Standard Chartered Bank operates in 56 countries and has 58,000 employees worldwide. Staff are encouraged to take international assignments and there are currently around 35 in-bound assignees working in the UK.
Manissa Patel, head of international mobility, explains that because overseas assignments are such a normal occurrence, it does not have to provide vastly different benefits to senior staff to encourage them to move.
“We don’t have the same challenges that many other organisations do because being internationally mobile is such a normal day-to-day part of life [here],” she says.
The company provides employees with the help of a home search agent and a housing allowance, which increases in line with seniority. Education support for children is also provided to all transferring employees. Apart from this, employees receive the same benefits as staff in the host country and will generally stay in their home country’s pension scheme if the law allows it. It is also company policy to make employees’ take home pay tax neutral. “[Take] someone in the UK who earns £100,000. Typically, they will pay 40% tax so the amount that they get in their pocket is £60,000 after tax. We send them to China, where the tax rate is 45%, and we say ‘you will continue to get the same salary [after tax] that you would have done had you been at home’,” says Patel.
The bank’s policies seem to work. After all, Patel adds expats have rarely complained that the benefits are not sufficient for their needs.