What If... Mov­ing abroad for work is a re­al­ity but many fail to prop­erly pre­pare not only for the stay abroad but also for their re­turn

Mov­ing abroad for work is a re­al­ity for an in­creas­ing num­ber of Nor­we­gians but ex­pe­ri­ence show that many fail to prop­erly pre­pare not only for the stay abroad but also for their re­turn to Nor­way.

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Contents - SOFIE LISBY

With pro­vi­sions for un­em­ploy­ment, pen­sion, dis­abil­ity, sick­ness and xdeath, the Nor­we­gian so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem is amongst the best in the world. For Nor­we­gians liv­ing and work­ing in Nor­way that is. For many Nor­we­gians work­ing and liv­ing abroad, rights change dras­ti­cally – of­ten­times with­out peo­ple re­al­is­ing.

With pro­vi­sions for un­em­ploy­ment, pen­sion, dis­abil­ity, sick­ness and death, the Nor­we­gian so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem is amongst the best in the world. For Nor­we­gians liv­ing and work­ing in Nor­way that is. For many Nor­we­gians work­ing and liv­ing abroad, rights change dras­ti­cally – of­ten­times with­out peo­ple re­al­is­ing.

“When mov­ing abroad, peo­ple are of­ten more con­cerned with hous­ing al­lowances, schools, cars and stuff like that and not so much with their so­cial se­cu­rity,” notes Vigdis Haug, Part­ner and Gen­eral Man­ager of ScanRisk, a lead­ing con­sul­tancy spe­cial­is­ing in em­ployee ben­e­fits and global risk man­age­ment for Nor­we­gian ex­pa­tri­ates and third coun­try na­tion­als. “Ques­tions about so­cial se­cu­rity may be bor­ing in com­par­i­son but they are the most im­por­tant ques­tions to ask.”

In­suf­fi­cient cover Es­tab­lished in 2009, ScanRisk has grown to be­come one of the lead­ing con­sul­tan­cies for Nor­we­gian in­di­vid­u­als liv­ing and work­ing abroad and the com­pa­nies that em­ploy them. As Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies en­ter new mar­kets around the world, an in­creas­ing num­ber of Nor­we­gian na­tion­als take up em­ploy­ment out­side of Nor­way for a num­ber of years. How­ever, far from ev­ery­one are aware of the changes in their so­cial se­cu­rity sta­tus that may hap­pen as a re­sult of their over­seas em­ploy­ment.

“Nowa­days, full ex­pa­tri­ate pack­ages where the com­pany still con­trib­utes to the em­ployee's Na­tional In­sur­ance Scheme are very rare be­cause it rep­re­sents a rel­a­tively high cost for the com­pany,” ex­plains Vigdis Haug. “A lot of com­pa­nies em­ploy Nor­we­gian na­tion­als on a lo­cal con­tract, which in most cases means that un­less the em­ployee has made his or her own pro­vi­sions, he or she is left with no so­cial se­cu­rity at all.”

Vigdis Haug es­ti­mates that only around half of the Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies em­ploy­ing Nor­we­gian na­tion­als abroad have suf­fi­cient in­sur­ance poli­cies in place. For ex­am­ple, she says, if a com­pany suf­fers a ter­ror at­tack or another un­fore­seen event, and an em­ployee dies or be­comes dis­abled, it is far from cer­tain that the com­pany in­sur­ance will be able to step in as many in­surances have spe­cial clauses in the event of war or ter­ror­ism. It is there­fore im­por­tant that in­di­vid­u­als are proac­tive when it comes to se­cur­ing their own rights and op­tions.

How­ever, even un­der less dra­matic circumstances many em­ploy­ees are ill­pre­pared for their ex­pa­tri­a­tion abroad. “A

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