At its highest level, “duty of care” can be translated into “do no harm.” That, at least, is at the concept’s foundation. At Suddath, though, we go above and beyond that baseline definition, prioritizing client safety and sharing information and helpful resources about how to put duty of care into action.
This post will focus on how human resource (HR) professionals can incorporate duty of care into the actions they take when arranging employee relocations. If you’re ready to outsource corporate moving to a time-tested company, please contact us online or call (888) 903-7695.
The concept of duty of care means that businesses must act in reasonable ways to protect their employees from potential harm. Although this isn’t a new idea that employers should ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the employees they are relocating, how that’s defined can evolve in broad ways (needing to update protocols during COVID, for example) and in individual ways, such as designing employee relocation policies with the well-being of the employee’s whole family in mind.
In a legal sense, this requires companies and individuals to use the degree of attention and caution that a reasonable person in the same circumstance would use. When that happens, it can be said that they’ve met the standard of care.
When relocating employees, a first step often involves offering them a relocation package that is designed in ways to safeguard the employees, health-wise and safety-wise. This can include mental health with a focus on stress reduction serving as an example of fulfilling this type of duty of care as an employer.
For many employers, offering a household goods moving benefit is important, even if other moving expenses are managed as a lump sum payment. That’s because professional packing and loading by trained movers prevents lost-time injuries for employees. There’s less stress as well. At Suddath, for example, we use well-trained teams to pack an employee’s belongings; load them on a truck; hand them off throughout the chain of custody; and then unload and unpack them in the employee’s new home. Relocating employees and their household goods are protected along the way.
Fulfilling a duty of care obligation as an HR professional can vary by circumstance. For example, a move within the United States may have fewer items on checklists than an international move. That’s because an overseas move, for example, would require the HR team to ensure that the employee will have healthcare coverage throughout the transition and then in the new country.
With international moves, duty of care responsibilities for HR professionals can include arranging destination services or language lessons and information about cultural differences between the employee’s country of origin and the one where they will move.
When an employee will work in a location or position that comes with more risk, then this will require a greater duty of care to ensure their safety and that of their family. This can include appropriate training sessions, insights into how to respond to risky events, and so forth.
COVID-19 brought health considerations into choices around employee relocation, an area that was previously more focused on safety and its role in duty of care obligations. This can include considerations about the ways an employee and their family travels to their new home, any local restrictions they should consider (especially if different from where the employee currently lives), and places in the new location to seek medical care, if needed.
Most of the information in this section refers to long distance moves, but duty of care is a concept you want to incorporate into employee relocation plans with moves of any size and distance—so plan accordingly.
Because a good percentage of the strategies for employees will need to be implemented and monitored by HR professionals, this is a checklist that your HR team can modify as needed and use:
If you need the support of a full suite of global mobility services, our sister company, Sterling Lexicon, offers end-to-end mobility solutions tailored to your business goals.
At Suddath, we focus on whole family care, supporting everyone’s health and safety in all types and sizes of moves. For example, no matter the size of the employee relocation, we provide professional packing and loading services: this helps to eliminate any injuries that could occur if the employee took on these tasks while also reducing any time needed away from work during the process.
Although these services are standard for international moves and with full service relocations, it’s possible at Suddath with smaller shipments when using a containerized approach. Our professional moving team would pack your employee’s belongings to international standards and load them on containers for them.
Other ways in which we provide whole family care include the following, among others:
When comparing corporate moving companies for employee relocations, you’ll want to find one that fully exercises duty of care for employee safety and wellbeing while easing the burden on your HR team—and that perfectly describes Suddath.
When comparing corporate moving companies to relocate your employees, here are steps to take:
Benefits of choosing Suddath as your corporate relocation company include our deep and wide quality services. With more than thirty locations and regional headquarters around the globe and a century-plus of experience and financial stability, we’re here to stay. We offer competitive, transparent pricing and provide unbeatable resources to help your company, overall, as well as your HR department and employees who are moving. To get started with your relocation services, please contact us online or call (888) 903-7695.