Spotlight on the United Kingdom

The UK boasts world-class talent, high returns on investment and a reputable, sound business environment that empowers global businesses to reliably trade, invest and expand. By expanding to the UK, businesses gain access to a highly developed workforce of more than 32 million people, diversified partners, and suppliers as well as a sophisticated infrastructure profile that facilitates business growth and innovation.

Why the United Kingdom?

  • The UK is the top-rated major European economy for attracting global talent, having one of the largest labor forces in Europe and labor costs lower than Italy, France, or Germany.
  • With one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the G20, the UK is highly competitive within Europe and lures in investors and talent from around the globe.
  • The UK features an ideal infrastructure system that moves people and products around in convenient, economic ways. Residents, travelers, and businesses benefit from advanced networks of air, road, rail and sea transit.
  • Nearly all of Europe’s leading technology markets can be reached in under two hours from any of the international airports in south England.
  • With the most developed broadband capabilities of any major European economy, the UK has one of the world’s deepest footprints in technology, software, and digital transformation.
  • Home to four of the world’s top ten universities, the UK has the highest proportion of adults educated beyond high school level. Businesses in the UK can tap into a talent pool with transferable, critical thinking skills that drive innovation and growth. 

Q&A with Andrew Lindquist, Partner, GoGlobal 

What should employers expect when hiring in the United Kingdom?

The UK’s relatively flexible labor laws allow businesses to hire staff in ways that suit their needs. Employment law is derived from three main sources: common law, UK employment legislation that supplements common law, and European law. With that being said, while some of the labor code may be familiar to foreign businesses, there are regulations, provisions and customs that can be challenging.

An employee’s agreement to work for an employer and the employer’s agreement to pay the employee for the work forms a contract, even when nothing is written. However, it is always recommended that a compliant written contract be furnished, detailing key information such as working hours, payment, leave, benefits, probation period, length of contract, etc. If employers want to require their employees to work longer than their normal working hours at times, they should ensure that the employment contract provides for this with an overtime clause. This clause should state whether the overtime is paid. Typically, overtime rates are x1.5 for weekday and x2 for weekend/public holiday.

The UK also maintains statutory maternity leave for expectant mothers identified as employees up to 52 weeks, with mothers receiving 90% of their pre-taxed weekly earnings. Many employers offer enhanced rates of pay during some or all of the maternity leave period. Paternity leave is available to employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service. Eligible fathers are entitled to take one- or two-weeks’ paternity leave, which is payable at the rate of £151.20 per week or 90% of average weekly earnings, if less. Again, many employers pay paternity pay at an enhanced rate.

The UK maintains a comprehensive social security system, funded from general taxation and from National Insurance Contributions. The social security system provides state benefits to cover maternity/ paternity/adoption, childcare, disability, and caregiving matters. It also administers retirement pensions. Some employers may offer employees additional benefits such as life insurance, permanent health insurance, private medical insurance, company cars, season ticket loans for annual public transport tickets, subsidized gym membership, etc.

What makes GoGlobal’s Employer of Record services in the United Kingdom unique?

By using our EOR services, businesses can build a fully compliant workforce without establishing an entity in the UK. There’s no need to navigate unfamiliar UK laws and customs. That’s our job. GoGlobal’s team of local experts ensures a positive hiring experience for both clients and the employee from start to finish. In the first step, GoGlobal’s team calls the employee to outline how the EOR arrangement will work. Then throughout the arrangement, this same dedicated team serves as the point of contact for the employee. As the outsourced workforce management, that team is available to answer any questions that arise about payroll, taxation, or benefits.

Why is business in the United Kingdom growing so fast?

A dynamic, robust workforce is the pillar of any strong economy and the UK’s deep talent pool is helping it stand out on the world stage. Over the next 15 years, Western Europe will need to increase its workforce by 45 million, according to data from Boston Consulting Group. However, the UK is the only regional economy whose workforce is expected to grow during this period. Conversely, the workforces of Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy are all projected to contract.

Notably, job growth in the UK is widespread and not confined to any one sector. Industries like food and drink, creative and media, environment, infrastructure, and transportation, as well as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals are all contributing to marked job boosts across the nation. This diversified growth is making the UK a prime destination for global businesses looking to expand and scale new heights.

About GoGlobal

GoGlobal is the world’s fastest growing, privately owned Global Employer of Record (EOR) service provider, with a globally distributed and remote workforce. GoGlobal’s technology-enabled EOR solution allows businesses of all sizes and geographies to hire staff globally without the need to set up a local entity, opening new doors to rapid expansion and growth. GoGlobal clients can hire top talent anywhere in the world – quickly, cost effectively and compliantly.