I'm flying from one ME country to another ME country. I wanted to fly back on the weekends, as my family is here with me now. I also wanted hotel accommodation (they wanted to throw me in a villa they've rented to one of their employees-there is an open room in it) and daily Per Diem. As for the actual work, do I charge them for the actual hours of interpreting or the entire day I'm out with them? The commute to the location where this will happen is 1.5 hours away so a total of 3 hours everyday just driving; over a six week period, we're talking about 90 hours just driving!! So I'll leave at 6 am and come back at 6 pm. But the actual work is from 8-3ish.

So it unreasonable that I ask for hotel and per Diem during my six weeks there? Can I ask them to pay for my weekend flights (A round trip ticket is only $300 and I'm fine paying it)? Can I ask for a car rental if they don't have a driver to take me around the city in the evenings? Do I bill for the hours I interpret or the entire day I'm out and about with them commuting to the job location? Would it be better to ask them the rates for the hotel and meals and have them add that to my salary; this way I could just use that money towards paying for my flight?

Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you.

  • Voting to close. You need to ask the company on their policy for this, you could ask for what you want, whether you get it is another thing. It can also depend on what type of worker you are, talking about charging hours sounds like a contractor, and the rules/tax issues etc may be different depending on your designation (and where you are working), so too much to answer here. – The Wandering Dev Manager Feb 25 '16 at 13:02
  • There is no policy, so I have to make up my own requirements. And I don't have a company, I have a background they need that is enabling me to do instantaneous interpretation for them. I'm in the negotiating phase now. I've let them know that my hourly rate will depend on W2/1099 and benefits/expenses offered/incurred. Settling on a rate will require seeing the full benefits package offered by them. I've also asked them to outline the daily M&IE per diem amount, hotel accommodation & transportation details, and other benefits related to this assignment. – Jeff Wilson Feb 28 '16 at 6:41

What benefits can I ask from a company that wants to contract me abroad for six weeks?

I find the best way to handle this sort of situation is first ask what sort of package they have in place for these situations and then move forwards from there. If you know someone else who has done similar work for them, ask them a few questions about their experience.

If I'm unhappy with the accommodation, transport, food or any of the other arrangements, I will work that part out before deciding whether to go or not. A lot depends on your position as well, if you're doing a highly skilled, highly paid, hard to replace job you have a lot more negotiating power than otherwise.

So take basic factors like that into account and approach the company with what you think you can realistically get. Per diem is usually the least complicated for me, and I pretty much expect all expenses such as transport to be paid as well. I'm not fussy with accommodation, if you are then you'll need to negotiate that, hotels are not cheap.

Flying home to your family every weekend is only $300? Getting your company to pay for this might weaken your negotiating power in terms of accommodation I would think. But they may well offer it as part of their normal expenses anyway.

The first thing you need to find out is what is normal for them.

  • (1) The OP would be working for 6 weeks, not 6 months (2) if the OP is in a hotel, 2 weekend nights is likely to be more than $300 in a decent hotel in many places. – Amy Blankenship Feb 25 '16 at 21:59
  • Good catch, have updated my answer. 2 weekend nights in a spare room of a villa costs a lot less. As a boss I would be reluctant to have them leave on weekends for many reasons apart from just cost. – Kilisi Feb 25 '16 at 22:08
  • Going six weeks without seeing family at all is a lot to ask. I think where I work they fly you home for one weekend per month if you're away that long (it's something I've never had to do). – GreenMatt Feb 25 '16 at 22:13
  • I've been on 6 months assignments with no flight home. One of my clients is an airline and when they use me they'll fly me home every day if I want since it's a short flight. it's purely up to the company, so that's why the OP needs to find out what is the norm before negotiating for anything extra. – Kilisi Feb 25 '16 at 22:16
  • Hello. Thank you all for your input! I did receive an offer from them and all it said was I'd be receiving an hourly rate and that the terms of this employment offer do not constitute an employment agreement. Yet, I'll be treated as an employee as they plan to withhold taxes from my pay. It's like they want to treat me both as a contractor and as an employee to avoid certain benefits like paying danger pay, etc. I also mentioned to them the offer letter doesn't mention anything about expenses, initial flights, transportation, lodging, m&ie, etc. I'll be hearing back from them tomorrow. – Jeff Wilson Feb 28 '16 at 6:16

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