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Navigating employee benefits and healthcare in different countries
A good company culture generates talent attraction.
Whether you are a traditional family business or a fast-growing startup expanding overseas — several aspects must be implemented or strategically planned to have a smoother landing in a new authority. Building a strong workforce and having a positive team environment are key elements that will allow companies to enter a new market more successfully.
A good company culture generates talent attraction. As companies are waging the war on talent, several components of employee benefits will need to be incorporated to ensure employee satisfaction. Employee benefits are a pillar of workforce resilience that helps to create a symbiosis between the employer and employee.
Insurance is a key vehicle to help build the best employee benefits experience. Demonstrating care and offerings towards business associates is an important message companies should share about employee benefits. As a result, companies need to consider adapting their original practices to align with employment laws, local standards, and benefits in new countries.
From the very basics, such as Health & Disability offerings or Life protection insurance, the offerings differ per country and company. Insurance principles across countries operate in the same manner, as there are detailed conditions that vary depending on the local regulations and norms. Companies need to ensure they comply and adapt their offerings to match those of the local regulatory framework.
Every country has its own norms and legal framework of employment laws and employee benefit offerings. The science of balancing the differences across countries to match your company strategy and culture is something that must be done with your specialised insurance broker or consultant. Ideally, you should work with an insurer that has global knowledge and capabilities for employee benefits.
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated large losses for both public and private sector insurance companies. This is specifically relevant to insurance that involves Health, Disability, and Life. As a result, many private insurers increased their pricing in 2021 to cover the increase in cost and risk. There are ways to mitigate the impact of these cost increases. These include:
1. Merging or “pooling’’ cost coverages and countries’ insurance offerings where you can,
2. and share the profits with insurers in times when costs are lower.
Pooling is a tool that allows companies with operations in different countries to match company strategy with local requirements and market standards. This helps to protect your talent by maximising coverage and minimising costs.
Whatever the solution is as to how you choose to manage your global employee benefits, it is important to ensure good coordination and communication with a specialised insurance consultant. Ideally, you will work with a local expert to advise on country-specific queries, but consult a global headquarters to advise on your global strategy and policies.
Working side-by-side with either a domestic or global insurer will help you optimise your employee benefits. In conclusion, having a well-established Employee Benefits Programme helps companies attract talent by demonstrating well-established policies and employee benefit programmes.
An example can be demonstrated when considering opening a company in Mexico. Two familiar challenges companies face include:
1. When a company is incorporated in Mexico, companies often have their contracts or project specifications drafted by US lawyers. In the USA, however, the wording of certain contracts obliges companies to purchase coverage for their employees, such as Workers’ Compensation Insurance with a reputable, established insurance company.
Our challenge is that we must explain that coverage in Mexico is provided by the “IMSS” (Social Security System), which is government-operated. However, it is paid by the employer and employee through the payroll.
2. Although the State of Mexico provides some coverage, companies must still provide a private Health and Life insurance programme, which is to be owned by the ‘’mother’’ company in the United States. This is because the US employer will provide a range of benefits which many employees will find attractive. The USA employer can advertise this to attract the best available talent.
Depending on the size of the company and the number of employees, the programme can start from an individual policy, a smaller group policy hosting at least ten employees, or grow into a robust programme over the years and analyse the feasibility of pooling.
International insurers such as Metlife, AXA, and Zurich offer these options in Mexico. Domestic companies such as Atlas, Argos, and GNP can also provide this service.
How to Get the International Expansion Ball Rolling
Expanding internationally is a challenge, but when done correctly, it can be a streamlined process that enhances your business hugely.
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You can sign up for the Centuro Connect platform today. The platform has details on tax, immigration, market entry points, HR, marketing, and real estate – plus contactable, reliable experts to help you ace your expansion. This means that no matter what stage of the expansion journey you’re at, support is there if you face a challenge. Get in touch to learn more today!
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