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Once upon a time all a potential job applicant had to worry about was how much the position paid. In the present frenetic market it is becoming increasingly necessary for anyone contemplating changing jobs to be able to work out the relative merits of many different inducements. For example, recruitment and retention points - normally only one or two and often for just three years - are now common place for design and technology posts with management responsibility but are still unusual in a subject such as English.

For teachers moving house, an offer to pay relocation expenses may be a better incentive from the tax point of view than a recruitment allowance, since the payment of removal expenses up to a certain limit can be accepted by the Inland Revenue as a one-off tax-free concessio where an employee needs to move their main residence. The Inland Revenue Guide to Expenses and Benefits contains more details (see paragraph 5.10).

Be aware that although housing and season ticket loans have been brought within the scope of the School Teachers Pay and Conditions document, they may be treated differently by the tax office.

Some schools now offer lock-in bonus payments that are paid after three years of working at the school. Although pound;9,000 is an attractive deal, it will be subject to tax at a teacher's marginal rate of taxation in that year, so it is only really worthwhile waiting for three years if the bonus is taxed at the basic rate.

The days of a personal remuneration package, even with national pay scales, may not be far off.

John Howson


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