Employees increasingly see the global environment as offering improved opportunities for their families and may seek transfers abroad as part of that process. This study examines how companies deal with the employee who is keen to be transferred abroad, including how costs can be managed whilst ensuring employee retention. Further, it considers how responsible the transferring company is for ensuring the family of the employee is accepted abroad; are compounds the right environment for families, should accommodation be the responsibility of the company, and what should be done about employment opportunities for other family members such as spouses. Finally, it explores the degree to which this can cause a ‘brain-drain' in the home country, as employees seek moves to overseas offices. As the world tightens working visas as a result of the global recession, this study offers a timely approach to a long-standing conundrum.