Between October and December 2021, Permits Foundation gathered feedback from 128 global mobility professionals from 64 organisations employing almost 4.5 million employees worldwide. The key findings have now been released in the International Dual Careers Survey Report 2022.
The report states that figures confirm that ‘managing dual careers is of increasing importance to organisational success’ – indeed, 61% of those surveyed said that dual career and partner issues were becoming more important to their organisation. Where a host country allows partners to work: 91% of respondents said that their organisation’s ability to attract people with desired qualifications and skills increased; 84% said that their organisation’s ability to retain people with desired qualifications and skills increased; 89% said that the willingness of the employee to accept an assignment in the host country increased.
Conversely, when a spouse or partner is not able to access work, there is evidence that it can have a negative impact on mobility: “In 59% of respondents’ organisations, global mobility professionals answered yes when asked if an employee had turned down an international assignment pre-pandemic because of concerns about the partner’s career or employment, 50% during the pandemic.”
A significant minority of respondents also reported that they did not know the figures in relation to the impact of partner career concerns on the assignment success. The report noted that communicating with the relocating family to achieve greater awareness of this issue could be beneficial for organisations looking at ways to improve their employee experience and/or reduce costs.
The increased emphasis on virtual working was also borne out in the figures relating to dependants. In the two year period up to December 2021, 60% of respondents had been asked by international employees about the right of their partner to work virtually.
Some 78% of participants said that their organisation provided dual career assistance either via a formal written policy, informal guidelines or on a case-by-case basis. For more than two thirds of participants, the level of assistance in their organisation had not changed since the start of the pandemic. Although 61% of respondents said that dual career and partner issues were becoming more important at their workplace, 65% of respondents felt that their organisations should do more to support dual careers.
Communication the key
In concluding the report noted: “While most organisations already provided some form of partner support, the majority of global mobility professionals surveyed felt that more should be offered. This could be achieved by establishing a formal channel of communication between HR and the accompanying partner at the pre-move stage and by providing information about dependant work authorisation in the host country.” For an analysis of this survey, Permits Foundation Director Helen Frew and Foundation Coordinator Françoise van Roosmalen discuss some of the key findings and emerging issues in this short podcast.
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Image: from Permits Foundation