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Old 10.02.2018, 23:03
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Advice on potential offer for contractor in pharma - Basel

Hi All,

This is another topic on a job offer details/salary... Sorry.. I did read some threads here and done my research though. I would still really appreciate your help as I'm not familiar with the Swiss market and contractor status specificity.

I am currently working in pharma in UK and have almost 2 years of experience with a pharm d.

I have now a final interview for a 1 year contract in pharma industry in Basel. The recruitment/payroll agency made me an estimation of a potential salary: 85 CHF/hour which I thought first was like ultra high.
But they are taking vacation off this sum as this is a contract and other deductions which bring the estimation to 135k gross salary / 7,8k per month net which seems still really good! (I'm not asking if I can live on this )

I understand: I cant compare directlly a gross salary from a permanent to a contractor (given vacation/deduction/bonus); I should be taxed directly; cost of living is higher; health insurance to be paid; need to relocate.
Trying to benchmark the market, permanent junior positions in my function, are around 100-120k CHF (+ benefit/bonus).

- Would you think this is OK for a contractor (with inherent risk associated to this status) compared to a similar permanent position for this market?
- Is there anything I should take into account as a contractor?
- Any clarification I should ask the agency?
- Any tips for salary negociation welcome!

I'm asking as I've made once the mistake of accepting a job without negociation (not enough market research + finding out later my colleagues had higher rates...). So if I get an offer, I will negotiate but I want to get the more info to have realistic expectations and be prepared this time!

Thanks a lot for your help!
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Old 10.02.2018, 23:37
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Re: Advice on potential offer for contractor in pharma - Basel

You've not much experience. 7,8k per month is quite acceptable, but nothing really great (is that after or before taxes? I suppose after taxes, which would make it quite a decent income for some (relatively) freshman)

If you want to get a feet in, take it.

If you want to get DIRECTLY onto a permanent position, pass on.

However, remember if you're a UK citizen, the clock is ticking VERY fast. Soon you'll be in the same queue as those Bangladeshi or Phillippino workers
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Old 11.02.2018, 09:18
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Re: Advice on potential offer for contractor in pharma - Basel

For four years experience, I'd expect about 100CHF per hour, so 85CHF for two year's experience sounds about right.
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Old 11.02.2018, 11:37
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Re: Advice on potential offer for contractor in pharma - Basel

Some items (need to relocate, cost of living, health insurance, etc) are equal if decision is perm vs contractor in CH, these are only issue if you have offer in hand for CH vs UK.
Assuming CH perm vs contractor decision, suggest you target +20% premium for vacation days, periods between assignments, etc. So IMHO rough CHF 100k permanent position corresponds to CHF 120k . Where perm position might be much better is if you get seriously sick, perhaps company contribution level to pension plan, or notice period.
Also IMHO contractor offer very realistic, maybe try negotiate up 5%, longer notice/renewal period, or restrictions on who else you can work for. As for market research on what others get - prudent but at end of the day, if company offers something and you agreed with free will, then be happy and don't compare yourself to others. Good luck!
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Old 12.02.2018, 21:25
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Re: Advice on potential offer for contractor in pharma - Basel

Thank you all for your responses! This is very helpful.

(Fortunately) I'm French, so no urge to move now to Switzerland in term of visa/paper.

I would actually prefer a permanent position, as I will soon reach out the end of my current contract, and prefer the perks and stability of a perm..
I'm also in the process for a permanent position, but still in UK. Will see though how it goes during those face to face interviews and hopefully will have the choice!
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Old 13.02.2018, 19:41
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Re: Advice on potential offer for contractor in pharma - Basel

That's quite a low rate, and the agency is probably taking a huge margin, but it's up to you what you're prepared to work for and how much you want to negotiate.
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Old 11.03.2018, 21:46
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Re: Advice on potential offer for contractor in pharma - Basel

I finally accepted the contract!

The recruiter actually made a lower offer, than his initial estimation... saying the company couldn't give more (or so he says)
I have negotiated a bit, but didn't get much; still a good contract and opportunity so i decided to go for it.

Excited to move soon to Basel, and hopefully paperwork will go smoothly...
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