Should Short Term Assignments receive a Per Diem or COLA?

Expat Academy Should Short Term Assignments receive a Per Diem or COLA?

How do you define a “Short Term Assignment”?

AIRINC’s Short Term Assignment (STA) survey confirmed that although the typical STA is defined as unaccompanied and 3 to 12 months in duration, many companies reported that their policies include significant flexibility around STA arrangements and entitlements. This flexibility helps to encourage mobility and control costs, but can make it challenging to determine how to structure assignee support.

To answer the question regarding Per Diem or COLA (Cost of Living Allowance), it’s important to highlight a key difference:

Per diems are defined as full budgets to cover a very limited group of expenditures (no assignee contribution from salary), whereas COLA is a supplement to the contribution assignees are expected to make towards a full range of goods and services. 

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