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The term secondment covers the situation whereby an employee or a group of employees is assigned on a temporary basis to work for another organization or a different part of the organization of their current employer. In general, the seconded employee, though working at a host Company and/or new location, will remain the legal employee of the original (seconding) organization. This allows the employee to gain experience or provide support to the new organization on a temporary basis, but to easily return to the original employer and maintain the original employer’s benefits. Cross-border secondment presents added complexity including labor and tax regulations in (at least) two jurisdictions, payroll and potential shadow payrolling, income tax treaty analysis, and totalization agreement review for social security, just to name a few.
Penn can facilitate an employee secondment to another Penn existing or new entity. Significant costs may be involved with respect to legal and tax service provider fees in the home and host countries. At this time, Penn can only provide assistance in a secondment situation to another Penn entity and cannot facilitate a secondment arrangement to a PEO. Secondment to a third party organization overseas (non-PEO), such as a collaborative partner, may be available depending on circumstances and will require significant coordination efforts between the department and the third party, along with central payroll, benefits, and tax.
Faculty and employees working on short-term Penn projects overseas will generally retain their university benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans, when they continue to be paid through the U.S. payroll.
Consult with your HR representative and medical insurance provider, prior to an international activity, to review your existing coverage and benefit capabilities in the country you will be traveling.