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Old 08.09.2010, 20:02
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Need advice on what should be included in contract?

I've had an interesting 24 hours where I have gone from conducting a job search at home (I live in Vancouver, Canada) to having a likely possibility of a job offer in Zurich! They should be sending me something in the next couple days to review, so while I'm trying to do as much research as I can on my own about living in Zurich and what employers usually include for medical etc, any help on things I will want to see included on a formal offer? What are some standard items and anything non-standard that might be good to ask about?? The job would be at a manager level, if that helps, so I'm not expecting any kind of major perks, but just want to make sure I know at least the basics!

Thank you for any help you can give!
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Old 08.09.2010, 22:57
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Re: Need advice on what should be included in contract?

Would you need a Work Permit? If so is the sponsor aware?
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Old 08.09.2010, 23:13
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Re: Need advice on what should be included in contract?

Depends a little, what's the position ?
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Old 09.09.2010, 02:38
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Re: Need advice on what should be included in contract?

The employer knows I need a work permit - it's an international organization so all of that is not an issue. The job is a manager job, but that's all I can say at this point. My question is based on that the company knows I'm coming from overseas and have recruited me. I've done a lot of research on how much is a realistic amount needed to live there (seems that most say about 90,000-100,000 minimum would be ok), but I was hoping to get some feedback from others who have done the move already and maybe get some insight into what I should be asking for that could make a big difference - ie medical benefits (what's standard, what should I try to ask for if I can), relocation assistance, etc.

Help? I just don't want to sign something just to get there to find out that I missed something big or assumed the wrong thing. Everything is handled differently from taxes to medical between there and where I am coming from, and there's only so much I can glean from random google searches!
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Old 09.09.2010, 07:19
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Re: Need advice on what should be included in contract?

I think the day of a full expat package is over but if you are lucky to get that...here are some of the the normal terms that expats use to get. The exact amount and whether you get a benefit would depend on how senior your position is...
- housing allowance, they pay all or part of your rent
- car allowance or company car
- international shipping of your stuff (if you get this, buy things like furniture in Canada...can save you quite a bit...if possible do this in advance- like 6 mons so you can declare them as private belongings and not "new" things---for customs)
- relocation agent - help you find a place to live
- site visit - preliminary visit to the country to determine what is needed and do house hunting
- home trips - paid trips back to your home country where you were hired (sometimes this is only for "hard-ship" classified countries, and I do not think CH qualifies)
- international school or educational allowance for your children's education
- tax help - they can pay for your tax advisor or they equalize your tax burden based on the tax system in the country that you are based, so your negotiations will be based on a "net" figure and not a gross one
- temporary housing - accomodations for you while you are looking for a permenant place, could range from 1-3 months is the typical time
- medical benefits - most likely for CH you will pay for your own but they may pay for special extras for you, or just give you the same deal as the home country that you were hired from

I am sure there may be more but I think the above covers the major points.

Good luck!
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Old 10.09.2010, 04:45
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Re: Need advice on what should be included in contract?

thanks mimster! definitely a help - wish it were the good ol' days, but nice to know some of the options that used to be and maybe one or two can work their way in again
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Old 10.09.2010, 04:51
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Re: Need advice on what should be included in contract?

canisui
what website did you use to find a job in switzerland?
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Old 13.09.2010, 05:41
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Re: Need advice on what should be included in contract?

wasn't a website - this one came from working the network of contacts - sorry, not much help for ya!
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Old 13.09.2010, 06:19
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Re: Need advice on what should be included in contract?

caninsui;

Technically, your employment requirements follow the laws of the country + province you reside in when you are first hired. Remember that your employment contract is just that; Employment only, not citizenship. This also includes international transfers.

Most packages include statements on housing, work permits + visas, relocation costs including full return, vehicles, schedule of compensation and where you can bank, etc. specifically stated in your contract.

Remember AVOID VERBAL COMMANDS or VERBAL AGREEMENTS: If verbal promises are not specifically stated in your contract, most courts may not honour them later.

Generally you are responsible for anything not stated in your contract. This applies to expatriates coming here, and conversely to those of us working outside of Suisse.
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Old 13.09.2010, 12:43
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Re: Need advice on what should be included in contract?

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The employer knows I need a work permit - it's an international organization so all of that is not an issue. , etc.
If it is truly an international organisation recognised by the Swiss with special privileges and immunities, it really falls outside any Swiss contractual norms and laws. Thus, if it is a true IO, the pay and other benefits don't really follow any national laws or rules, only the internal regulations and conditions of the IO. Check the HR websites of major IOs like UN and you will get an idea of the contractual conditions and benefits.
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Old 13.09.2010, 22:23
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Re: Need advice on what should be included in contract?

Runningdear - I am not sure if the "international organization" is to be understood as in "non-profit" or "non-governmental" - I am not aware of such large organizations in Zurich, but I may be just ignorant...
So I assume it is rather a multinational of some sorts, of which ZH abounds.

In these terms, Mimster's list is excellent, that is covering what most lucky expats get; however, keep in mind that when you get hired from abroad, it is usually in local terms. The typical expat deal is for when you are already working for the company, and take on a contract out of the country (there, apply also some "hardship" compensation, depending on the new location).

- housing allowance (only for short term)
- car allowance or company car (this one you should insist on)
- international shipping of your stuff (you should get this)
- relocation agent (a must, some international companies even have their own services)
- site visit - (a nice perk)
- home trips (this is typically only for expats....)
- educational allowance (less and less available)
- tax help (expats only, but they may accept to pay a tax consultant to help you figure it out)
- temporary housing (YES)
- medical benefits - probably not

I'll add:

- language classes (unless you speak German) should be included in the deal
- an additional negociation item, depending on your age and situation at home, is the pension fund payment. You may be able to ask that they help you keeping up your home ones rather that locally in CH - obviously if you are 25 that is not critical, but if you are 50 it is, and they will understand that you don't want to multiply the plans.
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Old 14.09.2010, 04:17
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Re: Need advice on what should be included in contract?

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wasn't a website - this one came from working the network of contacts - sorry, not much help for ya!
oh. thanks anyway. but please do update us of what happens to you in switzerland.
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