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How can start-ups deliver employee benefits when employing abroad?

How Can Start-ups Deliver Employee Benefits When Employing Abroad?

Breaking into the international talent pool can be daunting, especially when it comes to supporting staff based on the other side of the world. You might be thinking: how am I going to look after my global teams? And how far can my limited budget stretch?

In this blog, we address the challenges of hiring in different countries, reveal the kind of international benefits you can offer staff, and ultimately put you on the road to a successful global expansion.

Are you a startup of SME looking to hire employees abroad? Contact our friendly team of award-winning brokers for honest advice and guidance on how best to support staff. Email [email protected] or call 01273 222805.

Different countries have different requirements

Expanding your workforce globally brings huge benefits to businesses of all sizes, widening your talent pool and maximising the chances of finding the best people for the job.

But it also comes with increased challenges as you navigate international policies and regulations.

Providing employee benefits to staff all over the world can get complicated, and fast. Every country has its own set of local customs and rules to get to grips with.

For example, what might be the norm in the UK won’t be common practice in Asia, Latin America, or other European countries.

Challenges of international expansion include:

  • Language barriers
  • Cultural differences
  • Varying employment laws and regulations e.g., in some countries it is compulsory for some employers to provide health insurance
  • Ensuring all payroll systems are legally compliant
  • Onboarding new staff from across the world, making them feel part of a team
  • Overcoming communication and time zone barriers
  • Learning the traditions and cultural norms of a country, ensuring employee culture is respected and supported

International employee benefits for all businesses

There are a variety of international employee benefits and insurance policies for global workforces to consider, even on a lower budget. The international benefits market sits as an umbrella across local markets, allowing for businesses to administer employee support under centralised contracts and made accessible for all employees.

Below we have listed a handful of employee benefits to successfully support staff, whether you are a big or small organisation – everything can be tailored to fit your business.

International Business Health Insurance

International Business Health Insurance provides employees with access to private healthcare across multiple countries. Benefits can include:

  • Shorter waiting times
  • Maternity care
  • Second medical opinions
  • Specialist drugs and treatments
  • Virtual GPs
  • A wide range of inpatient and outpatient treatments
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation

Also, in some locations, providing health insurance can be compulsory. It’s important to read up on regulations and legal requirements for employing in certain countries.

Further reading: Business Health Insurance in the USA

Health Cash Plans

Health Cash Plans help staff with everyday healthcare costs such as dental and optical treatments, and physiotherapy – all the things that tend to add up! This is a fantastic option for startups looking to support the health needs of staff without breaking the bank.

Some Cash Plan arrangements can be offered globally, but this is not always the case. For that reason it’s best to consult with an independent expert (like ourselves) who can advise on any coverage issues in different countries.

International Group Life Insurance

International Group Life provides a lump sum to employees selected beneficiaries if the worst was to happen, providing peace of mind that their loved ones are looked after.

A low-cost option for startups, Group Life insurance is managed under one plan making it easy to set up with a clear point of contact for all queries. It also provides widespread cover, making it a popular benefit for jet-setting employees or those based in different countries.

International Group Critical Illness Cover

International Critical Illness cover provides financial support to staff hit with a critical illness or disability. This policy provides significant peace of mind for staff and their families during difficult times.

All employees are covered under one central policy making administration and management as easy as it can be, and making it accessible wherever staff are located.

International Employee Assistance Programmes

International EAPs (iEAP) provide staff with support and services to help with everyday stress, health and anxiety impacting their lives, both personal and work-related. Offering EAP services shows your business is all about making employee health and wellbeing a top priority even with staff located half way across the world.

Note: iEAPs are often included with a Business Health Insurance policy or Cash Plan arrangement.

Pull it all together with a digital benefits platform

The easiest way to manage global employee benefits is via a digital benefits platform. Digital platforms group all employee benefits in one place, giving staff access to the benefits and perks you’ve invested in.

Companies can also choose to offer a flexible benefits scheme where employees opt-in only to the benefits they want.

Offering a range of benefits that address all staff needs, is one of the biggest challenges businesses face. A diverse workforce will inevitably bring different interests, life circumstances, health needs, and priorities.

A good benefits platform is at the heart of being all things to all people – or at least as best as you can be!

Benefits platforms also help improve communication from management to staff. A good global platform comes with multi-lingual capabilities so all staff can understand what they have!

How can an Employer of Record help?

When hiring global staff, there are two approaches to take: go it alone or get some help! Especially if your business is new to the international scene, getting a helping hand will only help, not hinder.

We recommend either turning to an employee benefits broker (like our team here at Hooray) or using an Employer of Record to help alleviate added pressure on HR, management, and legalities.

What is an Employer of Record (EOR)?

An EOR is a third-party organisation that takes care of HR duties for companies expanding in different locations around the world. Taking care of all employment laws and regulations, EORs also help with employee payroll, benefit administration, and hiring international staff without the lengthy process of setting up local entities.

What does an EOR do for businesses?

  • Helps you to hire international staff, avoiding risks of misclassification and non-compliance
  • Helps you pay employees across multiple countries
  • Helps administer employee benefits in line with labour laws
  • Helps you manage employees in different parts of the world
  • Provides advice on local entities, labour laws, regulations, and employee demand


Basically, they take care of all the legal stuff so you don’t have to!


Get extra support from an employee benefits broker

We will leave you with one simple thought: you don’t have to take all of this on your own! It can be difficult for startups to compete with big corporations when it comes to benefits but it is possible – and it’s actually what we do here at Hooray…

At Hooray Health & Protection, we have a global reach and network spanning over 70 countries, enabling our team of brokers to help international clients with their global benefits. We advise on local schemes, international umbrella plans and comparing costs of different providers.

Whenever you have any questions, we’re here to answer them!

Contact our friendly award-winning team of brokers at [email protected] or give us a call on 01273 222805.

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