Trends for expat jobs and benefits across Asia

Trends for expat jobs and benefits across Asia

Recently Hays released their The 2014 Hays Asia Salary Guide outlining the recruitment trends they foresee across Asia over the coming year.

They surveyed over 2500 employers across Asia and 63% said that business activity has increased over the past 12 months with 71% expecting it to also increase this year. This is good news both for locals but also expats already working in Asia or potential expats looking to move there. There continues to be a strong demand for high-level skills though increased costs of living in come cities is starting to put a few expats off. Whilst salaries remain competitive the packages on offer aren’t what they used to be.

In China there continues to be a large number of expats from all over the world looking to make their mark. This has proven to be very competitive for expats looking to move to China who don’t have any prior Chinese work experience and/or language skills as employers start to look for expats who aren’t working in China for the first time. Companies are still looking to contain costs though so are often limiting expatriate hirings to short-term contracts.

In Malaysia the government focus to employ local staff has led to expatriate salaries to come under pressure. Those who are still working in Malaysia are finding that they’re being asked to accept a reduced package or start to look elsewhere.

Singapore continues to be both a regional and global hub with the demand for expatriates still being strong though as with the rest of the region packages are not what they used to be unless for exceptional candidates. Even with the attractive tax conditions on offer the increased cost of living in the city is reducing the competitiveness of the city.

Benefits on offer to employees

The benefits on offer between different countries in the region varies quite a bit with 85% of employers offering benefits in addition to salary and bonuses.

Across all countries (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia) the following benefits were offered (More than one may be applicable):

  • 49% – Health
  • 46% – Life assurance
  • 30% – Car/car allowance
  • 27% – Pension
  • 22% – Housing allowance
  • 20% – Club/gym membership
  • 19% – Other
  • 11% – Hardship allowance
  • 11% – Tax equalisation
  • 8% – Private expenses

The benefits on offer between the countries surveyed varied though:

China

  • 52% Health
  • 43% Life assurance
  • 34% Housing allowance
  • 30% Car/car allowance
  • 23% Pension
  • 17% Other
  • 11% Club/gym membership
  • 9% Tax equalisation
  • 7% Private expenses
  • 6% Hardship allowance

Hong Kong

  • 50% Health
  • 47% Life assurance
  • 34% Pension
  • 19% Housing allowance
  • 15% Other
  • 8% Club/gym membership
  • 7% Car/car allowance
  • 7% Hardship allowance
  • 6% Tax equalisation
  • 3% Private expenses

Japan

  • 57% Life assurance
  • 43% Club/gym membership
  • 41% Pension
  • 29% Tax equalisation
  • 26% Hardship allowance
  • 26% Health
  • 25% Other
  • 22% Housing allowance
  • 17% Private expenses
  • 16% Car/car allowance

Singapore

  • 54% Health
  • 40% Car/car allowance
  • 33% Life assurance
  • 17% Other
  • 16% Housing allowance
  • 15% Pension
  • 14% Club/gym membership
  • 7% Hardship allowance
  • 5% Private expenses
  • 5% Tax equalisation

Malaysia

  • 64% Health
  • 60% Car/car allowance
  • 51% Life assurance
  • 23% Pension
  • 22% Club/gym membership
  • 22% Other
  • 21% Housing allowance
  • 11% Hardship allowance
  • 6% Private expenses
  • 6% Tax equalisation