Singapore Expats Forum

Pharma/Biotech Sector - Allowances, Holidays etc

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue, 04 Jan 2011

Pharma/Biotech Sector - Allowances, Holidays etc

Postby Mr_Infusion » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 2:40 am

Hello All,

I work with a leading biotech firm that will soon open a management centre in Singapore. I am presently based in Switzerland and will relocate. The problem is that I dont have any real confidence that our HR team have bench-marked salaries/benefits and I dont want to sell myself short when I negotiate my contract.

My company is not expatriating me, so I will be on a "local" package. Having said that, I have no idea what other pharma companies are offering in terms of vacation days an car allowances, so I would appreciate it if someone can give a little guidance on two issues:

The first concerns car allowances. Ive heard that some companies are halting car allowances and paying a taxi allowance instead... is this true?

The second concerns vacation days. I would hate to end up with less days off in Singapore seeing that I will not be getting any home leave and hence vacation days will be used to go home once a year. I know some companies only offer 14 or 15 days, but ideally I would like to keep the same number as I presently have. Whilst I will certainly argue for that, it would be good to know what the market is supporting.

I apologize if this has been answered elsewhere, but my search results didnt yield anything useful.


Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Postby beppi » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 12:11 pm

Car allowance: Almost unheard of here (rare even in full-fledged expat packages). Having a car is VERY expensive and you decide this on your own private expense (you don't need one, as Singapore has very good public transport!).
All payments are officially (e.g. for tax) treated the same, so it makes more sense to negotiate an all-inclusive salary rather than allowances.

Vacation days: 14 - 16 / year is standard at engineer/manager level (workers get less). This is not negotiable in most companies - although I managed to get 18 once many years ago (and have 12 currently).
Do not count on being able to actually take as many days off as you are promised (or, for that matter, on the number of weekly work hours) - once here you'll have to follow Asian pace and working style! In the first 1.5 years at the 18-days-leave job, I took only 1 1/2 days off (plus one day sick).

User avatar
Posts: 35159
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 2:45 pm

Ain't it the truth! :x

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue, 04 Jan 2011

Postby Mr_Infusion » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 4:28 pm

Thanks to you both for your responses! Very helpful! Best wishes

Posts: 981
Joined: Mon, 04 Aug 2008
Location: Not Singapore

Postby JayCee » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 4:42 pm

If your company is a multinational then they may be more generous regarding holiday days. For example, I work in a multinational that gives over 20 days holiday per year, there is no real difference between what we get and what the employees in the UK and Europe get.

Not all MNCs will be like this, but as you're getting in at the ground floor and moving to their first office in Singapore you might be able to set a precedent, so try asking for what you get back home and go from there

  • Similar Topics
    Last post

Return to “Careers & Jobs in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests