International secondments

Back to Forum

This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  nevereconomy 11 Jul 2018
at 19:21

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

  • Marc_ACB

    I have been asked to head to Hong Kong and run our office out there for a few months (3-6 months), its something I’ve wanted to do for a while, will enhance my CV and afford a new challenge. It does involve leaving my OH in London for that time due to their work commitments.

    I am busy negotiating the package and was wondering if there are any things I should be trying to add? I’m cheeky enough to say if I don’t ask, I wont get? Any reasonable ideas?


    There is one large issue that you are probably aware of already but here goes – the high cost of rented accommodation and the cost of getting a flat including rent in advance, deposit, and estate agency fees – check this out carefully if you need to. (Another large issue is education for school-age children, but I won’t say more because it seems from your post that this will not apply to you, correct me if I’m wrong). I lived for very many years in Hong Kong till recently.

    Good luck, it’s a wonderful place to live in my opinion.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    Make sure that you have a private heathcare package that works for you and also a reasonable number of return flights to see your other half (or vv, if appropriate).

    Good luck and enjoy.

    Also (and you didn’t ask, so this is unsolicited), ensure that you are au fait with the tax situation, going, there and returning.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    My contribution to this thread, ex-pats on secondment need to ensure there pension contributions are not affected. Depending whether the ex-pat on secondment is employed or self employed & how income is paid (i.e. from the UK or HKG), advice should be taken to ensure retirement contributions are not affected.

    One piece of direct advice – most ex pats in Asia (especially new expats) will be pounced upon by Financial Advisers, most of whom left the UK as they couldn’t get qualified, claiming to be independent (which they are not) and offering all kinds of incentives to listen to presentations how “offshore pension schemes” are so much better, than UK schemes.

    Easier to cut the calls than accept a meeting. Part of my work in the Far East is trying to repair the damage caused the rouge financial advisors…

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    the high cost of rented accommodation and the cost of getting a flat including rent in advance, deposit, and estate agency fees

    I’d further emphasise what GivingUpBa says and say the company should find you suitable accommodation and pay the landlord directly, thus absolving you of any headaches or liabilities in that regard – not to mention the time it can take to find suitable accomodation.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    I am doing something similar in USA and have agreed company will pay for ‘Tax equalisation’. They will pay for preparation of tax returns for U.K. and US and cover any additional liability resulting from the time spent overseas so I am covered if there is an unforeseen additional tax liability.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    Be sure you (and your family) have the proper level of travel and life insurance.

    You should ensure you get a serviced apartment in HK, and if possible one that’s roomy enough to accommodate your family when they visit.

    If you need a tailor, avoid the eg Sam’s of this world and try W.W Chan.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    Thanks everyone, much appreciated, and also reassuring that I have things in hand (fortunately I’m an accountant and my company is great with pension schemes – we are still on a final salary pension), but will make the necessary enquiries re tax.

    Negotiating on flights to and from HK for me on a regular basis, I will still look after a small team in the UK, so that should be a given, and think I may get flights for the OH (no kids here) to join me for Christmas and New Year in Hong Kong (or else where in SE Asia, fortunately he is understanding me being out of the country for our wedding anniversary.

    Exciting times! and from reading everyone’s experiences of overseas postings – there are some serious positives to it.

    Thanks again.


    I’d add one more consideration on the point of accommodation……. Dependant on your personality Hong Kong can have many distractions . Choosing carefully where you stay will determine how close at hand these temptations might be …..

    If you’re within walking distance of say Soho /LKF then it’ll be easier to succumb to its daily delights.

    For me, I’d choose to stay a ferry ride away, allowing you to escape the frenzy of now look and central

    Having said that my comments are from a frequent visitors perspective, however the caveat is that I do interact with workers who seem to see their secondment as an opportunity to enjoy Hong Kong to its fullest.


    Make sure you have a very generous housing allowance – a nice place to go home to is important somewhere as crowded as HK
    Many employers pay utilities too – those aircon bills can be high.As other stated good medical package – when I was there these could be bought from one of the practices directly by your employer. Car – even with the good public transport I enjoyed having a car there. Paid trips home, depending on how long your secondment will be – be sure to stipulate class of travel. ? Domestic help, even part time – some employers do pay for this.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below