Originally from Cameroon and with an International vibe, Laura Mfeckba arrived in France in 2005 to finish her law degree. More than a professional vocation, international mobility is above all a personal choice.
Here, she goes back over her career, her role and objectives with the setec group.
Tell us about your first steps with international mobility…..
I approached international mobility by the bias of individual taxation. After obtaining my DEA in public law and a DESS in company law and tax, I joined the company TAJ (part of the Deloitte network), to complete my internship. This enabled me to understand the impact of international experience especially where tax and social aspects are at stake for the person traveling and also for the company itself. The questions often raised are indeed diverse and complex to resolve. A specialization in international individual taxation requires an interest in labor law, social protection and immigration. These are the foundations of International Mobility.
After my internship, I joined the Global Tax Network Company (created by two PwC partner) as a tax consultant.
Besides the pure tax orientated missions entrusted to me, (income tax returns/wealth tax returns), I was responsible for the outsourced management of certain problems related to international assignments for employees of major companies. Following this experience and after four years I joined the Alten Group, specialists in engineering and technology consulting, as an International Mobility Manager. Over the period of 5 years my mission alongside my team was to organize and monitor the transfer of employees of the group spread over 20 countries.
Why join setec?
The development of setec internationally aims promising markets. Established in France for the last 12 years, I have kept a strong link with Africa and have cultivated a certain concern for regions where there is still so much to do (Latin America, Middle East, for example). The studies carried out by setec allow for the development of important projects which improve the living conditions of local populations. I wanted to be part of this movement!
How do you define your role?
It is multiple but the first word that comes to mind is “support”, both to the entities of the group and to our employees. The idea is to find a harmonized balance between the legal/conventional obligations, which are expected of the companies in question and of the employees on an international project, basically the needs of both parties and the reality of the market. The design of an International Mobility policy, accessible to all and defining the terms of a mission abroad, was one of the objectives assigned to me. The policy is now established and will be released shortly within the framework of the “Amphis Retape”.
“The aim is to unburden our employees of all logistical and material aspects and to focus on their adaptation to their new environment and the job at hand.”
In practical terms, how is this to happen?
It is about analyzing all impacts of travelling abroad for professional reasons and to ensure that all necessary arrangements are made so as to ensure that all runs smoothly and in the best possible conditions: is a work permit required? what are the contractual relations with the original entity? to which social security scheme will the employee be liable? what are the impacts on individual taxation? are they exposed to health and safety risks? what about their installation and that of his/her family in the host country? Each departure is a challenge to be met and that is what I appreciate about what I do.
Is it always possible?
We must make it possible. Any change requires an open mind. Some people are more inclined than others to try an international experience. That saying, the latter may nevertheless be interested in an international transfer. It is important that they live each step of their transfer as a rewarding experience and not as an impediment.
With regard to this, the IM group policy is a vital tool.
Tell us about the new International Mobility Policy
It provides a series of measures designed to improve international assignments. The aim is to unburden our employees of all logistical and material aspects and to focus on their adaptation to their new environment and the job at hand.
We have at the moment around 20 expatriates and as many on short missions. I am at their total disposal right through their assignment and I am excited to meet many more international profiles in the near future.