18 Jul The Human Side of Employer of Record
In this new article, Mauve Group shares real stories about Employer of Record workers and how they’ve managed to support them
With the rise in HR automation and more recently, the resource challenges presented by the pandemic, worker-centred, personalised approaches have sometimes taken a backseat in decision-making. However, this can leave organisations worryingly exposed when it comes to support, building morale and driving positive internal culture. Nurturing the people at the heart of your organisation builds confidence, which in turn engenders innovation and future-focused thinking. Ultimately, people will lead the way out of these unsettled times.
The global mobility community has long championed the practice of treating global assignees as individuals rather than headcount. When you take into consideration the individual needs of international workers and prioritise what they hold dear, they will feel valued, secure and will respond with increased productivity.
One of Mauve’s USPs is the way in which we place focus on the individual workers at the heart of the solution – whether this is by being a friendly ear to them in-country, helping them through difficult moments, or even just getting to know them through worker-centred events. Earlier in the week, we published testimonials from workers who felt valued by Mauve Group. We thought we would take this one step further by asking our own employees for their stories about times they have gone the extra mile for an Employer of Record worker to improve their wellbeing and show their worth.
Supporting Through Unforeseen Overseas Challenges
When the worst happens, it is vital that the Mauve team get workers to safety and provide a caring support network against trauma. Over our twenty-five years of operations, our employees have seen many instances of this in action.
A great recent example came when our Client Liaison Manager Kate Geluk supported a worker who was hospitalised in her home country of Canada and needed emergency medical insurance. Kate acted quickly to source and set up the insurance, and simultaneously provided emotional support to his understandably concerned wife. Both the worker and his wife expressed their gratitude for Kate’s fast work and warm support, and acknowledged how she made a difficult situation significantly less stressful.
With workers stationed across 150 countries, our employees have assisted with assistance and recovery following unexpected natural disasters. Account Manager Helen Herrington remembers providing support to workers in Mexico: “In 2018 there was a major earthquake in Mexico City – at the time I had twenty contractors there. I emailed every one of them checking they were safe and well. They all replied to let me know they were safe and were really grateful for the message.”
Helen utilised her experiences during the Mexican earthquakes to improve her personalised assistance to workers during the recent pandemic: “I was reminded of this at the start of the pandemic, where I also rang all of my workers to check that they and their loved ones were all safe and well. I also wanted to ask if they needed any help with regards to continuing to work from home. Again, everyone was so grateful for the call. I have since continued to check in regularly with all my workers either by phone or email, and the response is always really positive. I think in these uncertain times, it is good to let the workers and clients know that we are there for them.”
Immigration Manager Emma Prodromou shows how duty of care is extended to other members of in our global mobility community following natural disasters; “I had a similar experience to Helen with the Mexico earthquake – I was in contact with not only the workers, but of course the partners too. We issued a similar response following the tsunamis and that horrendous earthquake in Japan a few years back. The workers always seem to be happy to hear from us at times of natural disasters, as it is good to get a personalised email – not just work-related all the time.
Personalising Our Pandemic Response
The pandemic has been a worrying time for everyone – and the way in which it has impacted our physical work environments adds another layer to our duty of care to Employer of Record workers. Our teams have been working hard to establish the locations of displaced employees, find out what support we can offer to make home-working easier, and listen supportively to their worries to prevent isolation and low morale.
Management Consultant Meryl Haynes remembers the positive response from workers: “Like other staff members, I helped to contact workers when COVID-19 first broke out. I was allocated the workers in Poland and they were really touched (and very grateful) that we were contacting them to ask if they were ok and whether they needed anything. At the time I thought it was a good trust-building exercise and it really showed that as their employer, we were concerned about their welfare and wellbeing.”
Sometimes workers need help out of traditional business hours – and our duty-of-care does not clock off when the working day ends. Joanna Hart in Global Operations went the extra mile when a worker needed emergency help at Immigration: “It was a really long time ago but I remember being woken by a call around midnight by a Filipino contractor in a real panic about getting out of the Philippines without OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) documentation. I stayed on the phone with him as he went through passport control and told him that if the immigration officer stopped him that I would help him by talking to the authorities. In the end, he was able to get through without my assistance but he was so grateful for just being on the end of the phone to me.”
On-The-Ground Support & Local Entities
Personalised support for EoR workers becomes easier to provide when there are people on-the-ground or on the same time zone. Knowing there are experienced professionals available locally removes the feeling that EoR workers are out on the limb. It can also lessen the likelihood of isolation.
With the increasing automation of HR, the strategy of many EoR companies is to operate from a centralised location and utilise software and third parties to carry out the Employer of Record solution. Mauve Group has taken a slightly different approach, implementing a balance of software, in-country partnerships and the set-up of its own companies and staff in each of our global locations. This company then acts as a hub from which we can provide local support via our Country Managers.
In South Africa, Kimberley Leeuwner maintains close contact with EoR workers on-the-ground; she can support them whenever they need advice on local conditions, and during the pandemic she has carried out regular check-ins to ensure wellbeing. For one worker who unfortunately contracted the virus, Kimberley became a valuable local support between her and her company, who were based in the USA and unfamiliar with the South African government’s virus response.
Employer of Record Popularity Growing Amongst Workers
Employer of Record solutions are no longer beneficial only for organisations; they are increasing in popularity amongst workers as well for the way in which the model offers professional and personal support. EoR gives workers the flexibility to work from other locations and still maintain the structures of employment, with access to straightforward payroll, benefits and HR support. This combination of security and flexibility of location can be beneficial for a worker’s wellbeing – particularly if they want to remain near family during the ongoing pandemic.
Global Account Manager Ashleigh Duncan recently experienced first-hand how workers are pushing for EoR solutions to improve their work-life balance: “We got an enquiry through recently from a worker working in Australia who desperately wants to move to New Zealand. He got in touch directly to find out costs. He has negotiated an EoR solution as an essential part of his relationship with the client, and is really happy that we can support him to make the move to his favourite country possible.”
A Human Approach Equals Happier Workers
At Mauve, we truly believe that a personalised, human approach to Employer of Record leaves workers happier and more productive – and they reward us with their loyalty, too. Many of our EoR workers are long-standing employees of Mauve, and often request to work via a Mauve solution even when they move contracts or positions to other end clients. Back in December we held a Christmas party in London which was heavily attended by workers, all of whom were happy to connect on a personal level with the individuals supporting them. The mutual relationship we are building with these workers goes beyond any that could be achieved simply with software – and this is something we will keep in focus as automation increases in the HR world.
Compliance Manager Lorna Ferrie remembers her reward for saving a worker a financial outlay: “Immigration and I once experienced a very large box of Hotel Chocolat chocolates from a worker for all the immigration assistance we provided – and because I advised him on a tax reclaim for over 6000 euros! He was very pleased!”