A typical international assignment package includes not only base compensation but also a variety of premiums. These incentives can vary greatly depending on your policy and culture, the competitive environment in which your company operates, the level of the employee and the global assignment location.
While most of us struggle with taxes in our native country, imagine what it must be like trying to determine your tax obligation in another country. Making sure you stay square with both the home and host countries requires professional assistance so most companies offer tax services as a part of their general employee relocation services package.
Shipping personal goods can represent a significant expense for companies and a significant source of stress for expatriates. Careful counseling is important to ensure employees do not move goods they will not be able to use in the new location (e.g. televisions; excessive or very large furniture that will not fit in the destination housing; and very heavy and bulky items, like pool tables).
Most goods are typically shipped by sea, with a small air allowance for items that will be needed immediately.
The first few days of an international relocation tend to be exciting yet trying. To reduce stress and help employees adjust to their new environment, most companies provide a series of destination and settling in services to the families. Usually this means allowing employees to spend two to four days at their new location handling all of the time-consuming errands that need to happen before they can begin getting into a routine. Read More
Candidates for international assignments are, of course, chosen primarily based on their technical competence and the need for their skills and expertise in the global location. But it is critical that the employee and family are given an opportunity to experience the new location, and that they are thoroughly prepared for life in the new country before the leave home. Pre-Assignment assistance provides the candidate and family with the support needed for a smooth transition. This relatively small expense can safeguard the company’s substantial investment in the assignment. Read More
Employees who are embarking on a global assignment are usually expected to return home within 3-5 years. Under this scenario, property management is a practical alternative to homesale, since most assignees who expect to return home within a reasonable amount of time prefer to retain their home. Automobiles present another challenge for assignees, but companies typically assist with their disposal. Read More
In the world of corporate relocation, renters traditionally received less attention and much more limited benefits than homeowners. There were two reasons for this. First, renters tended to be recent college grads, new hires or lower-level employees—at the lower rung of a typical tiered relocation program. Second, from a practical standpoint, this group of employees was easy to move: often single, with relatively few possessions and of course, no home to sell. They needed little assistance to complete their moves.
In planning a move, whether it’s an employee-sponsored relocation or not, most people tend to focus on the costs of selling the old home and moving a house full of goods. The costs associated with buying a new home often receive little attention. But they can be significant, so most companies offer some form of New Home Purchase and Mortgage Assistance benefits to defray the cost and ease the transition. Read More
In a domestic relocation, the home selling process seems to receive most of the attention yet finding the right home is arguably even more important to a successful transition. The extent of assistance offered by companies varies, depending on the policy tier, homeowner vs. renter status, type of reimbursement and more. Clearly defining home finding benefits with the employee at the outset will make the process more efficient and reduce confusion and exception requests.
Considering Employee Home Sales Support Programs
Though the trend has been to offer more lump sums and other relocation benefits short of a full home sale program, home sale services remain a central part of a well-rounded corporate relocation program. Lump sums can help to control costs, and they are certainly simple to administer, but the results are not always what the company and employee expect. Home sale assistance represents a greater commitment to the employee and his or her future with the organization—a fact that is not lost on the employee. And the economic ups and downs of the past decade have resulted in some innovative practices and approaches that allow employers to offer home sale assistance as part of their employee relocation packages while maintaining better control over costs.