Hire employees and contractors in the United Kingdom

Remote’s guide to employing in the United Kingdom.

  • Capital city


  • Currency

    Pound sterling
    (£, GBP)

  • Population size

    (2020 census)

  • Languages spoken


  • Availability

    Remote-Owned Local Entity

    We own our own entity in the countries where we operate to shield your company from risk and provide you and your employees with the signature Remote experience.

Facts & Stats

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK or U.K.) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north­western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), and the ninth-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). It has a high-income economy and a very high human development index rating, ranking 14th in the world.

  • Capital city


  • Currency

    Pound sterling
    (£, GBP)

  • Languages spoken


  • Population size

    67,886,004 (2020 census)

  • Ease of doing business

    Very easy

  • Cost of living index

    $$$$ (27 of 139 nations)

  • Payroll frequency


  • VAT - standard rate


  • GDP - real growth rate

    1.398% (2018 est.)

Grow your team in the United Kingdom with Remote

Employing in the United Kingdom requires employers to own a legal entity in the country and manage payroll, tax, benefits and compliance through their own in-country resources. The complexity of employment regulations in the UK makes full compliance with employment laws a burdensome process.

Through Remote’s Global Employer of Record solution, your team is employed by our local legal entities in each country, and we take care of payroll, tax, benefits and compliance so you can focus on what matters most -- your people.

of misclassification

The United Kingdom, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time workers differently and there are risks associated with misclassification.

Employing in the United Kingdom

People at work in the UK benefit from a minimum charter of employment rights, which are found in various Acts, Regulations, common law and equity. This includes the right to a minimum wage, paid holidays, break from work, limit to excessively long working hours, automatic enrolment in a basic occupational pension and provisions for leave.

The following are only guidelines in the broadest sense, and professional legal services are recommended when employing in the UK.

Public holidays

Holiday Name
Extra information
Monday, January 3, 2022New Year's Day
Friday, April 15, 2022Good FridayThis date changes annually.
Monday, April 18, 2022Easter MondayThis date changes annually
Monday, May 2, 2022Early May Bank HolidayFirst Monday of May
Thursday, June 2, 2022Spring Bank Holiday
Friday, June 3, 2022Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
Monday, August 29, 2022Summer Bank HolidayLast Monday of August
Monday, December 26, 2022Boxing Day
Tuesday, December 27, 2022Christmas Day HolidaySubstitute Day

Minimum Wage

In the United Kingdom, the National Living Wage depends on the age of the worker. In April 2021, the national minimum wages were updated to the following hourly rates:

  • 23 and over: £8.91
  • 21 to 22: £8.36
  • 18 to 20: £6.56
  • Under 18: £4.62

Payroll Cycle

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly installments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in the United Kingdom fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 8 working days.

Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.

For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.

Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.

Competitive benefits package in the United Kingdom

At Remote, we’re obsessed with helping you craft the best possible employee experience for your team. We are leading the way in practicing “fair equity,” which means making sure employees everywhere have access to both the required and supplemental benefits they need to thrive (and that will allow you to attract the best local talent).

Our benefits packages in United Kingdom are tailored to fulfill the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Mental Health Support
  • Pension or 401(K)
  • Life and Disability Insurance

In order to access specific information about our benefits packages in the United Kingdom, start onboarding your first employee with Remote today.

Taxes in the United Kingdom

Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in the United Kingdom.

  • Employer

    • Minimum 4% - Pension Fund

    • 13.80% - National Insurance Rate

    • £60.32 - Employer Liability Insurance

    • 0.50% - Monthly Apprentice Levy

  • Employee

    • Minimum 5% - Pension Fund

    • 0% - Up to 11,850

    • 20% - 11,850-46,350

    • 40% - 46,350-150,000

    • 45% - Over 150,000

    Questions about IR35 or UK contractors?
    Read Remote's guide to IR35 rules in the UK.

Types of leave

Statutory leave

Full-time workers in the UK are entitled to 28 total working days of annual leave. These often include the 8 public/bank holidays which would otherwise be unpaid.

Pregnancy and maternity leave

52 weeks, with the two first weeks mandatory for the mother. Comprised of ordinary maternity leave for the first 26 weeks and additonal for the last 26 weeks.

Parental/paternal leave

Employee can choose to take either one week or two weeks consecutive leave. Leave cannot start before the birth. Mother can transfer up to 50 weeks of leave to partner, with up to 37 weeks of pay between the couple.

Other leave

  • Time off work for public duties: intended to allow employees to fulfill certain public duties related to holding roles such as local councillor, school governor, trade union member, etc.
  • Time off for family and dependents: intended for unforeseen personal circumstances for which an employee has to take time off immediately. Has to be an emergency and involve a dependent.

Employment termination

Termination process

Termination from the employer valid grounds with any fair reasons. There are six potentially fair reasons for dismissals::

  • Employee's capability or qualifications for performing work of the kind the employee was employed to do;
  • Employee conduct;
  • Employee retirement;
  • Employee redundancy;
  • Employee could not continue work in position without contravening statutory duty or restriction; or
  • Other substantial reason justifying dismissal

Notice period

Notice period depends on the length of the employment relationship. For up to 4 years of employment, the notice period is no less than 1 month. For 5 to 11 years of employment, the notice period is no less than 1 week's notice for every year of completed year of continous employment. Above 12 years, it is no less than 3 months.

Probation periods

There is no legal stipulation for minimum and maximum probation periods and all statutory rights and protections apply from commencement of employment. Employers can set probationary periods in the employment contract. It is typical for a probationary period to last no longer than six months, and three months where an employee is moving to a new post internally.

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