Hire employees and contractors in the United Kingdom

Remote’s guide to employing in the United Kingdom.

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  • Capital city

    London

  • Currency

    Pound sterling
    (£, GBP)

  • Population size

    67,886,004
    (2020 census)

  • Languages spoken

    English

  • 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

    London

  • Currency

    Pound sterling
    (£, GBP)

  • Languages spoken

    English

  • Population size

    67,886,004 (2020 census)

  • Ease of doing business

    Very easy

  • Cost of living index

    $$$$ (27 of 139 nations)

  • Payroll frequency

    Monthly

  • VAT - standard rate

    20%

  • 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.

Risks
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

Below are national public holidays applicable for all regions in this country. Remote customers have access to a detailed list of regional public holidays within the Remote platform. Sign up now to access all public holiday information.

Minimum Wage

In the United Kingdom, the National Living Wage depends on the age of the worker. In April 2022, the national minimum wages were updated to the following hourly rates:

  • 23 and over: £9.50
  • 21 to 22: £9.18
  • 18 to 20: £6.83
  • Under 18: £4.81
  • Apprentice: £4.81

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

Remote supports our clients by offering competitive benefits packages that will help you attract and retain the best talent across the globe! Our benefits specialists have done the research on norms and requirements in each local market and have crafted packages that will allow your employees to thrive, no matter what country they live in. 

Our benefits packages in the United Kingdom are tailored to fulfil 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

Local market insights

  • In the United Kingdom, 90%* of employers offer supplemental health insurance to their workforce. (*based on 3rd-party market research from our partners)
  • Although the country has a strong social system, supplemental health insurance provides employees with access to a wider range of options for providers and specialists, as well as significantly shorter wait times. Our plans also offer global coverage (excluding the US) to protect your employees when they are traveling outside their home country.

Our core benefits (which often include things like healthcare) are required in most countries where we hire. Because Remote is the employer of record, it’s important for us to offer the same core benefits to all employees in a country to ensure fair equity and non-discriminatory hiring practices, which protects your business and ours. Note that we do not add a markup on any benefits premiums or administration costs.

If you'd like specific information about our benefits packages in the UK, start onboarding your first employee with Remote today.

For more insight into fair equity and benefits best practices, download our Global Benefits Guide and share with the rest of your hiring team.

Calculate the cost to hire an employee
in the United Kingdom

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

    • 15.05% - 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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