In the Eurozone there have been a few “economic crisis countries”, Spain and Greece for example. In the contracting world, the European troubles lie with France and Italy, who experienced a dramatic downturn in output. There were high hopes for Poland, however legislative changes surrounding temporary work, has reduced the demand for fixed term assignments in the country.
The Success Stories
Switzerland: Switzerland has continued to attract a vast number of skilled candidates for long-term projects. The main reasons for this growth are the relatively high rates of pay and the higher quality of life. Switzerland is attracting many contractors from the UK and not even the Swiss National Banks decision to remove the minimum exchange rate against the Euro is putting people off. The most popular industries for contractors in Switzerland are banking, IT and pharmaceutical.
The Netherlands: Strong economic expansion and a 30% tax allowance are quickly turning the Netherlands into a hotspot for contractors. There has been an influx of workers from the UK and across Europe choosing the Netherlands, despite their high tax rates.
South Africa: There are strong opportunities in South Africa in both the mining and mineral processing industries. Working as a contractor in South Africa can be an extremely rewarding experience and an opportunity to live and work in the world’s second biggest continent. You can also expect a high standard of living and high rates of pay.
Germany: There is no surprise to see Germany on the list due to their strong economy. It is currently leading the Eurozone and attracts a highly skilled workforce, mainly in the IT, oil and gas sectors and of course in engineering. There are also no social charges if you are registered as a freelancer and it is possible to offset personal expenses.
As a general trend, we can expect that the overseas contracting marketing will continue to grow and can potentially offer some interesting opportunities for UK contract professionals. Tax is certainly something to bear in mind and seeking advice from an early stage can be beneficial.
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