Assignment Costs & Area Guides

Assignment Costing

We support your budgeting process with tools and information designed to help you ensure sound financial management.  Our detailed cost projections and estimates provide you with the right data for you to assess whether an assignment or relocation is economically viable.

We tailor each calculation to your specific, individual needs; key cost areas considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Cost of Living Allowances (COLA)
  • Expatriation allowances
  • Property rentals
  • Removal of household goods
  • Temporary accommodation
  • Home leave
  • Settling-in allowances
  • Familiarisation visits
  • School search
  • Return flight costs
  • Medical insurance
  • Home search

It’s easy to under-estimate the full costs of a relocation or international assignment, but our 30 years’ plus experience means we can guide and advise you, deploying our expertise to identify the real costs associated with all your planned assignments.  This enables you to make informed decisions about staff deployment based on the best available cost projections, ensuring you’re fully aware of the extent of your likely investment.


For international reassignments, the differences in cost of living between countries can be a significant factor, but should never be an unpleasant ‘surprise’ for you or your employee’s new location.

To understand the differences between your assignees’ current location (home country) and where they are relocating to (host country), you may need to obtain and analyse a COLA report. At a basic level, a COLA report calculates the percentage differential between locations, indicating whether the cost of living is going to be higher or lower in the host country.

Our experts produce COLA reports for numerous locations worldwide, designed to help you determine Cost of Living Allowances and overall compensation packages for relocating personnel.


In addition to HCR’s Assignment Costing service, we also provide tax and/or social security calculations, at competitive rates via our tax partner Grant Thornton. Their figures can be integrated with ours to create a comprehensive forecast giving you the fullest picture of potential cost liabilities for an assignment.

It’s easy to misunderstand the full extent of taxation and social security liabilities for individuals working outside their normal country of residence. Salaries, allowances and benefits may be subject to taxation and/or withholding in more than one jurisdiction and appropriate advice is vital to avoid costly compliance failures.

We can provide you with access to expert advice on:

  • Income Tax liability
  • Tax equalisation
  • Social security liability
  • Shadow payroll

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