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Secondment vs. Transfer

Secondment vs. Transfer

Old Jul 13th 2011, 10:47 am
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Default Secondment vs. Transfer

Hi

My company are currently looking at whether to put me on secondment (whereby I remain employed by the UK entity) to our US office, or to make me a full employee of our US child company (i.e. whereby I become an employee of the US company).

Are there any advantages and disadvantages of each approach that you can think of?

I think they are coming down on the side of secondment at the moment.

Thanks
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Old Jul 13th 2011, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

Originally Posted by bobbedford View Post
Hi

My company are currently looking at whether to put me on secondment (whereby I remain employed by the UK entity) to our US office, or to make me a full employee of our US child company (i.e. whereby I become an employee of the US company).

Are there any advantages and disadvantages of each approach that you can think of?

I think they are coming down on the side of secondment at the moment.

Thanks
I'll start the ball rolling with a question about the vacation allowance you would be entitled to under each arrangement?
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Old Jul 13th 2011, 10:50 am
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
I'll start the ball rolling with a question about the vacation allowance you would be entitled to under each arrangement?
Get 25 days at the moment. Think the standard for my level in the US is 20.
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Old Jul 13th 2011, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

Originally Posted by bobbedford View Post
Get 25 days at the moment. Think the standard for my level in the US is 20.
Check though as they can vary greatly.
People, including ourselves, who have been on "ex pat deals" get flights home every year included, rent paid etc.etc.
If they employ you through the US side of the company would you be getting the same deal?
Check and make sure you see it in writing before you decide
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Old Jul 13th 2011, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

From an employer point of view, making you a secondee would be a royal pain in the ass.

Generally--you're working in the US so that's where you will pay your taxes (by and large). The UK entity is going to have to take out your US social security, medicare, unemployment, along with providing the employer's share of those funds. They may also have to file some additional paperwork for doing business in the USA.

These are the legal requirements of having an employee working in the US. Whether each and every company follows them and what variations exist are probably better asked to the tax experts, but generally a company having a 'presence' (i.e. employees) in the USA will set up a US shell company to handle all the tax and withholding paperwork for their US employees, etc.

If you do get transferred to the US, at a minimum you should request your vacation package from the UK. You should also ask that they pay for your health insurance in full (other wise the insurance payments come out of your pocket, and without an increase in salary you'll be losing money vs. working in the UK). There are several wiki articles and posts about other things to put in a package.
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Old Jul 13th 2011, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

Originally Posted by bobbedford View Post
Hi

My company are currently looking at whether to put me on secondment (whereby I remain employed by the UK entity) to our US office, or to make me a full employee of our US child company (i.e. whereby I become an employee of the US company).

Are there any advantages and disadvantages of each approach that you can think of?
Unless and until you have a green card, you want the first option, normally.
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Old Jul 13th 2011, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Unless and until you have a green card, you want the first option, normally.
The flip side of which is that if it really is just regarded as being a temporary "secondment" then a green card may not even be on the table as an eventual option - and that may be fine, depending on what the OP wants to do long term - I would, however, suggest trying to keep as many options as possible open and that would normally mean that you should get the employer to agree to sponsor you for a green card as soon as possible even if you currently don't think that you will want to stay in the US long term.
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Old Jul 13th 2011, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

There are several of us on here (or should I say our spouses) who have worked in the US on secondment and received GCs. The advantages are you can usually retain your UK perks...holidays...trips home for emergencies...repatriation costs etc and if it all goes bottoms up in the US you have a job to go back to.

My husband was paid by the US firm but remained as an employee of the UK firm. Once we had received our GC's he officially left the UK firm and joined the US firm.
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Old Jul 13th 2011, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

On a UK contract, you'd have better job security rather than the right to fire with no severance or notice.

Also, and if you've got kids, a secondment means you can show this is temporary so kids don't need to worry about the 3 year residence to get UK uni rates, which they wouldn't if you got a US contract.
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Old Jul 14th 2011, 2:17 am
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post
The flip side of which is that if it really is just regarded as being a temporary "secondment" then a green card may not even be on the table as an eventual option - and that may be fine, depending on what the OP wants to do long term - I would, however, suggest trying to keep as many options as possible open and that would normally mean that you should get the employer to agree to sponsor you for a green card as soon as possible even if you currently don't think that you will want to stay in the US long term.
You need a fairly transparent discussion with your employer on this. Bottom line is that it has to be a "secondment" unless you have a green card - otherwise you risk a lot of problems if you suddenly get fired and have to leave the USA with no employer support.

If you go on a secondment, then employer has a significant financial incentive to follow through on a promise to sponsor you for a green card. Because then they don't have to repatriate you which is more than the cost of the green card. In other words, secondment becomes a local contract - but only after permanent status is obtained.

And if they don't want to offer secondment provisions at all, they should be prepared to wait until an Immigrant Visa can be granted (quite feasible for EB-1 and EB-2).
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Old Jul 14th 2011, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

On secondment health/dental insurance was paid for by UK company. When husband transferred to US company he had to start paying contributions.
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Old Jul 14th 2011, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

Originally Posted by mandpete View Post
On secondment health/dental insurance was paid for by UK company. When husband transferred to US company he had to start paying contributions.
We were covered from day 1 by the US company. Either way healthcare insurance would be my no 1 concern...make sure you have cover from day 1 as many US policies don't kick in for 3 months.
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Old Jul 14th 2011, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: Secondment vs. Transfer

Our dental coverage hadn't quite kicked in when we moved over. The first week here 10 yr old son got an abscess and had to have quite a bit of treatment. UK company agreed to pay any bills until we had coverage.
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