The Real Costs - Virtual Assistant vs. Employee

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One of the main questions we get asked as VA's is, 'what are the benefits of are hiring a Virtual Assistant vs. an employee?'. With that in mind, we wanted to shed some more light into the debate that is 'VA vs Employee'

The main benefits to employers are:

* No tax, national insurance or pension contributions made

* No sickness, holiday or employment benefits to cover

* Flexible working hours

* Cost effective solutions, saving money on overheads

* More time to focus on business growth by delegating your administrative duties

* Only pay for the time that you need support, no more paying for chit-chat at the water fountain.

Hiring a VA is cheaper than doing the job yourself or taking on a permanent staff member and here is why:

Scenario 1

You have built up a successful business and lets say you charge £100 per hour for your services and you think it’s cheaper to do everything yourself. The real cost for you to do 20 hours’ worth of admin each week is £2,000.

Now consider our charge of £28 per hour. If we take over the admin, it costs you a mere £560 per week. You are able to charge your services out for £2,000 during the same period – meaning £1,440 more income for the business.

Scenario 2

Lets say you charge your hourly rate is £100 and you think it would be better to take on a permanent member of staff to help.

At 35 hours per week and £10 per hour, you think this will cost you £350 per week. But then there are employer’s NI contributions, taking the cost to £376.91 per week (or an annual salary of £19,599.32). Then there are the costs of your time for advertising and interviewing. If you use a recruitment consultancy, you’ll have to pay 20% of the 1st year’s salary -£3,919.86.

But there is far more than this – all the associated costs (and stress!):

* Sick pay – An average of 8 days per year according to the Confederation of British Industry.

* Maternity & Paternity leave and pay – including the cost of maternity pay and cover for the work. Maternity pay is currently 90% of average weekly earnings for 6 weeks, followed by 33 weeks at the lower of £137 or 90% of average weekly earnings.

* Holiday pay – Covering an employee’s absence for a minimum of 28 days a year.

* Training costs and time – Average of £220 per year according to the CID.

* Equipment, IT and office space costs – Average £3,288 per employee according to a Coventry University study.

* Pension contributions – A statutory minimum employer contribution of 3% of the employee’s salary will be in force from 2018.

* Wasted time – A 2007 survey by found that 1.7 hours of an 8.5 hour day were classed by employees as wasted time.

So, let’s look at the figures again:

Working days per year 261

Minus 28 days holiday 233

Minus 20% wasted time 186

Minus 8 days paid sick leave 178

Minus 5 days training 173


Salary £19,599.32

Recruitment £3,919.86

Training £220.00

Equipment, IT, Office space £3,288.00

Cover for training/sick/holiday £2,870

Pension contributions £587.98

Total £30,485.16

So 173 (days) x 7hrs = 1,211 hours

At £30,485.16 that costs £25.17 per hour

We haven’t even touched on the other costs like overtime, Health and Safety, time spent on HR, payroll and grievance issues. Then there are the times when you just don’t need someone as it’s a quiet week.

That’s where we fly in! We’re target driven, we’re only as good as our satisfied clients. We’re masters of flexibility and don’t tie you in to anything. We won’t be chatting around the coffee machine, making personal calls in your time or leaving early when you’re not in the office. We put you first and we work when you need us. If you need extra hours

this week, that’s fine. If you’re having a quiet spell, we’ll understand, you won’t be paying for us to kill time. Productivity is our superpower!

We hope this helps with your question and we would be happy to discuss this further or answer any other questions you may have, please get in touch...

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