Virtual Assistant vs Employee – Costs Comparison

Virtual Assistant vs Employee – Costs Comparison

The Costs of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Perhaps one of the reasons you haven’t yet delegated some work to a Virtual Assistant is cost.  You think you can’t afford one as you have only just started in business, or their hourly rate, at first, looks too high. Yet a Virtual Assistant can actually help you save and, indeed, make money.

Let’s look first at saving money

Hiring a VA is very different from hiring an in-house PA in many respects.  Firstly, we work virtually so you don’t have to spend money on a desk, computer, printer or stationery.   Whilst a VA will work with you, they will also have other clients and whilst they are working with those other clients, they are not billing you.  You only pay for the time a VA spends working on your projects.  Online calculators of employee costs tend to allow for 10 minutes per hour for wasted/unproductive time – that’s 5 hours 50 minutes a week costing you nearly £100 in salary alone!

If you were to a hire a PA, even on a part time basis, you will be required to operate a payroll, pay Employers National Insurance Contributions (NICS), pension contributions, statutory sick pay and report on PAYE matters to HMRC.  On top of that there may be recruitment costs, training costs, software licenses, mobile phone costs and healthcare.  None of these are payable when you work with a VA.

Below are the basic costs of hiring an in-house employee versus a VA


  Employee Virtual Assistant
Hours Per Week 15 15**
Hourly Rate £20 £25
Salary/Yearly Pay £15,600 £17,250
Employers NIC £1,177.64 £0
Pension* £97.80 £0
Annual Cost £16,875.44 £17,250
Sick pay £88.45 £0
Software licences £1,500 £0
Training £500 £0
Computer/IT Support £500 £0
Recruitment £500 £0
Consumables £100 £0
Bonus £500 £0
Administrative o/heads £1000 £0
TOTAL £21,563.89 £17,250


* minimum contribution up to March 2018

** for illustration purposes.  In reality you would probably use a VA for far less hours in a week.

Add on possible other costs such as healthcare, facility costs, computer acquisition and your own management supervision time costs, etc and you could be well in excess of £25,000, nearly 45% more than the comparable VA costs.

By only paying for the time you need a VA with none of the associated employee and employer costs, you can see that a VA will save your company money.

Let’s look at making money

If you are sole trader, and particularly if you are just starting out, you may feel you don’t have any budget for a VA.  

However, if you are charging by the hour yourself, for example you are a health and wellbeing therapist or coach, then all the time you are doing admin rather than seeing clients, you are not earning.

Delegate a task to a VA, however, and you are free to make money.

For example, you charge £60 per hour for a coaching session/treatment.   If you pay a VA £25 an hour to sort out your admin, schedule social media posts, or email marketing, rather than doing it yourself, you are free then to earn that £60.  After costs, you have made £35.  That’s £35 more than if you spent that time doing your own admin.   You’ll also have more client time and more time to grow your business.

Doing your admin and social media management is not your key expertise but it is a VA’s.  You probably didn’t start your business to spend 15 hours a week writing blogs, raising invoices and managing Facebook.  A Virtual Assistant did just that.

You won’t require a VA every day, all day.  Just utilise a VA’s services and experience as and when you need; most are very happy to do ad hoc projects in addition to the work from their retainer clients.

So a Virtual Assistant is an investment in your business, helping you to make more money and enabling your business to grow.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign-up to Our Newsletter

Don’t miss out! Receive our fabulous weekly newsletter showcasing our trusted businesses, events, offers and blogs. We’ll also send you information about our upcoming networking events.

Join our Facebook group