Cutting an expat package in half if the spouse gets a job?

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SingLaw
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Cutting an expat package in half if the spouse gets a job?

Post by SingLaw » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 12:34 am

My wife and I are currently mulling over an offer to relocate to Singapore. The company has offered an expat package including housing, flights home, etc. However, there is a catch that if the spouse of the employee gets a job, everything in the expat package is cut in half. Thus, 2 flights home a year become 1, the dollar value on housing is halved, etc.

Is this a typical provision? Has anyone heard of it before?

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JR8
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Post by JR8 » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 3:23 am

I haven't heard of it before and it sounds unfair. Surely if anything, it would be more equitable to slice your benefits if her job duplicated them. But then we get to a point where we have to ask, what the heck has this got to do with your employer anyway!?

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Post by Mad Scientist » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 6:03 am

Honestly, ,how would they know if you do not tell. Unless she is on DP and getting a LOC from your company. If she apply EP by herself, the DP will be converted to EP.
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Post by nutnut » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 8:26 am

Why are they imposing this? It sounds like The Firm (1990's Tom Cruise version) where the company states, "The Firm encourages children" etc etc blah blah blah... :|

Maybe you should ask them why they are imposing this, it could be they want to ensure that your children are brought up by your wife who is off work, or maybe they have a stay at home wife's club they encourage all Wife's to join?
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the lynx
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Post by the lynx » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 9:02 am

This is the first time I heard of this policy.

But if your wife doesn't plan to work at all and this is your only best offer, so do not worry about it.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 9:30 am

Yep, whole contract sounds dodgy to me.
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Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 9:40 am

Especially dodgy considering it is unlikely she will get 50% of your benefits in a position since she is already here.


But (from another thread), if you're making more than S$2500/month then this type of condition isn't illegal!

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Post by nutnut » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 10:05 am

What kinda work does your wife do? If she is not of particular skills that Singapore do not have, I wouldn't worry too much anyway, if she is highly skilled then maybe you should!
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Post by carteki » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 10:29 am

Its the first time its been heard of on the board, but it is totally legal.

In some respects - you should be grateful that you're getting an expat package at all. They've become like hen's teeth and the majority of foreigners that you meet here are on local packages.

Basically its your call - you can try and negotiate the clause out. This could result in 2 options - you get offered a local package with no flights home, rental subsidy etc or you get what you want.

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Post by Girl_Next_Door » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 1:33 pm

So if you have a baby, does your package increase by 50%?

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Post by nakatago » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 1:46 pm

Girl_Next_Door wrote:So if you have a baby, does your package increase by 50%?
I see what you did there. :P
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Post by SingLaw » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 2:21 pm

These reactions are pretty much what expected and what I think.

To clarify though, it's actually my wife that has the offer, but we are both lawyers. I think the firm's reasoning is that they don't want to help another firm employee a lawyer (me if I get a job there).

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Post by the lynx » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 2:25 pm

Hold on a sec - does it mean your take home salary is halved too?
:shock:

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Post by ecureilx » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 2:34 pm

the lynx wrote:Hold on a sec - does it mean your take home salary is halved too?
:shock:
to re-quote zzm9980:

"But (from another thread), if you're making more than S$2500/month then this type of condition isn't illegal!"

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Post by olivia242 » Thu, 01 Mar 2012 2:44 pm

Although this sounds weird at first, I guess the company does not see why they should have to pay benefits for you if you subsequently start working and can make your own contributions to the household income.

Keep in mind, the offer is only being made to your wife. You could also get her to enquire as to how long this restriction will last. As a previous poster said, it's not illegal because they are not saying you can't work, just that it will impact her benefits.

If your wife is being given an expat package, which as someone said, are like hen's teeth, I would guess that the salary is also going to be pretty decent so perhaps you should look long term and take a sabbatical. You could always use the time to update your skills etc.

One thing that you will need to get used to working here in Singapore is that as a professional level employee, you have absolutely no rights whatsoever and the employer can do what they like.

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