New research from international healthcare provider, Expacare, has indicated that while companies are now looking to expand overseas, they are taking unnecessary risks when it comes to their employees’ health.

The report examined employers’ duty of care to staff they send abroad and found that the benefit options provided by employers operating internationally varied little from those provided for employees solely based in the UK.

Forty-one per-cent of employers said that the overall value of the package offered to UK and international based staff did not differ, while 24% of employers see offering a relocation allowance to staff as a core provision.

Of the employers questioned, the majority look to post an employee abroad for between three to six months, with 27% looking to send employees overseas for six months to a year which suggests that businesses are increasingly looking to take advantage of growth opportunities overseas. However, the report suggests that they are not offering the necessary benefits packages for their international staff.

Employers also revealed differing attitudes towards health insurance provision for their employees with 33% stating that it is a personal choice for employees and 24% saying they would like to provide it but cannot afford to.

Beverly Cook, Managing Director of Expacare, comments:

“The research has shown that employers are all too often leaving their staff vulnerable when relocating them to work overseas. There seems to be real confusion over policies, with far too many businesses assuming that their employees will be covered if they are located in the EU and that an employee’s travel insurance policy will cover all their health needs, which is rarely the case.

“Relocating employees internationally poses unique challenges to employers large and small and with health inflation at an all-time high it has never been more important for them to ensure that their staff are properly protected.”