Coming from South Africa where democracy and the right to personal liberty and freedom has been an on-going battle for many years, you may be surprised to discover that Europeans place less emphasis on personal freedom and democracy and more emphasis on the state’s role to ensure that every citizen is cared for and that no one is in need.
One of the reasons that a South African loves to live abroad is that they are regarded as a nation of hard workers who are prepared to work 40 hours a week and even longer if the job demands it. Europeans favour fewer working hours a week and employee-friendly labour laws are in place to ensure that employees enjoy a good work/life balance.
South Africans are used to 15 days holiday every year, but you will be happy to discover that most European companies can offer up to 25 days holiday and they are actively encouraged to take their vacation time!
Question examples :
Check to see that the recruitment agency is registered with the local Chamber of Commerce and, if possible, contact the company offering the job on a landline to confirm that they are recruiting, and that the conditions of employment are those promised by the recruitment agency.
Ensure that you are travelling with the correct and legal documentation to work in the country of destination. Most countries will require you to apply for a working visa if you intend to work in the country.
The contract should be in a language you can read, and stipulate your wages and deductions, your duties, working hours and breaks, benefits, leave and procedures for resignation or termination.
Before leaving home, make sure you have the contact details for your country's Embassy or High Commission or Consulate-General in the country in which you wish to find employment.
Before you work abroad, know your rights, and how to protect them. Be sure to investigate the minimum wages and other conditions of employment in the country to which you're travelling.
It is illegal for an employer to ask to hold onto your passport for any reason and you should never agree to do so, regardless of whether this is stipulated in an employment contract.
Once you have arrived in your country of destination, contact your local embassy and report that you are in the country. Also contact friends and family at home and let them know that you are safe and give them your contact details.
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