DOD’s blog: What does Ebola mean for global mobility?

In the past few weeks I have had several conversations with HR people about the impact of Ebola.

Debi O'Donovan 2013

In particular, those responsible for expatriates are not sure how to react.

One employer had expat staff out in West Africa so had to decide whether to bring them back to the UK. And if they did, how long for, and was it fair on local staff left behind? How far does duty of care extend in these cases?

Another employer needed to post an expatriate from sub-Saharan Africa to an Asian country, but staff in the office in the Asian country insisted the African expatriate spend 21 days in Europe before getting to his final destination. He wasn’t to be told why the three week sojurn was necessary, nor were the workers in the European office where he bided his time. Was this duty of care to this person? Or to their temporary colleagues?

Not surprisingly, these tough issues are whispered confidentially (the business risk would be huge if these trickier issues got out). But I also know that many employers are desperate to know what others are doing. 

Is there anyone reading this who does have insights and answers to these difficult challenges? If so, post your thoughts, ideas and advice in the comment section below – this is the time to network and share.

Or – and excuse the blatant plug – come along to the EMEA Global Mobility Summit 2014 on 7 November in London, there will be plenty of networking and sharing of best practice there. 

Debi O’Donovan


Employee Benefits 

Twitter: @DebiODonovan