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Scotchpie
23rd June 2013, 13:29
I've two months left on my current contract. There's little action in the UK at the moment for my field, health research/statistics, but I am seeing potential from the continent.

I know, though not personally, some contractors work abroad, flying out on Mondays and returning Friday, but my question is, how anyone affords it?

For example, the rates I have seen for a post in The Netherlands was comparable to what I am on now. However once travel to and from the airport at both ends is taken into account, and once the airfare and hotel fees are taken into account, remembering I'll be eating out most weekdays, and bearing in mind I still have a mortgage and family back home, how do UK based contractors afford working these contracts?

Andrew

stek
23rd June 2013, 14:49
I've two months left on my current contract. There's little action in the UK at the moment for my field, health research/statistics, but I am seeing potential from the continent.

I know, though not personally, some contractors work abroad, flying out on Mondays and returning Friday, but my question is, how anyone affords it?

For example, the rates I have seen for a post in The Netherlands was comparable to what I am on now. However once travel to and from the airport at both ends is taken into account, and once the airfare and hotel fees are taken into account, remembering I'll be eating out most weekdays, and bearing in mind I still have a mortgage and family back home, how do UK based contractors afford working these contracts?

Andrew

1. Negotiate a better rate

2. Days WFH

3. Stay out in 2/3 week stints

4. Watch out re: NL Tax and residency.

Doggy Styles
23rd June 2013, 14:58
I was in that situation several years ago. I rented a cheap flat and cooked for myself most evenings.

I also flew back every two weeks instead of one a lot of the time.

Another thing, I don't know about now but it used to be cheaper if you get out there then use return flights for each home visit, starting and finishing in Europe.

SueEllen
23rd June 2013, 15:42
Is there a reason, ScotchPie, you put a serious post in General?

In my case if I work abroad:
1. Look at the tax situation before I even put myself forward for a contract,
2. I choose a location that has a cheap airline and flies to one of the 3 airports I'm near in the UK,
3. I go self-catering
4. I come back every two-three weeks.

Some places there is absolutely no point in taking a contract as with the rate in Euros, cost of flights and accommodation it's not worth it.

scooterscot
23rd June 2013, 16:00
Yes tax in the netherlands is important, rate must consider the taxes.

Have you considered moving out the family?

Ticktock
23rd June 2013, 17:25
I've two months left on my current contract. There's little action in the UK at the moment for my field, health research/statistics, but I am seeing potential from the continent.

I know, though not personally, some contractors work abroad, flying out on Mondays and returning Friday, but my question is, how anyone affords it?

For example, the rates I have seen for a post in The Netherlands was comparable to what I am on now. However once travel to and from the airport at both ends is taken into account, and once the airfare and hotel fees are taken into account, remembering I'll be eating out most weekdays, and bearing in mind I still have a mortgage and family back home, how do UK based contractors afford working these contracts?

Andrew

Not working abroad, but flying from one end of the UK to the other every week, so a similar position.

I upped my rate slightly - not enough to fully cover all costs, but at least mitigate them.
I pay my brother to drive me to and from the airport most weeks - cheaper than a taxi, cheaper and easier than public transport.
I get the bus at the other end.
I rent a room in a shared flat (although the rent for my room is not a huge amount less than for my house back home, it does include all bills).
I cook in the evenings and have £3 Tesco / Sainsbury's lunch deals (only because I'm too lazy to make lunch).
Airfare is my biggest cost, and I need to think about booking a load of weeks in advance to cover summer - been holding off as I wasn't sure if I'd be travelling, but I think I'm better off booking and not using the flights than waiting and paying more each week.

Is it ideal? No. But then if I was working in London I'd have train fares every day anyway / petrol & parking, so in fact I'm not hugely worse off. And it's better than being on the bench (financially), although my wife has said "never again" to me being away all week every week.

scooterscot
23rd June 2013, 17:58
Not working abroad, but flying from one end of the UK to the other every week, so a similar position.

I upped my rate slightly - not enough to fully cover all costs, but at least mitigate them.
I pay my brother to drive me to and from the airport most weeks - cheaper than a taxi, cheaper and easier than public transport.
I get the bus at the other end.
I rent a room in a shared flat (although the rent for my room is not a huge amount less than for my house back home, it does include all bills).
I cook in the evenings and have £3 Tesco / Sainsbury's lunch deals (only because I'm too lazy to make lunch).
Airfare is my biggest cost, and I need to think about booking a load of weeks in advance to cover summer - been holding off as I wasn't sure if I'd be travelling, but I think I'm better off booking and not using the flights than waiting and paying more each week.

Is it ideal? No. But then if I was working in London I'd have train fares every day anyway / petrol & parking, so in fact I'm not hugely worse off. And it's better than being on the bench (financially), although my wife has said "never again" to me being away all week every week.

I understand.

Some things that may not have been considered. Flying in into the UK, as opposed to internally, can be a faff. This one time I was actually thrown into custody at Gatwick airport whilst trying to the get through passport control. My citizenship was brought into question despite my family going back eight generations in Scotland before records become a labour. And if only to frustrate me more, the officer questioning me was 2nd generation Afghan. In summary add an hour to your flight times when going through passport control.

Don't make the mistake of comparing UK job/rate with that of another country. Netherlands may have high tax, but afterwards everything else is good and not expensive like London.

Lastly, I recall working for a client in Netherlands, they're understanding of family life, more so than any UK client I recall working for. Propose a rate for 1 or 2 weeks working from home and another for on site. Say 1/3 less than the on-site rate, something that'll get their attention and turn into a result.

norrahe
23rd June 2013, 18:17
You need to consider the following options:

Will you be using your UK limited or using an umbrella?
If ltd - you need to get an A1/E101 certificate with regards to working on behalf of your Ltd in another EU country.
Then you will need to register in NL ( SOFI/BSN number) even if you are going home every weekend.
Make sure you apply for the 30% ruling within 3 months of accepting your role there.
You will also need to get private medical in the Netherlands as it is mandatory ( you don't get it, then you will get a fine after 6 months or taken to court if you ignore it.
Cost of living in NL is expensive, public travel is cheap, but if you are using a car then fuel is expensive.

PM me if you need any more info, I can give you contact details of a good accountant in NL who is good with NL tax laws and dealing with non NL residents working in NL.