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What should my incentives be for international travel?

Salary.com

If you're tapped for an international assignment with your company, your compensation should reflect the additional responsibilities and challenges. In addition to higher base, don't forget to ask for incentives.

Q. I am a software consultant at a relatively small firm (under 50 employees). Recently, the company entered into contracts with several clients overseas and international travel will be required for me for three weeks each month. Management has made it clear that salary, rather than extra time off or other benefits, will be the main incentive for work abroad. What should I expect in a salary increase?

A. If the company were relocating you outside the United States, you could expect it to provide you with additional incentives, such as a housing allowance, a travel allowance, hazard pay (if you're traveling in an unstable part of the world), and other related incentives. These types of allowances are given so that you don't have to spend your own income to meet the challenges of living outside the United States.

It seems to me that your housing will be taken care of, because you'll be traveling to different locations while you are away. But you may still be able to negotiate for the travel allowance and hazard pay.

In terms of salary, expect the company to pay you between the 50th and the 75th percentile, with an expense account. This is the appropriate level of pay if your skills and knowledge of the job are above average and you can function with minimal or no resources. Presumably, you function at this level if you are being chosen for this assignment.

Good luck.

- Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Professional


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