UK enjoys lower employment costs than EU counterparts

The
UK’s employment costs are much lower than its main competitors in the EU,
according to a new survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

The
study shows that the UK’s average employment costs at 35, 638 euros/£23,047 are
well below those of other north European states such as France, Belgium and
Germany, and are slightly lower than the median cost across all 15 EU states of
36,132 euros/£23,367.

At
the extreme, France’s average employment costs are as high as 48,445 euros
(£31,329), while Greece’s are just 13,718 euros (£8,871).

In
between, there are significant cost differences that could influence business
investment and labour relations.

The
average annual cost of employment in the EU is 34,143 euros (£23,606).

David
Formosa, European principal at Mercer, said: "The introduction of the euro
has added greater transparency of employment costs across the EU.  This will encourage employers to look at pay
and benefit strategies on a pan-European basis."

He
added: "The ease of moving certain manufacturing and service industries
from one state to another means employment costs are becoming more crucial in
business investment decisions."

Despite
the high cost of benefit provision in the EU, employment costs are still more
than 35 per cent lower than in the US and some 60 per cent lower than in
Japan. 

Formosa
said: "With employment costs relatively low, the EU can be an attractive
place for multinationals to operate. 
Outside investment is still needed, especially from US companies, to
help reduce the EU’s high levels of unemployment."

By Ben Willmott

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