Working abroad: what you need to know before signing on the dotted line!

Working abroad - Published on 10/1/20
These five elements appear as key points when hiring abroad. One should never lose sight of the fact that each country has its own functioning and its own legislation!

The salary

It’s no secret that salary is one of the key motivating factors in a career! It’s something that mustn’t be neglected and you should make sure you know how to negotiate beforehand, before committing yourself. To do this, it’s important, before signing, to compare the salary on offer with the cost of living in your destination country. Try to avoid comparing it too closely with your current salary as, depending on the destination, they may differ greatly. You should also think about income tax (which is often deducted directly at source by the employer) and the level of Social Security contributions.

Local labor law

Don’t forget that each country has its own local labor law. Find out about the various rules that apply in your country of destination (legal working time, protection in case of dismissal, etc.). Unlike salary, here it’s easier to make a comparison with your current situation.


When you sign a local contract, your rights and benefits are no longer dependent on the French system but on the Social Security system of your country of expatriation. Find out about the benefits provided by this system in terms of sickness and maternity insurance as well as retirement and unemployment and, in most cases, you should give serious consideration to taking out private health insurance. This cost will be included in the overall assessment of your remuneration package abroad.

The risk of unemployment

Unlike France, some countries do not provide unemployment benefits. You will need to give this some thought! You should also take into account that, when you return to France, you won’t be eligible for French unemployment benefit unless you were working in a country belonging to the European Union, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) or Switzerland.


By contributing to the pension system of your host country, you may – under certain conditions – be entitled to a retirement pension from your host country at the end of your career. But be aware that the contributions you paid in your country of expatriation won’t generally be included in the calculation of your French pension unless you had worked in a country of the European Union, EFTA or in a country which has a Social Security agreement with France. In this case, the rate at which your French retirement pension is calculated will include the periods worked abroad as well as those worked in France.
These are the 5 key points to consider when thinking about taking a job abroad. It’s important to remember that each country has its own way of operating and its own legislation!
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