My employer's (let's call him "MyCompany", headquartered in prosperous country A, with international operations) local management (in a not so prosperous country B) informed us that we will be changing entities. As of the moment, the entity that employs me in my country B is actually a branch of MyCompany, so the senior staff here in my country are mostly citizens of country A and/or expats. Now they have decided to make this local branch a local entity (whose leadership will be mostly locals). The simplified explanation provided to us is to avoid being taxed on both jurisdiction (they didn't elaborate).
They told us the position and role stays the same, compensation and benefits stays the same, tenure will be carried over, everything's the same, no adverse effect on our employment status. They ask us to sign a new employment contract (assuming will contain what they have promised) to the new entity (which will still bear the name MyCompany, but different wording) on a certain deadline. To sweeten the pot, should we sign before the deadline, we will receive a bonus compensation equivalent of a month-salary, provided the employee who signed stay within the next x months (less than a year) after official employment date with the new entity. Someone asked what about those who refused to sign up to the new contract, the management replied that they will stay in the old entity, implying it will still exist after the new entity starts existing.
I am suspicious; in fact a number of my coworkers are also suspicious. I have a previous employer (let's call it "ExCompany") who suspended yearly appraisals in two consecutive years under the guise of rolling out new performance evaluation process. It turns out they are just cutting costs and I absolutely hated the management-speak that tries to cover the entire thing up. Additionally, one of the management guys who explained the change of entity of my current employer is a lawyer, which added to my apprehensions (I am generally distrustful of lawyers).
My question is, what could actually be happening that the management is not saying? Why the re-signing bonus if the employment terms remain the same anyway? Is there a reason to be suspicious or to think it is some kind of a trap or something (it is hard to compare "legalese" and "fine prints" on old and new contracts)? As for ExCompany, why go through all that subterfuge (which we can see through anyway); should they not be more honest (which I will certainly appreciate) that they will not promote people due to cost-cutting measures?