Looking for a PEO and EOR provider in the United Kingdom? You've knocked on the right door! Hiring and employment in the United Kingdom can be complex as a foreign employer. We're here to guide you. EuroDev is the leading provider of EOR & PEO solutions in Europe. We partner with North American businesses who want to expand their business into Europe, and thus the UK. The United Kingdom is a popular destination for many North American businesses. What should be taken into account when employing or hiring in the UK? 

How it works - PEO in the UK and EOR in the UK

An Employer of Record (EOR) or Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is a company or organization that is legally responsible for paying employees, including dealing with employee taxes, benefits & insurances. As the EOR/PEO of your European or your employees in the UK, we provide you with tailored payroll, HR and compliance services. Through this construction, we decrease all the complications such as compliance issues, setting up a foreign establishment and setting up employment contracts in a different language. 

Benefits of using a PEO in the UK & Employer of Record UK

  • Expand without an entity
  • Flexible and cost-effective solution to outsource payroll and HR functions for international expansion
  • In compliance with foreign local laws & regulations
  • Minimizes employment liabilities and risks
  • Reduced risk, as the risks of being an employer fall almost completely on the employer of record
  • Let's you focus on your core business
  • You manage your employees
  • PEO/EoR takes care of registration and contact with local authorities

Employment Contracts United Kingdom

The most common type of employment contract in the UK is an “open-ended”, a permanent, contract which can be terminated on notice. Many employers in the UK start with giving an employee a fixed-term contract.  An employee on fixed-term contracts for 4 or more years will automatically become a permanent employee, unless the employer can show there is a good business reason not to do so.

UK PEO and EOR service providers will support you with the set-up of a local employment contract. 

Employment Termination UK & Notice Period UK

Employers in the UK must give a notice period to their employee before the employment ends. The minimum notice periods are:

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

An employer may give the employee more than the statutory minimum, but an employer cannot give less. Looking at statutory redundancy pay, the employer should either:

  • pay the employee through their notice period
  • pay the employee in lieu of notice depending on the circumstances

Your employment can be ended without notice if ‘payment in lieu of notice’ is included in your contract. In that case, the employer will pay the employee instead of giving a notice period. 

As the PEO/EOR is the formal employer of your employees in the UK, they are also responsible for terminating the contract while applying the applicable UK terms.


Social Security Tax for employers in the United Kingdom

Workers within Germany are required by law to pay social security contributions on their gross salary and all earnings in Germany. The following rates (2020) have to be applied against the gross salary, with the ceilings indicated.

There are three taxes associated with a UK payroll scheme, two that affect the employee and one that affects the employer. These taxes are listed below with their corresponding rates.

Employee taxes: PAYE (Income tax) 20% - 45% (depending on salary and earnings)
National Insurance (Social Security) 2-12%
Employer taxes (national insurance) 13.8%

Both the employee and the employer contribute to social security in the UK.

Employer costs (source: Oury Clark)
Taxable salary £130,000.00
PAYE @ 20% £7,500.00
PAYE @ 40% £37,000.00
National Insurance @ 12%** £4,860.00
National Insurance @ 2%** £1,600.00
Employee pension (incl tax relief of £437.60)
Employee net wage
Employers National Insurance @ 13.8%**
Employers pension contribution
Total Cost to Company £148,040.06

** Earnings up to £9,500 are charged at 0% NI for employees and £8,788 for employers.

Average Salary & average employer costs United Kingdom

In 2019, the average annual wage in the UK was $47.226,09. This is lower than the average annual wage in the United States: $65.835,58. As an employer, the actual employer costs are around 14% higher than the gross annual salary. Based on a $65.835,58 annual salary, the employment costs would be $75.052,56

To learn more about the average salaries in Europe and the actual employment costs in Europe, we invite you to read this article on Costs of hiring European employees.

Working hours United Kingdom

There is no specific number of hours that makes an employee full or part-time employee. Usually, a full-time employee works 35 hours or more a week. By law an employee cannot work more than an average 48 hours a week. There are expectations. 

Paid vacation leave United Kingdom

Almost all employees are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ (28 days) paid holidays per year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). For employees that work less than 5 days a week, there is a simple calculation to determine the amount of paid vacation days: amount of work days x 5.6. For example, if they work 3 days a week, they must get at least 16.8 days’ leave a year (3 × 5.6). Statutory paid holiday entitlement is limited to 28 days. To learn more about the average paid vacation days in Europe and how the UK compares to the rest of Europe, we invite you to read our blog on paid vacation days Europe.

Public Holidays United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, there are 8 public holidays. A low number, compared to other countries in the EU.

  1. New Year's Day
  2. Good Friday
  3. Easter Monday
  4. Early May bank holiday
  5. Spring bank holiday
  6. Summer bank holiday
  7. Boxing day
  8. Christmas Day

Maternity and Paternity Leave United Kingdom

Mothers in the UK are entitled to statutory maternity leave and statutory maternity pay. Statutory maternity leave is a total of 52 weeks. First 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave and afterwards 26 weeks of additional maternity leave. You do not have to take 52 weeks but you must take 2 weeks’ leave after your baby is born (or 4 weeks if you work in a factory).

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks. You get:

  • 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
  • £151.97or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

Looking at paternity leave in the UK, fathers can choose to take either 1 or 2 weeks. The statutory weekly rate of Paternity Pay is £151.97, or 90% of the average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).

Learn more about PEO and EOR Europe:

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Interested in European expansion? Exciting! I am looking forward to discussing your European HR needs.

Monique Ramondt Sanders

Executive Vice President | HR Outsourcing