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Guide for global employers: International assignments

Authors: Matthew Howse and Sarah Ash, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP


  • There are different types of international assignments. Which arrangement an organisation chooses in the circumstances will depend on several factors, including the duration of the assignment, the objectives of the organisations involved and the tax implications of the assignment. (See Type of assignment)
  • Employers should consider what employment documentation they will need for an international assignment. For mid- and long-term assignments, where the home organisation is the employee's employer during the assignment, it could provide the employee with a letter of assignment varying his or her terms and conditions of employment. It should also decide which policies and procedures will apply to the assignee. (See Employment documents and Policies and procedures)
  • Organisations have several options from which to choose when deciding on the reward package for an international assignee. (See Pay and benefits)
  • Many organisations help employees with the practical challenges of relocating abroad, for example by providing assistance with their immigration application, tax advice and language and culture training. (See Immigration, Tax and social security issues and Preparing the assignee for the assignment)
  • An important factor in the success of many international assignments is the support offered by the employer to the employee's accompanying family members. (See Assistance for family members)
  • Organisations should plan ahead for an employee's return from an international assignment. (See Return of the assignee)