The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager – unpicking over promises

by Gina Tonic

Expat Academy The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager - unpicking over promises Dear Diary,

It seems summer is disappearing fast, and the evenings are drawing in. We are back to the usual volume of assignment initiations, repatriations and random queries from line managers that really ought to know better by now! (I worked hard over the summer introducing comms to raise the GM profile but that is whole other entry!).

Homeward bound

Last month’s repatriation report highlighted some interesting issues. In particular, one assignee, on assignment from the UK to Spain for a year, was due to return to the UK. Simple enough? But oh no, it turns out that it’s not going to be that simple. He doesn’t want to be in the UK, he wants to move home to Ireland (where he is originally from). His line manager (it’s always them!) said that was fine and that they would pay for flights to the UK to commute each week (Arrggh). These situations literally make my head go up, a frown appear on my forehead and the hair on the back of neck stand on end as the rage builds!  When will the line managers understand there is so much more to this than just the cost of additional flights! Note to self to update the GM profile comms.

Time to unpick the over promised terms

After a stroll to the coffee machine to calm down and restore my less scowly and more professional look and, arming myself with a download from the Expat Academy Vault (entitled ‘Cross Border Working Business Advice email template’), I took myself off to the HRBP to explain the many many issues this arrangement flagged.

We discussed the main areas that needed to be considered and then I was tasked to explain this all to the returning assignee! If it wasn’t such a painful process, I think it should be the over promising line manager that should do this but, on the other hand, that may elongate the negotiations. To cut a long story of to-ing and fro-ing short, things were changed, and it was agreed that his Irish tax affairs were his responsibility and his flights were at his cost. It was also explained incredibly clearly that, whilst at home in Ireland, he should not be undertaking any work. We also reviewed his T&Cs in more detail just to ensure there were no other hidden surprises that could rear their ugly head in the future.

As much as I liked this particular employee, he didn’t really like me much after our meeting and that, in essence, computer says no…..

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