Long-Term Assignment Policy Benchmark Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industries

Long-Term Assignment Policy Benchmark: Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industries

SIRVA BGRS’s Mobility Experience Solutions experts surveyed several leading pharmaceutical and biotech corporations to surface key long-term assignment policy trends.

As organizations compete for skilled and experienced talent, long-term assignments have taken on an even more important role in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. Our recent benchmark study provides insights on policy and program design trends.

Policy and Program Design

Employee satisfaction (40%) and talent mobility strategy (40%) are cited as the two most prominent drivers of program design, with cost containment being reported as the most important criteria for the remaining 20%. Core/flex programs continue to be a topic of interest, with just under half (40%) of companies offering this policy structure for long-term assignments.

Assignment benefits eligibility is determined based on two factors: job level (40%) and business purpose (20%), with all companies preparing an assignment letter. Half (50%) of the respondents have repayment agreements in place for their long-term assignees. A large majority of respondents (70%) maintain home payroll for their long-term assignees while 20% split payroll between home and host locations. Exactly half (50%) of those surveyed use an outside data provider for compensation.

Cultural adaptability proved to be an interesting dimension, with 80% of employers not conducting a cultural adaptability assessment prior to assignment. Of the 20% of companies that do provide this service, 50% have a vendor administer a formal assessment and 50% do not have a formal assessment in place.

Pre-Assignment Policy Provisions

All survey respondents offer tax briefings. In addition, 90% offer formal assignment briefings, and 80% offer security briefings. With regard to immigration services, all companies provide this service with most (80%) covering management of the visas for both the employee and their family. Our survey shows that 90% cover immunizations and 70% coordinate work permits for the employee only.

Nearly all respondents (90%) provide self-paced or instructor-led language training to the employees and exactly half (50%) offer intercultural training. By and large, home sale programs and household goods storage benefits are not provided by participants for long-term assignments.

Assignment Policy Provisions

The relocation benefits that companies report as being offered more broadly include rental assistance, utilities reimbursement, host transportation, temporary living while on home leave, host country housing, shipment of household goods, dependent education, cost of living assistance, spousal or partner support, and provisions for repatriation.

The benchmark study reveals that benefits such as lease cancellation, pet transportation, and hardship allowance are offered by pharmaceutical and biotech companies on a more limited basis.

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