Enter the Hong Kong Club on a Friday afternoon, and you will find executives sipping drinks and sharing conversation with colleagues. Many at the club are British and Australian expatriates. Where are the Americans? Most of the Americans engaging in business in Hong Kong are at the airport preparing for the long ride home to the United States.
Expatriates from Hong Kong to Africa
Unlike England, Australia and other European nations, America did not explore business opportunities in the Far East. The global economy is now turning to Africa, home to 16 of the world's fastest growing economies. To prepare U.S. employers for engaging in business in Africa and elsewhere abroad, it is important to lay out the key elements in an expatriate’s employment contract.
Terms of employment
Do not leave any detail as a verbal agreement. Job description, hours, place of work, bonuses and overtime requirements must be written into the employment contract. Overtime terms need to be stated clearly.
Choice of law
It is crucial to designate the law that will control any dispute between the parties to the contract.
As the employer, you offered a suitable accommodation. The employee might have different standards. Clarify any questions to avoid litigation later.
Who will provide coverage for the expatriate and what the extent of the coverage will be are major questions that need to be addressed.
Expatriate contracts usually include a provision that the employer provides transport. The type of transport and its schedules are details that need to be stated clearly.
Another issue, which is often negotiated and included in an expatriate’s agreement, is who pays for the shipping of the employee's furniture and belongings.
When working abroad, the issue of which holidays will be observed is a question — the holidays from the home country or the new one? Another sensitive issue is whether the employer will pay for airfare for holidays.
Whether the employer and employee are responsible for U.S. taxes is an additional concern when sending workers abroad.
If you send employees to work and live abroad, it is important to examine every detail to avoid becoming entangled in legal disagreements.