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10 things to check in your overseas contract

Career | Published 1 March, 2013 | By: Jennifer Beckles

A dream job in a dream overseas location can rapidly turn into a nightmare if you don’t thoroughly check the small print of your contract before signing.

It’s time to examine your contract to ensure you get the best deal. Ken McAdam of the teachers’ union ATL provides a key checklist to ensure your move abroad is plain sailing:

  • If you need a work permit or visa, find out who is expected to provide this
  • Read your job description or teacher’s duties to know what is expected of you
  • Find out how much you will be paid and in which currency. Once you know the exchange rate, you can work out how much you will earn
  • Check whether you have to pay any kind of tax and how much. Contracts in the Middle East usually mean that salaries are tax-free enabling teachers to make huge savings.
  • Have a look at your contract to see if your flights to and from the country will be paid for by your employers
  • Find out if accommodation is provided and at what cost
  • A large empty flat will be of little use to you so check to see if furniture is included and at what cost, if any
  • If you fall ill you will need to know that medical bills will be paid for, so make sure there is medical cover in your contract
  • Teaching, wherever you are, is demanding and you’ll definitely need a break so check how much leave you are entitled to and whether it will be paid.
  • You might be eager to see friends and family during school holidays, but you’ll need to check whether you are allowed to leave the country and if you will need a re-entry permit.
  • When the patter of tiny feet is imminent, you will need to know if you are entitled to maternity leave and if so whether it is paid

Need more advice on working abroad? Visit Teaching overseas

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Comment (4)

  • This is a nice stuff. What about the insurance aspect, will you consider it a necessity?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    31 December, 2008


  • Pensions can also be an issue, especially if you are within 15 years of planned retirement. Make sure to check what pension rights you have, what contributions you are expected to pay, how many years you will have to work before you start accruing pension and what you would receive if you left the overseas job before retirement.If your spouse isn

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    9 August, 2009


  • I have been told give my "acceptance" this weekend and they will draw me up a contract.
    If I say "yes"- and look at the contract - can I then decline? Are there any repercussions?

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    11 May, 2013


  • Very helpful, thanks

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