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Secondment to Sydney

(8 Posts)
padsi1975 Tue 23-Jun-15 14:49:09

My employer has offered me a secondment in Sydney. At first I was very excited but now I have seen the terms of the offer - not so much! It is an ex pat offer, where I would go for 2 to 3 years, then both I and employer would reevaluate. They have offered a salary of 200k aud, with todays exchange rate that is about 5k less than I make now. They won't assist with housing there, which means I would be paying rent there and mortgage here. I'm going to turn the offer down but if they were to respond and say 'well, what do you want', would the following sound unreasonable:
1. Assistance with renting, up to $1000 per week.
2. Salary increase to compensate for fact that Sydney is an expensive city and fact that I will be supporting my whole family on one salary.
3. Assistance with childcare costs (we will have an extra year of nursery fees as kids don't start school till 5 and when ds does start we will have to pay fees of 4.5k pa as we are not citizens).
4. Shipping of some goods, storage of rest.
5. Flights home once per annum for myself, dh and two kids.

Obviously I would try to rent out my house here and my dh would look for work there. But I am reluctant to accept an offer that gambles my family's financial well being on renting out my house and my dh finding work quickly. I feel like it is only reasonable that if I uproot my whole family that I can support them financially.

Does this seem very unreasonable?


KiwiJude Wed 24-Jun-15 00:58:48

No, none of that seems unreasonable at all - it has to benefit you as well as your employers.

Sydney is lovely but it's heinously expensive to live in and traffic is the pits. We'd both love to live in Sydney but we can't afford to live where we want so we just go visit two or three times a year.

MrsDe Wed 24-Jun-15 03:45:44

Sorry for rushed response but having my lunch and limited time to reply.

I'm currently on secondment from the Uk for two years and my package includes flights home for the whole family once every 12 monhts, rental assistance upto a certain level per week (more than $1k a week) and my salary is just my UK salary paid in Aus $ - pegged at a good exchange rate so that's fine.

I also got a crate shipped, basically shipped out my whole house at the company's expense - and it will be shipped back again at their cost. They also paid for our flights out here and back (in additoinal to the trips home).

Downsides are:

Decrease in holidays as the Oz holiday entitlement is less (20 days a year).
No assistance with childcare/schooling costs even though we have to pay for public schooling here (though can put that though salarly sacrifice which helps). I think that's fair enough really.
No contribution towards pension.
The OZ working culture in my business is more akin to the US than the UK - so very hardcore and long hours. So I would discuss with colleagues as to what the work levels are like. I did my research before I arrived so knew what to expect and it's certainly not the laid back Oz lifestyle everyone in the UK assumes.

Upsides are:

My salary in the UK is much higher than someone at my level here - so my pay is very good in comparrision with my Oz peers.
The house we're renting is bigger than our house in the UK.
LOVE living close to the beach.
Some living costs are high but then others not so much. Public transport I find is generally cheap and efficient, taxis are really cheap compared to London and, ummm, that's about it! We shop in Aldi's which is cheaper.

I actually don't find the traffic that bad - but that's coming from London.

I would definitely push for rental allowance, shipping costs and trips home as a minimum.

chancer2014 Wed 24-Jun-15 06:55:43

I lived there some time ago now, admittedly but unless all your healthcare and medication costs are worth it, (you won't be eligible for free care if you haven't residency) then it may be expensive. Dentist treatment seemed very expensive when I was there. Perhaps check this out.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 24-Jun-15 07:20:38

Yes I think your terms are reasonable but as chancer suggests, include some health care cover in that, especially if you have young children.

idlevice Wed 24-Jun-15 10:39:57

What visa will you be on? Ask for permanent resident if not already being offered it then you will eligible for a few more benefits on public healthcare, childcare & also if you have to take out private insurance. Plus less hassle if you end up staying longer & might take citizenship eventually.

KiwiJude Wed 24-Jun-15 21:41:41

Your DH will need the right visa for him to be able to work as well.

MrsDe Sydney traffic probably be a walk in the park compared to London smile We were last there at the end of April and used public transport (trains/ferry), and pretty impressed with the train system.

MrsBlythe Thu 25-Jun-15 00:56:29

Hi good suggestions here. Our family came out with DH's work. My view is that expat packages are being cut all the time and the days of clubs, school fees, flights, accommodation are nearly over except in places where few people want to live.

So with that in mind, I would say you definitely need a healthcare package for your family and I would also ask for temporary rental accommodation and car rental when you arrive and all your stuff is being shipped over (took 2 months). You'll also need a bond to rent a property and company paid/loaned us this which was helpful.

Schooling is expensive, we got our kids public school fees paid (the office didn't even know we would need to do this!) and it's $5000 per year per child. Plus 'voluntary' school contributions of $500 a child a year and expensive uniform - no cheap M and S grey trouser options! I wish we had got something for nursery as DS is spending an extra year in nursery - $8000 for the no frills local preschool 3 days a week. A big difference to the UK and if you are on a temp visa you won't get any childcare rebates which locals do.

I probably wouldn't push too much for flights every year - it's a massive hassle flying with all the jetlag and for twice in 2 years seems a pain.

I have mixed feelings about our move. Husband got a pay rise, but I definitely feel poorer that we did living a pretty good life in London. Our house is smaller, similar box garden and freezing right now in winter. I'm not that excited by beaches or exercise or outdoors which is the big pull here. But on the otherhand, the move has been great for the kids. They have really blossomed, love all the sports, living in friendly neighbourhood and playing out in a way that doesn't happen in London. They are also I think better prepared for a global lifestyle and world and know the earth is a big exciting places with lots of different peoples and places.

Good luck - it is a great place and I will miss when we return, but we definitely haven't ended up financially better off!

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