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Changing face of an international workforce

19th December 2014 Print

In the last five years, a fifth (22%) of business owners say that the average age of their international workforce has increased, according to new research conducted by specialist international healthcare provider Expacare for the “Anatomy of an international business 2014-15” report.

With so many business owners seeing age as no employment barrier, four fifths (79%) did admit that as their average workforce age increases they have felt the need to make additional provisions for international private medical care. The research also found that the average age of an international worker is between 26 and 45 years old, with nearly 90% of all workers who move overseas fitting into this age bracket.

In light of this, having the right healthcare in place is an important element of an international workers benefits package whatever their age. The most common features of a benefits package desired by an employee as part of an international health insurance policy were listed by businesses as:

Medical evacuation (37%)
24 hour medical helpline (29%)
Choices of treating doctor and medical facility (29%)
Psychiatric help (16%)
Cancer cover (16%)

Businesses were also asked which elements of their health package their staff were most likely to use when working overseas. A quarter (24%) admitted to using their policy for psychiatric help and a further fifth (20%) for an acute episode of a chronic condition. Nearly a fifth (17%) also stated that that have used the 24 hour medical helpline included in their private medical insurance package.

In spite of whether workers intend to return home or not all admitted to having similar concerns when it comes to their finances. A top consideration for employees was about the different rules surrounding taxation (32%) when they move overseas, while a further 28% were worried about banking and pensions, with a further 15% concerned about wills and inheritance.

Beverly Cook, Managing Director of Expacare commented: “The research reveals that businesses overseas are increasingly hiring older international workers. While this is great news, businesses must also have in place the right healthcare provisions for this type of worker. As we age our health needs change and an international workers policy must be tailored to meet their needs.

“With more businesses looking to expand internationally they should put the health needs of their workforce first. It’s good to see that so many packages include medical evacuation and a 24 hour medical helpline as standard but chronic conditions should also be covered as these costs can quickly escalate out of control. Any business moving overseas should ensure that they have the knowledge and finances to ensure that their employees have a happy and enjoyable time working overseas.”