Due to the global financial crisis and cost constraints, many companies have had to revise their international assignment policies. One of the emerging trends is to offer potential assignees a kind of hybrid package that keeps costs low for the company, but still offers the assignee the opportunity to work abroad.
The Local Plus Package
The local plus package is typically a local market salary with basic relocation assistance to the host country. Assignees are usually offered assistance with finding a home, whether it’s temporary or long-term accommodations, and other standard “settling in” services.
Local plus packages typically do not include intercultural training or spouse career coaching. Without these kinds of support, it can make the decision to move aboard on one salary all the more difficult.
Assignments and Countries
If you are offered a local plus package, it is usually more benefiting for you than for your company. Chances are your company could find someone with a similar profile already living in the host country, however they are willing to invest in you and pay a little extra to assign you abroad.
Countries with stable currencies, good market salaries and a high standard of living make good relocation choices on a local plus package. In countries like Switzerland, the UAE or the USA the local market salary is often very comfortable compared to the cost of living.
Implications of the Local Plus Package
The local plus package may not be for everyone. Speak with a global mobility professional about the following before you make your choice.
1) Consider where your long-term home location is and if you will lose out on pension or other social security benefits if you cut ties with the home location.
2) Find out if your spouse/partner will face any social security or health insurance risks when leaving the home location.
3) Confirm if the host health insurance system offers comparable security as in your home location.
4) Ask if there are any severe risks in the host location if you have an accident or contact a long-term disease during the first year of assignment.
5) Review any immigration or tax implications if you relocate under a local contract.
6) Plan what to do if you are made redundant in the host location.
7) Research all other the risks to accepting a local package, i.e. cost of living, where your children will attend school, cultural integration, etc.
It’s easy to forget such risks until the first issue arises. Remember that your global mobility professional and company want to ensure your trust and that you have a positive experience abroad.