Are You Double Counting?

    Nov 17, 2021 @ 07:10 AM / by Sandra De Bruyker


    The same benefit twice?

    No one wants to double count unless it is in their favor. Global Mobility faces this challenge as well. In offering the best service to assignees, companies may be paying the same benefit twice without even knowing it.


    When reimbursing your assignees for specific elements, such as domestic help in the assignment location, you may also be paying allowances to your assignees, such as a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). It is important to understand what is included in the data calculated by your data provider to avoid paying the same benefit twice to your assignees. In this case, you need to know if domestic help is already included in the COLA, which is based on a representative market basket.

    If domestic help is already included in the COLA, you can either opt to have it excluded from the COLA if possible, or to stop reimbursing the benefit separately, to avoid paying the benefit twice. We also see this with transportation when companies reimburse separately for a full-time or part-time driver, which may already be included in the COLA. The same may be true for some housing and utilities elements. You may reimburse air conditioning costs, but this may already be included in the utilities allowance calculated by your data provider. Or you may reimburse municipality taxes while this may already be included in the housing allowance.


    At AIRINC, we can provide supporting information on all our data. AIRINC’s approach to data collection results in the highest level of quality and consistency for all the allowances we offer. We own the methodology and the process and we analyze all our own data, which is collected by our own in-house data research team. We support our data with the ability to exclude certain elements, e.g. housing or COLA, if you are paying these separately to your assignees or you simply do not want to pay for them.

    Here to help!

    Please contact us if you want to know more about our data research methodology and our data flexibility to ensure what you are paying to your assignees aligns with your mobility policy. We are here to help you!

    Contact Us


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    Topics: Cost of Living, Housing, Mobility Policy, Global Mobility, Workforce globalization, Global Compensation, International Assignment Calculator, Long-Term Assignment Benchmark, Policy Scorecard, Data Analytics

    Sandra De Bruyker

    Written by Sandra De Bruyker

    Sandra graduated with a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Antwerp in 1997. In 1998, she also received Master’s degrees in Business Law and Tax Law. Before joining AIRINC in 2007, Sandra gained significant experience as a Tax and HR specialist. She also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she was responsible for advising and assisting international clientele with respect to international mobility and setting up and implementing international employment structures. Fluent in Dutch and French, Sandra has worked for AIRINC since 2007. In her role as Associate Director Client Engagement at AIRINC, Sandra works with clients from various industry groups with respect to expatriate compensation.