Europe set to take over from Middle East as expat bonus hub

Published:  15 Oct at 10 AM
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Tagged: Australia, UK, UAE, Money, Euro, England
Although the Gulf States have traditionally attracted the majority of expat professionals due to generous bonuses, Europe is set to take over the rewards crown.

Today’s expanding Western-based bonus culture is the result of a recovery from the devastating effects on international companies of the 2008 financial crash. The tightening of corporate belts and the disappearance of many investors meant bonuses were drastically cut or disappeared altogether.

Recent research has shown that Europe is likely to be the first world region to re-establish and increase bonuses for expat professionals to their pre-crash levels and beyond. UK-based companies in particular are now offering satisfactory financial packages to senior managers and high-earning employees.

However, the welcome change doesn’t represent a free-for-all as in earlier times. Almost 40 per cent of respondents to the survey noted that higher performance criteria are being imposed before hefty bonuses are paid out, and a number of companies still mired in poor financial performances paid nothing at all last year.

It seems that shareholders are waking up to the fact that generous bonuses to talented employees benefiting company balance sheets represent money well-spent as they encourage even more effort on the part of the recipients. The 2008 and later attitude that bonuses are wasted money is no longer acceptable in a recovering economy.

High flying top talent located in the Middle East is now turning its attention to Europe as the next career move, and it remains to be seen whether UAE and Saudi firms will upgrade their financial temptations in order to retain valuable expat executives. A five per cent increase in Gulf State expat salaries is being predicted for 2015, but may not be sufficient to persuade top executives to stay.
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