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Data solutions for effective management of short-term assignments

Short-term international assignments allow companies to transfer skills, knowledge and resources quickly and cost effectively, providing a quick response to business needs. However, living costs for short term assignees are different from other categories of mobile workers. Mercer offers a powerful tool to help your company determine per diem rates suitable for short term.

Mercer's Per Diem Allowance Calculator is a tool to compensate employees for the cost of daily life at short-term assignment locations.

It is designed specifically for employees on international assignments lasting 3-12 months. It is intended to provide a fixed daily living allowance, equitable to all assignees in the same host location, regardless of salary level or home country. Our per diem recommendations will allow you to establish budgets in lieu of managing expenses.


The Per Diem Allowance Calculator can be easily designed to match your company's practices:

  • Three levels are offered, letting you choose the per diem allowance based on your company's budget and spending assumptions. 
  • You can customize the market basket elements according to your own specifications.
  • Or you can use Mercer's recommended baskets: Mercer's standard basket, Mercer's apartment stay per diem basket, Mercer's hotel stay per diem basket & Mercer's business travel per diem basket.

The Per Diem Allowance Calculator is conveniently housed with your other Mercer mobility tools and delivers Mercer's reliable short-term assignment data in a way that is easy to use and share. Mercer's Per Diem Allowance Calculator allows you to establish cost-effective and consistent per diems. Our per diem data is:

  • Accurate. Mercer's global expertise and years of pricing surveys allow us to collect and deliver the recommendations for close to 400 locations. 
  • Transparent. We can break down our recommendations to show exactly what makes up the numbers. 
  • Up-to-date. We update pricing data at least twice a year and more frequently in locations with volatile prices. 
  • Easily customized. The Per Diem Allowance Calculator is flexible, allowing for differentiation by type of assignment or other factors, in order to provide recommendations most applicable to your assignees.

Contact your consultant or use our form to discuss available options and order data.

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Mobility Guides Mercer has assembled a collection of guides and whitepapers to help you understand key aspects of managing an international assignment program effectively, including guides to starting a program, expatriate compensation, policy development, technology, and more.

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News and Articles Our Knowledge Center features timely articles on mobility issues and trends, interviews with experts in the field, and news about conditions around the world affecting employees on international assignments.

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Determining the proper compensation approach can be challenging. Written by Mercer experts, our guide to compensation approaches will provide a detailed analysis of the three main compensation methods to help you choose the right solution based on your specific needs

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Policy Flexibility

As mobility programs grow and new situations arise, companies may need to be flexible on their approach to compensation. Our whitepaper outlines the considerations, benefits, and drawbacks involved.

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