Are you doing enough to support LGBTQI employees?

Kathmandu (Pahichan) August 2 – As companies enter into offering and managing expatriate assignments, employees begin going to host countries all over the world. Whether the work is driven more by a strategic business need, business critical talent gap solution or a developmental opportunity for the employee as part of the talent development and retention efforts, each location poses unique challenges that have to be considered.

Some locations come with safety and security issues, a key element that ties back to duty of care. According to this article from QRIUS “As the number of workers taking international assignments increases, companies have more responsibility to look after their LGBTI employees who face persecution while on assignment.” The types of challenges come in a wide variety, a few of which are:

  • Refusal of spousal visas if same-sex marriage is not legal in that country
  • Access to healthcare and other benefits can be restricted for those relocating as a same-sex couple
  • LGBTQI people may face a difficult workplace climate, a perceived lack of career opportunities or status at work
  • Relocation to countries where homosexuality is illegal may leave LGBTQI employees at risk of arrest and harassment

Some of the more challenging locations that we find clients sending people to are Russia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. According to this article, companies need to take into account the experience of LGBTQI employees on international assignment because it can be a frustrating, lonely and maybe even a physically dangerous experience. If taking a blind eye is not your preferred method of support, then taking the path of acknowledging the challenges and concentrating on efforts to support LGBTQI expatriates through their international assignment experience is your alternative. This primarily comes in the shape of improved communication and the flexibility to reassign or return early from assignment. Mobility managers need to be aware of what is going on in the world and how that could impact the employees being sent abroad.

While travel has some inherent risk for all employees, LGBTQI employees often face a greater degree of risk than most. This guide is designed to help LGBTQI travelers navigate those layers. Stonewall’s “Safe Travels: Global Mobility for LGBT Staff” is a 24-page guide with best practice tips for supporting LGBTQI staff.

Source : plusrelocation