Friday, April 8, 2011

Managing Expatriates During Crises

Recently,  an article on Disaster Plan was published based on recent Tsunami and 9.0 earthquake that shook Japan. It provided a list of reminders for everyone who is living in a zone that has a prevalent catastrophic activity like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis etc. 

Evacuation of Expatriates in Critical Zones

Expatriates living in different countries are not exempted in this area.  While an expat is living in a foreign country, it was a part of his/her orientation about learning the nuances of living in the new home country.  The nuances are not only related to culture, business practices, schooling for children, language barriers, and way of life and lifestyles.  It also cover learning about current local rules, regulations and laws that might affect your temporary living in that particular country.

Disaster Plan is also a part of an Expatriate Program Management. Organizations with competent Human Capital Program Managers should have this plan incorporated in their Mobility Program.  However, the most important of that equation is the how and logistics of exit.  It is a a very challenging activity when an expat will take an exit at the soonest in a country that is in turmoil. Have you thought of that logistics when you were creating your program or the least your policy?

Recently, numerous British expats living in Bahrain were surprised with the impact of a current local law that will not allow those individuals to leave the kingdom if they have outstanding debts with banks and private firms regardless of the situation of the country. 

Solutions Planning and Management

The Human Capital Manager who is in-charge in the deployment of Expats in any country must take every efforts in putting together important pieces of Evacuation Plan. One part of that plan is providing adequate knowledge, guidance and training to their expatriates.  The same dedication is expected on the part of the Expat so that they know when and how to exit when such situation present itself.

On the case of Bahrain, expats have down-played the reality of having debt while they are in a temporary living status in this kingdom. Are they aware on the existence of the law? or not? 

In any situation and regardless of location of expatriate living. One must take responsibility in understanding what are the things that are convenient and advantageous while living as an expat.  But one must not ignore the force of a local law that will prohibit their exit from such country when there is a turmoil or similar event that will take place. 

The Evacuation Plan must illustrate actionable logistics that employees can execute immediately from their current location.  Human Capital Management must be the Lead at the very beginning of planning by informing their expat employees on the limitations and prohibitions including privileges of certain laws at specific countries.

Consequence of Situations:
At the event that there is a turmoil at host country of the expat, and they cannot exit due to certain obligations such as debt in Bahrain that is enforced by local laws. How can an employer assist the expat? At what extent that the employer will play a role even though certain obligations are incurred by personal activities? It's a tough decision but someone will have to bite a bullet in order to evacuate expats from danger zones. 

Share us your thoughts and ideas by sending your email to: or write your comments at the comments section below. 

We invite you to join Us at the following locations:

#    #     #

No comments:

Post a Comment