We’re in our twentieth year of supporting life sciences consultants to achieve career success. After working with hundreds of consultants on thousands of projects, we’ve come across nearly every situation or query a contractor can face.
When it comes to planning for the future, here are some of the areas we are often asked about:
There is a preconception that working as a contractor will stop you from getting a new mortgage. Even if this once had a grain of truth to it, it’s not the case any longer, and certainly not in Ireland. Banks and other lenders now recognise that consulting is a strong and stable career choice – with life sciences consulting being a particularly strong market in Ireland.
We see our consultants gaining approval for mortgages at a very similar rate to permanent employees. Particular points to note include:
- Loan-to-income requirements should be the same as an applicant in permanent employment.
- As with any applicant, evidence of savings, low personal debts and good credit rating will be crucial.
- Most lenders will request two to three years’ evidence of income, though there are some that will accept one year’s accounts. Clearly, the higher your income over this time, the better, so you may wish to limit breaks between contracts if you’re considering applying for a mortgage, to maximise your chances of success.
How LSC can help: If you’re thinking about applying for a mortgage or remortgage, we can help you by recommending a specialist broker experienced in mortgages for people working as consultants. We can also provide a reference letter to lenders, confirming details of your history of contracting, and potential for future employment as a consultant.
Maternity, paternity and parental leave
As a contractor, you have the same statutory rights to maternity, paternity, adoptive and parent’s leave and benefits. Benefits are paid subject to PRSI contributions, and requirements differ depending on whether you are self-employed or employed, so you will need to check your contributions if you intend on applying for these.
How LSC can help: We can give you advice on taking maternity, paternity, adoptive, parent’s or parental leave. If you’re working on a PAYE basis with LSC, we’ll manage all your applications for you and walk you through the process.
Part-time and home working
One of the huge benefits of working as a consultant has always been the added flexibility it brings. And within the last few years, we’ve seen attitudes to working practices change across the board. Following Covid-19, more people are looking to work flexibly, including part-time and remote working. In our experience, companies don’t differentiate between their permanent employees and contractors when it comes to these requests. We’ve worked with many of our consultants at every stage, from interview through to mid-contract, to achieve the balance they want.
How LSC can help: We can advise on the latest working practices and support you through any requests for flexible working, including part-time and remote working. We will also support you with ergonomic advice, training and assessments for home-working, should you need it.
An advantage of working as a consultant is that you can choose the ‘retirement’ that suits you. Want to slow down a little, but not stop working entirely? Hoping to take a career break? Or possibly continue doing the occasional short project post-retirement? All these options are open to you.
How LSC can help: We can recommend specialist brokers and advisors to help you with the financial side of planning for retirement. We enjoy celebrating with our consultants when they reach retirement, but also love to stay in touch. We regularly facilitate retirees that want to continue to take on short projects, or come back to work after taking a break.
Need help planning for the future?
If you need advice on any of the above, feel free to contact us here