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Does it make sense to move from the UK to Wroclaw for this salary?


Kiltmaker 3 | 20
14 Oct 2009 #1
Hi there.

I'm an experienced IT professional currently working in the UK.
Recently, I've been offered a job in a "famous global corporation" in Wroclaw with the compensation package of 4500 PLN Gross per month + standard benefits (insurance, etc) + relocation/visa assistance (I'm not an EU national and require a work permit for Poland).

Taking into account that my current salary (in British pounds) is much higher than offered in Poland, I have 2 questions:

- How much will I pocket per month (i.e. net salary after taxes)?
- What is 4500 PLN Gross for Wroclaw? (I earn more now, but prices in the UK are higher as well)

What do you think about this? Should I go for the "lower" salary?

Cheers.
OsiedleRuda
14 Oct 2009 #2
Depends on your reasons for moving, really.

Financially, it makes little sense, because your disposable income will be way lower than in the UK, despite the lower cost of living (in some things at least).

But if you simply feel that it may be a good idea to move somewhere totally different, and practice your profession at a salary which, although not high, is still above-average locally, then it's worth doing.

You are fortunate to be in such a position, because although I am fluent in Polish and of Polish origin, I could never make such a move myself, as my profession doesn't pay a living wage in Poland. Whereas here in the UK, I earn well above average for the UK.

You will be able to live OK on this, because many locals earn much less, and manage. The problem is that expats often refuse to live a "local" lifestyle, and complain that they "can't live" on a salary which locals would consider a very good salary.

Someone who lives in Poland will need to let you know re: current tax rates, but I think you probably need to knock about 40% off to get something near the current "net" salary. It won't leave you a lot compared to the UK, but you won't be paying £800/month for a 1-bedroom flat over there either ;)
gumishu 11 | 5,148
14 Oct 2009 #3
if you earn less than 7100zl before tax per month you will be just taxed 18% of the salary (as of 2009 - but most probably this will be the same next year)

and it's your employer whose task is to deduce the tax
OsiedleRuda
14 Oct 2009 #4
what about ZUS though?
olito 6 | 53
14 Oct 2009 #5
- What is 4500 PLN Gross for Wroclaw? (I earn more now, but prices in the UK are higher as well)

Dude, I just moved to Wroclaw a few days ago, got a job offer and decided to come.

Things over here are not SO CHEAP as you would think, I have been looking for a flat, and so far I have not found anything under 1500zl/month. If you get 4500zl brutto, you will have something like 3100zl in your pocket, meaning half of your salary will go for leasing a flat.

Food is not cheap as well, if you eat at home everyday and drink a beer from time to time, you will be giving something like 1000zl per month. Monthly transport card costs around 90zl. That leaves you with 300-400zl for "anything else". Clothes are expensive here (sometimes more than the UK), for instance a pair of H&M jeans will cost you around 200zl.

So go figure out the kind of living you might get with that salary. If you need more details, let me know.

Good luck!

p.s. most of us are here in Poland for personal reasons and not economical ones, so the question goes back to what OsiedleRuda said "Depends on your reasons for moving, really."
OP Kiltmaker 3 | 20
14 Oct 2009 #6
Guys/gals, thanks for your replies.

I have a good job as IT guy in an American Bank in the UK. Company paid for my relocation and a work permit some time ago. So situation here is quite stable (despite all these financial problems).

The reason for relocation is the personal one: I have a Polish partner + baby, and we think it might be a good idea to move to Poland to be closer to her parents. Jobs perspective for my partner is better in Poland too (she is an architect), as jobs market for architects in the UK has reduced dramatically.

The key factor for us is to get a good job in Poland for me. I do not speak Polish although will be able to speak it fluently within a year (not sure about writing though :)

So, no good job in Poland = no relocation. It is just this company who offered 4,5k zloty gross is considered to be "one of the best employers in the world", so there is a benefit to work for them as well. The question is, does it makes sense to start from the beginning with 4,5k zloty gross after Banking IT job in the UK...

It is always more difficult to choose when you have a choice!
jwojcie 2 | 763
14 Oct 2009 #7
Kiltmaker, if you are experienced IT professional then 4500 gross is way to low in Wroclaw. Last time I've check it was more like 6000 - 7000 (software devs) gross medium salary in IT sector in Wroclaw. I wonder who is that "one of the best employers in the world" who pays such ****** money? I mean ok, Poland is low income country, but they've just crossed the line, even small companies has to pay more for experienced engineer here...

PS. On the second thought (or rather after reading your second post), if you are more like "IT guy" then as far as I know it is in general less paid position in Poland than software development. So maybe 4500 is current market price...
olito 6 | 53
14 Oct 2009 #8
does it makes sense to start from the beginning with 4,5k zloty gross after Banking IT job in the UK...

Well well, don't feel biased only by economical matters, life in Poland can also be quite satisfying, specially if you have a good polish partner/family/friends. However, it is hard over here, very hard to have the kind of life you are used to in the "western world".

Keep trying, I am also IT specialist and took me around 5 months to find my current job, I was also offered 4000zl at some point in this job-hunt and denied. Keep in mind that many many people in Poland survive on even lower salaries.

Keep trying if you feel this is the next move in your life!
andrewwright 8 | 65
14 Oct 2009 #9
I was offered a job as a coach driver for 2000zl a month + extra for saturdays 1 year ago when i moved to poland and thought i could earn more than that,Then many months later i found out that was a good wage for where i live and wished i would have taken that job,

Now i am still not working in poland Full time

Dont be fooled! Do what you think and believe what is right for you and your family

goodluck

KiltMaker
delphiandomine 83 | 18,191
15 Oct 2009 #10
Food is not cheap as well, if you eat at home everyday and drink a beer from time to time, you will be giving something like 1000zl per month.

Nonsense. Food costs are ridiculously cheap in Poland - a kilo of chicken breasts is about 13zl at the moment, and that's in the city.

I can knock up a huge pot of spaghetti bolognaise, made from nothing but fresh ingredients (except the spaghetti itself) and without skimping on anything for less than 20zl - and that's enough to feed 4 people for two dinners without being greedy about portion size. Heck, a kilo of tomatoes is as cheap as 1.20zl at the moment.

You can get 6 cans of beer (enough to get any non-strong beer drinker ruined) for less than 20zl.

Of course, if you buy frozen food constantly and don't cook from fresh, you will end up spending 1000zl a month easily. But anyone that can cook, or at least someone that isn't afraid to try will find Poland incredibly cheap for food.

Having said all this - 4500PLN gross seems terribly low, unless the working conditions are beyond fantastic. I'm not one of those expats who claims that there are huge salaries everywhere to be found - but unless it's for an 'infomatik' type job, it seems on the low side.
olito 6 | 53
15 Oct 2009 #11
Nonsense.

He said he would be moving with his partner + baby, do you really think he will be able to give out less than 1000zl/month for food???
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893
15 Oct 2009 #12
I can knock up a huge pot of spaghetti bolognaise, made from nothing but fresh ingredients (except the spaghetti itself) and without skimping on anything for less than 20zl - and that's enough to feed 4 people for two dinners without being greedy about portion size.

So you eat the same thing 2 days on the run and have measly portions to stretch it out? The fella has a wife and a baby, have you any idea how much nappies cost? Or are you proposing he uses terry nappies? Have you any idea how it cost to cloth a baby (Im not talking about designer here either)?

So living like a complete pauper, excluding utilities and travel, you'd still spend about 500 per month on food..That doesnt sound right to me, Ive been to Poland 3 times 2 of those times I stayed in an apartment and went to the shops for ham and bread and a few other things,to be quite honest I was quite shocked, It wasnt a lot cheaper than in the UK, yet you expect this guy to live on less than (probably) half of what he earns in the UK? I suppose he'll just have to get used it...
WarkaWarka
15 Oct 2009 #13
I've been living in Wroclaw for two years now and 4500pln is fine. Most of the people I know earn about 2500 pln per month or less. That being said, these people don't have any children but then again you also have a partner who may find some work as well. So you will have possibly two incomes.

If you get an apartment out of the center you'll easily be able to cover rent and food for the month on 4500 pln. Also if you are moving to be closer to her parents then you may receive some huge shipments of food from her mother which might serve to lessen the impact of buying all the food yourselves.

That famous global corporation in Wroclaw wouldnt happen to be Hewlett Packard or Google would it?
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
15 Oct 2009 #14
I do not speak Polish although will be able to speak it fluently within a year

I'm not saying you won't but do you have any idea what it takes to become actually fluent in another language? Not just ask for crap in a shop or speak with a sympathetic listener but be able to function smoothly 100% all day in a foreign language? If you pull that off then hats off to you sir!
olito 6 | 53
15 Oct 2009 #15
I've been living in Wroclaw for two years now and 4500pln is fine.

If you say so... "fine" has different meanings for people.
time means 5 | 1,310
15 Oct 2009 #16
ham and bread and a few other things,to be quite honest I was quite shocked,

Me too

You can get 6 cans of beer (enough to get any non-strong beer drinker ruined) for less than 20zl.

Same in the UK and i am not talking the rats **** variety.

"fine" has different meanings for people

Very true.

If you get an apartment out of the center

The centre is the nicest bit though.
delphiandomine 83 | 18,191
15 Oct 2009 #17
He said he would be moving with his partner + baby, do you really think he will be able to give out less than 1000zl/month for food???

Easily. But if he has to buy 'branded' baby food (which is absolutely terrible in general, due to all the 'additions') and branded frozen meals, then he'll hit 1000zl easily. As I said - if you make your own food (including baby food, which is very easy to do!) - you can do it for far less.

Remeber, the minimum wage for a couple in Poland is under 2000zl. If you 'can't possibly live on less than 1000zl a month' - how are they doing it?

So you eat the same thing 2 days on the run and have measly portions to stretch it out? The fella has a wife and a baby, have you any idea how much nappies cost? Or are you proposing he uses terry nappies? Have you any idea how it cost to cloth a baby (Im not talking about designer here either)?

You can freeze the food so it's not the same thing 2 days in a row. You know, freezers aren't really a luxury here anymore ;)

As for nappies - he can use reusable ones and be environmentally responsible. Given the news reports about the Arctic being ice-free in Summer within 10 years, it would certainly be the most sensible option.

Clothing a baby? Not much. I see clothes on sale in my local shops for very little - you can clothe a baby for around 30zl easily. It won't be the most amazing clothes ever - but the point is that it can be done. The clothes are certainly functional and only 'brand' snobs would turn their nose at them.

That doesnt sound right to me, Ive been to Poland 3 times 2 of those times I stayed in an apartment and went to the shops for ham and bread and a few other things,to be quite honest I was quite shocked, It wasnt a lot cheaper than in the UK

Which shops and where? The only place I've ever seen ham and bread on a comparable price to the UK was in Alma - and 95% of people don't shop there. My local bakery sells enough bread for a family of 3 for about 1.50zl or so that's good for 2 days.

I think there was a quote by Wroclaw Boy of all people who said on here that in the UK, he'll buy 200g of ham. In Poland, he'll buy 2kg. That sums up the difference in prices quite nicely, I feel!

Sure, the cheapest food in the UK will be on a comparable price with the decent stuff here - but you're comparing Tesco Value quality in the UK to M&S quality in Poland.
OsiedleRuda
15 Oct 2009 #18
I think there was a quote by Wroclaw Boy of all people who said on here that in the UK, he'll buy 200g of ham. In Poland, he'll buy 2kg. That sums up the difference in prices quite nicely, I feel!

I find this extremely hard to believe; the last pack of ham I bought in PL was about 3,50PLN (about £0.75) and I think that was about 200g. That would be £0.99 in Morrisons.

The last loaf of bread I bought in PL was 1,50 PLN (about £0.33). Probably about £1.00 for something similar over here.

Sounds cheap? Well, to Western eyes, yes. But bear in mind that in PL I would have £300/month to live on, whereas here I would have 6-8 times as much. Affordability needs to be taken into account, and what we think is "cheap", is unlikely to be for the average Pole.
delphiandomine 83 | 18,191
16 Oct 2009 #19
I find this extremely hard to believe; the last pack of ham I bought in PL was about 3,50PLN (about £0.75) and I think that was about 200g. That would be £0.99 in Morrisons.

The crucial part is 'pack of ham'. Sealed packs here tend to be overpriced compared to buying it from the local butcher. You should know this, surely?

But bear in mind that in PL I would have £300/month to live on, whereas here I would have 6-8 times as much. Affordability needs to be taken into account, and what we think is "cheap", is unlikely to be for the average Pole.

Of course - and this is why saying that 'you can't live on 1000zl a month for food' is nonsense when the average minimum wage Pole isn't likely to be able to afford such.

I would be shocked if some families in Poland spend 500zl a month on food, let alone 1000zl.
OsiedleRuda
16 Oct 2009 #20
The crucial part is 'pack of ham'. Sealed packs here tend to be overpriced compared to buying it from the local butcher. You should know this, surely?

Yes, but 2kg of ham surely doesn't cost 10PLN at the butcher?

And who needs 2kg of ham anyway? Is that why RevokeLisbon keeps calling WB a fat ****? ;) lol

I would be shocked if some families in Poland spend 500zl a month on food, let alone 1000zl.

Agreed. Last time I was there, 60PLN was more than enough for a whole week, and that included buying quite a few overpriced supermarket items (like ready-made placki, etc) to make sure I didn't waste anything. I think I could have almost halved that price if I had been there for a month (mind you, I can cook, which helps).
OP Kiltmaker 3 | 20
16 Oct 2009 #21
Interesting discussion here...

Type of work is a bit different:
- in the UK I'm an application developer in a bank.
- role in Poland is an overseas customer service in global IT company (I also speak another foreign language I'd be supporting customers with).

So it might be reasonable, that Polish firm doesn't want to pay for my IT/development skills despite they want you to be from IT background.

Even though, I'd expect double of what they offered taking into account my educational background (British University) and 7 years of experience in IT environment...

Dilemma :)
db1874 7 | 227
16 Oct 2009 #22
I think you would struggle to be honest, if you've been earning say 25-30K GBP a year gross in the UK then it would be quite a drop in standards for you to survive on 4500zl gross a month here.

I'm an application developer here too in Warsaw, the IT salaries being offered in Poland were around 10-15k zl a month gross (for specialised skills) until the credit crunch hit.
delphiandomine 83 | 18,191
16 Oct 2009 #23
Agreed. Last time I was there, 60PLN was more than enough for a whole week, and that included buying quite a few overpriced supermarket items (like ready-made placki, etc) to make sure I didn't waste anything. I think I could have almost halved that price if I had been there for a month (mind you, I can cook, which helps).

This is the thing really - if you can't cook or don't have the time to cook, I can see Poland being incredibly expensive compared to the salaries. Baby food for instance - if you make your own, it's likely to cost next to nothing, especially if you just give the baby what's available seasonally. But if you buy the jars of branded stuff, you could easily go through quite a lot of money that way.
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893
16 Oct 2009 #24
Baby food for instance - if you make your own, it's likely to cost next to nothing, especially if you just give the baby what's available seasonally. But if you buy the jars of branded stuff, you could easily go through quite a lot of money that way.

Same in any country.

Even though, I'd expect double of what they offered taking into account my educational background (British University) and 7 years of experience in IT environment...

I dont think having a British eduction means a thing, you do not speak Polish so you are at a dissadvantage straight away...7 years in one profession isnt exactly something to shout about either...

Good luck
Ziemowit 13 | 3,981
16 Oct 2009 #25
Heck, a kilo of tomatoes is as cheap as 1.20zl at the moment.

Have just come back from a shop ... 5,40 zł for a kilo of tomatoes

Yes, but 2kg of ham surely doesn't cost 10PLN at the butcher?

A kilogram of excellent ham from a country butcher (nothing to do with the stuff they sell at Tesco) at the same shop near an Auchan hipermarket in Warsaw is 33,60 zł ...

Kiltmaker
They may want you more in the UK than in Poland, that's why the 4500 zł brutto a month? As ShelleyS says, since you do not speak Polish you will be at the "mercy" of your employer ...
jwojcie 2 | 763
16 Oct 2009 #26
Type of work is a bit different:
- in the UK I'm an application developer in a bank.
- role in Poland is an overseas customer service in global IT company (I also speak another foreign language I'd be supporting customers with).

Yeap, that is the reason. Customer service is not the top paid position in IT in Poland.

Even though, I'd expect double of what they offered taking into account my educational background (British University) and 7 years of experience in IT environment...

British university is not perceived in Poland as better than good Polish university unless it is top British university.

If you aren't time pressured you should wait a while because IBM is going to open new branch in Wroclaw in the begining of next year. I think they will start hiring soon. Target size of this branch is 3000 employes. IBM itself could be good oportunity, besides it will pressure local job market. (unless this "famous global corporation" is IBM :-) In that case I think they will have problems with finding those 3000 specialists)
OsiedleRuda
16 Oct 2009 #27
Have just come back from a shop ... 5,40 zł for a kilo of tomatoes

A kilogram of excellent ham from a country butcher (nothing to do with the stuff they sell at Tesco) at the same shop near an Auchan hipermarket in Warsaw is 33,60 zł ...

Now that looks more like the kind of price I would expect, and is also much closer to UK prices ;)

Maybe WB was lucky, and managed to get the ham from the market stall before SANEPID turned up :)
delphiandomine 83 | 18,191
16 Oct 2009 #28
Have just come back from a shop ... 5,40 zł for a kilo of tomatoes

I've just went and looked at my local shops (one minute walk away!). Cheapest available is 1.50zl at the moment in the two shops nearby, with premium, large, perfect tomatoes available (probably the best you can buy from the wholesalers) for 3.90zl. There's also others available for 2zl and 2.50zl a kilo. And this is in the middle of a random osiedle in Poznan - where prices are quite a bit higher than from the main fruit/vegetable 'ryneks' - maybe about 20% higher or so.

Of course, if you buy ham from the expensive butcher with a 'brand' and imported vegetables from the supermarket, you'll pay more. But for the ordinary person living an ordinary life - prices are much lower.
OP Kiltmaker 3 | 20
16 Oct 2009 #29
The position in Poland does not require Polish language at all. They need English (official corporate language) + foreign language I know.

I understand that it is a career change (Banking IT -> IT Company Customer Support), and less technical skills are required in latter.

Maybe I'll need to wait for IBM :)
delphiandomine 83 | 18,191
16 Oct 2009 #30
I understand that it is a career change (Banking IT -> IT Company Customer Support), and less technical skills are required in latter.

From what I know, the salary is actually quite decent for what it is. It might be rubbish compared to UK salaries, but Poland is quite considerably poorer ;)


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