How professionals can get 43 per cent pay bonus by working abroad


Last updated at 02:13 28 March 2008

working abroad

Appointments overseas: Workers who leave Britain for a job abroad can get a 43 per cent pay rise

Workers who leave Britain for a job overseas can get a 43 per cent pay rise.

A professional gets an average wage of £47,000 in this country but overseas they can earn £67,000, a report says today.

But it is not just a higher salary that lures record numbers of Britons to a life abroad.

The survey of more than 1,100 expats found they are "wealthier, healthier and happier" than they were in the UK.

Those interviewed included engineers, teachers, economists, accountants, IT professionals and those working in financial services and marketing.

When asked about their new life, they spoke in glowing terms about their decision to quit this country.

More than 90 per cent said they were happier. More than 80 per cent had "a greater sense of well-being" and "feeling better all round for moving abroad".

And 99 per cent said they had made "a good decision" to live abroad, with around 80 per cent saying their decision to move was "excellent".

The majority - more than 60 per cent - said they had "no reason" to return to Britain, according to the study by NatWest International.

David Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking, said: "Expats who have moved abroad appear to be wealthier, healthier and happier.

"All these factors have contributed to a better quality of life."

There are many reasons for the salary premium, said to Dr Frank Shaw, a director of the Centre for Future Studies think-tank.

Many worked for multi-national companies in the UK and were offered a salary increase to go and work in a foreign country.

Other countries are so short of certain skills such as IT professionals that they offer generous salaries to lure workers from the UK.

Dr Shaw, who was involved in the research, said about 20 per cent of the expats who took part in the research were self-employed.

Although many workers are moving abroad, they are still employed by UK-based companies.

"An increasing number of professional people are choosing to take their skills and expertise abroad," he said.

"In some instances, we found that there is an emerging generation of professionals who are choosing to work outside the UK for companies in the UK. Work is no longer a place that we go to but a thing that we do."

Official figures show record numbers of Britons are joining the exodus.

For the first time, more than 200,000 left in 2006, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Dr Shaw predicts the number of expats will continue to soar.

Around 5.5million Britons live overseas and a further one million will leave over the next five years, according to the Centre for Future Studies.

Researchers spoke to expats living in ten countries - Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.

The biggest winners were those moving to the United Arab Emirates, who earned an average of £79,000, tax-free.

Even in Portugal, which came at the bottom of the top ten, British workers were paid an average of £58,000.

As well as earning a better salary, most of those living in eight of the ten countries said the cost of living was lower than in the UK.

Singapore and the United Arab Emirates were the exceptions.

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