On The Move – Go Global and Stay Healthy
The globalisation of today’s business and deployment of its workforce around the globe is not something that just happened it is a direct result of a host of interlinked forces that allows us to operate within a global market.
We exist in a time of greater technological advancements – where communication is accessible by all, from anywhere. Business travel has become second nature and there is a drive, from within businesses, to support their bottom line by deploying its skilled workforce overseas and into new regions. The contributing factors in workforce globalisation are via businesses own resources, personnel and market seeking efforts as we now largely experience an openness of economies with a free movement of goods, services and trading currencies.
Businesses and HR decision makers need to think ‘global’. Whilst the business opportunities are limitless so are the potential risks, protecting your employee’s health and wellbeing through a correct health insurance policy is paramount. Specific consideration to the myriad of dangers an employee could face while working or travelling abroad cannot be generalised, as the health insurance policy should be relevant to the region or location they are working in.
All employers have a legal and moral duty to protect their employees from harm, where the risk can be reasonably anticipated – anything from political upheaval or instability, an outbreak of a viral disease, kidnapping or a poisonous spider bite! It is highly unlikely that any of these things would be a serious risk to your employee but what if they just have a car accident, slip in the shower and hit their head or suffer a heart attack?
At a minimum, an employer should ensure that they are familiar with the host country’s medical system and understand what an employee needs to do to access emergency medical care should it be required. BD Global Medical is experienced and able to advise on worldwide health insurance paying specific attention to regional and country differences and requirements.
Subject to the destination and legal requirements of a region relating to their healthcare systems an evaluation to possibly evacuate an employee versus contracting with a local medical group would be necessary. In addition to fully researching the locations, preparing a workforce or employee prior to working overseas should not be underestimated.
As an employer you need to ensure that your employees are in good health prior to travel. Regular health checks including optical and dental checks are vital to help prevent an employee from being unwell whilst working overseas. Having a low cost UK cash plan would meet some of these preparation checks.
It is also important to take into consideration the age of an employee travelling and if they could be susceptible to any illnesses. It is advised that all vaccinations are up to date and if travelling to a ‘high risk region’ they may also require further medication.
General wellbeing and getting ‘fit to travel’ is all part of the preparation phase. Long haul flights and regular air travel has been a cause of concern with specific health and wellbeing implications. Air travel is unavoidable and an essential part of business and globalisation. Direct links between deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and long haul air travel have been reported but being aware of the symptoms and what you can do to help prevent its occurrence are all part of the fit to travel phase.
Cost effective manageable schemes can be introduced to ensure you have a fit and healthy workforce. These could be through either walking or cycling to work schemes. Encouraging employees to carry out activities in their lunchbreak such as walking, this can also help productivity in the afternoons. Offering a free fruit incentive or providing discount on gym memberships and fitness clubs. These can be obtained through a group private medical insurance scheme.
As we see more companies involved with international business there is a high demand for employees to work overseas and the culture shock experience should not be underestimated as someone enters a new country that they are not familiar with.
The simple day to day challenges that an employee will face; food, diet and drink – whether it be different health and hygiene levels or a poor water supply restricting employees to drinking only bottled water. Then there is the weather to consider, with a possible extreme change to what an employee is currently use to – high levels of humidity or dangerous UV levels. The challenges in a new and unfamiliar location are likely to include religious or ethical differences, potential language and cultural barriers and for many being away from the comfort of family and friends can be a trigger for stress. An employer or HR manager can successfully help prepare employees to work and live overseas from expatriation, adjustment and repatriation through careful training and through the provision of an essential and well thought out employee health and wellbeing package.
How BD Global Medical Can Help
BD Global Medical is an insurance broker specialising in worldwide Health Insurance, Group Income Protection and Critical Illness as well as Group Life. At BDGM we work with leading insurance providers from around the World. This allows us to provide our corporate clients a comprehensive range of products and services. We offer group private medical insurance, cover for specific jurisdictions, visa approved schemes, options to include family cover, short term contracts if required, dental insurance, group income protection group critical illness, and group life.
Phone: +44 (0)203 356 9782