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hire in the UK

UK EOR & PEO

SALARY PAYMENT IN British Pound (GBP, £)

CONTRACT LANGUAGE English

PAYROLL TAX 8.25%

PAYROLL CYCLE Monthly

TIME TO HIRE 12 hours

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with Horizons in
180+ countries

Simple, compliant hiring with Horizons EOR & PEO

Hire in the UK

A UK Employer of Record (EOR) enables global businesses to hire employees in the UK with ease. 

Horizons is a leading UK EOR, hiring and onboarding your UK team, processing payroll, and ensuring full compliance with local labor and tax laws. A UK EOR, also known as a UK Professional Employer Organization (PEO), also absorbs all local employer liabilities.

Partnering with a UK EOR is the quickest and most cost-effective way to enter the British market. 

UK map

Facts & Stats

EOR Platform

Hire in the UK, and pay employees through our platform or app.

EOR Cost

Our UK EOR solution is the most affordable on the market.

Time-to-hire

Fast onboarding in the UK, hire in as little as 12 hours.

Contracts

We draft labor contracts compliant with British labor law.

Local Benefits

We administer all mandatory benefits and contributions in the UK.

180+ Countries

It doesn’t stop with the UK — we are an international EOR

hire employees in the UK

What Is a UK EOR?

A UK Employer of Record, also known as a UK Professional Employer Organization (PEO), is a professional HR company that hires and pays your team in the UK, in full compliance with UK laws. When you use a UK EOR, you no longer need to set up a UK subsidiary/limited company in order to manage a UK-based team. A UK EOR will:

  1. Draft compliant employment contracts for your UK team.
  2. Hire and onboard employees on the EOR’s UK payroll.
  3. File the necessary paperwork for UK employees.
  4. Process payroll and pay employees on schedule each month.
  5. Take care of compliance, HR or termination issues as they arise.

A UK EOR may be a company that operates solely in the UK, or it may be a global PEO that hires employees in the UK and in other countries around the world. 

Horizons stands out as a UK EOR through its: 

  1. UK employment expertise, with expert support available to support you through their UK subsidiary.
  2. Value-for-money. Horizons offers lower prices than any other EOR in the UK, and is transparent in its charges. You won’t be hit with hidden costs.
  3. Wholly-owned subsidiaries. Horizons hires your UK employees through its own entity and doesn’t subcontract. You deal only with Horizons.
  4. International coverage. With EOR solutions in 180+ locations around the world, choosing Horizons as your UK EOR means one global partner for all your hiring and payroll needs.
  5. Full employment support. Horizons is one of the few UK EORs that can recruit staff for you in the UK, as well as hiring, onboarding and paying them.  
STEP-By-STEP UK EOR

How Does a UK EOR Work?

When you engage a UK EOR it will:

  1. Hire your UK employees. The UK EOR becomes the legal employer of your UK-based team, taking care of payroll and HR responsibilities. This leaves you to focus on day-to-day company operations.
  2. Manage employment contracts and onboarding. The EOR assists in drafting compliant UK labor contracts, including terms on salary, benefits, working hours, and termination procedures. They also manage the onboarding process, ensuring that employees are legally registered and understand their employment terms.
  3. Process payroll and handle employment taxes. The UK EOR takes care of payroll processing, ensuring accurate calculation of wages, social benefits, and taxes according to Chinese regulations. They also handle tax filings and ensure compliance with local tax laws, reducing the risk of penalties for non-compliance.
  4. Administer benefits. The UK EOR can provide employees with access to competitive benefits packages, including health insurance, pension schemes, and other perks. Since EORs pool employees from multiple companies, they often can negotiate better rates for these benefits.
  5. Take care of exit procedures. If an employment relationship needs to end, the EOR handles the termination process in accordance with UK labor law, including severance payments and the final settlement.

To summarize, when your company engages a UK EOR, your business is able to focus on strategic objectives and operational needs within the Chinese market, with the EOR taking care of HR functions and legal compliance.

 
stay compliant with UK labor laws

Employment Laws

UK employment contracts

Contracts of employment are a requirement of UK labour law, and must clearly state all relevant details of employment such as benefits, working hours, compensation, and so on. Salaries and wages need to be shown and provided in GBP, the local currency.

The main types of employment contract in the UK are full-time, part-time, fixed-term and zero hours (for employees without guaranteed hours).

By partnering with our UK EOR, Horizons’ team of local experts can provide assistance for drafting strong employment contracts that are compliant with local regulations.

Fixed-term
Probationary period

3 months (standard practice)

6 months (maximum)

Termination notice period

Minimum:
During first month: no notice, regardless of probation 
After first month: min. 1 week
After 2 years employment: 1 week per year of employment

Standard: 30 days (max. 3 months)

Severance

None, except in cases of redundancy

At conclusion of contract: no severance

Indefinite
Probationary period

3 months (standard practice)

6 months (maximum)

Termination notice period

Minimum:
During first month: no notice, regardless of probation 
After first month: min. 1 week
After 2 years employment: 1 week per year of employment

Standard: 30 days (max. 3 months)

SeveranceNone, except in cases of redundancy

Working hours in the UK

The legal maximum working hours in the UK are 48 hours (taken as an average over a 17-week period). These can be distributed in any way throughout the week, but almost all office roles are Monday to Friday. Note, employees can also choose to opt out of this limit. The employer may ask, but employees cannot be punished or sanctioned in any way for refusing to accept.

Hire compliantly in UK without a local entity.

Quick, compliant hiring in 12 hours—no subsidiary required.

Public holidays in the UK

here are several public holidays in the UK, and they are commonly referred to as ‘bank holidays’.

Usually, there are 8 public holidays in England & Wales annually, but in 2022 there was one extra to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee.

Northern Ireland and Scotland follow a different structure, so you should be sure to research the local holidays when setting up a business in these countries.

UK has a range of national public holidays that are celebrated annually. In 2024 these holidays are:

DateHoliday name
1 Jan MondayNew Year’s Day
2 Jan TuesdayNew Year’s Day observed
29 Mar FridayGood Friday
6 May MondayEarly May Bank Holiday
27 May MondaySpring Bank Holiday
25 Dec WednesdayChristmas Day
26 Dec ThursdayBoxing Day

Employment benefits in the UK

The main benefit provided in the United Kingdom is through the employers’ portion of the National Insurance Contribution, which is the national social security program requiring all employers and employees to contribute to the public health care system. The employer’s contribution is typically around 14%, on top of total compensation. There is also an additional levy, known as the health and social care levy, which amounts to an extra 1.25%.

UK vacation leave

Every full-time employee in the UK can take 28 days per year of annual leave at full pay. Public holidays can be included in this, but employers usually still provide around 20-30 days plus the standard public holidays.

UK sick leave

If employees are absent from work through sickness for over seven days, they must provide a doctor’s note as proof. Employers must cover up to 28 weeks of sick pay, beginning after the fourth day of continuous absence, at a statutory sick pay rate of £109.40 per week.

Many employers offer a more generous sick pay scheme, but the minimum legal requirement must be met.

UK parental leave

Women can take 52 weeks of leave for maternity in the UK, with a minimum of two weeks taken after birth for most workers. The allowance is split into 26 weeks of ‘ordinary’ leave, and a further 26 weeks of ‘additional’ leave.

Statutory maternity pay is provided for 39 weeks. For the first six weeks, this is 90% of the average weekly earnings. For the remaining 33 weeks, it is the lower amount of either the same 90%, or £156.66, per week (as of 2022).

Partners can claim one or two weeks of paternity leave (paid). If the parents wish, there is also a possibility to share parental leave in the UK. This divides up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay across the two parents, and they can choose to take it together or separately.

Employee severance and terminations in the UK

UK employees have various protections, so any employer should consider the relevant anti-dismissal legislation when considering terminations.

Employers in the UK must provide notice when terminating an employee. The statutory minimum notice period is one week of notice for between one month and two years of employment, one week for every year between two and 12 years of employment, and 12 weeks of notice for more than 12 years of employment.

Any further notice should be laid out in the employment contract, and employers usually provide one month or more as standard. Some contracts may also stipulate that payment is acceptable in place of notice.

In the UK, severance payments are given to employees who are made redundant when they have been employed for over two years. The payment totals half of one week’s pay for every year of employment when the employee was under 22 years old. This rises to one full week per year of employment between the ages of 22 and 40, and 1.5 week’s of pay for every year at the age of 41 and above.

Navigating employee terminations and handling severance packages can be complicated for companies expanding overseas for the first time. Horizons’ UK EOR can mitigate risk for foreign companies and provide guidance through this process.

Taxation in the UK

In the UK, income tax and National Insurance are paid via a ‘Pay As You Earn’ system, where employers withhold the relevant taxes from employees automatically. Taxes are rated progressively, so the rate varies between 0% and 45% dependent on income.

Health insurance in the UK

The National Health Service (NHS), the UK’s healthcare system, provides almost all healthcare for citizens and residents. This is covered by the government and National Insurance, so employers do not need to offer separate health insurance. The employer and employee contribute to their National Insurance at rates set by the government depending on income. Some organizations do offer private cover as a perk, but it is not necessary.
hassle-free UK compensation & benefits

Compensation & Benefits

Compensation laws in the UK

The minimum wage in the UK rises regularly. It is set at a different rate for employees of different ages and apprentices:

Minimum Wage Country Comparison Chart(Per month in USD)
21 and over£11.44
Aged 18-20£8.60
Aged 16-17£6.40
Apprentices£6.40
Accommodation Offset£9.99
Note also that UK equal opportunity law requires that pay does not discriminate on the basis of gender, ethnicity, disability and a range of other ‘protected characteristics’.
Benefit management in the UK
Setting up your UK benefits management system as a foreign employer can be a complicated process, with many different laws and employee protections in place. One effective solution is to outsource your UK benefits management to Horizons. We will get you set up, in full compliance with the law, as quickly as possible, so you can focus on a rapid and successful expansion.

Hire in UK in 12h
without your own local entity.

With Horizons, you get quick service, transparent pricing, and expert support.

FAQs

In the United Kingdom the terms Employer of Record and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) are usually used interchangeably. In some other countries, like the United States, PEO is a regulated term and means something different from an Employer of Record. 

An EOR in the UK can feasibly hire both local and foreign nationals to work in the UK.

However, the ability of Horizons to sponsor your foreign national employee in the UK may be limited due to visa quotas. 

Contact us with your requirements and our Global Mobility team with review the case and get back to you within 2 business days.

In most cases, Horizons’ UK EOR can hire & onboard your employee within 24 hours. The actual start date of the employee will depend on their notice period obligation to their previous employer as well as any relevant hiring rules in the UK.

It is possible to get a work visa in the UK. Horizons’ Global Mobility team is a dedicated team of work visa experts. They assess the details of each case to determine feasibility and costs before Horizons applies for the work visa on behalf of your employee. If the Global Mobility team determines that your case is feasible, the process is smooth and transparent. Visa spots in the UK are limited, however — get started today to secure your employees’ visa spot.

Get started with Horizons