‘Can I bring my girlfriend on my international secondment?’

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We’ve been living apart for some time and would both be miserable having to be separated again 👫

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one future trainee solicitor is unsure on whether he should ask his law firm’s HR department if he can bring his girlfriend on the six-month international secondment that forms part of his training contract.

Hi Legal Cheek team, I’m about to start my training contract soon and I know my firm is big on international secondments. It’s a great opportunity and something I would very much like to take advantage of as I think both personally and professionally it can be extremely fulfilling.

However, I would like to be able to bring my girlfriend along. Is this generally allowed, will law firms typically sponsor both you and your partner (e.g. for the visa, accommodation, etc.)?

How could I best approach this subject with HR? I obviously don’t want to make it sound like I’m treating the secondment like a holiday with my partner, and I know it’s only six months, but we’ve been living apart for quite some time prior to this and I think both of us would be fairly miserable having to be separated again for half a year now that we’re finally living together.

I’m interested in hearing people’s thoughts on whether they have experience / know someone who was in this situation, and just any general tips on how to make use of this opportunity.”

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