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Blog

Core, Flexi, Plus – What Are They?

by Rebecca Gonzaga | May 19, 2015

Whether you hold the opinion that Core, Flexi or Plus mobility policies are the right solution for a Talent Management retention programme , they can commonly be more cost effective for the business. Whether they are here for the long term or just a medium-term fix, they have become a prominent feature of many international mobility programmes today and we must embrace their practicality and purpose.

Whether you administer traditional mobility or ‘new-age’ Millennial policies, it is inevitable that you operate some form of flexible adaptation to your programme (even in the general form of exceptions).  In most cases this would be to reduce cost or adapt a formal policy to meet the ‘complex’ needs of some assignees.

The terms ‘Core’; ‘Flexi’; ‘Plus’ can be applied to any assignment type or can be combined to create a new policy, an example is a ‘Core Plus programme’.  When designed appropriately, they are much more than an exception to policy.  They present a good framework for individuals within the business tasked with managing elements of global mobility and can enable greater consistency to larger programmes where the assignee wish-list could easily become a free-for-all.

The ‘Core’ element should always detail what benefits you will provide as standard, typically for compliance, regardless of assignment type.  For example, the core elements could include:

  • Visa and Immigration for the assignee
  • Tax briefing and return support for the duration of the assignment
  • An element of household goods support, minimum air freight
  • Temporary living for 30 days
  • Expense reimbursement

The ‘Plus’ or ‘Flexi’ elements are the extras we may need to provide, to support our people.  They are likely to vary depending on who the assignee is, what assignment type is authorised, their level of international experience, personal circumstances, familiarity with the destination location and the strategic value of the assignment.  These elements could include:

  • Home finding support
  • Settling in support
  • Tenancy management
  • Housing contributions / full compensation
  • Compensation and Benefits – allowances, benefits, premiums
  • Household Goods shipments
  • Visa and Immigration for spouse and dependents
  • Language training
  • Cultural training
  • Education / school search support
  • School fees contributions / full compensation
  • Exceptional areas of compensation such as spouse’s working visa, home country housing disposal etc...

The management of ‘Flexi’ elements could be devolved to the business, empowering business units or local HR teams to manage their own budgets when it comes to mobilising assignees, while ensuring the basic levels of compliance are adhered to, mitigating the Company’s risk overseas.

Key factors to consider when implementing policies of this nature are:

  • Who governs the policy options
  • Have all ‘Flexi’ and ‘Core’ elements been appropriately considered
  • Do you need a process for the ‘Flexi’ policy benefits to be signed off
  • Does the programme support the Company’s corporate culture and values
  • Do you have the appropriate exception planning in place for multiple assignee mobilisation to ensure consistency and fair delivery of options

If you are considering a change to your traditional Global Mobility Programme and are reviewing your flexible options to make your offering more suitable to your assignee base, please contact SIRVA’s Consulting Services team.