Working abroad can be an especially daunting prospect. This guide aims to alleviate some common concerns, and highlight the important aspects of employment law in other countries.
Benefits of getting a graduate job abroad
One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad can be assimilation of new cultures. Working abroad gives you the opportunity to experience the different nature of workplaces in other countries. It's important to try and talk to the local community, understand their values and work ethic. You might even pick up ways of working that you can bring back to the UK.
Working alongside those who speak other languages can be an excellent way of developing your long-term employability, and can lead to work in other sectors that you may not have considered. Language skills, especially from a first-hand perspective, can be particularly impressive within larger international companies with multiple offices.
Experience from working abroad shows companies that you can cope in a diverse and varied work environment, outside of your comfort zone. There could be language barriers, different computer systems or other obstacles. Showing that you can overcome these challenges also demonstrates resilience and developmental graduate skills.
Employment Abroad: Laws and Customs
Being employed abroad can bring numerous benefits, but there are also some legal points to consider. Be absolutely certain that you have obtained an adequate visa for your requirements. Particularly for gap years and work abroad over a long period, holiday visas will not suffice. Leaving this until you arrive in the country can lead to problems in border control and often high fees and delays. This is especially the case outside of Europe.
In addition to this, it is necessary to read your employment contracts in depth, ascertaining exchange rates for pay and level of pay. Make sure that there are no transfer fees on your wages due to international banking transactions (if you are having your wages sent to a British bank account).
It's also important to understand graduate employment rights in the country you are working in. Consider points, such as:
- Amount of paid holiday
- Workers’ rights safeguards
- Maternity/paternity leave
- Working hours
- Tax codes and rates
Finally, ensure that there are no ongoing serious domestic issues in the country you are working in and ensure that you are aware of any customs or laws in that country that may not apply in Britain. Consult the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for more details.
(Subject to change following the EU referendum)
Before going ahead with a position abroad, it's important to go through a mental checklist and ensure you are certain about such a venture. Make sure you are not likely to change your mind, as leaving could be difficult due to high costs of travel and contracts with your employer. Be sure that the employer you are working with is likely to meet your expectations.
Make sure you have accommodation sorted many weeks before you are due to leave. Ensure that any deposits and rent sent to letting agents or individual landlords are protected by the relevant authorities. Be certain that the let length fits your requirements and that there legal compensatory structures available should it not meet the specified expectations that were agreed.