignees work. This includes:
- Hours – Employers must consider whether the hours of work may differ in the new country, and if the employee is anticipated to follow local practice
- Holidays – Businesses must consider that the public holidays may vary slightly in Calichina, and thus must decide who will authorise the holidays
- Cultural Issues – Once businesses have considered the hours and holidays, they must consider the cultural issues an employee who is embarking on their first assignment may experience
- Reporting – It is the employer’s responsibility to identify the individual who the assignee will report to when working across the globe
- Training – Similarly, an employer must also decide whether or not their chosen assignee requires additional training, or is subject to various professional development obligations.
Employers that take the relevant steps to ensure that employees understand the culture and language of the country where they will undertake their foreign assignment, in this case, Calichina, often work best. Arguably, cultural sensitivity training is one of the most important aspects when sending an employee on an international assignment, just as it is important to ensure language barriers are overcome, should there be any. If based in Shenzhen, then the cultural differences are likely to be much more dramatic than if the assignee is based in Silicon Valley – dependent on their original home country. Cultural assimilation can be achieved through training or alternatively providing a translator fluent in the desired language.
On some occasions, employers need to send their employees to countries where they might face safety and health risks that are not a typical threat in their home country. In these situations, employers must be truthful about the risks, and provide the necessary information and services required to help reduce risk and ensure assignees return home safely. An effective way to reduce risk is to provide cultural training prior to travel, and consider an employee assistance programme for 24/7 support and peace of mind.
Sending employees overseas is becoming increasingly common. It is paramount that the assignee’s contract reflects what is expected from him or her during their assignment and specifies notable changes, such as those regarding salary, role and duration of role. Calichina, for one, provides several opportunities for employer and assignee alike. Though the ideas may still be generated in California, this is where they take physical form and businesses new to the scene, such as smartphone company Huawei, have already seen their business expand rapidly.
If you’re considering relocating an employee abroad on an international work assignment, and you want to discuss how we can help you, contact us today.