Moving to France on a Local Contract vs. Expat

Go Back   Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad > Europe > France Expat Forum for Expats Living in France

France Expat Forum for Expats Living in France Welcome to the France Expat forum. This is the place to meet like minded people who have made France their new home. This forum is ideal for those who have moved to France and those thinking about making France their new home.

Moving to France on a Local Contract vs. Expat


Closed Thread
 
Subscribe to this Thread Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 26th February 2013, 05:51 PM
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 14
Rep Power: 0
wandrlst88 is on a distinguished road
2 likes received

Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in france.
Default Moving to France on a Local Contract vs. Expat

Hello all, I stumbled on this forum while doing research on my upcoming situation. I’ve learned a lot so far but wanted to get specific opinions. Some background:

I live in NYC and have been offered a position in a financial services company in Paris. I’ve been told that they would not offer an expat package (really what I was hoping for) so now wanted to get a better sense of what to expect with a local package.

My main concerns are taxes, compensation, and the unknowns I have yet to know to ask about. What types of things should I negotiate for in with an executive package?

My compensation today is $180K-200K that includes a bonus and profit sharing. I’ve heard salaries are lower in France; should I expect much lower? They asked me about my current comp so I would hope that they would at least match it. Is that a fair assumption? I understand I will be taxed both US and French taxes, is that correct? Can I negotiate tax help? Tuition reimbursement for myself (I have no kids)?

Any advise or direction is much appreciated – it’s all a wide open space for me at this point. I’d feel much more competent at the negotiation table if I was better equipped with information.

Thank you!

Quick reply to this message
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 26th February 2013, 10:02 PM
Bevdeforges's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: deepest, darkest Essonne
Posts: 46,035
Rep Power: 23265
Bevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond repute
9606 likes received
1277 likes given

Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in france.
Default

On an expat contract, you get all the perks and benefits that your company policy allows for "expat" personnel. This often means that you are maintained on the US benefits package for up to 5 years while working overseas (on the theory that your move is only "temporary"), though you do pay French income taxes (or local income taxes where you are living).

As a US citizen, you will always be subject to filing US taxes - and for salary earnings, you can claim the foreign earned income exclusion, which eliminates US taxation on the first $95K or so of your salary. On the rest of your income, you'll have to claim French income tax credits against whatever US tax you run up.

With an expat package, your employer will normally spring for tax preparation services - both for France and the US, and often with a "tax equalization" feature, which reimburses you for any excess of tax (over and above what you would normally have paid in US taxes). An expat package may also include a company car or car allowance, accommodation support, assistance in maintaining your US residence and other goodies - home leave, for example.

On the local payroll, you are on the local social insurance system (for France, figure about 25% or so of your gross salary withheld for this) and probably will be on your own for tax work (both US and France), though you may want to negotiate something for the first year or two until you get settled into the system here.

To be honest, $180K - $200K is a huge salary here (figure 138K - 153K €) and taxes will take a big bite out of that. (Income taxes are not withheld by your employer here.) Understand that your French employer has to put up something like 35 - 40% of your gross salary over and above what you are being paid to cover the employer's share of the social insurances, but you will be covered for health care, retirement and the other "miscellaneous" social benefits here.

I wouldn't hold my breath on tuition reimbursement. Employers here have an obligation to provide "continuing education" for their employees - which can include such things as French lessons for foreigners. But it's not as common for employers to pay for their employees to pursue degree programs or to qualify for new careers.
Cheers,
Bev

Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 3rd June 2013, 10:45 PM
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 14
Rep Power: 0
wandrlst88 is on a distinguished road
2 likes received

Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in france.
Default

Bev, thank you for your comprehensive reply and apologies for the delay in my own. It has taken me us up to this point to even receive the details of the offer so I've been in limbo on this job opportunity for several months.

The good news is their offer was in range. Unfortunately, they would not negotiate at all which I found a bit offputting as it is quite common for us to do so here. Not even by 1% but I look at the glass as half full.

I assume the next step would be a contract of sorts? The communication is not the best -- and the process is excruciatingly slow -- so I have no idea what to expect in terms of process: both for securing the job offer and procuring the work permit. I've done more research online but if anyone on this forum has had any recent experience, I would love to learn from it.

My thanks in advance!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
On an expat contract, you get all the perks and benefits that your company policy allows for "expat" personnel. This often means that you are maintained on the US benefits package for up to 5 years while working overseas (on the theory that your move is only "temporary"), though you do pay French income taxes (or local income taxes where you are living).

As a US citizen, you will always be subject to filing US taxes - and for salary earnings, you can claim the foreign earned income exclusion, which eliminates US taxation on the first $95K or so of your salary. On the rest of your income, you'll have to claim French income tax credits against whatever US tax you run up.

With an expat package, your employer will normally spring for tax preparation services - both for France and the US, and often with a "tax equalization" feature, which reimburses you for any excess of tax (over and above what you would normally have paid in US taxes). An expat package may also include a company car or car allowance, accommodation support, assistance in maintaining your US residence and other goodies - home leave, for example.

On the local payroll, you are on the local social insurance system (for France, figure about 25% or so of your gross salary withheld for this) and probably will be on your own for tax work (both US and France), though you may want to negotiate something for the first year or two until you get settled into the system here.

To be honest, $180K - $200K is a huge salary here (figure 138K - 153K ) and taxes will take a big bite out of that. (Income taxes are not withheld by your employer here.) Understand that your French employer has to put up something like 35 - 40% of your gross salary over and above what you are being paid to cover the employer's share of the social insurances, but you will be covered for health care, retirement and the other "miscellaneous" social benefits here.

I wouldn't hold my breath on tuition reimbursement. Employers here have an obligation to provide "continuing education" for their employees - which can include such things as French lessons for foreigners. But it's not as common for employers to pay for their employees to pursue degree programs or to qualify for new careers.
Cheers,
Bev

Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 4th June 2013, 06:26 AM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Oullins, France
Posts: 1,452
Rep Power: 1360
Maple Sugar has a reputation beyond reputeMaple Sugar has a reputation beyond reputeMaple Sugar has a reputation beyond reputeMaple Sugar has a reputation beyond reputeMaple Sugar has a reputation beyond reputeMaple Sugar has a reputation beyond reputeMaple Sugar has a reputation beyond reputeMaple Sugar has a reputation beyond reputeMaple Sugar has a reputation beyond reputeMaple Sugar has a reputation beyond reputeMaple Sugar has a reputation beyond repute
435 likes received
297 likes given

Users Flag! Originally from canada. Users Flag! Expat in france.
Default

The hiring process here is quite slow compared to what we in North America are used to. But remember that the company making the offer has had to go through some hoops with the government to be in a position to be able to put forward a job offer to a non EU member. Others who have more in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of the contract issue will no doubt give you a better answer than I could but remember that if you come to France, your patience will be tested many times over when dealing with administrative issues - be they within the company or with government departments. My watch word on this is 'hurry slowly.'

Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 4th June 2013, 07:28 AM
Bevdeforges's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: deepest, darkest Essonne
Posts: 46,035
Rep Power: 23265
Bevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond repute
9606 likes received
1277 likes given

Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in france.
Default

They may not have much room to negotiate if they have done the "approval" route with the Ministry of Labor. I think one of the requirements of that process is that they submit a copy of the proposed employment contract to the Ministry - and in that case, if they budge on monetary issues, they may have to go back to the Ministry to get the contract re-approved.

So did you wind up on an expat contract or on a local contract?

You're right, though, in that you should be offered a formal contract of employment - and the contract has to be written in your language so that you know what you're signing.

As MS says, things move very slowly in the hiring game here. They are on the hook for getting the visa process working. They notify the Ministry of Labor, who then notifies the consulate where you live. The consulate will notify you when you need to make appointments to come in for application and interview and that should be it.
Cheers,
Bev

Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 4th June 2013, 05:43 PM
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 14
Rep Power: 0
wandrlst88 is on a distinguished road
2 likes received

Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in france.
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maple Sugar View Post
The hiring process here is quite slow compared to what we in North America are used to. But remember that the company making the offer has had to go through some hoops with the government to be in a position to be able to put forward a job offer to a non EU member. Others who have more in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of the contract issue will no doubt give you a better answer than I could but remember that if you come to France, your patience will be tested many times over when dealing with administrative issues - be they within the company or with government departments. My watch word on this is 'hurry slowly.'
Thanks Maple Sugar, I was prepared for bureaucracy. In this case though, it's been 3 months just to get salary details so as Bev mentioned, perhaps this is because they needed approval prior? I assumed they would first finalize negotiations with me before they would go the the Labor Department but perhaps I was mistaken.

At any rate, sage advice and I am preparing myself to hurry up and wait --especially with August around the corner!

Thanks for the feedback.

Quick reply to this message
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 4th June 2013, 05:49 PM
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 14
Rep Power: 0
wandrlst88 is on a distinguished road
2 likes received

Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in france.
Default

Thanks Bev, is it common to do that first before giving offer details to the candidate?

It is local. I was also assuming they would need some details from me in order to kick off the work visa such as a birth certificate, etc. I have yet to provide any of these and was hoping I could start gathering those so I was ready. Sounds like we are back to wait and see.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
They may not have much room to negotiate if they have done the "approval" route with the Ministry of Labor. I think one of the requirements of that process is that they submit a copy of the proposed employment contract to the Ministry - and in that case, if they budge on monetary issues, they may have to go back to the Ministry to get the contract re-approved.

So did you wind up on an expat contract or on a local contract?

You're right, though, in that you should be offered a formal contract of employment - and the contract has to be written in your language so that you know what you're signing.

As MS says, things move very slowly in the hiring game here. They are on the hook for getting the visa process working. They notify the Ministry of Labor, who then notifies the consulate where you live. The consulate will notify you when you need to make appointments to come in for application and interview and that should be it.
Cheers,
Bev

Quick reply to this message
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 5th June 2013, 05:04 PM
Bevdeforges's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: deepest, darkest Essonne
Posts: 46,035
Rep Power: 23265
Bevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond repute
9606 likes received
1277 likes given

Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in france.
Default

I'm not sure of what the actual process is for getting approvals - though I know it involves submitting the salary as part of the process. They're not allowed to justify hiring a foreigner by paying them less than the going rate on the French market - and I suspect there are other hoops to jump through if they're offering a foreigner a higher salary than what they would pay a similarly qualified French person.
Cheers,
Bev

Quick reply to this message
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 7th June 2013, 08:59 PM
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 14
Rep Power: 0
wandrlst88 is on a distinguished road
2 likes received

Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in france.
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
I'm not sure of what the actual process is for getting approvals - though I know it involves submitting the salary as part of the process. They're not allowed to justify hiring a foreigner by paying them less than the going rate on the French market - and I suspect there are other hoops to jump through if they're offering a foreigner a higher salary than what they would pay a similarly qualified French person.
Cheers,
Bev
Thanks Bev, that is helpful info. I'll keep you guys posted. I still haven't heard back after my query for the contract but then again, that's not out of norm given our discussion pattern.

Quick reply to this message
Closed Thread


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Location
Where you live
Expat From Country
Please select the country you originate from. This will appear as a flag when you make posts on the site.
Expat To Country
Please select the country you have either moved to or want to relocate to. This will be presented on the site when you make posts.

Log-in


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Local plus contract alan1000 General Expat Discussions 4 31st March 2011 04:07 AM
Expat contract v Standard AU Contract andystack Australia Expat Forum for Expats Living in Australia 3 11th November 2010 08:41 AM
Dubai local/expat Contract? shafman01 Dubai Expat Forum for Expats Living in Dubai 4 15th July 2009 05:26 PM

FORUM PARTNERS

ExpatForum.com is owned and operated by VerticalScope Inc.

Retiring Overseas Guides | Moving Overseas Guides | Cost of Living | Health Care Guides


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.