Many employees 'resent special expat packages'
Dubai, December 13, 2010
There is a growing feeling among employees in the Middle East that special salary packages for expatriates is unfair, says a study.
Asked if they considered special packages to be fair, 39.2 per cent of the respondents in the “Expat Packages in the Middle East” study by job-site Bayt.com said they were not, 38.8 per cent said they were indeed fair, and 22 per cent said they did not know.
“There seems to be a growing feeling in the region that special packages are unfair. This could be linked to the rise of more qualified and seasoned regional employees who do not feel it is necessary to pay expats more for the same type of work as well as the increased sophistication of regional employers who have embraced global pay policies and practices,” Amer Zureikat, VP sales, Bayt.com.
The report found that 35 per cent of the Middle East’s respondents said their companies were still giving special expat package, 44.9 per cent said they were not and 20.2 per cent did not know.
When asked if they thought the days of special GCC packages were over, 45.3 per cent replied that yes, 29.1 per cent no and 25.5 per cent said they did not know.
“The figures are interesting because they show that with the current global economic crisis and increasing economic maturity in the region, there seems to be some degree of downward pressure on traditional regional expat packages” he said.
When asked if their companies’ pay policies depended on nationality, 66.4 per cent of respondents answered yes, 21.3 per cent no and 12.3 per cent said they did not know.
When asked what would most induce respondents to move or stay abroad as expats, 44.7pc said improved financial prospects, 31.2pc overall lifestyle enhancements, 18.1pc career opportunities that don't exist at home, 2.4pc health and/or education facilities that don’t exist at home and 3.6pc said other.
Expats were also asked if they repatriated their incomes to home countries. Of those who answered yes, 27.9pc repatriated more than 75pc of their income, 16.1pc between 50-75pc, 18.5pc between 25-50pc and 16.7pc between 0-25pc. In contrast, 20.7pc said they did not repatriate their income.
Expats abroad were asked if their overall life quality had improved since their move. More than half (54.3pc) said they were living better than back home, 20.6pc said their quality of life was the same as back home and 25.2pc said they were living worse than back home.
Asked if they were saving more than back home, 30.5pc said substantially more, 27.9pc said to a reasonable extent, 20.6pc said marginally more and 21pc said they were not saving more.
“We conducted this poll to chart the region’s current expat opportunities and the level of satisfaction current expat employees felt. Our poll showed that in the end, despite the fact that the economic crisis did impact the region, the Middle East is still a promising and attractive place for expats looking for a better quality of life and an opportunity to save money,” concluded Zureikat. – TradeArabia News Service