Role summary/purpose of job
To promote and oversee the firm’s international secondment programme to ensure positive and mutual benefit for both the secondee and the firm.
This role has a global focus with many stakeholders based overseas. The job holder will be accountable for global mobility operations and will operate at a strategic level, leading policy and process design as well as implementation and other transformation activity.
The job holder will assist with the secondment of Partners and senior management and provide consultancy advice and support to HR colleagues in international offices.
Key responsibilities and deliverables
- Oversight of the secondment process involving offices in the UK, US, Belgium, Germany & Austria, including liaison with the secondee, management, Finance, Group Tax, Risk & HR colleagues, and external providers;
- Management, appraisal and maintenance of relevant third party supplier relationships;
- Communicating and coordinating with all key contacts to ensure the smooth transfer of secondees;
- Oversight of the work permit process for secondees, encompassing UK and Continental Europe initially;
- Liaison with the outsourced provider to ensure that global tax return filings for secondees are successfully completed;
- Management and analysis of service provision from external suppliers (immigration, tax, expatriate living data and accommodation and relocation services) against set criteria for performance.
- Providing advice in key areas such as policy application, tax, social security and immigration to ensure compliance and reduce risk to the firm and the secondee;
- Advise on all aspects of the firm’s secondment policies, procedures and processes to ensure best practice, efficiency and reduction of exceptions in the management of secondment placements;
- Advise secondees on all aspects of their secondment placement e.g. remuneration, benefits, payroll, tax and accommodation, to facilitate their integration into the firm and the host office;
- Actively lead secondment discussions with international offices and provide cost of living, net pay calculations and provide technical support on payroll and tax issues;
- Manage complex secondment queries on a case by case basis upon escalation from Group Tax, Finance, HR Consulting colleagues and HR Services Executives or HR Assistants;
- Provide ad hoc advice in relation to cross-border employment tax and payroll issues resulting from business travel and other informal arrangements.
- Design, implementation and deployment of secondment policy and procedure;
- Advise HR leadership team on immigration-related changes and impacts on the firm’s people (e.g. UK leaving the EU and our resulting approach/response);
- Develop, maintain and promote the firm’s global mobility strategy at a firmwide level both within and outside HR.
- Develop future-state global mobility operating model in line with the overall HR Service Delivery/Global Centre strategy;
- Oversee the transition of additional regions into the Global Mobility team’s operational and advisory remit;
- Project manage mobility-related tender exercises, drafting of RFP documents and subsequent implementation/transition of the relevant services.
UK Employment Taxes
- Accountable for signing off the annual Form P11D benefits and expenses reporting exercise;
- Provision of advice to UK payroll team in relation to the Modified PAYE scheme and related expatriate tax matters;
- Provision of tax advice to HR and Finance colleagues outside the global mobility sphere e.g. termination payments, treatment of benefits-in-kind and other generalist UK employment tax matters;
- Represent Freshfields in respect of routine HMRC enquiries in relation to expatriate tax compliance, with the support of the Head of Firm’s Tax where required.
- Ongoing collaboration with Group Tax, Regulatory and Insurance teams in relation to the management of the risks posed to the firm by international business travel;
- Represent immigration compliance at various internal (and sometimes external) forums alongside other parties representing tax and regulatory compliance.
Key Requirements (skills/experience)
- Minimum 5 years’ experience in expatriate management gained within an international business or professional services environment;
- Excellent understanding of tax and social security implications arising from international secondments;
- Maintains a sound knowledge of legislative changes in the expatriate taxation and immigration arenas;
- ATT qualified.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to listen, clarify and share information easily.
- The ability to build working relationships with a range of people at all levels.
- Able to convince, influence and persuade a range of people at all levels, often senior grades.
- Proactive approach with a 'can-do' attitude.
- Identifies and communicates opportunities to improve the way that work is done.
- Excellent organisational and time management skills with the ability to manage tasks efficiently.
- Works successfully as part of a team, sharing knowledge, collaborating with and supporting colleagues.
- Dedicated to meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
- Flexible in approach and adaptable to change.
- Resilient and able to remain calm and positive under pressure and when dealing with ambiguity.
- Is delivery focused and drives forward quality of service.
- Takes ownership and actively looks for personal learning and development opportunities.
- Demonstrates sound judgement.
- Commitment to the highest level of integrity
- Decisive and mature in judgement.
- Able to resolve complex problems taking a proactive approach to analyse the issues and generate solutions
- An understanding of working across cultural boundaries.
- Able to coach and mentor team members
- Demonstrates an empathetic approach when dealing with others.