International HR Adviser The Leading Magazine For International HR Professionals Worldwide
Global Mobility Technology – The Journey From Master To Servant Lower The Relocation Costs The Right Way • Planning Finances For Overseas Assignees Departure Services – The Poor Relation To Destination Services Inward Invest • Global Immigration • Global Taxation Advisory Panel for this issue:
Expatriate Adviser Autumn
Autumn International HR Adviser
In This Issue Page 2
International HR Strategy – Global Mobility Technology – The Journey From ‘Master To Servant’ Danny Taggart, Deloitte LLP
Cost Management – Lower Global Relocation Costs The Right Way Julian Yates, SIRVA
Technology – Using Technology To Optimise Global Mobility Management Ed Hannibal & Yvonne Traber, Mercer
Effective Partner Support Pays Off Jacqueline van Haaften, Global Connection
Taxation – Social Security – The Forgotten Tax Andrew Bailey, BDO LLP
Global Taxation Update Andrew Bailey, BDO LLP
Planning Finances For Overseas Assignees Richard Musty, Lloyds TSB Global Mobility Banking
Relocation – Inward Invest Dominic Tidey, EuRA
Immigration – UK Immigration And The Risk Of Non-Compliance Caron Pope, Fragomen LLP
Global Immigration Update Global Knowledge Team, Fragomen Global LLP
Tools & Training – Searching For Synergy: The Critical Link Between Intercultural Online Tools And Intercultural Classroom Training Dean Foster, dfa Intercultural Global Solutions
RES Forum Annual Report 2011/12
Health – The Many Advantages Of A Second Opinion Dr Rebecca Small, Bupa International
Diverse Expatriate Populations – Alternative Remuneration Packages Monique Neijzen & Sandra De Bruyker, Air-Inc
Departure Services - The Poor Relation To Destination Services Sarah Rushbrook, Rushbrook & Rathbone
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International HR Strategy
Global Mobility Technology - The Journey From ‘Master To Servant’... Danny Taggart of Deloitte LLP looks at some recent developments in technology and how they are being leveraged in the area of global mobility. Technology has supported the HR function for many years, ever evolving to support the remit of this critical business function. Early HR technology however, was often rigid in its architecture and organisation, meaning that HR policy and process often had to fit around the system, rather than the other way around. Thus this frequently limited, or in some cases even hindered, the ability to support organisationwide HR in the optimum fashion. It could be argued that things were even more problematic in the world of global mobility, often the ‘forgotten step-child’ of HR, left to make do with ad-hoc, often spreadsheet based tools, or having to purchase dedicated expatriate tools which sat outside of the core HR system. Typically manual processes would be developed around these tools which slowed processing down and would present challenges when staff with institutional knowledge moved on. The emergence and evolution of the big ERP systems such as PeopleSoft/Oracle and SAP had a significant impact on the wider HR function, delivering enterprise-wide capability, linking HR to other business functions and enabling crossborder data sharing. At the same time technology supporting global mobility teams matured and improved; providing better functionality and a greater range of services, and available from an increasing number of providers. However, the technology was still typically standalone from the rest of the organisation, and interaction with in-house enterprise systems and vendor applications, if this happened at all, was still somewhat manual, involving data import/export or similar practices. As time passed, the technology landscape continued evolving, and since the advent of “Web 2.0” we have seen something of an exponential rate of change in this evolution. In the last five years alone new technology has effectively revolutionised the ‘home lives’ of many of us – think how naturally we use the Internet to manage our finances, do our shopping, and network International HR Adviser Autumn
with our friends these days; it has become second nature. We demand technology services throughout the day, whether at our desks or on the move. This change in behaviour has, in turn, driven our expectation levels of the technology we use in our work-lives. We want to feel connected at all times – whether to our friends, our work colleagues, our business associates or our service providers. Technology has changed the way we live and work forever. But has this digital revolution really permeated the global mobility function to the extent we would expect? The honest answer I suspect is no. But the good news is that we are definitely starting to feel the ripple effect from this eruption of new technology within global mobility, and it will continue to reverberate. Our external experiences will continue to fire our desire for greater connectivity, better service inter-operability, ever more resilient mobile services, increased social networking, efficient sharing of knowledge and data, and overall a more tailored, personal experience from technology. User expectation and market forces will drive the agenda in global mobility technology. We are now at the point where business strategy truly dictates what technology is required to deliver. And so to the future; what innovations are available to help support your efforts in managing your global mobility programme effectively? I have provided a quick run through some key areas where new technology is making an impact in this space, or where there is potential for it to do so in the future.
Software as a Service (“SaaS”) This is perhaps the most important development in the evolution of technology over the last few years, and also the one that should have the biggest long-term impact on your ability to flexibly manage your international assignment programme. Software as a Service, or “SaaS” as it is commonly know, is a term that can sound overly technical and complex, and can therefore often disengage your average frantically busy HR professional! Putting aside the technology for a moment, what SaaS really delivers is the ability to have
services – that is, functionality from one or more service providers - delivered flexibly and inter-operably to the end user through web service technology. If you have ever bought anything on the Internet from one of the big online retailers and had it delivered to your house or office, you have likely used web services from a number of different providers without even knowing it; all working in unison within that one transaction to deliver a service to you. You can probably see from that simple example where the value might lie for those managing a busy global mobility programme – service provider applications throughout the assignment life-cycle delivering complimentary services more seamlessly. This could take the form of providers securely utilising and sharing source data held in your organisations ERP system; workflow automatically instructing various providers to deliver their tasks within the overall assignee service; key information from multiple providers being delivered through one central portal. SaaS has already demonstrated its value in the wider corporate environment (including mainstream HR) in terms of scalability and flexibility. It allows for a more nimble, flexible and ultimately more affordable architecture – and can also support alternate pricing mechanisms such as ‘on-demand’ and subscription based models.
Cloud Services Like SaaS, “Cloud” is a newish term used to describe technology that has, in some form or another, been around for a while, but has evolved at a fast pace in recent years, and has thus ‘come of age’ in terms of commercial application. “Cloud” effectively means service provision that is hosted and maintained outside of your own organisation. Cloud offers application services (and often data services) that you can ‘tap into’ as and when you need them – without the need to manage the infrastructure surrounding those services. One of the key benefits of cloud services is the ability to scale-up (or down) the services or infrastructure you require. Again, Cloud services can support pricing
International HR Strategy models where you only pay for what you use – “metered usage” or “on-demand” services, or subscription based services. For international HR service provision cloud-computing essentially means a move away from technology services installed on-site within your organisation to services being hosted and maintained by providers or third parties. You simply “consume” the services you require from your own ‘private cloud’. Gartner Research has found that SaaS products and cloud-computing solutions are growing at two to three times the pace of on-premises solutions. Workday is the first ERP provider to offer their services exclusively ‘in the Cloud’.
Employee Self-Service Individuals are comfortable with maintaining personal information with online vendors who provide tangible value to them, e.g. banking services, online travel organisations, online shopping. Security within online services from reputable commercial organisations provides the reassurance that it is ‘safe’ to do so. No organisation should engender more trust than your employer, and in-house self-service HR portals are now fairly mature offerings. Thus employees are more than happy to use these services to update personal details, enrol in benefit programmes, manage training requirements, support performance reviews and ‘collect’ pay-slips from. The natural progression of these services is to tailor them to the individual user’s circumstance; that is, providing HR portals that recognise the user’s role, function, and seniority and then exposing only relevant material/functionality to them. Service providers, whether large scale ERP or more functionally focussed service delivery, can also provide this type of tailored facility, and open up these facilities for assignees to update their own information. The flexibility inherent in the security of these systems enables them to also tailor services to the particular role or individual, i.e. line managers will want different information to someone in the HR function; individuals in specific roles or geographies will want to see information pertaining to that specialism or region.
Social Networking Social networking goes beyond the one way communication that employee self-service typically provides, enabling free-form communication between
employees, and by extension employers. Social networking is one of the clearest examples of how ‘external’ technology can drive behaviours within an organisation. External social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are truly democratic; natural communities with common interests naturally evolving and coming together. LinkedIn is the most well known exponent of this in the corporate world. Many HR organisations now use blogs, wikis (collaborative on-line ‘knowledge-bases’ authored and governed by the community that they serve), and other collaborative technologies to share information. People are comfortable sharing information and insight when they have an appropriate and trustworthy platform to do so, and are to some extent willing to take this ‘learned behaviour’ into their workplace. Organisations do have a challenge here however; how to harness the power of social networking within their own organisation and to drive behaviours for the good of the business (even if that benefit might seem intangible at first glance), whilst also providing value for employees in doing so; that is, there has to be “something in it for me”. Thus platforms to share technical information and discuss business challenges provide the greatest return for both employees and employers. Social networking provides communication channels that simply did not exist before the advent of “Web 2.0” – we can now interact with colleagues regardless of business function or geography as easily as we can the person down the hallway. The natural extension of this type of service within global mobility is to enable easy online networking for their assignees. Some organisations are already trying this, and I suspect this will be a growth area within our specialism. This can potentially take some of the burden off of the international HR team – assignees sharing information and asking each other questions, rather than reverting to HR, but also of course can present challenges – e.g. potential for misinformation to leak into the system. It is important therefore that the organisation has line of sight into the content of these social networks, enabling them to understand assignee hot topics, and to potentially moderate forums, without giving participants the impression that they are playing ‘Big Brother’. The debate on the role of governance within social media rumbles on...
Mobile Platforms Global mobility and mobile platforms are seemingly obvious bed-fellows. It is only fairly recently however, that services, particularly assignee services, are being demanded for mobile platforms - whether tablet or smartphone. Web based portals that have traditionally delivered assignee information are now typically also enabled for mobile devices, providing key services to individuals ‘on the move’. GPS technology is also playing an increasing role in enabling tracking for assignee and business traveller services. For mobility managers, tablet technology has delivered greater flexibility for detailed assignment lifecycle processes that would be difficult, if not impossible, to manage on a smartphone screen. The demand for mobile services will only increase in the future, so employers must consider mobile capability when deploying new services; whether built inhouse or delivered by service providers.
Data Analytics Data is one of the most valuable resources that an organisation possesses, yet all too often it can be difficult to get to as it often resides in one or more systems. Even when organisations can gain access to it, understanding it, and then making sense of it can often be a challenge too far. The ability of new technology to share data more easily, coupled with the tools and techniques now available in the area of data analytics, is starting to counter some of those challenges. The analysis and visualisation of HR data is enabling organisations to drive value through their global mobility programme - supporting cost and risk control, helping define international mobility policy, and enabling organisations to better understand the return on investment in their programme. Autumn International HR Adviser
International HR Strategy Technology has enabled a whole new service area that delivers true business insight. This area was explored in more detail by my colleague Scott McCormick in the Summer 2012 edition of International HR Adviser.
Talent Management One HR related service where technological innovation is being used very visibly is in the area of talent management. The big ERP providers are very focussed on the talent agenda, and have developed, or have acquired, specialist talent systems to provide functionality that focuses on this area. Issues faced in identifying, attracting and retaining talent, can be easily translated into similar issues faced by the global mobility function when dealing with assignee selection, on-assignment management and repatriation.
The continued war for talent, particularly for those joining the workforce for the first time, has really driven innovation in this area. Many organisations already have candidates upload their CVs and use e-Interviewing to screen candidates – mimicking the type of interactions that Millennials are very familiar with. At Deloitte our recruitment team have implemented a mobile strategy, including the use of QR codes (quick response codes – those square bar codes you may now be familiar with) to deliver Firm information to candidates, and ‘augmented reality’ – the ability to deliver virtual multimedia messages through mobile Apps. Again, it is does not take a huge amount of imagination to see how these innovations might ultimately be usefully deployed by the global mobility function. And if you think they sound a little farfetched, just watch this space...
Danny Taggart is a Director in Deloitte LLP’s Global Employer Services business, heading up a team specialising in technology development, delivery and consultancy. If you would like to understand how your organisation can utilise Deloitte Global Employer Services through web service technology, or just wish have an informal discussion about how Deloitte might help you in your future-thinking in this area please contact: email@example.com or on +44 (0) 207 007 1447.
Free Seminar at The 2013 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition Payroll Compliance For Mobile Employees
As the pressure on internal and external compliance gets greater, the challenges of reporting compensation data for international assignees, in particular relocation expenses, get no easier. Data is invariable embedded in multiple data sources, often in different locations. At the seminar we will discuss what the reporting requirements are, what challenges are faced by organisations and explain some of the ways in which companies are deploying global processes to collect and report relocation expenses. Presented by Deloitte LLP. To register for this free seminar please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Lower Global Relocation Costs The Right Way SIRVA’s Julian Yates explores how companies can develop and revise global relocation programmes to implement cost efficiencies in the current economy. While the current economy has had varying effects on companies, one thing is consistent. Every company is looking for ways to trim costs to be more competitive. Companies are examining every area of their business for ways to save. Sooner or later, global relocation finds its way under the cost-cutting microscope. In certain relocation policies, cost savings do exist. However, global relocation is a delicate area, one where a slash and burn cost-saving strategy can be very harmful. Cut costs in the wrong areas and you can torpedo assignee satisfaction and put corporate objectives at risk. There is no silver bullet when revising global relocation policies to lower costs, because these policies vary from company to company, but there are proven approaches that can help you identify cost savings. There are more opportunities for savings if you offer very generous global relocation benefits but if you offer leaner, more conservative benefits, these savings might be harder to find.
Know What You Are Spending The first step in identifying relocation cost savings is to determine what you’re spending. This might seem obvious, but can be difficult given the many components involved in an international assignment and significant variations depending on factors such as home/host locations and family size. Adding to the challenge is that some companies focus instead on reducing relocation provider management fees, which often account for less than 1% of total costs. Management fees are simply the amount a relocation provider charges a client to manage the outsourcing of relocation services to multiple third-party suppliers. The third-party supplier costs provide the biggest opportunity to reduce spend along with overgenerous policy provisions that may have been retained by the company from a different relocation era. Once you understand your spend and the services you receive for it, you should
benchmark your global relocation policies to determine how your programme compares to that of your competitors. By benchmarking your relocation policies against your competitors’ policies, you can better understand where to make policy changes and still be competitive in your industry. Cut too much and your competitors will look more attractive to current or potential employees. Many companies are not aware of what their competitors provide to assignees. Your relocation provider can generate this data based on the relocation practices they provide to other companies. Your relocation provider can also furnish examples of industry benchmarking, for example, which industries tend to offer generous relocation benefits. You can use this information to establish a foundation from which to revise current policies.
Areas that Offer the Most Saving The pie chart (below) illustrates the spend breakout on a typical international assignment. Assessing your costs in the significant spend areas should lead to greater savings. Tax liability: A company’s tax liability often offers the greatest savings opportunity. The benefits you provide for assignees during a relocation are potentially subject to tax (in the home or host country). Before making
any policy changes, work closely with your tax adviser to ensure you are compliant with the tax laws in the home and host country and are being tax efficient. Understanding your tax liability can be difficult, as tax laws vary around the world, but by working with your tax advisor you can better ensure programme efficiency. Implementing tax efficiencies can provide large savings without any impact or disruption to the assignee. Housing (host country): Housing is another area that represents a significant opportunity for saving. Housing accommodations, especially those in expatriate communities, are expensive. Carefully consider if the standard and size of housing being provided is appropriate. A small change or tightening of control can have a substantial impact on cost. Education: Education is a concern for assignees relocating with their children. International schools are expensive. Understand that this can be a sensitive component as the alternative is the local school system, which often presents communication and cultural challenges for children. However, it is worth reviewing current practices to assess whether there are home/host combinations where the local school system may be appropriate. Household goods shipping: Shipping household goods is often a part of relocation. Review your policy to determine
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Cost Management how shipment allowances are calculated. Some policies define shipments by weight, while others define shipments by the number or size of the shipping containers. Many assignees take more than they use or need. Consider lowering the household goods weight limitations so assignees are more careful with what they ship to their host location. You should also conduct a spend analysis to determine if it is more cost effective to rent a storage facility in the home country than to pay to ship certain items overseas. Home leave: Home leave (a visit to the home location at least once a year) is a common provision in most relocation policies. Travel costs can be expensive, but there are several ways to lower these costs without penalising the assignee. Review your policy to assess who is travelling first class. A senior executive and family might expect to travel in first class when returning home but the same might not be true for other assignees. Aside from setting limitations on first, business, or economy class, consider providing assignees with a home leave allowance instead of reimbursing them for the travel cost. When assignees have an allowance to purchase their own airfare, they tend to be more frugal. Temporary living: Relocations take time, and assignees can end up in temporary living for weeks while awaiting the arrival of their household goods. While you can’t do much to reduce the number of days in temporary living, you can still control the expense by offering assignees temporary living allowances instead of reimbursements. Assignees are then likely to stay in less expensive accommodations.
Other Policy Changes to Consider In addition to examining the above areas, there are several other ways you can revise global relocation policies to reduce costs. Depending on your company culture, one option is to remove the one-sizefits-all policy process. In certain circumstances, senior executives, who might be needed on assignment to run a new office, should receive greater relocation benefits than a mid-level engineer assisting with a smaller-scale project. Similarly, consider segmenting benefits based on need. If you need a particular assignee to relocate because they are critical to a project’s success, then consider extending more generous benefits than International HR Adviser Autumn
to those volunteering for an international assignment because they want global experience. Before segmenting benefits, it is important to analyse your company culture and determine whether this strategy would be a fit. As previously mentioned, empowering assignees to make their own financial decisions (through the use of an allowance instead of a reimbursement) can lead to lower relocation costs for the company and more money in the assignee’s pocket. Allowances give the assignee a broader selection and their choices better align with what is best for their family. For example, for home location maintenance, a snow removal reimbursement is great for an assignee from Minneapolis but unnecessary for an assignee in Phoenix, who would prefer assistance with pool maintenance. A lump sum allowance can cover costs for temporary living, cost of living allowances, utilities, home location vehicle sale, vehicle allowance in the host location, miscellaneous expenses, spousal assistance and more.
Mistakes to Avoid Revising global relocation policies to lower costs is a delicate exercise. If you cut too much or change policies to include unpopular benefits, you can reduce assignee satisfaction and dissuade highvalue candidates from joining your team. Reducing policy components for current assignees can be a challenge as you are impacting expenditures or standards that they are committed to. For example, reducing their housing allowance could impact them financially as they are already committed to a long lease. Best practice is to apply changes for future assignees and to grandfather the components for current assignees. Slashing certain benefits, such as destination services, requires the assignee to take on a greater burden, as opposed to having in-country assistance. When they have to do more themselves, assignees have less time to dedicate to their new assignment, the main reason for the relocation. Shifting the burden to assignees can decrease assignee satisfaction in their new role, which can lead to failed assignments. It could also encourage an assignee who you have heavily invested in to leave the company upon returning to their home country. There are several traps you can fall into
when creating or revising global relocation policies. One of the biggest mistakes is allowing too many exceptions. Assignees usually want something extra or different. While exceptions should be extended on occasion; they should not be the norm and should not be extended without first determining their true cost. Exceptions also have the ability to gather momentum. Extend an exception to one assignee, and other assignees will expect the same exception. You also can make cuts to the wrong benefits. Reducing or eliminating benefits such as cross-cultural training or destination services has a significant impact on assignees depending on these services to begin the assignment effectively. And it saves your company little, as these are traditionally less expensive than other benefits.
Make Smart Decisions or Pay the Price Relocating assignees where you need them (and keeping assignees satisfied in the process) is integral to a company’s success. The economic downturn has created a greater emphasis on cost saving, but companies shouldn’t sacrifice the current quality and objectives of their mobility policy in a knee-jerk reaction. Conduct a cost analysis to truly understand the various components in your relocation programme, benchmark your policies to similar companies in your industry, and then look for areas where you can save without effecting assignee satisfaction or corporate objectives. By using this proven approach to lower global relocation costs, you can identify savings and create a more competitive mobility programme in the process. Julian Yates, SIRVA Email: email@example.com
Free Seminar Hosted by SIRVA on Monday 4th February 2013 ‘How Do You Apply Procurement Practices To Mobility?’ For further information please see page 26
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Using Technology To Optimise Global Mobility Management You've heard the siren song of newer, faster, more elegant technology intended to automate every aspect of managing your expatriate workforce, from strategic talent management on the front end to repatriate satisfaction surveys on the back end. But when should you heed that siren song, and when should you keep using low-tech methods? Let’s look critically at what parts of the expatriate management cycle are most amenable to technology solutions, then consider when and how to implement them to optimise your processes. Staff responsible for managing an employer’s expatriate workforce use a wide range of technology to help them with expatriate administration, from simple Excel spreadsheets, word-processed templates, and email messages, to robust suites of integrated databases, calculators, employee websites and monitoring tools that can turn almost any aspect of the expatriate experience into data.
Factors affecting technology adoption Several factors affect where your HR function falls on this spectrum of “home grown” spreadsheets to robust expatriate-management software suites: • Workforce size: The first and most obvious factor is the size of your globally mobile workforce. Clearly, a multinational company with only a handful of employees working outside their home countries has much different needs from an employer with thousands of expatriates to manage. • Duration: Another factor is the age of your expatriate programme. If you have begun placing employees abroad only in the last few years, you may have fewer concerns with long-term strategies for expatriates careers, or for expatriates with multiple moves from one host country to another. Conversely, if you have cohorts of expatriated workers with a decade or more of time outside their home country, you need to address complex issues of managing retirement benefits, tax liabilities, housing in home and host countries, International HR Adviser Autumn
and long-term career trajectories for repatriated employees. Robust software support makes more sense in the latter case than in the former one. • HR staffing: The more HR personnel you have dedicated to managing your mobile workers, the less you need a sophisticated suite of expatriate management tools. But that does not mean you can substitute more personnel for a robust, technologybased strategy for managing these important human capital assets. • Attitude towards outsourcing: Some corporate cultures embrace outsourcing of HR tasks, from payroll management through to full global mobility management. If your company tends to manage all aspects of HR management internally, you may find that you need to rely more on data, metrics, software, and processes that can be managed in house. But if your company already outsources other aspects of human capital management, you may be more likely to rely on outside providers to handle your mobile workforce – from relocation agencies that manage foreign moves, to attorneys who facilitate visas and work permits, to consultants who continually monitor expatriate workforce attitudes with surveys. • Attitude toward centralisation/ decentralisation: Employers exhibit a wide range of practice on their degree of centralisation. We see everything from complete centralisation and control at headquarters, to decentralisation by region, to decentralisation to the home country level. In addition, the degree of centralisation can be combined with the use – or nonuse – of shared services, outsourcers, or co-sourcers for the entire menu of expatriate needs. Each of these configurations presumes slightly different staffing to manage them. And, depending on where employers are on these multiple continuums, they may have very different attitudes toward adopting technology, developing “home grown” solutions, or relying on standard office software such as email, Excel and Word.
• Industry: The use of technology to support expatriate management varies by industry. Some employers, such as financial services firms and retailers, have more predictable patterns, with most of their expatriates assigned to positions outside their home country for two to five years. Other employers, such as energy exploration firms, may have many workers on remote rigs for years at a time – with much more syncopated terms on-site, offsite, moving between sites, and R&R time off. Tracking compensation to more complex patterns may require more technical power than an Excel spreadsheet can provide easily. • Technology sophistication and ease of use: Whether employers choose an outside technology product for any part of their expatriate management depends in part on the software’s complexity, its modularity, its ability to integrate with existing HRIS systems – and, of course, its cost. Simple, modular programmes get adopted more quickly than complex, fully integrated ones that require customisation before they can work with existing technology. From the employer’s perspective, the risk of adopting new technology increases with that technology’s difficulty and cost. (Of course, the risk of not adopting new technology also increases with the cost of potential errors resulting from ad hoc, home-grown systems).
The technology menu The decision whether to go high-tech or stick with simpler tools is not binary. Many employers look at the entire life cycle of assignment management and decide for each element whether they can manage it in-house using simple desktop tools or need help from technology or advisors. The following table shows the pros and cons of handling each element in house or using outside software:
What are employers doing in practice? Mercer recently completed its most recent biennial “Worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies and
Technology Practices” for 2011/2012. This survey has been conducted since the 1950s and is the largest in the industry, used by multinational employers to benchmark their programmes. Here are the survey results responding to the question, “What tools do you use to track and manage assignments and their related costs?”:
Source: Mercer’s Worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies and Practices, 2011-12 While almost two out of three employers surveyed (64%) still rely on Excel and Word to manage their programmes, that percentage is down from 71% in our same survey two years earlier. Use of outside vendor software varied significantly by region, with the percentage of surveyed employers using outside vendor software ranging from a high of 25% in North America to 16% in Europe, only 7% in Asia-Pacific, and 0% in Latin America.
How to decide whether to adopt new technology to manage expatriates We would not advise the continued heavy reliance on simple MS Office tools to manage complex expatriate assignment programmes, as those tools carry inherent risks. One “unflagged” calculation error or failure to update an exchange rate or tax rate could result in costly and hardto-undo allowance mistakes. It could also impair the reputation of the HR team responsible for managing an employer’s assignee population. Psychologists are fond of saying that people change only when the pain of staying in the same mode is greater than the pain of changing. The same can be said of oganisations – including multinational employers, and HR functions. Sometimes it becomes obvious when it is time to add more staff to manage the expatriate function. Sometimes an acquisition that significantly expands the pool of expatriated employees will force the issue. And sometimes a change of personnel – anywhere from the CEO level down – can lead to a change in the level of technology that an employer is willing Autumn International HR Adviser
Technology or able to adopt to manage this important part of the workforce. With or without a triggering event, whoever manages your company’s expatriation administration should periodically ask themselves the following questions to help determine whether your company is using technology appropriately in this area: 1. What is our headcount for expatriated employees? Has that number changed recently? Obviously, the smaller the number, the less likely it is that you need the latest, high-end technology. And, as noted above, different employers have different tolerances for ratios of management to staff, for outsourcing, and for centralisation. But at some point, it is prudent for employers to at least consider getting regular data updates from third-party providers and also to consider tracking and automating parts of their expatriation administration process. We suggest that the threshold is between 50 and 100 expatriates working in five or more countries. 2. What is the cost of an error compared to the cost of technology? The cost of an error in managing even one major expatriated executive can reverberate
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loudly. Expatriates talk to each other – both within your company and within the expat enclaves they often live in. So they often have a clear idea of how their total remuneration packages – including base pay, housing, cost-of-living adjustments, quality-of-living adjustments, retirement benefits, etc. – compare with those of other expats. A large error can mean years of overpaying for a portion of their stay, or paying the wrong amount of tax, or embarrassing backtracking or even audits to get those expats back in line with company norms. That cost could exceed the cost of the technology you have been putting off. 3. What is the ROI of our expatriate programme? Most multinational employers are looking critically at the costs and benefits of the employees they have assigned outside their home countries. If your company has not relied on technology to provide objective, consistent data to support all the major elements of expatriate compensation, you may have numerous, significant exceptions to stated policies. If you compute each expatriate’s compensation using a common Excel spreadsheet that does not tie in to your other HRIS systems, you will be hard pressed to identify and justify total costs when asked. 4. How many types of expatriates do we have? Are we segmenting the elements of expatriate support appropriately among those types? Globally mobile employees come in more and more types, from frequent business travellers to “global nomads” who never return “home”. Newer companies with fewer, younger expatriates will have different needs from multinational employers with larger, more mature expatriation programmes.
Whatever their size and stage, mobility programmes can make useful distinctions among skilled positions needed urgently to get a project underway in a new market versus developmental positions needed to train future leaders for senior roles. In each case, technology can help you craft, articulate, and maintain specific expatriate remuneration profiles tailored precisely to the goals of the assignment. 5. Are we keeping good track of our expatriates? Compared to domestic employees, expatriates can be difficult for HR to track. You should know who is on assignment, exactly where they are (including specific addresses), what dependents are in country, how long visas are valid, countries of origins, and even medical coverage. If you can’t produce accurate reports on that information quickly, you may need better technology. 6. Are our expatriates happy? Periodic simple attitude surveys can help determine how satisfied your expatriates are with their assignments – and that information can help you determine whether to invest in more technology. If some of your expatriates are about to jump ship because they are not getting paid on time, their families are miserable, or their taxes are fouled up, it may be time to move beyond Excel and email to manage these valuable human resources. Answering these questions, and considering each item on the menu of expatriate support separately, can help you determine whether your company is using technology appropriately to manage your globally mobile workforce. Ed Hannibal is a Partner in Mercer’s Information Products Solutions business and leads Mercer’s North American Global Mobility practice. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Yvonne Traber leads Mercer’s Global Mobility Technology Solutions for the EMEA region. Yvonne is based in Geneva, and you can reach her at yvonne. email@example.com.
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Expat Partner Support
Effective Partner Support Pays Off Most international companies and organisations provide some sort of support to the partners of their expats. Nevertheless, many HR professionals find themselves faced with hard-tosolve ‘partner issues’. Research shows that both expat partners and companies see ample room for improvement in the support offered. But the question is: how? HEINEKEN has developed a radical new partner support programme. It offers a sophisticated form of personalised support and shows promising early results. Jacqueline van Haaften, Managing Director of Global Connection, discusses the need for and effectiveness of new strategies in expat partner support. Time and again research shows how critical the role of the expat partner is in the success of an assignment abroad. Partner resistance is in most cases the root cause of the refusal of an international assignment. Partner and family issues are also the main reasons behind less successful to failed expatriations. Companies are struggling to tackle the issue: despite their best efforts, the support they are giving to partners is apparently not sufficient. Brookfield GRS says in one of its reports: “With such widespread agreement about the nature of these challenges over such a long period of time, the lack of apparent success in addressing them is puzzling and they continue to appear year after year.” So what makes partner support such a complicated issue? Without a doubt, it is the changes in gender roles and the rise of dual careers. Our own research clearly illustrates these developments. In our 2007 survey, 56 percent of expat partners – predominantly women – stated that their main daily activities were related to taking care of the family. When we asked the same question three years later, that percentage had dropped to 41 percent. This means that in those three years there was a 34 percent increase in non-familyrelated activities of the expat partners, such as paid work, volunteer work, education or running a business. And it is very safe to assume that there will have been a further increase over the last two years. These results underline the importance of partner support. With expat partners seeking more activities outside the family context in order to find fulfilment, International HR Adviser Autumn
providing assistance in the areas of looking for a job or volunteer work, for example, becomes increasingly important. There is a growing need for assistance that will help the partner find a stimulating and rewarding way to spend her or his time abroad.
Smart investment The vast majority of expatriating companies and organisations provide partner support, in one way or another. They feel a responsibility towards their expats and family. Moreover, partner support is a smart investment: our research shows that it has a positive impact on the success of an international assignment and it costs only a fraction of the financial losses incurred when an assignment is refused or not successful. In 2011, we conducted surveys among expat partners and HR managers to study the impact of partner support on the success of an international assignment (see flowchart below). The contribution of full partner support to the success of the posting was estimated by the partners and (HR) management to be 70 percent and 58 percent, respectively. Though we have to consider the issue of causation, as a successful posting can also positively influence partner satisfaction, it is clear that partner support has a very high impact on the success of the assignment. Moreover, 71 percent of the partners and an impressive 89 percent of (HR) management agreed with the statement
that partner support contributes to the mobility of the expat.
Room for improvement While it is very encouraging to see the positive impact partner support can have on an international assignment, it will only pay off if the kind of support and the extent to which it is offered match with what expat partners really need. And therein lies the problem. In 2010, we conducted a study into the kinds of support expat partners had used, or – in hindsight – would have liked to use. It was remarkable to see that all types of support received a high score. The need for support is clearly not limited to the areas of destination and career. We followed up on these findings in our above-mentioned 2011 surveys by asking expat partners their opinion about the total support they received (i.e. support by the expatriating company, external suppliers and free support available via internet sites, for example). The answers gave ample food for thought. When asked to what extent their total need for support was met, the expat partners on average said: 62 percent. Asked to rate the quality of this support on a scale from 1 to 10, the average figure was 5.8. The scores among (HR) management were similar: 57 percent and 6.2. These are hardly reassuring figures. They suggest that despite all the good intentions of many companies, the support offered is not very effective.
Expat Partner Support Options for increasing effectiveness Interestingly, many HR professionals are fully aware that the expat partner support on offer tends to fall short, according to a survey we recently conducted in cooperation with the RES Forum. When we asked companies to rate the effectiveness of the support they give to the partners of their expats, the average score on a scale from 1 to 10 was a meagre 5.5. Another telling result of this survey is that only 57 percent of the partners make use of the support offered, and they use 65 percent of the available budget. In other words: the total uptake of the available support is 37 percent. These results clearly show that companies feel - and can judge from the uptake figures - that there is a lot of room to improve the effectiveness of the support they offer to the partners of their expats. What’s more: 46 percent of the respondents indicated that they are planning to do so. How? From an extensive list of options, the two highest scores were better communication (with an average score of 4.0 on a scale from 1 to 5), and the use of a modular approach (3.9). Providing more personalised support was also high on the list of preferred options, with a score of 3.8 (see graph below).
especially with the younger generation of expats. HEINEKEN believes in posting promising employees abroad while they’re still young, and their partners very frequently raise the question: what will there be to do overseas for me? A cash allowance is definitely not the answer to that question.” Ellen Jansma felt that another approach might be needed; one that would be much more concentrated around concrete options, such as support to earn a degree, get a job, or start a business. This idea was not only supported by feedback from HEINEKEN’s current group of expat partners, but also from potential future expat partners. They saw the partner policy as a crucial contributing factor towards making the decision to move abroad. Jansma: “We had to create a better match between the real needs of our expat partners and the support we were offering.” Ellen Jansma, Global Mobility Manager for HEINEKEN
Cost neutral solution
Radical new thinking These findings are as interesting as they are relevant when seen in the light of radical new thinking about partner support at HEINEKEN. Until recently, the core support provided by the international brewer was a family allowance, paid at the end of the year as a lump sum, as many companies do. The money could be used for basically anything; the company did not ask any questions about the way it was spent. Ellen Jansma, Global Mobility Manager for HEINEKEN: “We were basically buying off our partner support.” But Jansma was not happy with the way things were going. She says: “One of the main factors was that the issue of the dual career household started becoming increasingly prevalent,
So what happened next? For Jansma it was clear that, in the current economic climate, a new policy would have to be cost neutral, compared to the old one. Running through the numbers, she found that her company would be able to allocate a budget of 10,000 euros per expat partner per year. Armed with this knowledge - Jansma devised a new programme that allows partners to spend this money by choosing from an “à la carte” menu, an extensive list of options all contributing to the development of the expat partner. For instance: help with finding a job, volunteer work, starting a company, or study. Jansma gives an example: “Imagine a partner moves to a country where it’s difficult to find a job. What they could start with is a request for some market research to see if it’s possible for them to find a job with their current education and background. The expat partner submits a request for market research, knowing that it will cost
a certain amount to be deducted from the budget of 10,000 euros. If the research shows that you probably won’t be able to find a job, the partner can then choose another option such as pursuing a degree, which will also cost a certain amount.”
Outsourcing Together with HEINEKEN we have decided that when support is requested, we will always start the process with a ‘needs assessment’ during a general intake (see diagram below). This is because many partners will tell us immediately that they are looking for a job, while further discussion often reveals that their main reasons for wanting to work are factors such as feeling good while living abroad, personal development, living a fulfilling life, identity and professionalism. A job can help towards having a pleasant life abroad, but we point out that there are other options, which they have often not yet considered. For us, the central issue is the partner’s general wellbeing. In addition, there is the local situation to consider. This goes beyond the question of whether it is possible to obtain a work permit. Partners also need to look at personal issues and circumstances. What will the partner’s life be like at the new location and how much space does this allow for work? How many holidays are employees entitled to, what are the local salary levels like? Such a fact finding exercise can help avoid spending large sums of money on job search support if the partner comes to the conclusion that she or he would prefer to take up a course or degree or start up a company rather than find work, due to local circumstances. Thus HEINEKEN not only manages the budget, but also the expectations of the partner. Although job search consultants usually don’t have a legal duty to deliver, the average expat partner will expect an extensive consultancy exercise to result in finding a job. The needs assessment gives us a better understanding of the expat
Autumn International HR Adviser
Expat Partner Support partner and their circumstances, which enables us to provide the right support.
Modular approach Our work with HEINEKEN has further strengthened our conviction, based on our research, that market developments ask for a more personalised form of partner support. We believe that just a cash allowance for partners, for instance, is not effective. Our experiences so far with the new support programme clearly prove that the partners highly appreciate this detailed and concrete support. We are also convinced that the modular approach we have chosen helps both expat partners and international organisations use their budgets more costefficiently. No money is spent on unnecessary and expensive packages, only on support that the partner really needs. For example, we spoke to someone who had already collected a lot of information and taken many steps. It turned out that he actually only needed help with adjusting his résumé and preparing for a job interview. Another partner wanted to start a business. Because she had already done a lot of groundwork, we only needed to arrange help with writing a business plan.
Fulfilling and rewarding As said before, not every expat partner can or will want to find paid employment abroad, but there are other ways to have a rich and fulfilling life during the posting. There are some wonderful examples out there of expat partners who used their skills and experience to help people in the developing country where they were stationed. I want to share just a few. A couple of years ago, a group of five expat partners started the “En Classe” foundation in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have helped to build and renovate schools and provide educational material. They also provide meals, because many children there go to school without breakfast. That way they
Volunteer project En Classe in Kinshasa
really made a difference for thousands of young people, helping them to escape the cycle of poverty (see photo). How much more fulfilling and rewarding can your life as an expat partner be? One partner in Nigeria started a fish farm (see photo) and handed it over to the local population when it was time to move to South America. After all, not every business activity is portable, despite the ever-growing number of opportunities offered by the Internet.
Mandatory support Even though a demand driven partner support approach is important, it is also important to remember that partners are often unable to identify potential challenges or issues before they have actually moved abroad. For example, the need for intercultural support for certain countries. Therefore, I was not at all surprised by the result of our aforementioned joint survey with the RES Forum, which indicated that, in addition to ending discretionary support, partly mandatory support was considered to be an important option for improvement of effectiveness (see graph).
Conclusion: Effective Support Pays Off Expat partner support has a very high impact on the success of the assignment
Fish Farm in Nigeria
International HR Adviser Autumn
and strongly contributes to the mobility of the expat. There are ample opportunities to increase the effectiveness of partner support. In addition to better communication about the available support, a modular and personalised approach based on a needs assessment holds much promise and should be combined with a broad scope of support options offered: intercultural support, job search, business setup, voluntary work, networking, training & development, etc. Ending discretionary cash allowances and implementing partly mandatory support should be considered. The RES Forum is a major ‘in-house only’ community for international HR practitioners - for more information visit www.theresforum.com Jacqueline van Haaften is the Managing Director of Global Connection, an independent, international expat partner support and research organisation. Global Connection supports partners of 80 nationalities in 140 countries. More than 250 organisations rely on its expertise. Global Connection’s wide range of services covers all aspects of partner support, from publishing general information to providing individual support. All services can be used on an on-going basis, at every stage. As a consequence, the organisation has become the one-stop-shop for partner support. In addition, it conducts research into all aspects of partner support in order to continually improve its support programmes. To find out more about Global Connection’s worldwide services, please contact Jacqueline van Haaften: firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit the company website: www.global-connection.info
Social Security - The Forgotten Tax It’s often stated that the cost of a typical assignment is somewhere between two and five times that of local hire status. In recent years businesses have focussed on reducing the cost of an assignment. This has been through a mixture of shorter assignments, commuter assignments, variable and usually reduced assignment packages and planning. Planning invariably involves matters such as remuneration structuring, timing of assignments and tax planning. All too often social security planning is forgotten and may be little more than an afterthought. This can be both dangerous and expensive.
Social security is more complex than tax For international assignees social security is in some respects more complex than tax. The primary reasons for making such a statement are as follows: • There is usually an employee as well as an employer element to social security • The aims of the employee and the employer may vary • Dual social security liabilities can arise, potentially without relief • Voluntary contributions can be made in some circumstances • Social security benefits may result from contributions made • Access to healthcare may be dependent on social security contributions.
Tax is easy by comparison In most cases the above scenarios do not arise with tax: • The tax arising from employment income is the liability of the employee. There is usually no employer element • Rarely will the aims as to the level of tax paid vary for the employer in comparison with the employee • Double or unilateral taxation relief will usually apply • Voluntary tax is relatively unheard of (although a number of famous wealthy US individuals seem to be suggesting this) • Whilst all taxes ultimately fund social security benefits, entitlement to them does not usually arise from payments of tax • Whilst taxes may ultimately fund healthcare, entitlement to treatment may not arise from payments of tax. International HR Adviser Autumn
Employee and employer elements of social security When calculating the social security liability there is usually two elements, the employee and the employer liability. The rates of contributions between the two may be similar in some countries but can vary significantly in others. For example, in the UK the rate of National Insurance Contributions (NIC’s) is different between that of the employee and employer. For the employee, once earnings exceed a ‘lower earnings limit’ a rate of 12% generally applies through to the ‘upper earnings limit’, which once breached a lower 2% rate then applies on the excess without limitation. For the employer once earnings exceed the ‘lower earnings limit’ a flat rate of 13.8% applies without limitation. The US used to have similar rates for employee and employer, although there is now a variation with employees in 2012 paying 4.2% and employers 6.2%. The level of earnings to which these rates apply is capped at US$110,100. Additionally, Medicare contributions are payable by both employee and employer at a rate of 1.45% uncapped. Larger variations apply particularly within Europe where the employer contribution may be a multiple of the employee’s and where employer uncapped contribution rates of approximately 40% can be reached. Complexity is further added as there is often different component elements to contributions for example, old age pension, unemployment insurance, health insurance, nursing care insurance and disability insurance to name but a few. Different rates of contribution may apply with earnings caps varying or alternatively contributions being open-ended. It is also feasible that different rates may apply depending on the specific location/ region within a country as, for example, with China and Germany. As readers will quickly realise from the above, determining the liability for the employee and employer in one country can be complex enough, without adding a cross border element.
Employee at odds with their employer – cost versus benefit issue Employee contributions are typically
cheaper than the employers’ contributions and may be capped, whereas the employers’ contribution is often uncapped. Benefits can arise from the contributions paid, usually related to those which the employee alone pays as opposed to the employers’ portion, which more often than not is in reality simply a ‘tax’. Benefits receivable vary widely from country to country and individuals therefore consider what they are paying in comparison with what they may receive. In many cases the major benefit is a government/state pension but other benefits may also derive from the contributions made. However, the employer may only be focussed on their cost. This creates potential for conflict. What is best for the employee may not be best for the employer and vice versa. As the liability of the employer usually follows that of the employee, it is important to determine where the employee liability arises with any cross border move. In some instances variations to for example, the length of the assignment, the contractual employer and the place or extent of duties performed will alter where the employee liability arises and, consequently, that of the employer. When discussing tax, this potential conflict between employee and employer arises less frequently with the parties both generally seeking to reduce the overall tax burden.
Further complications to the cost/benefit analysis Further complexity is added to consideration of social security as it is possible in some cases for individuals to pay voluntary social security. For example, both the UK and France will accept voluntary payments. Such payments may preserve or enhance entitlement to both short and long-term state benefits. In the UK payment of voluntary contributions is an employee only liability and is relatively cheap. Contributions in France are a lot more expensive by comparison but then the benefits are typically much better. When considering potential benefits another complication that arises is that often the major benefit is the state pension which will not be paid until eventual retirement sometime in the future. It is well known that many government
TAXATION schemes are short on funding and are subject to change in terms of either the retirement date and/or the level of benefit to be paid. Who knows what will payable long into the future for contributions payable now? The availability of, and access to, healthcare is often affected by the payment location of social security contributions. Individuals and their families are sometimes very concerned to ensure they have the right of consultation and access to treatment in their home location. Whilst private medical coverage can address all concerns, this whole subject matter raises emotive issues for many international assignees. All of these factors influence the decision as to where contributions are payable and where benefits are receivable. Some of the potential benefits are intangible or impossible to calculate and this makes it harder to compare the relative cost and benefit of payment of contributions in different countries for international assignees.
The dual liability issue The general rule for tax is that it is payable where you work. However, the country where an individual is tax resident will broadly tax worldwide income regardless of the working arrangements. This may lead to double taxation as two countries are taxing the same income. If there is a relevant double tax treaty this will provide clear steps as to which country has the taxing rights and how any double taxation is remedied. Otherwise it is down to the domestic law of each location to facilitate relief with unilateral tax relief or an exemption of some description usually being available. There are numerous double taxation agreements with constant ongoing negotiations worldwide for many more. It is relatively rare for eventual double taxation to occur, although there may be a period where the individual is out of pocket from a cash flow perspective because of local tax withholding requirements. Social security usually works a little differently to tax. Although the same basic rule applies in that social security is due in the country where the work is performed, social security legislation tends to override this to ensure it is only paid in one country at any one time. This is especially true within the EU (including Switzerland which has adopted the EU social security regulations) and
between countries which have signed social security agreements for the avoidance of dual contributions. In particular, there are specific provisions within the EU regulations that deal with cross border assignments and multi-state workers. These tend to place the social security liability in the home country but the necessary certificate (A1) must be applied for and approved by the relevant authorities. The same is true where countries have social security agreements. For example, social security agreements exist between the UK and the US, and with Canada & Japan etc. These typically work to ensure a liability arises in only one location. Where interacting countries do not have a social security agreement then the domestic social security legislation of each country needs to be reviewed and this can sometimes lead to a dual social security liability. This can occur for example with a UK national being seconded to India or China for a three year period but remaining as an employee of the UK entity throughout. In both instances a charge to UK and non UK social security arises for the first 52 weeks of the assignment with host location liabilities only payable thereafter. There is usually no scope to offset social security liabilities due in one country against that due in another. This can result in a dual liability and, invariably, the employee will look to the employer to settle this.
Choosing where to pay social security Social security liabilities will more usually only be payable in one location. By varying aspects of the assignment it may be possible to vary the location of the payment or limit the potential for dual liabilities. For example, in the above scenario of the UK national going to India, changing the contractual employer from the UK to the Indian entity from the outset would avoid the continuing 52 week national insurance liability in the UK for both employee and employer. Many employees sent to work in the Middle East, where typically there is no social security, change employers from a UK entity to a non UK entity for the duration of the period outside the UK thus legitimately avoiding employee and employer UK national insurance for the first 52 weeks, a liability which would otherwise arise with
an assignment and continuing UK employment. Naturally changing the contractual employer can have a wider effect on, for example, employment rights and benefits/pensions. It is essential that all issues are considered. Variations to the length of the assignment and the place or extent of duties can also impact where the employee liability arises and, consequently, that of the employer. For example, a three year assignment within the EU may result in social security liability arising in a different country than an individual on a two year assignment. The variable social security rates and potential earnings caps applying both within the EU and beyond make it worthwhile calculating the cost and considering social security planning possibilities in conjunction with tax planning. All too often the focus is on tax although the social security impact can far outweigh potential tax savings.
Summary In summary, social security should not be forgotten. Do remember that there may well be an impact on benefits but effective social security planning can help both the employer and the employee. Remember also that, as with tax, the existing rules are frequently being adapted so do check with your adviser for the latest position. Andrew Bailey is national head of human capital at BDO LLP. He has over 30 yearsâ€™ experience in the field of expatriate taxation. BDO is able to provide global assistance for all your international assignments. If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article or any other expatriate matters, please do not hesitate to contact Andrew Bailey on +44 (0) 20 7893 2946, email Andrew.email@example.com If you have any questions on International Taxation please visit our stand at The 2013 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition on Monday 4th February 2013.
Autumnâ€‚ International HR Adviser
You are cordially invited to
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Monday 4th February 2013 10.00am - 5.00pm at
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Come along and meet our 42 exhibitors who have products and services that support International HR professionals and those advising the expatriate community. There are also free seminars running throughout the day and these are listed on the enclosed invitation and on page 27. They are also publicised on www.internationalhradviser.com. You will need to pre-register for the seminars as places are limited so please email firstname.lastname@example.org If you would like complimentary invitations for your colleagues, please email email@example.com with the quantity and where you would like them sent to. For further information on this event please call Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186. We look forward to seeing you then.
Global Taxation Update France Changes to social security contributions on French qualifying plans On 31 July 2012 the French parliament adopted the following new measures regarding French qualifying plans. The employer specific social contributions paid by companies at the grant date of stock options/free-shares will increase from 14% to 30%. Based on the terms of the draft law, we understand that the taxable basis will remain the same i.e.: • On the shares value estimate under the IFRS rules; or • On 25% of the fair market value of the shares at the grant date – applicable only for stock-options; or • On the fair market value of the shares at the grant date. The rate of 10% which applied provided that the value of options granted did not exceed a certain threshold has been abolished. There will be consequently a single rate of 30%. The employee specific social contributions paid by the beneficiaries at the time of the sale will be increased from 8% to 10%. Based on the terms of the draft law, the taxable basis will remain the same (gain on transfer of the sales). The rate of 2.5% which applied for certain sales provided that the value of options granted did not exceed a certain threshold has been abolished. There will be consequently a single rate of 10%. Please note that the final law is yet to be enacted but, in principle, these measures should apply for options/free shares granted with effect from 11 July 2012. BDO Comment The proposed move will add significantly to both employee and employers costs but is not unexpected given the desire by governments to increase their tax take. Proposed 75% rate of tax – further developments At the time of going to print, latest newspaper reports indicate that the proposed tax on France's top earners may be less harsh than originally expected. During the presidential election campaign it had been suggested that a rate of 75% would be applied
to revenue above one million Euros per year. It had initially been assumed that it would apply to income from salary and capital gains but the reports indicate that it will apply only to income from salaries and not to capital gains. Additionally, couples whose combined income is less than two million Euros per year will not have to pay the top rate. Other reports indicated that the CSG and CRDS social charges would be included in the 75 per cent tax rate and would not be added to the 75% rate, as originally expected. Finally, President Hollande has indicated that the rate may only apply for a 2 year period. BDO Comment The high threshold means that relatively few individuals are affected and the move is therefore largely symbolic. Despite this, the sooner there is clarity around the proposed arrangements the easier it will be for affected individuals to understand the impact.
Greece To sign an information exchange with Switzerland It has been announced that Greece will shortly sign an agreement with Switzerland aimed at cracking down on tax evasion. Significant funds have moved from Greece to Switzerland particularly in recent years.
Liechtenstein Further tax amnesties to be announced? Following the recent disclosure agreement with the UK, it appears that Lichtenstein may sign additional tax amnesties with more countries as they too have seen the potential to raise additional taxes. BDO Comment We expect to see similar agreements reached across Europe and beyond, together with further attempts by governments to secure additional taxes. International assignees returning from assignment should ensure that accounts opened whilst on their assignment are reported correctly once they return home.
United Kingdom Statutory Residence Test (SRT) –
updated draft legislation The 2011 Budget announced the Government’s intention to introduce a statutory residence test. There has since been a Consultation period and on 21 June 2012 initial draft legislation was published providing more details of the new test, which comes into effect on 6 April 2013. There is a further opportunity to comment before legislation is finalised. Overview of the draft legislation The key feature is that it is necessary to consider days spent in the UK, combined with an individual’s other ties to the UK to determine tax residency. The new tests The new test is composed of three key elements - an automatic residence test, an automatic overseas test and a sufficient ties test. The automatic residence test An individual will be automatically resident for the year if they meet one of the following automatic residence tests and none of the automatic overseas tests. There are four automatic residence tests: 1. The individual spends at least 183 days in the UK in the year. 2. The individual’s only home is in the UK (or they have two or more homes all of which are in the UK). This must be the case for at least 91 days, all or part of which falls within the relevant tax year, or there are two or more separate periods in the year which add up to at least 91 days. 3. The individual works full-time in the UK for a period of 276 days, all or part of which falls within the relevant tax year; there are no significant breaks from work and on more than 75% of those UK working days more than three hours of work was carried out in the UK. 4. The individual dies in the UK during the relevant tax year and was resident in each of the three preceding tax years. This applies even if the individual is not resident in the year they die but at the time of death the UK was their normal home. An individual will continue to be treated as being in the UK on any day where they are in the UK at midnight. Autumn International HR Adviser
GLOBAL taxation The automatic overseas test An individual will be automatically not resident for the year if they meet one of the following automatic overseas tests and none of the automatic residence tests. There are three automatic overseas tests: 1. The individual is resident in the UK for one or more of the preceding three tax years and spends fewer than 16 days in the UK in the relevant tax year. 2. The individual is resident in the UK for none of the preceding three tax years and spends fewer than 46 days in the UK in the year in question. 3. The individual works full-time overseas for the year and during that time works in the UK (for more than three hours a day) on fewer than 21 days and also spends fewer than 91 days in the UK in the relevant tax year. The sufficient ties test If the individual is not conclusively resident or not resident when considering the above tests, it is necessary to turn to the sufficient ties test. Whether the individual is resident in the UK will depend on the number of ties they have with the UK together with the number of days spent here. The ties are: • A family tie • An accommodation tie • A work tie • A 90 day tie and • A country tie (only applicable if the individual was resident for one or more of the preceding three tax years). The factors will be applied differently depending on whether an individual is an arriver (not resident in the previous three tax years) or a leaver (resident in one or more of the previous three tax years). Split year treatment The Government has confirmed that a tax year may be split into periods of residence and non-residence if a person: • Becomes resident by virtue of their only home being in the UK (arriving or returning) • Becomes resident by starting full-time employment in the UK • Establishes their only home in a country outside the UK and becomes tax resident in that country and comes back 15 days or less • Loses UK residence by virtue of fulltime work abroad or • Returns to the UK following a period of working full-time abroad and satisfies one of the other conditions above. International HR Adviser Autumn
The table for arrivers is as follows:
The table for leavers is as follows:
Ordinary residence Ordinary residence is to be abolished. Overseas workday relief for expatriates on short-term secondment will be replaced with statutory relief which will work in a similar way although it will only apply where it is reasonable to assume the employee will not be in the UK beyond the end of the second full tax year after the year of arrival. This will mean the relief is impacted by the assignment start date. BDO Comment Whilst not perfect as drafted, BDO welcomes the move towards a statutory residence test. We consider that overseas workday relief should be available for a specific set period from the outset the length of which should not vary depending on assignment timing.
UNITED STATES IRS announces changes to Tax Identification Number (ITIN) applications On 22 June 2012, the Internal Revenue Service announced interim changes to strengthen its procedures for issuing Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) beginning immediately and through to the end of the year. During this interim period, the IRS will only issue ITINs when applications include original documentation, such as passports and birth certificates, or certified copies of these documents from the issuing agency. Notarised copies of identification documents are no longer acceptable and applications submitted through certifying acceptance agents will not be accepted unless original documentation or copies of original documents certified by the issuing agency are included. Generally the new requirements do not apply to military spouses and dependents without an SSN who need an ITIN, and
US non-residents who require an ITIN for the purpose of claiming tax treaty benefits. Non-residents generally need ITINs for information reporting purposes, as well as for filing US tax returns. It was announced that existing documentation standards will be maintained only for these applicants. However, scrutiny of the identification documents will be heightened. ITIN applications that are accompanied by a US tax return will be subject to the new interim document standards. Because the 17 April filing deadline has passed, the IRS anticipates that a small number of taxpayers will need ITINs between now and the end of the year and final rules will be issued before the start of the 2013 filing season. The IRS may require some taxpayers who have already filed applications to furnish additional documentation directly to the IRS. No additional action is required for people who have already filed ITIN requests unless they are contacted by the IRS. BDO Comment Increasingly tax authorities require original documentation. This adds to the existing logistical issues already arising when working or moving across borders. Circular 230 Any US federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used, or written to be used, for the purposes of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or for promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any tax related matter. Prepared by BDO LLP. For further information please contact Andrew Bailey on 0207 893 2946 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Positions Available Property Advisor London £27-30k Global Mobility Consultant Cambridgeshire £25-£28k Relocation Consultant Hampshire £23k-25k Mobility Consultant London £25k-£28k International Assignment Consultant Netherlands (Salary Negotiable) UK Immigration Consultant London £25-28k
Planning Finances For Overseas Assignees Richard Musty, Director, Expatriate Banking at Lloyds TSB International, discusses financial matters faced by people moving abroad on an international assignment and the steps they should take in preparation. Moving overseas can be a hugely time consuming affair for any employee, as there are a multitude of decisions to be made and factors to consider. These decisions can vary based on the destination, but range from finding a house to locating good schools for children, to building a social network and learning a new language. But one task that can all too easily be overlooked among all the decisions and administration, is ensuring that their finances are in order and they have a flexible way of accessing their money wherever they are. Making sure international assignees are happy and comfortable in their new location and position is important, and one of the best ways to ensure this is for the HR Department to be actively involved in helping employees look after their finances effectively. With sound preparation and a good understanding of the local environment, HR teams can make sure their employees don’t find their money becomes a problem for them after their move. In fact, a recent study conducted by Lloyds TSB International finds only 21 per cent of international assignees received financial advice when they moved abroad. But, 52 per cent admit they would have benefited from planning their finances more carefully when they moved overseas. Some 51 per cent say they would have benefited from more financial advice on investments, 53 per cent say more advice on tax issues would have been useful, and 48 per cent say more advice on their pension arrangements would have helped.
Flexibility Flexibility around finances is the watchword for international assignees, and one of the best ways to ensure financial flexibility is for employees to open an international bank account with an established international bank. There are a host of benefits to international banking, particularly if the employee wishes to maintain their links back to the UK. Many international bank accounts are offered in multiple currencies, International HR Adviser Autumn
allowing a high level of adaptability when travelling. Multi-currency accounts are usually offered in Sterling, Euro and US Dollars; money is kept in the currency it was deposited in, and exchanged when a different currency is needed. Employees will find that banking in multiple currencies can save them money for a number of reasons. Firstly, it helps avoid foreign exchange fees which can quickly rack up for an expat who needs to be financially active both in their destination country and back at home in the UK. Most international multi-currency accounts will allow bills to be paid and standing orders in local currency within their specified currency zones, and also allow cash to be withdrawn from ATMs in the local currency without incurring exchange charges.
Savings As well as current accounts, international assignees should be aware of the impact their move will have on their savings. If they move abroad to a different currency zone, and particularly if they earn in a different currency from that which their savings are kept in, they will suddenly be carrying an element of currency risk. One solution to this issue is for employees to open a savings account with an international bank in the currency they earn in. Most international banks offer savings accounts as well as current accounts in major currencies, and if they choose an international bank it means they won’t have to close the account if they return home. If it does become necessary to convert savings back to Sterling, employees should choose a time when the exchange rate is in their favour, maximising the amount they are able to save.
Other considerations When helping employees with their finances, HR teams should stress the importance of forward planning – life can be made so much easier if finances are prepared in advance of a move. Obviously if the move is made at short notice this will not be easy but ideally the employee should have several months’ notice in advance of a move to allow them adequate time to prepare. If at all possible, they should aim to pay off their debts
before leaving, as well as notifying their bank they will be leaving the country. It is also a good idea for them to get a letter of reference from their bank at home – if they need to rent property in their new country this will help a great deal. Tax is one of the most difficult aspects of a move, and HR teams may find that their tax status is one of the greatest financial concerns of their international assignees. There are multiple issues to consider, to ensure they are paying the correct amount of tax both at home and in their destination country. How long they will be a resident of their new country, how much of the year they wish to spend back in their home country, and the specific tax system of their destination are just some of the issues they need to consider ahead of moving. Tax will also have an impact on their assets, for instance investments and property. Expats need to have a clear understanding of the tax they will be liable to pay if they maintain a residence or any kind of investment at home, so as not to be surprised by any tax bills they may encounter. This delicate balancing act between two separate tax regimes in their home country and destination country means the sheer weight of possible tax permutations can become too much, so this is why it is best for prospective expats to seek professional advice ahead of a move, to ensure they are only paying as much tax as they need to. Whatever job they are being sent overseas to do, all financial matters need to be given careful and detailed thought ahead of a move, however many people are not always sure where to start. With assistance and advice from HR on these issues, combined with use of international banking for financial flexibility, finance will be less of a headache and a successful international assignment is far more likely.
Richard Musty, Director, Expatriate Banking at Lloyds TSB International. The Bank provides financial guidance services to globally mobile employees: www.lloydstsb-offshore.com/employ-
Inward Invest At the end of last year, I asked EuRA members providing relocation services in the strongest and weakest countries in the EU, to summarise how their overseas corporate clients were reacting to the crisis in the Eurozone. Ten months on, I have gone back to the same industry leaders to assess what’s changed in the light of an Ernst & Young report highlighting growth in inward investment into Europe, despite bailouts to keep the Eurozone together. Initially this growth may seem surprising, but it’s easy to forget in the midst of the worst global financial crisis in 70 years, that Europe, despite the debt crisis in the south of the region, represents a safe bet in terms of multinational investment. Marc Lhermitte, author of the E&Y report: “Despite the current turmoil in Europe, its fundamental strengths continue to endure. While the spotlight has focused on the world’s rapid-growth economies, Europe, too, remains a key destination for foreign investors. It remains the world’s largest single economy, and the attraction of its 500 million highspending consumers, together with a stable and transparent legal and regulatory environment, remains a powerful draw for investors.” The UK remains the most attractive country for investors. This is partly attributable to the UK not joining the Euro, but many other factors are also at play. The first language is English and with the USA still the largest investor in Europe with 26% of the overall total, this is very appealing to American businesses. Coupled with a long standing “special relationship” brokered by the administrations of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, there is continuing political will to encourage trading and investment partnerships. But it’s not only American businesses investing here, and Andrew Scott of The County Homesearch Company PLC sees a number of emerging trends and reasons for the UK remaining such a strong bet for investment. “When talking with our corporate clients, one factor key to them continuing to invest in the UK is the flexibility of our employment legislation. It gives companies the ability to expand and contract with much greater simplicity than other
EU member states. A trend we are seeing in our business is the number of smaller companies and start-ups wanting to establish a satellite base in the UK. We are also seeing a new trend among our expats on 2-3 year assignments, who are using our private buying arm to invest in property here. The UK is definitely seen as a safe base for individuals looking to protect their capital and we are working with a number of high worth individuals from France, Greece and Turkey wishing to add London property to their investment portfolios. We have opened satellite office in Dubai, to assist expats wishing to buy in the UK, either as a bolt hole prior to returning, or for their children as they repatriate to go to university. Additionally, we are seeing a number of companies, mainly from the Far East, buying up whole property developments in the UK.” Germany has taken France’s place as the second most attractive country for inward investors, reflecting its place at the top of the economic tree in the region. Germany’s economic strength is far above even its nearest rivals enabling it to prop up the ailing Eurozone states. Helmut Berg is the CEO of RSB Deutschland, one of Germany’s largest relocation and consulting companies. RSB regularly analyse the German economy in order to provide reports to clients wishing to relocate or invest. His summary of the state of the economy and the impact it has on the relocation industry is positive: “Exports are still very high, far higher than imports. As a result some financial experts are advising Germany to export less, but how would we achieve this? Make poorer products? Deliver poor after sales services? Charge much higher prices? The solution doesn’t lie in weakening the German economy, but in strengthening others. Germany is now second in Europe for inward investment and indications are that this will remain. Predictions are not only for inward investments that will create new jobs as a direct result of foreign capital, but also in terms of mergers and acquisitions. This results in companies looking to bring new professionals into Germany, which has a positive impact on our industry. However, none of this takes into account macro economic factors such as the Euro crisis and socio-political factors such as regional destabilisation
in the Middle East. Overall, we have to expect short-term fluctuations, good and bad. If the curve rises, we should not be too optimistic, too confident, but at the same time if it drops, we should not see this as the end of the world.” Spain has seen a significant rise (62%) in the number of new projects funded by capital from outside, but is this having an effect on the state of the wider economy? Susana Bourne, CEO of Antares Relocation based in Madrid has seen both inward investment and companies leaving Spain as a result of its economic and political situation. “My company has been doing really well, our numbers are up on last year and we have our busiest time so far coming up in the last quarter of this year. This is due to one company leaving and one group move arriving. One pattern we are seeing is companies moving away from Spain. The one I am currently working with is moving to Switzerland for two reasons. Firstly, they feel that this is a more central location, but secondly, labour regulation in Spain has become so complex that it is very difficult to hire and fire. This affects how I can work on behalf of my clients as regulations concerning registering foreign nationals, from both within the EU and from outside have become far more complex. We can only get an expat’s contract of employment once they have a social security identity and currently this is taking a very long time, so much so that my clients are having to bring people in earlier than the expected start date of the job in order to be compliant in time. Also, changes to provision of healthcare to incomers to Spain have led to confusion as some things are no longer covered and must be paid for. One other major problem that all companies are facing here is lack of capital from the banks. No one can get an overdraft so cash flow is absolutely critical and is forcing otherwise healthy enterprises to close.” Spain’s situation is precarious. As one of Europe’s largest economies, the prospect of it leaving the Euro is far more frightening than a controlled Greek exit would be. The situation in Greece is severe and the economy is dependent on inward investment to restabilise. Currently propped up by multi-billion Euro bailouts, will Germany and the northern Autumn International HR Adviser
Relocation countries continue with the political will to maintain the integrity of the single currency, or are they planning for a controlled “Grexit”? Maria Kouris has been MD of her company, Corporate Relocations Greece, for more than a decade and like others in her position is facing the unknown, but remains optimistic. “Greece is a unique example of a country that has and continues to go through a terrible economic crisis whilst still being part of the Eurozone which is also struggling to survive. Therefore, Greece and its people are facing an unprecedented situation. For example, we do not see on TV or read in the papers about inward investments, but we are actually experiencing them in areas of the economy, like tourism. We hear about jobs being lost and privatisation not proceeding, but assignees are still coming into our country which is a strong sign that there is an interest in inward investment into Greece. As far as the relocation industry is concerned, this year my company experienced a surprising increase in authorisations and transferees. Personally I believe (based on the fact that the majority of our clients are in very senior roles) that multinational companies decided to bring their “own” people to distribute the mother company’s philosophy, boost effectiveness and solve any potential issues arising from the crisis. Also Greece has become a destination where a career opportunity for senior assignees will emerge based on the fact that “I was there on that unique period and managed!” as both in terms of career progression and leadership ability, coping in such an environment demonstrates true management skill.” Ireland is a good example of how a country can emerge from the brink and start the process of rebuilding. The Irish government has invested heavily in a task force to encourage inward investors as it still has all the factors in place that made it a Celtic Tiger before the crash of 2008. Eileen Lawlor is a Director of Irish Relocation, and has seen the country react sharply to new investments. “2012 has been the best year on record for Irish Relo, following some very difficult times after the financial crash and the decline of the Irish economy in 2008. Where we have seen change, has been in the types of relocation policies we are now working with, and we have had to improve and innovate to find ways to deliver what our clients need where allowances and International HR Adviser Autumn
costs have been reduced. Another issue that’s still affecting us as a result of the 2008 crash is the lack of rental properties. Property is not selling and the lack of buy-to-let investors coming back into the market makes it harder for us to source good properties for the transferees. Our major clients are inward investors and the IDA (Industrial Development Authority) has been incredibly active around the world promoting Ireland. Overseas investors have confidence in Ireland because it’s much cheaper to be here now than pre 2008, our workforce is highly educated and, of course, with corporation tax at just 12.5% it makes economic sense for companies wanting to be headquartered in the Eurozone to do so here. The economy is much stronger since the banks were restructured and the governments’ debt reduction plan has lent confidence to the markets. We are seeing the foreign investors take advantage of the fall in property values, with whole developments being bought up by overseas cartels.” Portugal has also looked towards inward investment as a way out of the crisis it finds itself in, specifically encouraging high tech companies, lured by its educated workforce and low labour costs. It is also becoming a destination for start ups looking to enter the lucrative and strongly growing Brazilian market. HouseTrip, a fast growing travel start up is headquartered in London, but has a large number of service staff based at a Lisbon service centre. Rocket Internet, a large German online company builder, has 150 programmers and support staff based in Porto. Isabel Cudell is Managing Partner in Moving On, a Lisbon based relocation provider also investing in online solutions. “After a period of market research and development, to ensure the diversification of our service portfolio, we launched Moving-OnLine, our online relocation services that enable us to provide a lowcost yet personalised mobility support. We are seeing a growth in start ups and inward investment, but the relocation packages have changed so we moved our service portfolio to accommodate them, as well as other short-term assignments. Likewise, Moving-OnLine is now launching Student & Faculty Relocation in Portugal and Europe, supporting mobility in the academic world. Students in international exchange programmes are the expats of the future, so it is a win-win situation.” Europe continues to face big challenges over the single currency and potentially
the integrity of the EU itself. But the great strength that the Union has given the member states, is making them so attractive to overseas investment. Europe is still the largest and richest single economy in the world, and with continued internal investment in education and infrastructure, can remain so. But the political will to stand by the Euro and the EU itself is what will ultimately guarantee future high levels of inward investment.
Dominic Tidey is the Operations Manager for EuRA, the European Relocation Assocation, who have 375 member companies in 56 countries offering professional relocation support to corporate clients. EuRA, PO Box 189, Diss, UK IP22 1PE P: +44 (0) 8700 726 727 F: +44 (0) 1379 641 940 M: +44 (0) 7764 575614 E: email@example.com W: www.eura-relocation.com
Please visit the ARP & EURA stand at The 2013 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition on Monday 4th February at Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London. We look forward to meeting you there.
UK Immigration And The Risk Of Non-Compliance The consequences of non-compliance with UK immigration law increased dramatically in August when the UK Border Agency (UKBA) took the unprecedented step of revoking London Metropolitan University's Tier 4 (student) sponsor licence. It is reported that London Metropolitan University (LMU) sponsor around 2,000 non-EU students. As the UKBA has revoked their licence, it means that they can no longer sponsor students wishing to study at the university. Students who already have a visa that is sponsored by LMU now have 60 days to find a new sponsor or else they must leave the UK. It also means that LMU cannot sponsor any new students. The UK Border Agency explained that several areas of non-compliance led to the decision. They discovered that a high proportion of non-EU students considered in a sample were in the UK unlawfully. This was a big decision that will not have been taken lightly. The implications for LMU and the affected students will be enormous and, as many commentators have been quick to point out, there could also be a significant knock on effect on how UK universities are perceived overseas. The media has focused on what this means for the UK’s higher education sector but that is only part of the story. In the background there is a clear message for business: the UKBA is cracking down on non-compliance and will take action against those who breach the rules. The root of this compliance focus can be tracked back over several years and across three tangible shifts in the way that UK employers manage their non-EU workforce. Migration policy is no longer just about plugging skills gaps. Managing risk and compliance is just as important. The latest and most understated of these developments means that employers should take the Immigration Rules more seriously than ever before. The first significant change came in February 2008 with the introduction of a duty for employers to check the immigration status of new employees. The requirement was given teeth (and added impetus) by the introduction of civil penalties and criminal penalties for employers International HR Adviser Autumn
who were not able to show compliance with these new requirements. Four years ago we saw a more fundamental change. In November 2008 the traditional work permit was replaced by Tier 2 of the Points Based System (PBS) and the introduction of sponsor licences. Tier 2 rationalised the Immigration Rules and brought a greater level of certainty to the system. Sponsorship had a more fundamental effect. Licences are required for any employer looking to recruit from outside the UK and sponsors have direct responsibility to monitor and report on their migrant workforce, ensuring that every element of guidance is followed. Companies that fail to adhere to the rules can be removed from the sponsor register and prevented from recruiting and transferring migrant workers. The implications for a multinational could be catastrophic, with criminal charges for the worst offenders. Three further developments have shown the UKBA’s re-focus on non-compliance since the beginning of this year, with the UKBA creating a hostile operational environment for individuals and organisations who do not play by the Rules. In February 2012 the UKBA announced that it would name noncompliant businesses. Quarterly reports are now published listing companies who have not paid an outstanding civil penalty within 28 days of their appeal rights being exhausted. The reports contain the business’ trading name and location, along with the severity of the penalty incurred. Scrutiny at ports has also increased since the new UK Border Force was created in March 2012. Announcing the new Directorate, Teresa May, the Home Secretary, told
Parliament that it would have its own ‘ethos of law enforcement’. Immigration Officers are delivering against that commitment and business travellers can now expect a greater degree of scrutiny at the border, particularly questions relating to the activities they will undertake on arrival. Throughout the year, UKBA audits of businesses holding Tier 2 sponsor licences (the skilled non-EU worker category) have become more frequent. UKBA visiting officers are conducting more thorough audits and will frequently arrive unannounced. Businesses must get these audits right. Those who fail an audit face losing their licence, leaving them unable to continue to employ their existing sponsored workers in the UK. This focus on audits is likely to remain high until at least the New Year. The first cohort of Tier 2 licence holders was awarded the licence on 27 November 2008 and they will need to be renewed on 27 November of this year. The UKBA is unlikely to visit every sponsor before licences are renewed but it seems reasonable to expect them to attempt to visit a large proportion. We are certainly seeing a steep increase in audit visits by the UKBA. Businesses must be prepared for audits. Sponsors should, as a matter of good practice, have a single document that sets out how they meet all of their sponsor duties. This can be presented to the auditors and will provide a structure to the initial conversation about sponsor duties. Processes for monitoring staff absences and reporting changes are important, as is an explanation of how and where relevant records are kept. We also recommend that advertising methods are documented. Sponsors should also be able to document processes for checking passports on
immigration an employee’s first day, along with how they continue to undertake annual checks of passports for workers with continuing immigration restrictions in the UK. These responsibilities may not strictly form part of a business’s sponsor duties, but having a clearly defined process demonstrates a commitment to immigration compliance. This focus on compliance is not likely to reduce in the near future and the action taken against LMU shows that the UKBA is not afraid to take action. UK businesses should ensure that they are complying with the Immigration Rules, and be more prepared than ever for a UKBA audit.
Caron Pope Caron is the managing partner in Fragomen’s London office and has more than 20 years of experience as a lawyer practicing solely in the field of UK immigration and nationality law. Caron has extensive expertise in all categories of applications under the Points Based System (PBS), servicing a wide range of employers in diverse industry. Caron also advises on the full range of applications covered by the Immigration Rules. She is a leading expert on Tier 1 applications, acting for both clients of private banks and high net worth individuals worldwide. T +44 (0) 20 3465 2910 F +44 (0) 20 3077 5001 E firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2013 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition
Monday 4th February, Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE
FREE SEMINAR PROGRAMME
Chaired by Martin Humphrys, Humphrys’ Education Winner of Relocation Personality of the Year 2009
10.30am — Third Culture Kids - Raising Portable Children
There are many challenges associated with an international move, and how global mobility impacts children is a concern for many families. This session on Third Culture Kids will discuss what research tells us about these unique youngsters and how we can best support them during this lifechanging experience. This session is for parents, but also educators, human resources and and relocation professionals who want to understand more about raising and educating children abroad. Presented by Mary Langford, an independent international education consultant, who has over 30 years experience working in international schools with families of many nationalities. As a TCk who spent a transient childhood in Europe, the USA and Latin America, her personal insights and professional experience make her a strong believer in the many advantages gained by internationally-mobile children when they are supported by parents and schools.
11.30am — I’m Settled....What’s Next? - A Focus On Long-Term Relocation Support
Often all of the attention is placed on the first few weeks of an international move. Join FOCUS to learn the longer-term support factors which have been proven to ensure a successful relocation for the whole family. Presented by FOCUS.
12.30pm — Tax Planning Tips For Expatriates
Imperative tax issues for foreign nationals living in the UK including understanding the UK tax system as it applies to a non-UK national, choosing between the remittance and arising basis of taxation, maximising foreign tax credits and dealing with investment considerations”. Presented by Frank Hirth.
2.00pm — Global Immigration
This seminar will be a practical session providing advice on the latest Immigration developments and the implications for businesses and will cover: Immigration Policies Updates, Global Immigration Management, Compliance and Risk Management, and United Kingdom Sponsor Licencing and Management. If you have an immigration enquiry that you would like our consultants to cover on the day please email your enquiry in advance to email@example.com. Presented by Ferguson Snell.
3.00pm — How Do You Apply Procurement Practices To Mobility?
Procurement in the mobility industry can be a complex task, as the concept of supplier management is in its infancy when compared to industries such as technology or retail. SIRVA utilises proven procurement principles that are the foundation of this presentation. As we walk through each step in the process, we provide best practices as well as examples that will simplify the application of procurement to mobility management. Presented by SIRVA.
4.00pm — Payroll Compliance For Mobile Employees
As the pressure on internal and external compliance gets greater, the challenges of reporting compensation data for international assignees, in particular relocation expenses and third party vendor expenses, get no easier. Data is invariable embedded in multiple data sources, often in different locations. At the seminar we will discuss what the reporting requirements are, what challenges are faced by organisations and explain some of the ways in which companies are deploying global processes to collect and report relocation expenses and third party vendor expenses. Presented by Deloitte LLP.
Places at these seminars are free, but visitors must pre-register as there is limited availability. To register your place for any or all of these seminars, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186. We look forward to seeing you there. Autumn International HR Adviser
Global Immigration Update
Global Immigration Update Italy Italy Introduces EU Blue Card (August 14, 2012) Italy introduced its version of the European Union Blue Card on August 8. The Blue Card allows highly skilled non-EU nationals to live and work in Italy and ultimately acquire long-term EU residence rights. The Ministry of Interior is now accepting Blue Card applications online. To be eligible for a Blue Card, a nonEU national must have a confirmed job offer or valid work contract with a sponsoring employer in Italy and hold at least a three-year university degree or equivalent work experience. The applicant’s degree must be relevant to the applicant’s proposed occupation in Italy. Applicants are not required to have worked overseas for an affiliate of the sponsoring employer prior to applying, and Blue Card applications are exempt from Italy’s work permit quota system. A foreign national’s sponsoring employer is responsible for submitting the Blue Card application on his or her behalf. Blue Card applications will be adjudicated within 90 days of submission. After the Blue Card is granted, the foreign national must apply for an entry visa at an Italian diplomatic post before they can travel to Italy. Foreign nationals who have held another EU country’s Blue Card for at least 18 months will automatically qualify for the Italian Blue Card and do not require a visa to enter Italy. Within one month of entry, their sponsoring employer must submit the Blue Card application. The Blue Card will be issued within two months of submission. The foreign national is not permitted to begin work until the Blue Card is issued and he or she has executed a Contract of Stay after arriving in Italy. Blue Cards are valid for the length of a foreign national’s employment contract plus three months, or for two years if the foreign national has an indefinite contract. Dependent family members will be issued residence permits that can be renewed for the duration of the principal’s Blue Card. After residing in Italy for 18 months, cardholders may enter other EU countries visa-free and apply for Blue Cards in those countries, subject to local rules.
United Arab Emirates DIFC Free Trade Zone Now Requires Employment Contracts for New Employment Residence Permits (August 16, 2012) Employers in Dubai’s International Financial Center (DIFC) free trade zone will soon be required to submit an employment contract when applying for new employment residence permits on behalf of foreign workers. The new requirement, which takes effect on August 26, 2012, will add to the time required to prepare employment residence permit applications for work in the DIFC. The DIFC Authority has not specified a format or template for the required employment contracts, though they must be drafted in accordance with DIFC employment law. The contract must be signed by both the employer and employee. Until now, the DIFC was the only free trade zone in Dubai that did not require employment contracts for employment residence permit applications.
Spain New Minimum Salary Requirements for Large Business Unit (August 16, 2012) The Spanish government has increased the minimum salary requirements for highly skilled work permit applicants using fast-track processing through the Large Business Unit (Unidad de Grandes Empresas). The new minimum salaries for local hires and intracompany transferees are EUR 28,254.40 for nonmanagement positions (previously EUR 28,079.38) and EUR 56,508.80 for management positions (previously EUR 56,158.76). The new minimum salary requirements for Blue Card applicants depend on the business sector in which the host company is registered with the Spanish government. All minimum salary requirements for Large Business Unit work permit applications have been raised in accordance with the list of average salaries for 2011 published by the National Statistics Institute. The minimum salary required for each applicant is determined based on the average salaries listed for the company’s business sector classification on the
CNAE (Codigo Nacional de Actividades Economicas/National Code of Economic Activities). The salary for an intracompany transferee will need to meet or exceed the average salary in the relevant business sector. For local hire and Blue Card applications, the salary will typically need to be at least 1.5 times the average salary in the relevant business sector, with some exceptions. Because other factors, such as the number of dependents submitting residence permit applications simultaneously with the primary applicant, will also be taken into consideration in order to determine an applicant’s required salary, the minimum salary must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
France Government Introduces Processing Changes for Foreign Workers and Recent Graduates (August 16, 2012) France is expanding a centralised application pilot programme created for intra-company transferees to additional work permit categories and prefectures and easing work permit options for foreign graduates of French universities. In addition, minimum salary thresholds have increased for intracompany transferees and other foreign workers, and medical insurance registration procedures now require legalised or apostilled documents. Centralised Work Permit Application Programme Expands to Additional Prefectures and Case Types A centralised application pilot programme, under which work permit applications are submitted directly to a migration office that coordinates their adjudication with labour authorities and French consular posts, is being expanded to additional prefectures and case types. The programme will soon be available for the intracompany transferee, Skills and Talents, and EU Blue Card categories in Hauts-de-Seine, Haute-Garonne, Isère, Nord, Paris, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône, and Yvelines. Previously, the programme only covered the intracompany transferee category in Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, and Rhône. Autumn International HR Adviser
Global Immigration Update It is uncertain when prefectural authorities will implement the centralised programme. Similarly unknown is whether the programme will benefit employers. The programme is intended to decrease processing times to four to six weeks, but processing times increased following the pilot programme’s introduction in Paris last year.
Panama New Nationality-Based Permanent Residence Programme Requires Employer Sponsorship or New Business (August 30, 2012)
in Panama, the Panamanian government recently clarified. The government also announced the creation of a new indefinite work permit category for those who obtain status under the programme. The new programme is available to nationals of 23 countries and is intended to attract foreign investment. When the programme was first announced in May, employer sponsorship was not deemed to be required. It was thought at the time that a foreign national could first apply for permanent residence through the programme and subsequently seek employment and apply for a work permit. However, the authorities have now clarified that foreign nationals must submit proof of a job offer or plans to form a new company with their application for permanent residence. The government is expected to issue additional decrees addressing the eligibility requirements of the new programme. An applicant who is being sponsored by an employer must submit a labour contract and assignment letter from the employer. He or she must also have a minimum bank balance of US$5,000, proof of local residence in Panama and a clean police record. An applicant who is establishing a business in Panama must demonstrate that the company has been formed and that he or she will serve as an officer or director. The applicant must also provide a copy of the company’s articles of incorporation. Applications are expected to take approximately 10 months to process. However, following the application for permanent residence, applicants will be issued a one-year temporary ID card that will allow them to work and travel abroad while the permanent residence case is pending. Permanent residence obtained through the programme will establish a path to Panamanian citizenship. The new programme does not automatically confer permanent work authorisation. Foreign nationals can apply to the labour authority for an indefinite work permit after their permanent residence is approved. To do so, they must submit a notarised copy of their permanent residence approval notice and certificate of status. These work permit applications are not subject to standard Panamanian quotas. They are expected to take three months to process.
Foreign nationals seeking Panamanian permanent residence under a new nationality-based programme must be sponsored by an employer or be forming a company
Australia Bill Proposes Tougher Sanctions for Employers of
Government Eases Work Options for Foreign Graduates The new French government is easing scrutiny of work permit and change-ofstatus applications from foreign graduates of French universities. Employers seeking to hire a recent foreign graduate are now required to advertise the proposed position for three weeks, down from two months. In addition, foreign students graduating with a Master 2 degree may now apply for temporary status (known as APS) to remain in France and seek employment. A graduate with APS status may begin work immediately upon signing an employment contract and must apply to change status within 15 days. Minimum Salary Thresholds Increase for Intracompany Transferees and Other Foreign Workers Foreign intracompany transferees must now earn a minimum monthly salary of at least €2,137.91, up from €2,097.56. Foreign workers who are accompanied by dependent family members, regardless of their work permit category, must now earn at least €4,537 per month. Medical Insurance Registration Requires Legalised or Apostilled Documents Foreign nationals seeking to register with France’s national Health Insurance Center must now submit required vital records, such as birth or marriage certificates, that have been legalised or are accompanied by an apostille, unless issued in a country with which France has entered into a legalisation exemption treaty.
International HR Adviser Autumn
Unauthorised Foreign Workers (August 30, 2012) A new Australian government proposal would impose no-fault civil penalties on businesses that employ unauthorised foreign workers or allow foreign nationals to work in breach of their visa conditions, and would make corporate officers liable for noncompliance. The legislation would also establish an administrative enforcement procedure and clarify the steps, which employers must take to verify employment authorisation. The proposed legislation was released for public consultation and is expected to be introduced in Parliament later this year. It follows a 2010 government report that called for an increased effort to deter the hiring of unauthorised foreign workers in order to increase work opportunities for Australian citizens and employment-authorised foreign nationals. No-Fault Civil Penalty Provisions Businesses that are found to have employed a foreign national who lacks the appropriate work permission or to have allowed foreign nationals to work in breach of their visa conditions would be subject to fines regardless of whether the business knew or was reckless about verifying the foreign national’s work entitlements. The civil penalties could be as high as AUD $49,500 for a body corporate and AUD $9,900 for an individual employer, individual partners in a partnership or members of an unincorporated association. New Administrative Enforcement Procedure The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) would be authorised to issue administrative infringement notices to noncompliant employers, as an alternative to pursuing court proceedings against them. The maximum authorised penalty for an infringement notice would be AUD $1,980 for an individual or AUD $9,900 for a body corporate. An employer that receives an infringement notice would be required to pay the civil penalty, seek an agreement from DIAC to withdraw the notice, or challenge the notice in court, facing the possibility of a higher civil penalty if unsuccessful. Liability of Individual Corporate Officers The proposal would extend criminal and civil liability to individual executive officers of a body corporate specifically
Global Immigration Update directors, CEOs, CFOs or corporate secretaries – if (1) the officer knew the work-related offense would occur or recklessly or negligently disregarded the potential for noncompliance; (2) and the officer was in a position to influence the conduct of the body corporate but failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the violation from being committed or from occurring. When determining whether an officer failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent a business’s noncompliance, courts would examine what actions the officer took towards ensuring that the business’s employees, agents and contractors knew and understood their obligations to prevent unauthorised work and what actions, if any, the officer took when the officer became aware that the business was failing to comply with the relevant requirements. The reforms would also extend criminal and civil liability to non-officers who facilitate or are involved in allowing a foreign national to work without sufficient permission, including agents, contractors and those involved in informal labour hire practices, sham contracting, or the use of unauthorised workers by different entities within a conglomerate. Verification of Employment Authorisation In a positive move for employers, the legislation would introduce statutory defenses for businesses, executives and others who take reasonable steps at the appropriate times to verify a foreign national’s migration status and work permission. The draft legislation does not mandate a specific verification procedure, though DIAC’s commentary on the draft legislation provides the following examples of what would be considered reasonable steps: • Verifying employees’ work permission through the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) tool prior to or within a few days of a foreign worker’s start date and then re-verifying within a few days after the expiration of the foreign worker’s visa; • Contracting with a third party to verify foreign workers’ migration status and work permission; or • Having staff view new foreign hires’ original permanent or temporary visa granting permission to work. If the reforms are implemented, all employers would need to ensure that their systems are compliant with the new requirements to gain the protection of the statutory defense.
United States/Russia US-Russia Visa Agreement Will Benefit Business Travellers and Tourists (August 31, 2012) Russian and American citizens will soon be eligible for multiple-entry business and tourist visas valid for up to three years and for multiple entries, pursuant to a reciprocal agreement that was recently concluded between the United States and Russia. Both countries have agreed to aim for visitor visa processing times of 15 days, with the understanding that individual cases may take longer in some circumstances. The reciprocal agreement goes into force on September 9, 2012, but will not be implemented with respect to Russian visas until that country’s immigration authority issues instructions to consular posts. US and Russian travellers who currently hold a valid business or tourist visa remain subject to the validity period and terms under which that visa was issued. They will benefit from the reciprocal visa agreement when they apply for a new visa on or after September 9. Impact on Russian Travellers to the United States Beginning on September 9, Russian citizens will be eligible to receive a US B-1/B-2 nonimmigrant visitor visa for business or pleasure that is valid for up to 36 months and for multiple entries during the validity period (under current rules, Russian citizens are eligible for B-1/B-2 visas valid for up to two years). B-1/B-2 visa holders may be admitted to the United States for up to one year, though admission periods of up to three to six months are more typical. Russian nationals will pay a reduced reciprocity fee of $20 to obtain a US B-1/ B-2 visitor visa, down from $100. They are also subject to a $160 visa application processing fee, as are all B-1/B-2 applicants regardless of their nationality. Impact on US Travellers to Russia Once the reciprocal agreement is implemented at Russian consular posts, US citizens are likewise expected to be eligible for Russian business and tourist visas valid for up to 36 months and for multiple entries during the validity period. The application process is not yet known, but Russia’s Federal Migration Service (FMS) is to release details after September 9. It is expected that US applicants for business visas will no longer be required to present an FMS invitation letter from
a sponsoring entity as part of their application. US citizens who lose their passport while travelling in Russia will no longer be required to obtain an exit visa to depart the country. The agreement is expected to allow US travellers periods of stay in Russia of up to six months. Under the existing policy, US travellers to Russia are limited to stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period, with a maximum 12-month validity period for the visa. Tourist visas to Russia currently limit the traveller to two entries within a 30-day validity period.
Brazil Foreign Workers Under Local Contract Must Seek Permanent Visa to Remain in Brazil for More Than Two Years (August 31, 2012) In a reversal of previous policy, foreign nationals working in Brazil under a local employment contract can no longer renew their initial two-year employment visas. To remain in Brazil for more than two years, they must apply for a permanent visa pursuant to an indefinite labour contract at least 90 days before their initial visa expires (though this deadline may change when the government issues a resolution formalising the policy change). Pending applications to extend a temporary visa must be converted to a new permanent visa application. The permanent visa issued after the initial two-year period in Brazil will still be tied to the foreign national’s employer in Brazil, but after four years, the link to the company will cease, allowing the foreign national to work for any employer and to obtain an unconditional permanent ID card. As a practical matter, the difference between a temporary visa extension and a permanent residence application is minimal because extension applicants have been required to submit an indefinite employment contract since November 2011. The advantage of the permanent application is that the foreign beneficiary's dependents will be authorised to work once the application is approved. The new policy - the result of a legal opinion from the Brazilian Attorney General – should end several months of uncertainty concerning temporary visa extensions and follows two prior policy reversals. In November 2011, the Ministry of Justice - the entity responsible for visa extensions and permanent residence Autumn International HR Adviser
Global Immigration Update - took the position that foreign workers needed a permanent visa to remain in Brazil after their initial two years. However, later that month, a new resolution from the National Immigration Council led the Ministry of Justice to resume accepting applications for two-year temporary visa extensions, as long as applicants presented an indefinite employment contract.
China Shanghai Work Permit Applications Must Be Filed On or After Assignment Start Date (September 7, 2012) Work permit applications in Shanghai must be filed on or after the proposed start date provided in the beneficiaryâ€™s employment contract or assignment letter, the Shanghai Labor Bureau has announced. Applications filed before the proposed start date will be rejected. The new policy took effect on August 30. Foreign beneficiaries may not work while a permit application is pending. They are permitted to perform appropriate business activities only. Work permit applications take approximately three to five business days to process in Shanghai,
International HR Adviserâ€‚ Autumn
but they may be expedited if substantiated by urgent business needs, in which case they take one or two business days. Previously, the Shanghai Labor Bureau allowed employers to file work permit applications up to one month before the start date proposed in the employment contract or assignment letter. The Bureau seeks to minimise the risk of unauthorised work before foreign nationalsâ€™ actual start dates, after it observed that allowing earlier filings resulted in foreign nationals obtaining work permits well in advance of their proposed start dates. What This Means for Employers Employers must ensure that beneficiaries of work permit applications limit their activities to allowable business activities until a work permit is granted. Employers will also have to consider the policy change when determining when to place a foreign employee on Chinese payroll and for other relocation logistics. While the employment contract or assignment letter can provide a proposed start date, the official start date will be the actual date that the Bureau issues the work permit.
The policy change also means that employers will have to formally enter into the employment contract or assignment letter with the beneficiary before they can file the work permit application. In the past, companies may have avoided entering into the employment contract or assignment letter until close to the actual start date. Chinese immigration regulations allow employers to enter into an employment contract at any time after they receive their employment license (the first step of the work permit process), though foreign national employees cannot start work until the work permit is issued. The content herein isprovided for information purposes only. If you have any Questions, or for further information please contact: Global Knowledge Team, Fragomen Global, LLP +1 (212) 688 8555 (direct) email@example.com www.fragomen.com Fragomen has 35 offices in 15 countries.
tools & training
Searching For Synergy: The Critical Link Between Intercultural Online Tools And Intercultural Classroom Training Forcing square pegs into round holes, as everyone knows, is really difficult. And the result is often painful, artificial and unsatisfactory. Yet offering an online intercultural programme that was created independently from, and not inherent to, the intercultural training in the classroom is like forcing a square peg into a round hole. This is probably true for most kinds of training, but for intercultural training - dealing as it does with the task of making formerly unrecognised differences visible, and then providing the skills to manage such differences - insuring synergy between online tools and classroom training is absolutely essential. When looking for a provider of both, therefore, it is critical for organisations to first ask their prospective providers the questions: “Is your online learning tool aligned with your classroom training?” “Was the online tool developed independently from the classroom training?” “Does the tool, and its methodology and underlying model, drive the training, or vice versa? Or, worst of all, do they work independently of one another?” In other words, “is there provable synergy between the tool and the training?” Tools typically build awareness, and training typically builds skills, and if there is no synergy between the tool and the training, there will be little success leveraging awareness into skills. In today's intercultural marketplace, there have historically been providers of classroom programmes, and then there have been providers of on-line technology learning, creating some interesting intercultural on-line training tools. Some classroom training programmes are better than others; some on-line tools are better than others. Typically, online learning tools are best when used to raise awareness of fundamental intercultural issues, and as a reference bank for intercultural information. The technology additionally allows for the development of a profile, either individually or organisationally, of the cultural orientation of the
users, or their adaptability to specific or generic intercultural challenges. In either case, this can be useful as a snapshot of an individual’s (or organisation’s) cultural “start” point, and the deficiencies which then need to be trained to, in order to create either synergy between them and a target culture with which they may be working, the training needed to create a more effective multicultural team, or the training needed to develop a “third organisational culture” which incorporates the best practices of all the participants. In any of these cases, the tool is a startpoint, providing a benchmark of awareness, against which the real training can then take place. The actual development of strategies, the changing of behaviours, the moving from mere cognitive awareness to applicable and measurable behavioural change, is then best accomplished through training, usually of the trainerdriven, classroom type. Unfortunately, what has happened in the marketplace is a conflation of these mutually different, though synergistic, goals and deliverables. Apples and oranges. Some organisations have misunderstood the best use of the tools, and in some cases, viewed them as substitutes for valuable training. This wastes the money spent on the online tools, for the tools do not create the necessary behavioural change required for intercultural competence in the workplace, which is best achieved through critical classroom trainer-driven training. On the provider side, training organisations that had traditionally provided classroom training, in an effort to also offer on-line tools, in many cases looked elsewhere for those tools, and had to consequently either graft tools created independently from the content, design and methodology of their classroom programmes onto their existing programmes, or substantially change what were successful classroom programmes to “fit” the limited applications of the independently created tool. Square pegs in round holes again, and again, it doesn’t work. Using externally-sourced intercultural tools with pre-existing classroom programmes runs the risk of both the
tools and programmes being dangerously out of synch with each other. The result, for the user and the client, can be confusing at best, and at worst, useless in developing real intercultural understanding and skills. Stated simply, synergy of information, design and methodology, is critical to the integration of tools and training, to the achieving of both awareness and skills. Without such synergy, money spent on either tools or training can make more problems than it solves. Let's look at why it is so important to maintain the link between the information, design and methodology of both intercultural tools and training:
INFORMATION & CONTENT Fundamentally, the content, or information, provided in both the online tool and the classroom programme must not contradict, or invalidate, the other. Both the tool and the training need to be built upon the same models, the same foundation of information, and the same research platform. Yet in the intercultural world, as in most disciplines, information from one source can sometimes contradict or challenge information gathered from a different source, and there are just as many different sources of information in the intercultural field as there are in any other field. The validity of the source for all information used must be established for both the tool and the training programme, and if one uses validated information and the other doesn’t, the total result is less than valid. Yet this risk is high when externallysourced tools are used to compliment the information provided in classroom training. It is like different languages are being spoken to try to convey the same information: it is difficult at best, problematic and counter-productive at worst.
DESIGN If problems can develop when tools and training programmes do not get their content in-synch, imagine the difficulties that can emerge when designs - an element of training with traditionally much more Autumn International HR Adviser
tools & training variance than static information - are out of synch. As we saw, even with fairly consistent information, variance between tool and programme can be serious; imagine the differences that can emerge in the area of design, where the sky's the limit in terms of how relatively consistent content can be designed to be delivered in a variety of different ways. Effective training design, for example, needs to be highly interactive, based on unique exercises created by the provider of the training, and which often come to represent, as hallmarks, the unique and creative nature of that provider, a differentiator that often sets the design (and ultimately success) of one provider's training programme over that of another. Consequently, both training programme and on-line tool designs are often one-of-a-kind reflections of the quality of the provider of each; if one is less than the other, the entire approach suffers, with one being required to fill the gaps of the other. Additionally, redundancy can inadvertently occur, as different designs deliver information in different packets, some similar, some different: not only does this run the risk of repetition, but it additionally creates confusion in the student's mind, due to the use of two different paths to deliver the same information. Historically, face-to-face classroom training programmes provide a more natural environment for interactivity, while on-line tools limit interactivity (but increase efficient content reach): the best blending occurs when classroom training interactivity supports on-line content, and vice versa; unfortunately, if the on-line tool was externally sourced after the training programme was created, this kind of synergistic blending is all but impossible to create. Interactive exercises, ranging from icebreakers to in-depth and historically time-tested surveys, may work in one format, but not in the other; and while the nature of the interactivity may be the same (for example, surveys or quizzes), the validity, user-friendliness, content and research base for each may be very different. This creates a contradictory, counter-productive learning experience.
METHODOLOGY Finally, there is the question of methodology, and the logistical administration of the training. Implementing both successful classroom training programmes and the use of on-line tools requires a unified approach making the logistics of coordinating and delivering both programmes and on-line tools easy and user-friendly International HR Adviserâ€‚ Autumnâ€‚
for both the student and the client. If the design problem is solved and the on-line tool is inherently part of the classroom training programme, then access to both should be available in one, clean step. If the on-line tool, however, was developed and sourced externally, then often the tool itself is either not inherently part of the training programme, or if it is, it is outof-synch, as we have seen, with much of the content and design of the training programme; additionally, it may not be easily accessed as part of the training programme, if it is licensed and delivered by yet an independent, third-party provider. And in terms of assessing the success of both a classroom training programme and an on-line tool, if the goals and criteria by which we measure the success of either are different (which is usually the case when the on-line tool is externally sourced), then it will be very difficult to assess the success of any combined intervention. Most importantly, from a business perspective, attempting to integrate externally sourced on-line tools with training programmes creates a business challenge that can be compared with the difficulties that occur when businesses experience a merger or acquisition. Which design should predominate? Which content needs to be changed to fit the other? Which method or process of implementation or assessment should be adopted, and which should be eliminated? Inevitably, camps of supporters of either side develop within the provider organisation with the goal of maintaining their turf and their authority; this can create a hostile and poisonous environment in which to work, with supporters of the classroom training programme designers and supporters of the on-line tool designers, in competition internally with each other to dominate not only the process, but the fundamental definition of the provider organisation. Are we a training and learning programme company, or are we an online technology-based learning company? Essentially, when an externally-sourced tool is brought into an intercultural training provider, the client purchasing either needs to seriously investigate the degree to which the programme they think they have been using is being substantively altered or changed in subordination to the on-line tool, or vice versa. Perhaps most profoundly, a client needs to ask itself the degree to which it is now exposing itself to working with an intercultural provider who may be going through the trials and
tribulations of what amounts essentially to a merger and acquisition.
WHAT'S THE RISK? Square pegs in round holes. Apples and oranges. Training programmes and on-line tools need to be carefully integrated and aligned, or else what starts out as sounding like a synergistic dream can turn quickly into a nightmare. If on-line tools are created inherent to and emerge out from the training programmes they are designed to support, then the blending can, in fact, be dreamy, providing the best benefits of both. But if the on-line tools are externally sourced, and artificially grafted onto the previously existing curriculum of the training programme provider, the result can be frought with difficulties. The upside of technology-based tools is greater efficiencies and learning reach; by spreading awareness ubiquitously and efficiently, its role is insured in intercultural training. The upside of classroom training is its power to focus on customised, behaviourchanging skills-building. Together, there can be a winning synergistic team, but only if the tool is inherent to the training, produced by the same organisation, the tool emerging out of the training. Any other path is a round peg in a square hole. Dean Foster, President, dfa Intercultural Global Solutions, LLC As president of dfa Intercultural Global Solutions, LLC, New York, Dean Foster conducts cross-cultural training worldwide and consults on intercultural global business issues with most Fortune 500 companies in the United States and around the world. For over twenty-five years, Dean has played a major role in the development of the intercultural consulting and training field. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.DeanFosterAssociates.com
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Forum Summary Report
RES Forum Annual Report 2011/12 The RES Forum is the world’s largest truly international online community for in-house mobility and International HR professionals, covering assignee programmes ranging from 5 employees to 20,000 employees in size. We measure our size by the active participation of our 300 members, located in over 30 countries, and their engagement with the Forum as a virtual community. In the 2011/2012 Annual Report, the collection of analysis represents something very unique in the world of Global Mobility - content that is defined by in-house mobility practitioners over a sustained and measurable period. The information contained in the 2011/2012 Annual Report is what is truly keeping mobility professionals awake at night. This user-driven output throws up some interesting developments and areas of discussion. The key themes that we have seen and have outlined in the report are as follows:
International Assignment Management Although many aspects of Global Mobility programmes are today being outsourced to third party suppliers (e.g. tax, relocation, etc.), the majority of our members are still managing the overall expat process in-house. This undoubtedly emphasises that the role of the International Assignment Manager remains vital to ensure an effective co-ordination of the move and a good level of communication between the HR Team and the expat and their family before, during and after the assignment.
Talent & Resourcing Organisations are shifting more and more from ‘fitting jobs to suitable staff ’ to ‘fitting staff to suitable jobs’ and are therefore recognising the importance of interactions between Global Mobility and their Talent programmes. HR teams will increasingly need to develop talent-based frameworks where Mobility will be redefined as a key element of the talent cycle; this in order to manage the growing demand for global talent and the new challenges that this engenders. This will be achievable through a review of policies, as well as the implementation International HR Adviser Autumn
Key Responsibilities of the IA Manager Reviewing Assignment Calculations/Paperwork
Policy Design and Review Management Reporting including Cost Analysis/Recharges
Stakeholder Management and Training
Procurement Activities Talent Management/ Succession Planning
Reasons to send employees on assignment (top 5) 100%
85% 79% 72% 66%
0% Transfer skills/ knowledge
Fill a talent gap
Enter a new market
of new processes and IT tools to support the global talent strategy and international sourcing needs within organisations.
Rewards The biggest single trend in assignment compensation in the last 5 years has been the move away from the traditional ‘balance sheet’ to locally based packages. This gradual change became particularly prominent in 2009 with the economic downturn extending beyond a normal recession. The change in focus is obvious. Whilst in the past assignment compensation was about keeping the assignee ‘whole’ with the home country, now it is seen as an enhanced version of a local host country contract, with
Intenational experience to develop a global mindset
Open new office
the aim of the enhancements being to help transition employees to the new location.
Duty of Care & Employee Relations Engagement surveying specifically targeted at expats and, if applicable, accompanying family members, is clearly an area that is currently under-utilised by RES Forum member organisations. In terms of protecting the significant financial investment made by organisations on their expats, using a robust, academically sound methodology to measure expat attitudes and perceptions would seem to be very logical. Whereas in the past, organisations tended to refer to levels of satisfaction
Forum Summary Report amongst their employee population, the trend now is very much to look at the wider measure of engagement, with the goal to achieve ‘sustainable’ levels of engagement amongst employees and expats alike. Linking any such studies to an evaluation of the effectiveness and value derived from individual expatriate policy components by the expatriate and their families would seem to be a highly effective way to assess the overall ‘health’ of an expat programme.
Local, Regional & Domestic Moves The trend towards aligning domestic relocation with international relocation is an interesting one and would on the face of it, seem a very obvious thing to do relocation is relocation surely, irrespective of movement across borders? Whilst this is true to a point, with the core compensation requirements being very similar, there are more subtle variations between domestic and international relocation which are ignored at a company’s peril, for example, the differences in schooling, language and culture. However, with the move to ‘Local Plus’ contracts for international assignees gathering momentum, alignment of domestic and international policies would seem to make sense. This might offer even more opportunities for policy, compensation and resource consolidation saving companies money in the longer term.
Emerging Markets & Hardship Locations Many ‘hardship locations’ now have rapidly developing economies of their own and are beginning to be much more stringent in the way they manage compliance and regulation of inbound foreign workers – likely any mobility manager with staff operating in these locations has an anecdote or two around the challenges they have faced in this regard. However, we, at the RES Forum, also believe we are at the beginning of an interesting new chapter in terms of the export of talent from ‘emerged’ economies - with the rapid international expansion of financial institutions, global brands and service companies onto the international stage based in ‘emerged’ countries, we now face new challenges around encouraging talent to go on assignment to ‘developed’ markets which may be perceived as being ‘away from the action’, along with designing compensation
and benefits policies that reflect both different spending patterns and different cultural norms around family and gender role which may be in direct contradiction to the traditional expatriate approaches that exist in so many multinational organisations today.
Conclusions So what do all of these themes mean when considered together in their entirety? Our first observation for 2011/2012 is that mobility programmes have been less radically overhauled over the last 15 months vis-a-vis the previous report period, 2010. Reduction of costs and introduction of policy segmentation were the main changes instigated during 2009 to 2010 and what we are now seeing is a ‘settling of the land’ as multinationals test those stripped back, reconfigured policies. Whilst the tweaking of benefits and policies will continue into 2012 we believe the true impact of the changes will only be evident in 2013 or later. This impact will be assessed from a cost, employee mobility and talent development perspective. Another area of discussion in the 2011/2012 report, and indeed two themes which we would like to juxtapose, are the ongoing duty of care considerations for organisations as well as the move to more localised assignment packages. The historic tax equalisation approach to assignment management, although expensive created for many an environment where many benefits were delivered on a ‘net’ basis as part of a generally hightouch approach. The world post-2009 has removed tax
equalisation as a core philosophy underpinning assignment management; furthermore the movement to packages designed on a localised basis has also illustrated a step towards a less paternalistic approach. Throw into the mix the poor duty of care results recorded by the RES Forum membership in the 2011/2012 report and we have genuine concerns about short-term savings resulting in increased assignment failure and reduced employee well-being. This could of course be unnecessary scaremongering. Our 2011/2012 report also shows that organisations are increasingly seeing assignments less from the compensation and cost perspective and increasingly more from a talent management and talent selection point of view. Seeing assignments as both employee and employer-driven opportunities will create greater acceptance of the change experienced by an assignee and reduced support offered by organisations. Build into this the concept of ‘expatriate competences’ (that is to say suitability to adapt to a location and to be a successful assignee) and the chances of assignments failing are vastly reduced. The RES Forum is an independent community of in-house Global Mobility and International Human Resources professionals. www.theresforum.com UniGroup UTS is a leading global move and destination services management organisation for corporate expatriates and transferees. www.uts-international.com
Hardship Allowances Percentage of responding companies 60%
50% KSA United Arab Emirates Middle East
Duration of assignment
0% 1 month
Autumn International HR Adviser
The Many Advantages Of A Second Opinion One of the most rewarding aspects of working for an organisation like Bupa International is the sense that we are making a genuine difference to the individuals and businesses in our care. We don’t just pay the bills; we support the health and wellbeing of our members at every opportunity. In 2011 we teamed up with a company called Advance Medical to introduce a new service that allows all our members to have a second medical opinion after any diagnosis. There’s no additional cost for the service; it’s simply there to help people make informed decisions about their health and understand more about the options that are available. Not long after we introduced Second Medical Opinion, I came across a case that highlighted its true value. It reinforced my belief that good advice is critical in medical matters and just as important as the payments we make on our members’ behalf.
Making a difference Our medical centre received a call from a member based in Egypt, whose son had type 1 diabetes. He was calling to preauthorise treatment for pancreatic cell transplant surgery. Our adviser explained that while the member was eligible for surgery, they also had the option of getting a second opinion from an independent specialist. The member’s father appreciated this opportunity, especially at no additional cost, so the case was referred to Advance Medical. Advance Medical appointed one of their independent doctors to manage the case. They then spoke to the member before forwarding on all the patient’s medical records to Dr F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer – one of the world’s leading experts in diabetes, a Professor of Medicine at Columbia University and a former President of the American Diabetes Association. After reviewing the information, Dr Pi-Sunyer made a number of recommendations, most notably that the pancreatic cell transplant might not be the best course of action. He put together a report explaining the pros and cons of pancreatic cell transplants treatment - citing potential complications with surgery and how maximising the dose of long-acting International HR Adviser Autumn
insulin might be a better approach. He also explained the benefits of monitoring diet and exercise more closely. A copy of the report was sent to the member via the Advance Medical case manager, who went on to explain the contents in detail to the boy’s father. After sharing the information with his son, it gave them the confidence to cancel the surgery and look at other options. The member was delighted; firstly that his son was able avoid the ordeal of a major operation; but also because he felt reassured that they were doing the right thing.
The benefit of good, healthy advice A few things struck me with this example. The first was that people aren’t always aware that they have a choice once a treatment plan has been proposed. It’s important to remember that medicine isn’t an exact science and in reality there may be different solutions to the same problem – what’s right for some people isn’t always right for others. As a healthcare provider we try to involve members in decisions about their health by putting the choices in front of them. It’s also worth mentioning that while doctors do a wonderful job, they’re not infallible. Sometimes a second opinion can offer a fresh outlook and a whole new perspective. This might be because of new information, different experiences or simply an alternative point of view. Whatever the reason, it can be invaluable to patients. I should say at this point that with regard to our second opinion service, the member’s own consultant is often instrumental in helping the specialist determine any alternative outcomes. It’s not a case of overriding opinions; it’s about working together to arrive at the best possible outcome for patients. And yes, more often than not the recommendation is to follow the original course of treatment. One final thing worth considering is that although this particular example relates to a decision on major surgery, good medical advice shouldn’t be restricted to extreme cases. It’s equally relevant to diet, exercise and everyday conditions. For instance, one of the most
common complaints in the workplace is back pain, which can have a major impact a person’s life (and productivity). Unfortunately, physiotherapy aside, too many people decide to ‘just live with it’. This is a perfect example of where our second opinion service comes into its own – there are many different routes that might help musculoskeletal disorders and a specialist second opinion can often go a long way. Dr Rebecca Small is medical director at Bupa International. Bupa International has a range of plans to suit organisations of many different shapes and sizes. Many are tailored to specific industries and dedicated to small and medium businesses. To find out more call Bupa International today on +44 (0)1273 718308 or visit www.bupa-intl.com/for-business
You are cordially invited to
The 2013 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition on
Monday 4th February 2013 at
Hotel Russell, 1-8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE This event is FREE TO ATTEND and is a must for International HR Professionals
diverse expatriate populations
Diverse Expatriate Populations Alternative Remuneration Packages It has been a long time since expatriate compensation was relatively straightforward and simple. Not that is has ever been entirely simple; changing exchange rates, inflation, demanding expats, and challenging locations have seen to that. In the past, however, most cross-border transfers took place from developed to developed or developing locations. These days, expats are also being recruited in emerging markets and sent to developed locations or to other emerging markets. This article will discuss the different approaches to compensation taken by companies with diversifying expatriate populations: It will also explore the advantages and disadvantages of each package type, enabling companies to choose the strategy that best corresponds to their mobility approach and expat population.
A Diverse Expatriate Population The more variety a company has in its expat demographics, the more challenges it will face when designing an expatriate pay programme. Do 95% of the expats come from the headquarters location, or are expats sent from and to diverse locations? Are these consistently like to like transfers, or in other words, low to low and high to high wage locations, or is there a mixture? In addition, what types of employees are recruited and repatriated? The home based system, or balance sheet system as the name reveals, is based on the notion that there is a “home.” If an employee has been away from home for a long time, or is not expecting to return or retire there, the home based system may not make sense. In addition, for a company that recruits people from countries with no office presence and therefore no payroll mechanism, it may be administratively difficult to put such employees on a home-based system. Moreover, when a company has many different home and host locations, thus many home-host combinations, managing a balance-sheet programme becomes more complex. Another challenge that arises when the balance sheet system is asked to handle a wide range of home and host locations is that a company may have employees of International HR Adviser Autumn
different nationalities doing similar jobs in the same assignment location. Since their home purchasing power is protected, they will be compensated very differently. There will be no equity amongst the expatriates. The home-based approach may also result in wide purchase power gaps between expatriates and host peers. While equity in relation to home peers is achieved, equity with host peers may not be. Many factors play a role in a company’s expat programme design, such as the types of business lines a company has, the business cycle, and the competitive environment.
Expatriate Compensation Approaches Although there is a broad array of expat pay options, we will focus on two specific options in detail: purchasing power comparisons and salary comparisons. The former look at an expatriate’s purchasing power in relation to either the home or host location or the purchasing power of other expatriates. The latter either compare an expatriate’s total salary to home or host location standards, or set an international (reference) salary level to compensate all expatriates within the same salary scheme.
Purchasing Power Comparisons Reduced Balance Sheet Packages The home based system is a widely used and successful approach to compensation but is often costly. As companies increasingly shift toward aligning expatriate compensation with employee value to the business, mobility programmes no longer automatically provide all assignees with a full balance sheet package with all its bells and whistles. Trainees or younger employees willing to take an international assignment for career development will typically be put on an “expat light” package, or in other words, a reduced or modified balance sheet system There are various ways to create a “lighter” version. For example: • Eliminate or reduce the mobility premium eliminate or reduce the hardship premium (location allowance), possibly by implementing differential hardship, which reduces the hardship in the host location by taking into account the
hardship in the home location • Only tax equalise company-related income (although this will already have been done with most “full” balance sheet calculations) • Select a lower level of subsidy for the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) • Select a lower subsidy of host housing, i.e. use more conservative housing standards • Deduct a home housing norm, i.e. let the employee contribute to housing costs • Reduce or eliminate assignment-related benefits such as the relocation allowance, the familiarisation visit, language lessons, etc.
Headquarters Based System A headquarters balance sheet involves extending to all nationalities the expatriate package designed for expatriates from the company headquarters’ home country. With this approach, all expatriates at the same job level receive the same pay regardless of nationality. This approach reduces employee relations problems within the expatriate group and it may also simplify administration, since all expatriates are handled in the same way. Even though it achieves equity amongst expatriates, it can be costly if the headquarters package results in compensation increases for the majority of expatriates. Mobility may be reduced depending on the value of the headquarters package relative to the home country pay level. Employees from emerging markets (low wage countries) may have a difficult time adjusting to home pay again when they return home, so repatriation may become an issue. In addition, breaking the link to home country pay for all nonheadquarters nationalities may cause issues in terms of losing home benefits and pension.
Proxy Based System A proxy home base is used as a home base for compensation purposes for an expatriate whose actual home base is not used. A home base salary and its four primary components (Income Taxes, Spendable Income, Home Housing Costs, and Savings and Investments) are established for the proxy base by calculating an average or composite of a set of bases (home countries). A proxy hypothetical tax is
diverse expatriate populations calculated to achieve tax equalisation, for example by using an average tax rate. The expatriate’s actual home base salary may be tracked for the duration of the assignment in order to help in repatriation to the actual home country’s conditions of compensation and employment. Companies applying this method will often pay their expatriates in one currency because there’s no tie to an actual home country and currency This approach is a good solution when assignees are recruited from locations where a company has no presence. It fosters commonality when expatriates from different nationalities work together in the same location. It also creates consistency and stability, or lessens volatility, since home inflation is an average of the inflations of multiple countries. However, this approach may be difficult for expatriates to understand because the base is a composite of actual locations. There is no real home location, and the link to home pay is severed. Also, time to time changes are challenging to explain because currency and pricing changes are not specific to one home country.
Equalised Spending at Host Equalisation of consumption elements is a compromise that administers expatriates on the base salary structure of the home country and equalises taxes to home country levels. However, funds available for spending on Goods & Services (G&S) at the host location are established at the same level for all nationalities with the same job responsibilities. Housing is normally handled in a similar manner. The G&S differentials are calculated as a topup to reach the target expatriate level. A US oil company, for instance, may have US, Japanese, and a Brazilian employees working together in Mexico, performing similar jobs. They each earn different home salaries but will all receive the same host spending amount. For example, if the US is selected as the benchmark home country, all nationalities will receive the US to host spendable. Their real home spending amount will be deducted from the host spendable, leading to different G&S Allowances for each nationality. This compromise approach combines the advantages associated with maintaining the link to home country salary with the advantages of equalizing the living standard of all expatriates in the host location (equity amongst expatriates is achieved). In this calculation, there is no direct comparison of costs between the
home and host locations. Accordingly, the primary disadvantage of this approach is the difficulty of explaining time-to-time changes in equivalent pay levels. The rate of exchange, the relative (host/home) inflation, and the benchmark or marker exchange rate can all be of influence in changing allowances. Moreover, this approach may be costly, since the benchmark is usually a high one.
Spending Equity – Safety Net The concept of minimum spending on G&S, also called a “Safety Net,” can be introduced as another way to ensure spending equity. The Safety Net analysis is a comparison of G&S spending: the total expatriate G&S spending (home country spendable plus G&S Allowance) is compared to the G&S spending of a host country peer at an equivalent salary. If the G&S spending of a host country peer at an equivalent salary is higher, an adjustment to the expatriate G&S spending is made. To ensure spending equity, a “Supplemental Allowance” is paid out to the expatriate equal to the difference between the G&S spending of a host country peer at an equivalent salary and the expatriate’s total G&S spending. When considering this method, it is important to define “a peer”: Is it a local, a regional or a headquarters peer? Depending on the definition of a peer, the Supplemental Allowance may vary. When opting to apply the Safety Net, it should also be decided whether this minimum G&S standard should be applied to all expatriates or only to transfers from low wage countries to high wage countries. The benefits of this system are that it protects low wage transferees; it harmonises G&S equity; and the Supplemental Allowance self-adjusts with wage increases. Additionally, the standard (i.e., the definition of the peer) may be set at a level that fits the company’s philosophy regarding minimum subsidy targets and expat demographics. The drawbacks are that the Safety Net requires well-defined salary structures, it introduces additional (administrative) complexity, and results in an increase in the expatriate’s purchasing power, which is a repatriation disincentive. As well, time-to-time changes may not be intuitive when peer relationships change. It is strongly advised that the Supplemental Allowance be shown as a separate line item on the employee’s pay slip, as it is a gap payment and not part of the G&S Allowance.
Salary Comparisons Host (Plus) Country Salary Host Target Pay involves paying expatriates on the basis of the prevailing local compensation rates in the host location. Costs related to the assignment, such as international schools for children and rental housing, may be provided in-kind or through add-ons to host pay levels, also known as the “plus” in local or host plus pay. There is no tax equalisation provided, although “plus” elements may be delivered grossed-up for host taxes. This approach minimises local national employee resentment to expatriates on pay grounds. It may simplify administration when expatriates are handled under existing arrangements for local nationals. This approach also moves the risk from the company to the employee with respect to taxes. It works best for long-term or permanent transfers. However, it impedes global mobility if employees are reluctant to relocate to locations with lower pay, higher taxes and/or living standards. A local salary system may work well for intra-regional transfers, permanent transfers, and transfers from low to high wage locations. It is quite commonly used in the financial services industry, where expatriates are mostly transferred between locations with similar pay levels and economies, especially for the more junior job levels and developmental assignments. It is also a popular compensation approach for transfers within the Asia-Pacific region.
Greater of Home/Host Salary Salary-oriented pay typically involves a comparison of host and home pay and the selection of the option that provides the greatest benefit to the employee. Options include paying the employee the higher of home or host salary, or the higher of home country balance sheet or host salary. Sometimes the home or host comparison is done on the net after tax income adjusted to home-host cost differences (“net to net”). This type of salary-oriented pay approach can work well for regional transfers, such as within Europe. It tends to work best for long-term assignments or permanent transfers, since in some cases the link to home country pay is severed. Nevertheless, it can be complex to administer, because any host location may have expatriates at the same job level on different types of pay packages depending on nationality and salary relationships. It may also be costly and Autumn International HR Adviser
diverse expatriate populations result in windfalls since the tendency is to increase compensation to levels higher than home.
Regional/International Salary Another salary-oriented approach involves paying all expatriates on the basis of an international salary structure, which is normally set at a higher level than salaries in most individual countries in order to provide an incentive for relocation. It is an alternative that ensures fair pay amongst all expatriates, independent of their nationality. To ensure that the resulting pay package provides adequate compensation levels, it is compared to an international or regional “benchmark” compensation level. A company wishing to use this system must create the international or regional benchmark salaries, which will be based on either 1) average salaries globally or regionally, or 2) a “representative” country’s salary. This approach is not much different from the Proxy Home Base as described above (applied in cases where the home salary scale is non-existent), and it can be a solution for transferring expatriates from low-wage countries with relatively low standards of living.
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One difficulty with this approach is agreeing on what the “common” level of pay should be. Paying everyone at the highest expatriate compensation level will usually make the employees happy, but it is very costly for the company. Difficult repatriation issues arise, since few employees wish to return to the less generous home pay lines. Another challenge (as with the HQ and Proxy Base approaches) is the currency issue. Pay is in one currency that may be different from both the home currency and the host currency. Since expats receive pay in one currency, save money at home in a different currency, and spend money in the host location in another currency, it is recommended that a company using this plan have a good currency protection system in place to protect the employee.
Conclusion Companies are adapting their expatriate compensation strategy to meet the needs of their increasingly complex expatriate demographics, and points to the advantages and disadvantages of each methodology. AIRINC’s client surveys confirm the growth of these alternative packages,
including the reduced balance sheet package, headquarter based system, proxy based system, equalised host spending, safety net, host salary, and greater of home or host and international salary. Monique Neijzen Client Services & Program Development Manager: Monique has been with AIRINC since 2001. She currently manages a diverse group of European-HQ accounts, including ABN Amro Bank, Barclays, PWC, and Coca Cola Europe. firstname.lastname@example.org Sandra De Bruyker graduated with a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Antwerp in 1997. In 1998, she also received Master’s degrees in Business Law and Tax Law. Before joining AIRINC in 2007, Sandra gained significant experience as a Tax and HR specialist. She also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she was responsible for advising and assisting international clientele with respect to international mobility and setting up and implementing international employment structures. email@example.com
Home Country Departures
Departure Services - The Poor Relation To Destination Services? Organising a successful relocation for assignees leaving or entering the UK, alongside other complex HR roles, can be time-consuming. The detailed requirements of an assignee can often be hard to match alongside those of an organisation working to a specific budget. In addition to the logistics of arranging the business operation itself, corporate relocations come with an abundance of personal factors that HR advisers have to take into consideration on behalf of the individual, from discussing and agreeing assignee and family needs, organising local orientation tours, sourcing a suitable property in the right area, arranging viewings and negotiating terms of tenancy. All of which can often come as secondary to the core skill set of HR advisers. Sarah Rushbrook is the Managing Director of Rushbrook and Rathbone, specialists in property management and corporate relocation partners for organisations, families and individuals. Since starting in the business in 1988, initially providing property management services to outgoing expatriates, Sarah has seen the world of corporate relocation change dramatically as technology has shaped the ways and whereabouts of businesses. According to Sarah, technology has in fact been the main stabilising factor, enabling everything to be more instant and flexible, from the ability to travel across the world much faster, talk face to face through video conferencing or make bookings online, and this has both changed and stabilised the industry. When posting an assignee to another country, employers will generally take care of everything from the job role, housing, schooling and any other support needed to settle in to their new location. However, one element of relocation that remains a grey area for many assignees, and where some feel there is little or no support, is in the time leading up to their departure from the UK and advice on what to do with their assets back home. “Departure services are often the poor relation to destination services” comments Sarah. Decisions such as these should not be taken lightly as they can impact the locality in which a person settles in the future, as
well as their long-term finances, and HR professionals should be looking at how they can provide greater end to end support for assignees without compromising their existing work load. Here, Sarah Rushbrook offers important pre-departure advice that HR professionals and their assignees should consider.
For Sale or Rent The first step for any assignee is to consider their most valued asset which, in most cases, is their home. Then, there are three options; sell, let or leave vacant. For many, the thought of renting out the family home can be a daunting prospect, although if the longer-term plan is to return, then selling might not appeal either. As with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages to all three. However, even without the on-going uncertainly of UK property prices, renting is usually a far better option, certainly for the first year. An assignee is likely to return to the UK after a 2-3 year assignment, so renting can provide much more flexibility enabling assignees to retain the benefit and security of having a UK property to return to as well as avoid any difficulties getting back onto the housing ladder. As restrictions on mortgage lending continue to encourage a nation of renters throughout the UK, well maintained properties in desirable locations will let easily and, dependent on mortgage calculations, potentially provide additional positive cash flow. However, for assignees already inundated with a host of other tasks to organise before departing and most likely with no experience of renting out a property, deciding to do so should come with in-depth research and thought for what is involved, some of which may require external support. This includes:• Informing both the mortgage lender and insurance provider about the owners move and that the property will be let out (mortgage lender’s approval is vital) • Arranging an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) prior to marketing the property • Appointing a suitable agent to market the property • Negotiating the offer and taking up references • Ensuring the property is compliant
with Health & Safety regulations (including gas certification and an electrical inspection) • Arranging for cleaning, tidy and pretenancy maintenance • Preparing inventories, check ins and check outs • Drawing up a Tenancy Agreement • Collecting rent and deposit from the tenant • Dealing with repairs and routine maintenance matters • Liaising with utility companies, local council and service contractors • Making regular property visits to report on condition • Dealing with tenancy renewals • Serving Notices and dealing with end of tenancy formalities • Organise checkout and negotiate any damages.
Income Tax Another consideration for expats is that rental income from letting a property is always liable to UK income tax. Being employed, many will never have had to fill in a self-assessment tax return, but as a new landlord whether profit is made from the property or not, this will now become compulsory. HMRC has identified rental income as an area deserving of scrutiny, so it’s important that assignees understand the importance of having relevant information to back up figures. Tax offsetting opportunities are available to anyone who rents out their home which is why it is advisable to get professional assistance to ensure all elements are covered. For example, mortgage interest, ground rent, service charge and repairs can be offset against tax. In addition, if assignees opt to let their property furnished, there is a 10% allowance for wear and tear on the furniture. So if annual rent is £10,000 a year, with a furnished let the tax would be £9,000 (prior to all other deductable costs).
Property Management If assignees do opt to rent out their property rather than sell, HR should look at providing the use of a managing agent. From the HR and company’s point of view, there is no additional cost to them, but to the assignee, it appears to provide Autumn International HR Adviser
Home Country Departures an additional employee benefit that not only fills the current service void of taking care of the complexities involved in dealing with UK assets both prior to departure and throughout the length of the assignment, but the assignee can also offset the cost of the service against any rental tax liability. Managing agents can take over every element involved with the rental of a property. In addition, having a property managed by a professional managing agent can provide both HR advisers and the assignees with one point of contact for anything relating to the assignees UK residence. Specialist managing agents will also provide secure web access so that all parties can monitor service levels and keep track of income and expenditure. Warning: a property let and managed through a local letting agent will only be taken care of for the life of that tenancy, meaning should a void period occur, the landlord/assignee will be left trying to re-let the property or arrange essential works from abroad. Vacant properties require management, someone to move the post, keep it clean, monitor utilities and attend to maintenance issues. Those that are not taken care of can often attract attention from
International HR Adviser Autumn
unwanted visitors, namely vandals or squatters, therefore expats need a continuation of management and responsibility during these periods. Not all assignees want to forfeit their UK base and opt to keep their property vacant. For those that don’t have family or friends who are able to regularly attend to their property, HR can also look at assisting in this area by outsourcing these additional services to managing agents who will arrange regular cleaning, gardening, maintenance, source quotes and co-ordinate major refurbishments work as well as provide a ‘shop and turn-down service’ should the assignee wish to return to the property for a weekend visit, for example.
Other Assets There are also other possessions apart from the home that don’t fall within HR professionals remit when organising a corporate relocation but that can have equal importance to the individual. These include: • Furniture - Some assignees opt to take their furniture with them as removal fees form part of their relocation package and can help make their new property feel like home. However, assignees letting their property may wish to leave it behind enabling them to achieve a higher rental income from offering a furnished property as well as achieve tax relief from this. Alternatively, assignees may prefer to have all of their furniture placed into secure storage, a facility which could also be managed on their behalf. • Cars - Most people moving abroad are quite happy to sell their car recognising that it usually makes more financial sense than having it shipped to the new destination. However, this is another personal decision which some may wish to evaluate the differing options. Taking a car to a forwarding destination involves informing the DVLA of intensions to take it outside of the UK and then sourcing an international car shipping company to transport the
vehicle. Some assignees may have a classic car or be reluctant to sell their vehicle so appropriate storage options should also be considered. • Pets - The correct procedure must be followed to take pets overseas and this can take some time to sort out due to stringent medical checks. So, if assignees wish to take pets with them, then plenty of time must be allowed prior to departure to avoid disappointment. Rules vary greatly in different countries regarding the import of animals, and these regulations often depend on the country of origin so it’s important to check with the consulate. Airlines also have varying rules for the transportation of pets and costly handling fees should be expected. Those that choose not to take their pets may require assistance in re-homing them. From a company’s perspective, outsourcing and helping to provide the additional backend “hand-holding” support which assignees value so greatly prior to and during a move abroad, can not only improve employee retention but help HR resources focus on where they are needed most, rather than peripheral activities that often require expert knowledge and subsequent care and attention. Sarah Rushbrook is the Founding Director of Rushbrook and Rathbone Ltd. With over 30 years experience in the industry, Sarah started her career in residential block management progressing to residential property management. In 1988, together with Pauline and John Davis, Sarah set up Rushbrook and Rathbone, initially providing property management services to outgoing expatriates. Now they specialise in property management for corporate and private clients as well as providing a thriving outsourced back office service for letting agents in London and the Home Counties. Looking after the needs of corporate assignees relocating to the UK, and managing the UK homes and departure needs of those who are leaving to work abroad is their core business. As well as being an active contributor to many industry publications, Sarah writes a regular advice column for the Residential Property Investor magazine and has a regular blog on Letting Agent Today and Property Reporter. www.rushbrookandrathbone.co.uk
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diary dates OCTOBER
Global Workforce Symposium 3rd to 5th October Marriot Wardman Park, Washington, DC, United States of America Worldwide ERC®will gather talent mobility professionals for networking, strategising and sharing ideas for thriving in the global marketplace. As companies position for increased global growth and the talent management and mobility required to support it, now is the time to obtain the cutting-edge information and business connections needed to prepare for what's next. See more information and register at http://www.worldwideerc.org/Events/Pages/fall12.aspx or visit www. worldwideerc.org. The Expat Academy – Global Heads Networking Meeting 18th October (9.00am – 12.00pm) Deloitte office, 2 New Street Square, London, UK This meeting is by invitation. If you are a Global Head of mobility and would like to join the group, please contact us at email@example.com. The Expat Academy – Focus on the BRICSA countries 18th October (2.00pm – 5.30pm) Deloitte office, 2 New Street Square, London, UK This highly informative seminar will explore the challenges of sending people to some of the key emerging markets. Expert presenters from Deloitte and Permits Foundation will lead you through the key issues in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This promises to be a popular seminar so do book your space before all the places are filled! To book e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Global Mobility Summit & The EMMA’s Gala Dinner – Europe 19th October 2012 Plaza Riverbank, London, UK www.totallyexpat.com The Forum for Expatriate Management will be holding its Third European Global Mobility Summit in London on the 19th October in the Park Plaza, 18 Albert Embankment, London. With a great conference programme, the opportunity to network with many colleagues from the industry and all the fun and excitement of the Awards Dinner, this event is not to be missed for any International HR and Global Mobility professionals. For more information please contact Iyla MacIntyre on +44(0)20 7943 8027 or email email@example.com The Expat Academy - ‘Post-Olympics Blues? What now for London?’ 22nd October (10.00am – 12.00pm) Deloitte office, 2 New Street Square, London, UK This seminar is perfect for any organisation bringing employees into London. In this interactive session we will focus on the London housing market and latest global mobility trends post the Olympics with expert input and advice from Expatbenchmarking, AIRINC and 4 Corners Relocation. To book e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org The Expat Academy - Club 100 meeting 22nd October (3.00pm – 5.00pm Deloitte office, 2 New Street Square, London, UK If you have a small globally mobile population of less than 100 employees, come along to our facilitated networking seminar to find out how peer companies manage their global mobility programmes. To book e-mail email@example.com The Expat Academy – Global Mobility: Intermediate Course 23rd October 2012 (8.45am – 5.30pm) Deloitte office, 2 New Street Square, London This course is for Global Mobility Professionals with 5-10 years’ experience. We will cover in depth some of the key, current and topical areas of Global Mobility, including exploring new locations, International HR Adviser Autumn
justifying the cost of Global Mobility and building the brand, ensuring that you put Global Mobility on the map in your organisation. We will also look at some technical areas such as deciphering deferred compensation, managing currencies and understanding pensions. To attend this course email: firstname.lastname@example.org Global Mobility Seminar Thursday 24th October 2012 – 9.30am – 1:30pm 33 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HZ Lloyds TSB International is a hosting a seminar for Global Mobility Professionals at their offices in London. Experts will be sharing their views on a range topical expatriate issues which include, the importance of finding the right international school, long term financial planning for when on an overseas assignment and the new statutory based residence test expected in 2013. To attend this seminar e-mail: email@example.com International HRM Academy 24th-26th October 2012 Cornell University ILR, New York City www.internationalhracademy.com Globalization is now more fluid and dynamic than ever, driving significant international business challenges, many of which arise in managing complex, cross border workforces. The International Human Resources Management Academy has been established by Cornell University’s ILR School and King’s College London. The academy, which meets twice a year in NYC and London is designed as a forum to share cutting edge academic research (often before publication), new ideas, knowledge and organisational best practice. In so doing, it provides insight and understanding into highly demanding, strategically critical, current global HR management issues. In participating in the International HRM Academy, you will be exposed to new knowledge as it is being created as many of our speakers will present on-going research and practice. In this way, you will become part of a diverse learning community of like-minded professionals from organisations with a truly global footprint; sharing knowledge, experience and expertise. Duration: A total of two and a half days Participation Fee: $4,750 (early-bird discount is available for pre 1 September registrations, and can be made through the website)
Global Mobility Summit & EMMA Gala Dinner – Asia 3rd December 2012 Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong www.totallyexpat.com The Forum for Expatriate Management are delighted to announce the inaugural Asian Global Mobility Summit on 28-29 November in the Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong. With a great conference programme, the opportunity to network with many colleagues from the industry and all the fun and excitement of the EMMAs, this event is not to be missed for by any International HR and Global Mobility professionals based in Asia. For more information please contact Iyla MacIntyre on +44(0)20 7943 8027 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition 4th February 2013 Hotel Russell, Russell Square, London www.internationalhradviser.com There are seminars dedicated to educating and up-dating International HR professionals on key developments and current leanings relevant to the industry, running throughout the day. The seminar programme is highlighted on page 27. The 2012 Conference & Exhibition saw over 700 visitors attend this notto-be-missed event, so be sure to put the 2013 event in your diary today!
DIRECTORY Assignment Management Services
Total Reward Group Chart House, 10 Western Road, Borough Green, Kent, TN15 8AG Contact: Simon Richardson Telephone: +44 (0) 1732 780777 Fax: +44 (0) 1732 668284 Email: email@example.com Website: www.totalrewardgroup.com Total Reward Group is a ‘boutique’ employee owned reward practice, providing consultancy, search, interim managers and professional training for analysts. The Global Mobility division of TRG provides both advisory services on policy development, as well as fully outsourced assignment management services, which provides a ‘virtual’ in house Global Mobility HR service.
LLOYDS TSB INTERNATIONAL Address: Waterloo Place, PO Box 1400, London, SW5 9RE Contact: Cliff Govender Telephone: +44 7736 359952 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.lloydstsb-offshore.com/ employeebanking Lloyds TSB International is part of Lloyds Banking Group, one of the UK’s largest retail banking groups with strengths and resources that extend worldwide. With a network of offices spanning four continents and dedicated English speaking customer service teams available 24-7, we are well placed to meet the financial needs of international employees and customers wherever they are in the world. As expatriate banking specialists we understand that a new life abroad comes with a host of different opportunities and challenges. Our extensive local knowledge and international banking expertise will ensure that employees and customers have what they need to make the most of this exciting time in their life.
BUSINESS ASSOCIATION J-1 VISA PROGRAMME
BRITISHAMERICAN BUSINESS (BAB) 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, 20th Floor New York, NY 10017, USA Contact: Tamra Eker Telephone: +212 661 4060 Fax: +212 661 4074 Email: email@example.com Website: www.babinc.org BritishAmerican Business’s J-1 visa program assists companies in offering US training and work experience to qualified employees of any nationality and from anywhere in the world, for a time period of up to 18 months. Sectors covered by our J-1 Visa designation include management, business, commerce, finance, law, industry, sciences, engineering, architecture, information media & communications. Using the J-1 Visa helps
companies overcome cross-cultural differences and improve communication between US and overseas offices; enhance employee recruitment/retention efforts by offering US assignments; and meet global mobility challenges. Please call to discuss the program with our J-1 Visa Program Administrator.
Bupa International Telephone: + 44 (0) 1273 718304 Website: www.bupa-intl.com • Bupa – A name trusted by 10 million people in 190 countries • The international healthcare provider with over 35 years’ experience • Multi-lingual helpline open 24 hours • Direct currency settlement • Optional assistance cover including evacuation and repatriation. Depending on the member’s requirements, Bupa International offers plans for both individuals and companies. Most of our plans include; primary care, maternity cover, home nursing, emergency dentistry, hospital treatment and accommodation, health checks, cover for chronic conditions, emergency road ambulance, cover for sports injuries.
HR CERTIFICATION/ CREDENTIALS
HR Certification Institute 1800 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314, USA Telephone: +1-703-548-3440 Fax: +1-703-535-6474 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hrci.org HR Certification Institute is an internationally recognised certifying body for the HR profession. We have awarded over 100,000 credentials in over 70 countries to HR professionals who have passed rigorous exams to demonstrate their mastery and real-world application of forward- thinking HR practices, policies and principles. Our certifications are a career long commitment that requires continual HR career development to maintain certification. Four certifications are offered: the Professional in Human Resources (PHR®), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®), Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR®), and the California state specific PHR-CA® and SPHR-CA®.
ASSOCIATION OF RELOCATION PROFESSIONALS (ARP) PO Box 189, Diss, IP22 1PE, UK Contact: Tad Zurlinden Telephone: 08700 737475 Fax: 01379 641940 Email: email@example.com Website: www.arp-relocation.com The ARP is the professional association for the relocation industry in the UK. The ARP’s activities include seminars throughout the year, an annual conference, the publication of an
annual Directory of Members and a website, which is updated regularly. THE EUROPEAN RELOCATION ASSOCATION (EURA) PO Box 189, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 1PE Telephone +44(0)8700 726 727 Fax: +44(0)1379 641 940 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.eura-relocation.com EuRA is an industry body for Relocation Professionals in both Europe and Worldwide. EuRa have launched The EuRA Quality Seal, the world’s first accreditation programme for relocation providers. This pioneering initiative provides a straight forward, cost effective audit to reflect your company’s excellence in providing relocation services.
FRAGOMEN 4th Floor, Holborn Gate, 326-330 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7PP Contact: Caron Pope, Partner William Foster, Partner David Crawford, Partner Telephone: +44 (0)20 3077 5000 Email: email@example.com Website: www.fragomen.com As the world's leading provider of immigration legal services and advice, Fragomen has served the immigration needs of clients ranging from individuals to the world’s leading multinational corporations for 60 years. With 36 offices in 15 countries worldwide, Fragomen has the resources and the reach to provide strategic and effective immigration solutions for over 140 countries around the globe.
INTERNATIONAL HR CONSULTANTS
DELOITTE LLP Stonecutter Court, 1 Stonecutter Street, London, EC4A 4TR Contact: Robert Hodkinson, Partner Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7007 1832 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7007 1060 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.deloitte.co.uk Whether you are creating your first international mobility programme for employees or addressing fundamental changes to an existing programme, our International Human Resources team can help. Deloitte provides consulting support that has an appreciation for each company’s size, background and unique cultural environment, aligning your international programme goals with corporate business strategies. Our consultants have developed deep expertise in many fields based on first hand experience with many of the world’s leading organisations: international assignment policy and process design, benchmarking, service delivery modelling, improving vendor management and helping our clients become more compliant and their administration more cost-effective. Autumn International HR Adviser
DIRECTORY INTERNATIONAL MOVING
DT MOVING LTD 49 Wates Way, Mitcham, Greater London, CR4 4HR Contact: Tim Daniells Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7622 4393 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7720 3897 Email: email@example.com Website: www.dtmoving.com DT Moving is a world leading international moving company. Founded in 1870 as Davies Turner, we provide an awardwinning* move management service for corporations who relocate their employees to locations all over the world. Whether your employee is moving to or from Europe, America, Asia-Pacific, Africa, or simply just around the corner, we manage the entire process. Our goal is your complete satisfaction from initial contact right through to delivery. With a customer satisfaction rating of 96% for 2011, we offer unrivalled quality at competitive rates.
RED GROUP OF COMPANIES The Bower, Langford Hall, Witham Road, Maldon, Essex, CM9 4ST Contact: Caroline Frostick-Seear and Amie Cutts Telephone: 01621 840600 Fax: 01621 856062 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.redrecruit.com Red Recruit was founded in 2002 and specialises in the Relocation and mobility industry. We are a very professional, friendly and reputable company who have extensive knowledge within the industry. We have access to a large volume of potential candidates all seeking work in your industry all over the UK, we will be able to find you a suitable candidate to enhance your business. We personally understand the importance of finding the right calibre of staff for an organisation. By using our service we will take the pressure off you of finding a suitable candidate for your company, saving you time, money and effort, giving you the best attention at all times.
INTERDEAN RELOCATION SERVICES Central Way, Park Royal, London, NW10 7XW Contact: Barrie Gilmour Telephone: +44 (0)208 961 4141 Fax: +44 (0)208 965 4484 Email: London@interdean.com Website: www.interdean.com Thinking Relocation? Think Interdean. Whether looking to expand into new territories or to leverage your human capital in core international markets, Interdean has the relocation service to support the needs of your business and your relocating employees. Interdean provides the full range of relocation services to support businesses with international interests. Our Services: Relocation Management, Visa & Immigration, Area Orientation, Temporary Housing, Home Finding, School Search, International HR Adviser Autumn
Settling-in Assistance, Tenancy Management, Household Goods Moving, Intercultural & Language Training, Relocation Expense Management, Moving & Relocation Insurance and other services available – please ask.
International Community School 21 Star Street, London, W2 1QB Contact: Matthew Cook, Director of Marketing with Admissions Tel: +44 (0) 20 7402 0416 Web: www.icschool.co.uk Email: email@example.com Twitter: @icslondon Youtube: ICSLondon An international school located in the centre of London. We offer all three International Baccalaurate Programmes (PYP, MYP, and Diploma) to children aged 3-18yrs. ICS has a diverse community with 45 different nationalities, and boasts a strong tradition of working with students who need support with learning English and also Special Educational Needs. Students at ICS benefit from a wide ranging activity programme during term time and also during school holidays. We have an outdoor education centre located in Bawdsey, Suffolk and an extensive Travel and Learn programme that has taken students as far afield as Brazil, South Africa and the Galapagos Islands. ISL Group of Schools ISL Surrey Old Woking Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 8HY Contact: Claudine Hakim Telephone: +44 (0)1483 750 409 ISL London 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG Contact: Yoel Gordon Telephone: +44 (0)20 8992 5823 ISL Qatar PO Box 18511, North Duhail, Qatar Contact: Nivin El Aawar Telephone: +974 4433 8600 Website: www.islschools.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012, the International School of London (ISL) Group has schools in London, Surrey, and Qatar. The internationally recognised primary and secondary curricula have embedded language programmes (mother tongue, English as an Additional Language, and second language) which continue throughout the student’s stay in the school. A team of experienced and qualified teachers and administrators provides every student with the opportunity to grow and learn in an environment that respects diversity and promotes identity, understanding, and a passion for learning. TASIS THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ENGLAND Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Surrey, TW20 8TE
Contact: Karen House Telephone: +44 (0)1932 582316 Email: email@example.com Website: www.tasisengland.org TASIS England offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma, an American college preparatory curriculum, and AP courses to its diverse community of coed day (3-18) and boarding (14-18) students from 50 nations. The excellent academic programme, including ESL, is taught in small classes, allowing the individualised attention needed to encourage every student to reach their potential. Outstanding opportunities in art, drama, music, and athletics provide a balanced education. Extensive summer opportunities are also offered. Located close to London on a beautiful and historic 46-acre estate.
BDO LLP 55 Baker Street, London, W1U 7EU Contact: Andrew Bailey Telephone: 020 7893 2946 Fax: 020 7893 2418 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bdo.co.uk BDO LLP is the award-winning, UK Member Firm of BDO International, the world's fifth largest accountancy network with more than 600 offices in 100 countries. We have a partner-led approach, which delivers the highest quality of service by using short, functional chains of communication to aid decision-making. Clients benefit from our fresh thinking, constructive challenge and practical understanding of the issues they face. Developing strong, personal relationships with our clients is at the forefront of our service approach. Tax advice is just one of our award-winning services and our expatriate team give practical and direct advice, delivering solutions which suit your needs.
Entries in this Directory cost £175 per issue or £700 per annum. For further details email email@example.com or telephone +44 (0) 20 8661 0186
You can meet most of these companies and organisations plus many more at The 2013 Corporate Relocation Confenerence & Exhibition on Monday 4th February 2013. For further information and to register for any of the free seminars please email: