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Hi

 

Been offered a job in Singapore with current London based company.

 

Will mean a new contract.

 

Have been told as my 5yrs continuous service will keep rolling and will retain holiday allowance.

 

Question is: how can I best protect myself? Is it possible to have a uk contract that stays in place (english law) with a secondary Singapore contract? Or something similar?

 

Keen to protect myself from (unlikely) unfair termination.

CAG has helped me so much since I joined. Based on what I have learnt from others on here and my own experiences, I try to chip in and help others from time to time. I am not an expert and give my opinion only. Always check with the more experienced CAG members before making important decisions.

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Hi

 

Been offered a job in Singapore with current London based company.

 

Will mean a new contract.

 

Have been told as my 5yrs continuous service will keep rolling and will retain holiday allowance.

 

Question is: how can I best protect myself? Is it possible to have a uk contract that stays in place (english law) with a secondary Singapore contract? Or something similar?

 

Keen to protect myself from (unlikely) unfair termination.

 

Don't think you can have a UK contract continuing. When i looked at possibility of moving to that part of the world, the governments there have visa rules, where the employer offers a contract for a period ( seem to remember 5 years) and they have to demonstrate if asked, why they are favouring a UK national, rather than a local person. You are affectively moving to a new employer, with just some of your current entitlements being continued under the new contract.

 

What you could do is ask your employer for something in writing about the points you are worried about and for a copy of the letter to be placed on both your existing and new employment HR files.

 

If you have not been to Singapore, it has to be most humid place on Earth. Like being in a hot greenhouse.

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Thanks UncleB.

 

I have been there. Will not be taking my winter coat if I go!

 

Good advice. Think the best I can do is get some enhanced protection in the contract

CAG has helped me so much since I joined. Based on what I have learnt from others on here and my own experiences, I try to chip in and help others from time to time. I am not an expert and give my opinion only. Always check with the more experienced CAG members before making important decisions.

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you can have a continuous UK contract when working abroad, it is quite common to do so. The reason for trying to force a local one on you is that the company saves a fortune in NI contributions and redundancy condition are very different indeed.

My cousin had this when he was UK based and worked for many years out of a foreign office. He was made redundant and the Co tried to screw him by saying he had accepeted local conditions when he hadnt It went to an ET and they co lost. One of the deciding factors was that he want paying local NI/taxes, the co being a multinational paid him a minimal salary and then expenses inmstead

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you can have a continuous UK contract when working abroad, it is quite common to do so. The reason for trying to force a local one on you is that the company saves a fortune in NI contributions and redundancy condition are very different indeed.

My cousin had this when he was UK based and worked for many years out of a foreign office. He was made redundant and the Co tried to screw him by saying he had accepeted local conditions when he hadnt It went to an ET and they co lost. One of the deciding factors was that he want paying local NI/taxes, the co being a multinational paid him a minimal salary and then expenses inmstead

 

I agree. You don't need a contract of any sort in Singapore. You don't even need a new contract per se! You just need a new job description. People get new jobs with the same employer all the time and don't get new contracts every time. All that should happen is that you and them agree another job and location for that job. In this case it's not the corner office on the second floor - it's Singapore. You continue to be employed in the UK but located in Singapore. This is actually much better for you to, because in the event that you were made redundant, you would have to take the habitual residency test to claim UK benefits when you returned, and the fact that you are employed in the UK makes a difference to the outcome as it shows your employment to be UK based. You might, just for your own sake, check out the other regulations around the habitual residency test and make sure that you do everything you can to secure yourself and your entitlements. Nobody knows what the future may bring.

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Thanks guys.

 

So UK contract would mean UK taxes? Or just NI contributions.

 

Keen to keep paying NI but would rather pay Singapore tax!

CAG has helped me so much since I joined. Based on what I have learnt from others on here and my own experiences, I try to chip in and help others from time to time. I am not an expert and give my opinion only. Always check with the more experienced CAG members before making important decisions.

:-)

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UK contract would mean that you are employed in the UK and pay its taxes but gain its benefits such as dole money if you lose the job and come back

. My cousin was paid a low(er) Uk salary and then was given a hefty subsistence allowance that was tax free in the Uk but attracted some tax in the countries he was working in. When they made him redundant he was in a EU country and wanted to stay there and do consultancy work (for his ex-employer!) and that is when they tried to claim he was employed abroad, so they didn thave to pay redundancy etc, they had been telling the taxman he was located abroad and that he wassnt UK based to fiddle their tax and NI. It all came unglued because his ex-boss abroad had supporting paperwork and was prepared to use it against company ( they were making him take on the workload and that meant travel to Africa, S America and he didnt want it). Ultimately the CEO of this company got the boot becasue this was just the tip of the iceberg.

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UK contract would mean that you are employed in the UK and pay its taxes but gain its benefits such as dole money if you lose the job and come back

. My cousin was paid a low(er) Uk salary and then was given a hefty subsistence allowance that was tax free in the Uk but attracted some tax in the countries he was working in. When they made him redundant he was in a EU country and wanted to stay there and do consultancy work (for his ex-employer!) and that is when they tried to claim he was employed abroad, so they didn thave to pay redundancy etc.

 

Think the OP needs to look into this with his employer. I think you can retain UK contract/tax if you are still within the EU, but when i looked into Singapore/Malaysia before, they all seemed to require a local contract of employment and not to retain a UK contract. The only basis where this is not the case, is where you are a consultant working for a company and going out to Asia for short periods, but the UK remains your main place of residence. Everyone i have known who has gone out to work in Asia for more than a certain period of time, has had to have a local contract of employment, but the UK existing employer has been willing to continue some existing employment rights, which is why continuity of service is mentioned by the OP.

We could do with some help from you.

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I went out there for a few years. It was brilliant. Good move.

 

To be honest, I'm not sure the idea of having a UK employment contract would work. I'm not sure you can contract into UK employment law if you are working outside the country. Unfair dismissal protection comes from statute, it doesn't come from the terms of your employment contract. You could however agree that your continuous service will be respected.

 

As you will be spending more than 183 days a year in Singapore I am sure you will be tax resident in Singapore and therefore taxed in Singapore. I could be wrong, but I don't see how you can choose to pay NI in the UK rather than Singapore. If you want to keep paying NI I would have thought you'd need to make 'voluntary contributions' to HMRC.

 

You could do a fixed duration secondment from your UK office into your Singapore office, and extend that if necessary, but I'm not sure if that would mess things up from a tax perspective.

 

The Singapore employment act covers foreign employees, but it doesn't cover people earning a high salary or in managerial positions. If you earn enough to be getting a work permit you probably won't be covered. Unfair dismissal protection is not law in most countries in the world outside Europe. You may just have to accept that going to Singapore means losing unfair dismissal protection. That could be a risk you have to take.

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Thanks for your advice guys.

 

Said yes so I'm off in Jan as long as visa ok.

 

Have agreed some terms in my contract to protect myself somewhat.

 

Excited

CAG has helped me so much since I joined. Based on what I have learnt from others on here and my own experiences, I try to chip in and help others from time to time. I am not an expert and give my opinion only. Always check with the more experienced CAG members before making important decisions.

:-)

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