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Countries with the best working conditions

If you’re moving to a new country to discover a new way of life, explore a new culture, or for a new career opportunity, it’s important to get to know what the lifestyle in your new country will look like. Plenty of adventurers looking to move abroad for work look into the lifestyle, property and cultural factors to their move, but often the working conditions are somewhat overlooked.

We think that working conditions can make or break a successful move. It’s important to know what you can expect from your work-life balance, and how your new working conditions may differ from what you currently experience.

Having recently celebrated International Workers Day, we look into what different countries have to offer expats that are looking to live and work there.

France – for the expat who wants a great work/life balance

France is not only a beautiful country, but it also offers a wide range of work benefits for expats such as increased holiday and sick pay as standard. Thanks to very strict employment legislation, workers in France benefit from clear expectations and benefits.

When working in France, expats often benefit from more free time than they are used to. Every worker in France receives 5 weeks of annual leave as standard, guaranteed to expat workers alike. This means more time to holiday, visit friends, and plan trips home. The work/life balance is also improved by an average workweek of around 35 hours per week. Overtime and additional days worked must be fairly compensated: either with additional holiday leave or paid.

And career prospects for the female workforce are positive in France: the country has the second largest rate of female workers in Europe. As well as stringent legislative plans to close the 15% gender pay gap in the country.

Switzerland – for the expat looking for a great salary

One of the main positives of living and working in Switzerland is that the salaries are much higher than elsewhere in Europe, at an average of about 20 francs per hour. In fact, salaries in Switzerland were the third highest amongst all OECD countries in 2016. However, it is important to note that there is no legal minimum salary here. And the high wages may be offset by the high cost of living in the country.

The average working hours per week is 41 hours and 10 minutes in Switzerland, with a maximum of 45 hours per week allowed by law. However, this differs if you are in the trade industry as certain jobs may require up to 50 hours of work. This is supplemented by 20 days statutory holiday for all employees, in addition to all national holidays.

Another great benefit of working in Switzerland is that all employees contracted in the country for more than 8 hours a week receive comprehensive accident insurance from their employer. This covers all medical expenses should you become injured at work, or on the weekends when you’re zipping down the ski-slopes!

United Kingdom – for the career-ladder climbing expat

The UK is known as a great place for those that are looking to climb the career ladder: the country currently ranks 4th in the world in terms of career growth.

With jobs such as that of a Sales Director, Medical Practitioner and Chef Executives earning some of the highest salaries, this is the ideal opportunity for someone looking for to achieve a well-paid senior role. The career growth availability is one the reasons that the UK attracts many expats after their graduation from university.

As well as offering expats the opportunity to climb the career ladder, workers in the UK are protected by a wealth of employment legislation. The maximum working week is 48 hours (although you can opt out of this and work more). All employees are also entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave, which may or may not include the 8 national holidays. And there are also strict minimum wage rules, as well as legislation for statutory maternity pay, pension contributions, as well as redundancy payments.

With all this in mind which country appeals to you the most? Or do you have another country in mind for your career move?

For more information on the relocation process and how we can help, get in touch with a member of our experienced team at 020 8961 4141.

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