Are you looking to hire your first employee in the UK?
The UK is ranked among the top ten best places in the world to do business. Foreign companies also benefit from the UK's flexible labour laws, which are not found elsewhere in Europe.
So how can Teamed, a global employer of record (EOR) company, help?
With our expertise in hiring in the UK, Teamed lets you onboard employees within 24 hours, which could take you months without a global EOR. We believe in retaining the human touch in this digital world, so one of our experts will personally guide your employees through the process.
Teamed takes care of all the complexities so you don’t have to worry about it. You can focus on what matters most–building a top-notch team!
Let’s have a closer look at the labour laws and hiring processes in the UK that you would have to navigate through if you didn’t have an EOR by your side. The idea is not to discourage you but to demonstrate the time, effort, and money needed to accomplish an undertaking of such massive proportions.
Hire UK Employees: Labour Laws and Regulations
Many non-European companies perceive the UK as a pivotal gateway to the European market. This strategic position is largely facilitated by the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which maintains their access to the EU market even post-Brexit. The UK's appeal is further enhanced by its English-speaking populace and a central time zone, which can be advantageous for business operations. As you focus on scaling your business, it's crucial to remain compliant with the local regulations.
Here are some key UK labour laws that prospective employers should familiarise themselves with:
1. UK Working hours
The maximum working hours per week is 40 hours over five days. Employees have the flexibility to distribute these hours across the weekdays, Monday to Friday.
If so inclined, they can also work beyond these limitations.
2. Localised employment contracts in the UK
In the UK, it's essential to kick off a working relationship with clear and straightforward agreements. According to the Employment Rights Act of 1996, you need to give your employees a written agreement that outlines the basics of their job.
This agreement should clearly state:
- What the job is and what it involves
- When they’ll start
- How much they’ll be paid and when
- Details about the company’s pension plan
- The rules they need to follow at the company
- The company’s policies on ending employment
By setting clear expectations from the start, you help build a trustworthy and straightforward working environment.
3. UK minimum wages
To make sure that the amount of pay given to workers is regulated, the UK government sets minimum wage rates for different age groups. UK minimum wages comprises two sets of rates - the National Living Wage (NLW) for people aged 23 years and over and the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for people below 23 years of age.
These rates are revised in April every year.
As of April 2023, here are the figures:
4. Paid parental leave in the UK
In the UK, expectant mothers have the right to take up to a full year—52 weeks—of maternity leave, regardless of their length of service with their employer. This isn't merely time off; it's accompanied by various legal protections and benefits to make the maternity journey as supportive as possible. Upon returning to work, women have the option to request flexible work schedules to better balance family and career. But let's not forget the dads—UK regulations also provide fathers with one to two weeks of paid paternity leave to bond with their newborns.
5. Right to paid time off in the UK
Full-time employees are entitled to 20 days of paid time off (PTO) annually, and that's on top of the eight recognised public holidays. But here's the deal: your PTO isn't a use-it-or-lose-it; annual leave allowances accumulate based on the employee's weekly work schedule, ensuring everyone will get the same benefits.
6. UK-specific employee benefits
In the UK, to attract and retain top talent, it's vital to offer certain key benefits to your employees. These include:
- Contributing to the National Insurance, which functions like social security,
- Enrolling them in the State Pension Fund,
- Providing Employer’s Liability Insurance, and
- Offering opportunities for paid professional development or training.
Additionally, many firms go a step further by offering private healthcare, a perk that can make your job offer even more appealing to prospective employees.
Now that you have a fair idea of the rules and regulations involved, let’s see how a typical hiring process works in the UK.
Hiring in the UK: Step-by-Step Process
Finding the ideal candidate for your company involves having a clear understanding of your expectations for the role.
In the sections that follow, we'll guide you through each step of the UK hiring process, ensuring you're well-prepared to secure the best person for your team.
After you've chosen the perfect candidate, Teamed is here to streamline the next steps, handling the onboarding, HR formalities, payroll, and other administrative tasks, allowing you to focus on what you do best.
1. Job Analysis and Role Definition
Hiring employees in the UK starts with job analysis and role definition.
Based on your analysis of workforce needs, you need to craft a detailed job description that outlines responsibilities, qualifications, and skills. Being precise is key.
Be careful to not allow your biases to creep in and make sure you’re setting realistic expectations.
UK legal obligations also demand that you comply with anti-discrimination laws and represent the nature of the job accurately.
To avoid tripping up on this legality, involve experienced stakeholders to help you craft the job description. Use neutral language and focus on the essential qualifications required to do the job.
2. Job Posting and Advertising
Once you have a good job description ready, you can advertise the opening on job boards, company websites, newspapers, and social media platforms. You can also partner with staffing agencies to handle the recruiting process for you.
To attract a diverse pool of candidates, post ads on websites that cater to specific demographics or industries, partner with diversity-focused organisations, or attend job fairs.
You can also roll out a referral program in your company to get trusted candidates.
3. Interviewing and Skill Assessments
Next, you invite shortlisted candidates for an interview to see if they are suitable for the role.
You should also take skill assessments to understand if the candidate can execute the required tasks.
Remember, the test must be fair and unbiased. It should measure required competencies and not favour specific candidate groups.
This is also a legal requirement (non-discrimination), which means you cannot ask questions related to protected characteristics.
4. Job Offer
Once you've chosen the right candidate, it's time to formalise the employment agreement. This crucial document delineates the terms and conditions of employment, including aspects such as salary, working hours, and holiday entitlements.
In the UK, the law mandates that employees receive a written contract within two months of their start date. However, it is generally considered best practice to have this contract drafted and signed before the employee commences their role. This contract should comprehensively detail the job title, assigned duties, work location, provisions for sick pay, pension arrangements, and the notice period required for termination. Contracts can be established on a permanent or fixed-term basis.
This is where Teamed steps in to streamline the process. We begin with a one-on-one consultation with your new hire, thoroughly explaining every facet of the onboarding process. Subsequently, we draft a contract that is both legally compliant and tailored to meet the specific needs of your company and the new employee. This contract, available in various languages, is then sent to the new hire for signature, paving the way for a smooth and successful initiation into your company.
Rest assured, our expertise ensures that every contract we draft is fully compliant with the prevailing employment laws in the UK, safeguarding both the employer and the employee's interests.
5. Onboarding and Paperwork
Navigating the intricacies of hiring in the UK on your own involves initiating a comprehensive onboarding session for new recruits. This session should be designed to educate your new starters with the company's policies and core values, as well as facilitating introductions to key team members and processes, including payroll, booking time off and setting up personal details.
The ultimate objective is to create a nurturing atmosphere where new hires can effortlessly assimilate into the company culture, feeling both appreciated and comfortable from the outset even if they might not be located in the same country as their other colleagues.
A crucial aspect of a smooth onboarding process when hiring in the UK is the prompt handling of all administrative paperwork. This is where Teamed stands out, promising personal and fast onboarding of your new employees, ensuring a seamless integration into your team.
How Can an EOR Help You Hire UK Employees?
They act as the legal employer of your employees and are responsible for HR, payroll, benefits, and compliance with labour laws.
Specifically, how can an EOR like Teamed help you hire employees in the UK?
Take a look.
1. Navigating UK Employment Contracts
EOR services handle contract complexities and cover roles, pay, hours, and more while following UK laws.
Teamed makes sure your contracts are legally sound and roles are clearly defined. Thus, you have the flexibility to customise the contract to suit your business.
2. EOR Payroll and Taxation Benefits
The UK payroll scene involves tax codes and regulatory demands like National Insurance.
EOR guarantees that there will be no errors in the tax calculations and deductions for your employees.
They also handle complex components like freelance taxes, ensuring accurate payments.
3. Employee Benefits and Well-being
EOR services also help you offer mandatory pensions and optional perks like health coverage, managing enrollment, deductions, and legal compliance.
This enhances well-being, job satisfaction, and fosters a positive workplace through comprehensive benefits.
4. Scaling Up with EOR
Whether you’re hiring seasonal workers, expanding into new markets, or managing temporary projects, an EOR service like Teamed gives you the flexibility to seize growth opportunities without the long-term commitments associated with traditional hiring.
Hire UK Employees Made Effortless with an EOR
Embarking on the journey of hiring employees in the UK is simplified to a great extent when you collaborate with a proficient EOR service like Teamed. We pride ourselves on facilitating swift onboarding within a 24-hour window, coupled with consistent support available 24/5 to address any concerns your employees might encounter.
Beyond that, we assist in crafting legally compliant employment contracts, ensuring your team enjoys top-tier benefits in line with UK labour laws, and managing a seamless global payroll system.
At Teamed, we are geared towards enabling you to navigate the dynamic landscape of global hiring with ease, overseeing vital HR and administrative tasks that are in strict adherence to UK regulations.
So, why wait? Take the leap and broaden your business horizons internationally with Teamed, your trusted ally in global hiring expertise!