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Expat contract negotiation

Entering into an expatriate agreement, or secondment contract in legal terminology, is
different from negotiating a normal work contract. There are some points to think about, and
it is suggested to have a proper legal assessment of the contract before signing anything, as
individual situations may be different.

Contract structure
Normally the contract is divided in two, the Base Contract governing general issues such as
pension, social security, contract termination etc., and a Secondment agreement which is
governing the specifics related to each posting abroad.

Which is the company you are signing with?
Is it the sending company in the country of origin, or is it the company in the country in which
you will be working? This, as well as the country in which you will be considered tax resident
(think of clever starting and ending periods of the contract!) may have significant impact on
your overall taxation and other legal implications.

Social Security/Compulsory Pension plans
Make sure that these are made in the country in which they are the most beneficial to you. The
situation between countries is normally governed by bilateral agreements, and hence case
specific. Be aware that it might be that your contribution is considered at hold in your sending
country while you are abroad, and hence you might be at loss in final benefits, as you/your
employer have not been contributing during your stay outside of the country. The place of
actual work and your tax residence may play an important role, why this needs careful analysis.
One has to be VERY careful about the social security cover one has when going abroad..
Often you take it for granted that you will be covered from home, which is absolutely not the
case.

Courtesy: esade.edu