International contractor demand across Europe

International contractor demand

4th August 2021

With travel restrictions easing across the EU and the introduction of a digital EU passport now making it easier for vaccinated travellers to move around more freely, international contractors will be able to take advantage of the many global opportunities for contract work in member states. The need for specialist skills continues to grow, which bodes well for the remainder of 2021.

As Stefanie Cook, Sales Director at 6CATS International, stresses, “International contractor placements have significantly spiked recently and June was the busiest month for enquiries that we’ve seen in the last 18 months. This demand isn’t just being driven by recruiters that have long tapped into international markets though. In fact, we’re seeing an increase in the number of recruitment businesses that have traditionally been UK focused turning to overseas markets for the first time.”

Spain leads the way

While there are no particular trends sector wise, Spain continues to be the prime location of choice, followed by France, Germany, Poland and Norway. Cook adds, “While there’s no stand out sector that’s leading contractor demand at the moment, there’s a real geographical trend that we’re seeing, with Spain top of the list once again for contractor management solutions. As restrictions continue to be eased and the feasibility of vaccine passports in some locations becomes increasingly viable, we expect to see this demand continue to grow throughout the second half of the year.”

So, what’s the latest travel news for these top five locations leading international contractor demand?

Despite Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto declaring in July that “Spain at this time can be considered a safe destination”, like for many other countries, the spread of Delta variants among the unvaccinated young is a cause for concern, particularly around Barcelona and the north east region of the country. The big worry for around six million UK tourists is that if Spain were to be added to the amber list of countries, they will have to quarantine for 10 days upon their return to home shores.

France also in July introduced stricter regulations for unvaccinated travellers from Spain, Portugal and the UK in a bid to curb the spread of Delta variants. The French parliament has also approved a law, at draft stage but that will become effective in August, obliging French citizens to be in possession of a COVID certificate or ‘pass sanitaire’, not only for travel purposes but also if they want to access venues such as restaurants and shopping centres.

International contractor demand in Europe grows

Germany has placed Spain, the Netherlands and Georgia on its list of high incidence areas. As of 26th  July, arrivals from these countries will have to show proof of vaccination, present a negative COVID test or evidence that they have recovered from the virus. Travellers from these three countries who have not been vaccinated will need to self-isolate for 10 days – this can be shortened to five days in case of a negative test. Germany does however allow restriction free travel for all EU member state visitors and a number of non-EU ‘third’ countries that have been deemed epidemiologically safe.

Authorities in Poland have now decided that all arrivals from non-Schengen Area countries must undergo an obligatory 10-day quarantine period.  “Currently, we can already see an increase in the share of new mutations of coronavirus among registered cases in Poland. The delta variant has also appeared in our country, but so far, it is only a few dozen cases. However, the situation related to new coronavirus mutations is dynamic,” warned Deputy Health Minister, Waldemar Kraska.

As of 26th  July, Norway has extended its restriction free entry to more travellers, including children of parents who hold the EU Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate. The relaxing of requirements also applies to those who are ‘spouses, registered partners or cohabitants, minors or adult children and step-children’ of Norwegian residents travelling to Norway. This also applies to EEA citizens if they are visiting a family member in Norway or travelling with a Norwegian member of their family. Unvaccinated travellers or those not fully recovered would still need to self-isolate.

The good news for contractors is that the uptick in economic activity will result in many more global opportunities for contract work across the EU although they must be aware of the latest travel restrictions. Adhering to local employment and tax laws remains essential, so if you need advice on compliant tax structures, insurance or any other related contractor employment matter, please get in touch with our 6CATS experts.

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