What should an employer consider when implementing a crisis management plan for employees on international assignments?

Author: David Remedios

An employer that sends employees on international assignments should have a crisis management plan in place for responding to a natural disaster, terrorist attack or other emergency situation. When implementing a crisis management plan, the employer should:

  • Consider the legal, commercial, fiduciary and social responsibilities arising from sending employees to work in another country;
  • Identify potential crises that could affect employees working outside their home country, and assess whether and what extra security is required (and if it is, what type of assistance should be provided);
  • Consider offering increased rest and recuperation trips to an employee and accompanying family members and providing enhanced medical benefits, if warranted by in-country conditions;
  • Identify a crisis management team, including members of its international mobility team (whether an internal team or external advisers) as well as in-country representation;
  • Require expatriates to notify the international mobility team of their whereabouts at all times;
  • Develop a method of communication with employees and their dependents during an emergency and/or evacuation, and for tracking and controlling personnel movement;
  • Identify evacuation routes;
  • Ensure that the crisis management team has copies of essential items, such as passports and medical records, which may be required on very short notice; and
  • Establish a shelter-in-place strategy and strategies for repatriation home or evacuation to a nearby location or country.