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Hire Employees in the United Kingdom

Looking to hire employees in the UK? Employment Hero's global teams is your Employer of Record of choice for your hiring needs.


Key Facts


Employment Terms
Timezone GMT, subject to daylight savings in Summer
Currency British Pound (GBP)
Capital city London
Official language English, Welsh (Wales), Gaelic and Scots (Scotland), Irish and Ulster Scots (Northern Ireland), Cornish (Cornwall)
Ease of doing business Very friendly to business (#8 out of 190)
Minimum wage GBP £10.42* (from 1st April 2023)
Estimated employer cost NA
Employer retirement contribution: Pension Employers pay a minimum of 3% of total earnings as a mandatory contribution for enrolled employees. Total earnings include salary or wages, bonuses and commission, overtime, statutory sick pay and parental leave pay. Employers are only obliged to contribute the 3% if the employee enrols into a complying plan and the employer’s mandatory contribution is 3%. Employees may contribute more and the employer may offer to increase their contribution, however it is entirely optional.


About The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom comprises four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Collectively it is the worlds 6th largest economy by GDP with nearly 70 million people. Over half of 25-35 year olds have graduated from tertiary education, amongst the highest in the world. With 95% of the population using the internet, the UK is in the top 20 countries in the world for connectivity.

Employment regulations are well established by legislation and courts however, it is important to note that specific rules can vary between constituent countries.


Employment in the UK

Working Hours
  • The standard full-time working hours are between 40 and 48 hours per week.
  • For an employee to work overtime, it must be stated and agreed upon in the employment contract. Employers do not have to pay workers for overtime, unless it is stated in the contract.
Probationary Period
  • Employers determine the length of probation, which varies depending on the nature of the business and the role. Three or six month probationary periods are common.
Payroll Cycle
  • Salaried employees are typically paid on a monthly basis, although an employer may decide to pay on a fortnightly or weekly basis.


Main Types of Leave in the UK


Annual Leave

Minimum statutory requirement is 28 days paid leave per year. Public holidays can be incorporated as part of the 28-day leave entitlement; however, it is common practice for employers to give more than 28 days.

Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to receive up to 28 days of statutory sick pay each year.

For an employee to qualify, they must be sick for at least 4 days in a row.

Parental Leave
Maternity leave

Statutory maternity leave is 52 weeks and is comprised of:

  • Ordinary maternity leave – first 26 weeks
  • Additional maternity leave – last 26 weeks statutory maternity pay (SMP) is paid by the employer for up to 39 weeks: – the first 6 weeks at 90% of average weekly earnings – the remaining 33 weeks at the lower of £156.66 or 90% or average weekly earnings
Paternity leave

Statutory paternity leave is up to 2 weeks paid at the lower of either £156.66 a week or 90% of average weekly earnings.

Other Leave

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) – is given to eligible employees who are having a baby or adopting.

Family/Dependants Leave – An employee is entitled to time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependant.

Bereavement Leave – An employee is entitled to reasonable leave upon the death of a dependent.

Employment Termination

Notice Period

Notice periods are typically set between 2 – 4 weeks. Notice must be given based on what is stated in the employment contract or the statutory minimum, whichever is longer.

The statutory redundancy notice periods are:

  • at least one week’s notice if employed between 1 month and 2 years
  • one week’s notice for each year if employed between 2 and 12 years



A valid reason is required to dismiss an employee, such as:

  • on the basis of capability or conduct
  • redundancy
  • something that prevents them from legally being able to carry out their duties

An employer must also undertake a fair and reasonable dismissal process.

Notice must be given based on what is stated in the employment contract or the statutory minimum, whichever is longer. Dismissal without notice can be utilised in cases of gross misconduct. Notice can either be worked or paid out to the employee.

An employer must provide written notice, and undertake a consultation or investigation process, before terminating an employee’s employment. The amount of notice depends on what is stipulated in the employment agreement, the age of the employee and how long they have been employed on a continuous basis by the employer. Notice can either be worked or paid out to the employee.



Employees with at least 2 years continuous service are entitled to severance pay based on their salary. The amount is based on their years of service with their employer:

  • Half a week’s pay for each full year for employees under the age of 22
  • One week’s pay for each full year for employees between the ages of 22 to 41 years of age
  • One and half weeks’ pay for each full year for employees over the age of 41

Length of service is capped at 20 years.


Download the International Hiring Guide

*Information here is current as at 16/09/2022, for full details download the guide.
Hiring Process in the UK

Hiring an employee in the UK is no easy task. Especially, if you are overseas, and lack the knowledge of employment law and regulations relating to international HR compliance, payroll, benefits and taxes.

Employment Hero has a local entity in the UK and we fully understand all the ins and outs of hiring in the local market, so we can help you throughout the step-by-step process.

UK Employment Law

The UK has laws that help keep workplaces fair. You should be aware of the rules and what your employer's rights and responsibilities are. Under British employment law, employers and employees both have rights and responsibilities. Do you know your responsibilities?

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