Europe may call itself unified, but its member nations still have separate tax and social-security structures that contribute to the costs of employing people there. And benefits mandated in some countries are voluntary in others, giving employers room to negotiate.

For every 100 local currency units spent on salary:

Additional employment costs* Employer's voluntary contribution to benefits
Belgium 101 7
France 78 1
Germany 87 8
Ireland 57 15
Luxembourg 49 1
United Kingdom 46 16
United States 50 17

*Includes income tax, employer's and employee's social-security contribution, and employee's mandatory and voluntary contributions to other benefits.

Source: The 1994 Guide to Pensions and Labour Law in Europe, Sedgwick Noble Lowndes, Chicago, April 1994.

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