Expats Unhappy With Their Benefits Packages

Money for paying expats expensive benefits packages is drying up – even in the oil and gas rich Middle East.

According to new research, most professionals moving to the Gulf States pick up a much-reduced package compared with just five years ago.

The study revealed:

  • Almost every professional consider a benefit package is a key part of any job offer
  • Two out of three professional expats are not pleased with their benefit packages
  • Professionals in engineering, construction and business services are more dissatisfied with their benefits than their counterparts working in other sectors

The information was compiled form a survey by recruitment firm Robert Walters.

The study also found 96% of professionals feel the benefits they are offered play a crucial part in their decision to accept a job.

Lacking quality

The report suggests this is a worry for employers trying to attract the best talent, who could go to other regions offering better remuneration packages.

Also, the research reveals that benefits packages for new expat professionals arriving in the Middle East are not as good as those that have moved to the region in recent years.

For instance, says the firm, 57% of professionals relocating to the Middle East in the past three years were not offered any relocation allowance, while expats paid 70% moving between three and five years ago the allowance and 89% of those switching to the Middle East five or more years ago.

Benefits also seem job sector dependent. For example, while 93% of engineers have flights home included in their packages, only 45% of business service workers are afforded the same luxury.

Similarly, 45% of banking and financial services workers have a training budget, only 15% of their colleagues in professional services are provided with the funding.

Best talent

This disparity is affecting morale among professional expats. While an average eight out of 10 financial and professional services workers rate their benefit packages highly, only half of business services professionals feel the same.

Engineers may rate top of the pile for their benefit packages, just over a third are displeased with their packages.

Jason Grundy, head of Robert Walters Middle East, said: “The obvious conclusion of our research is that employers should review their benefits packages for expats if they want to continue to attract the best talent.

“Many professionals told us they are not happy with their remuneration and the lack of benefits is a factor they consider when deciding whether to accept a role.”

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