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UK contractors likely to avoid Greece

The news has been full of the financial situation in Greece, with concerns about their economic future within the EU, debates about the nature of any potential bail out and a series of offers and counter-offers intended to ensure the ongoing stability of the country’s economy. Last week saw the country strike a deal which […]

By Laura Nixon on 23 Jul 2015
Read time: 2 minutes

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The news has been full of the financial situation in Greece, with concerns about their economic future within the EU, debates about the nature of any potential bail out and a series of offers and counter-offers intended to ensure the ongoing stability of the country’s economy. Last week saw the country strike a deal which saw them being bailed out to the tune of €86 billion, which has been dependent on their government agreeing to a series of reforms to their banking system and an overhaul of their judicial system.

However, despite these attempts to bring Greece back into line with the rest of Europe, in terms of protecting the savings of their people, there has been some concern expressed amongst contractors as to the feasibility of working in Greece or for Greek companies. One overseas contracting group has conducted a survey which showed that Greece was unlikely to be considered as an attractive place to work at the moment, or indeed for the foreseeable future.

Two of the main considerations that contractors make before they decide to contract overseas are the rates of tax and the social security system, and Greece falls down on both fronts as far as those who might otherwise consider temporary work in the country. With both rates being uncompetitive compared to other countries where similar work might be available, it is unlikely that UK contractors would choose to work in Greece compared to some of the ‘high growth markets’ where demand is high and rewards are too.

The much-discussed Greek authority measures have contributed to an atmosphere which is tense and a feeling of instability which contribute to a general lack of enthusiasm about working there. And with buoyant markets and more appealing working conditions on offer in nearby countries such as Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, it is likely that both contractors themselves and staffing agencies start overlooking Greece and considering opportunities elsewhere.

It is not easy to predict what kind of long-term impact this could have on Greece, although their foreseeable future seems likely to involve fewer UK contractors than they are used to. However, the process of rebuilding and any infrastructural changes could result in Greece becoming a more appealing workplace and attracting contractors back to their shores once the dust has settled and the prognosis has been improved.

Contractors who are considering working abroad will need to understand all the implications of the various options available to them, but this can seem like a daunting task. Taking advice from specialists in contractor accountancy is the best way to ensure that you have considered all the implications of any decisions you take about your career. For details of our low-cost packages, information about how our experienced accountants could save you money, and any other advice you need, call us today on 01253 362062 or email us at contractoradvice@nixonwilliams.com.

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