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Why Do Some Teaching Agencies Offer Free Flights?

Ever wondered why some UK teaching agencies offer free flights and we don't?


It can be pretty confusing if you're a teacher considering teaching in England; so many agencies and, to the untrained eye, they all look the same. Then all of a sudden one catches your eye that says "We can pay for your flights!" Looks exciting, doesn't it?!?


Some agencies offer to pay for your flights however they require you to outsource your pay to something known as an 'umbrella company.' This means that whilst your agency is the one finding you work, this umbrella company pays you. No harm in that?


As of the 6th April 2016 there have been significant tax law changes in the UK regarding umbrella companies that you may have read about. What you didn't know is that by getting you to register with an umbrella company, your agency is exempt from paying a tax known as the Employer National Insurance Contribution (ENIC). Instead of them paying this tax, it now gets passed on to you! As a teacher this is around £70 per week (yep - per week) that YOU have to pay instead of your agency.


So effectively you're paying a fee that your agency should be paying. 


On top of this you have to pay the umbrella company a fee as well, If you're working 5 days per week it is around £20 a week.


So you do the maths; if you work for 5 days in any given week, you're often paying a minimum of £90 just to be paid. And this has a big impact on your take home pay. Your other agency could say your daily rate of pay is £145 per day, however after paying these umbrella company fees & taxes you actually take home less than if you were on £130 per day being paid directly by your agency (or PAYE.)


Total that up over the term; if you work 12 weeks over a school term you're paying over £1000 in fees that you don't have to. Over £700 of that is a fee that your agency should be paying, but because they got you to register with an umbrella company they are making you responsible for the fee. 


In dollar terms £700 equals about $1500; that can be double the cost of a one way flight from Sydney to London. And you're paying that fee because your agency has required you to join an umbrella company. If you work an entire year in the UK, that's nearly $5000 that you have paid that you didn't need to. And for what; the promise of a one-way flight covered by your agency worth $500?


So the next time you see an agency offer you a free flight to London, just remember that it isn't free. You'll be paying for it during your time in the UK - and then some. 


Protocol Education do not require teachers to register with an umbrella company to work in the UK. If for whatever reason you choose to do so we will still pay you, however our default option for employess is to be paid by our in house PAYE payroll department.  We have our own payroll department and pay you directly - not through an outsourced umbrella company - so your take home pay is maximised when you work with Protocol Education.


For more information on pay, umbrella companies and travelling to teach in the UK please contact the Australian team today.



Tags: Teaching in London, Teaching Agencies for Australians in the UK, Teaching Agencies for Australians in England, Teaching Agencies for Australians in London

Category: Australian Teachers

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