Overseas employees require duty of care

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According to recent research from global health service company Cigna, more than two-thirds of mobile workers are dissatisfied with the time they have available to spend with family. The study found that 72 per cent are unhappy with the amount of time available to spend with family, while almost one-quarter (24 per cent) of those who are single or living alone suffer from loneliness.

Further findings from the Cigna 360° Wellbeing Survey - Globally Mobile Individuals were that people working overseas worry more about their own and their families’ health and wellness than those who reside in their home country, while more than three-quarters (76 per cent) reported that they cannot adequately take care of their children’s various needs and wellbeing. Only 42 per cent of respondents said they felt their employer offered them adequate duty of care, with 40 per cent not in receipt of any medical benefits by their company.

Phil Austin, CEO of Cigna Europe, highlighted the importance of employers being aware of the needs of their employees. “While working overseas has its benefits, the reality of life in a new country can be an emotional upheaval,” he said. “Working practices are different, not to mention the cultural, lifestyle and language changes, which can make coping with life’s challenges more difficult. Our findings show a deep insecurity about family health and wellbeing, coupled with social isolation and increasing loneliness, which is exacerbated by the loss of a support network. It’s imperative that employers pay attention to the needs of their globally mobile employees and, as a health partner, we remain committed as ever in delivering solutions to tackle this.”