Worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies and Practices

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According to the 2020 WIAPP findings, six out of ten companies have a process in place to track where their assignees are in the event of an emergency, which represents an increase of 11 percentage points compared to the previous edition, and another 12% are developing similar procedures.

Order the full report to learn more about the latest trends in mobility program management or contact us to purchase a custom cut report including data from a peer group of your choice.

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Spot Survey: Mobility trends disrupted by the global COVID-19 crisis

Complementing the 2020 WIAPP study, Mercer has launched a short snapshot survey aimed at understanding how the global COVID-19 crisis is expected to impact international talent mobility.

Is the novel coronavirus impacting your daily business, processes and expat employees? How is your organization handling the global health emergency? And how do you compare to your peers with respect to risk management strategies, budget allocation, security and emergency policies, and other Mobility policy factors?

Take 10 minutes to participate!

The survey only remains open until mid-October. We will share the results with participants once ready.

More about the WIAPP survey

With the largest participant base in the market, the comprehensive Worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies and Practices (WIAPP) addresses the most critical policy and practice elements of international assignments and answers prevalent questions in this dynamic field:

  • How are mobile workforces changing?
  • What are the trends in administering mobility programs?
  • What policy segmentation have companies implemented? What are the policy differentiators? Do companies have more than one long-term assignment policies?
  • How important are certain incentives in the current economy?
  • What factors cause an assignment to fail?
  • How flexible are employers to accommodate an increasingly diverse assignee profile population?

Key report highlights

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Managing tax and tax compliance (58%), cost containment (48%), and managing exceptions (43%) remain the three principal challenges in long-term assignment management.

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Multinational companies are reinforcing their relocation assistance, with a higher proportion of respondents, compared to the 2017 findings, providing home-finding assistance (up 4 percentage points (pp)), school-finding assistance (up 6 pp), support opening a bank account (up 6 pp) and settling-in assistance (up 5 pp).

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Female assignees represent only 20% of the international assignee population, although with a steady upward trend compared to 14% in 2017 and 11% in 2015.

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The top three factors that can cause an assignment to fail remain: difficulty adjusting to the host country (38%), poor candidate selection (37%), and spouse or partner’s unhappiness (34%).

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Special focus on long-term assignments

Along with reviewing general trends and demographics in Mobility programs, the 2020 WIAPP edition puts a special and in-depth focus on long-term assignments (LTA).

Responding to the latest tendency towards assignment diversification and policy segmentation, the survey explores a range of diverse long-term assignment types and provides companies with the opportunity to thoroughly review and benchmark a variety of their LTA policies and practices, by policy element, against the relevant peer group.

Data gathered and analyzed

General mobility program trends

  • Demographics
  • International assignment program management
  • International assignment policy(ies)

Long-term assignments (LTA)

  • LTA policies
  • LTA trends and demographics
  • LTA administration

Detailed compensation, benefits, and relocation support elements for your unique or differing long-term assignment policies

  • Remuneration approach
  • Taxes and social security policy
  • Cost-of-living / Goods and services allowance
  • Mobility and hardship premiums, danger pay
  • Rest-and-recreation leave
  • Security and emergency evacuation measures
  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Airfare and home leave
  • Spouse and family support policy
  • Pre-assignment support
  • Pre-assignment support
  • Relocation assistance
  • Household goods shipment and storage
  • Miscellaneous relocation allowance
  • Repatriation
  • Localization policy
  • Compliance

Participation remains open

You can still participate in the survey to receive a 66% discount off the report price and access participant-only benchmarking solutions!

Participation The survey is still open to new participants. Completing it entitles you to discounted report pricing.

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Alternative International Assignments Survey This survey focuses on trends and policies and practices for managing short-term assignments, commuters and one-way transfers, complementing Mercer’s WIAPP survey.

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Flexible policies The report from our Flexible Mobility Policies Survey will help you find out how companies have introduced flexibility in their global mobility policies, presenting the prevalent approaches and how successful they have been.

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Metrics and analytics While talent mobility analytics have not reached full maturity yet, the ability to use and share relevant analytics for decision marking is an increasingly important trend that should not be ignored – but how far are you with adopting metrics and analytics for your mobility program?

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Organization and transformation This report can help you benchmark your mobility function's organization and management against that of your peers by providing an in-depth review of the services responsible for the mobile workforce management and information on how they are structured and operated.

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Policy benchmarking Participation in the WIAPP facilitates a review with Mercer's Policy Benchmarking service. We can assess your mobility program using precise benchmarking tools and report on gaps in your program that could be costing you money or valuable competitive advantage.

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