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Overview of United Kingdom

The UK has the sixth largest economy in the world despite only being the 80th largest country in land area and has a population of 66.65 Million. London is not only the official capital of England but also second-largest financial center in the world. England is the home the Beatles and Shakespeare. England is a constitutional Monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II on the throne. English is the official language.

The English enjoy talking about their infamous weather, and this is often used as an ice-breaker. The British are polite to a fault, and they enjoy working with someone, with whom they are familiar with. A third-party introduction is therefore recommended. Lunch at the pub is a great beginning to a business relationship and is preferable to meeting in an office.

Currency of United Kingdom

  • Pound

Health Insurance and the Social Security system of the United Kingdom

Social security is provided by the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS is funded by employees, employers and general tax revenue. Nearly all doctors, general practitioners (GPs), opticians and dentists take part in the NHS. The employee will normally have to pay some charges towards the cost of prescribed medicines and dental services. Most people have to pay privately for optical services. .

Employees may decide to subscribe to private medical insurance or employers may offer to meet the cost of private treatments.

Employer cost of United Kingdom

The cost for an employer to hire someone in the UK is a plus of 13.80% to the gross salary.

Salary and bonuses of United Kingdom

Regular employees are paid monthly.

Commissions, incentives, and bonuses are variable and will be agreed upon directly with the employer.

Public Holidays in United Kingdom

  • January 1st – New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday (in England and Wales and Northern Ireland but not in Scotland)
  • First Monday in May – May Bank Holiday
  • Last Monday in May – Spring Bank Holiday
  • Last Monday in August – Summer bank Holiday
  • December 25th – Christmas
  • December 26th – Boxing Day

Working Hours in United Kingdom

Office hours are from 9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

In the UK, the legal maximum is 48 hours per week. For every 24-hour period, an employee must receive at least 11 consecutive hours of rest. For every 6 hours worked, a break of 20 minutes must be given.

An employee can only work overtime if agreed upon in the original employment contract.

Vacation in United Kingdom

Most employees who work a 5-day week must receive at least 28 days of paid annual leave a year. This is the equivalent of 5.6 weeks of holiday.

Sick Leave in United Kingdom

Employees can take time off work if they’re ill. They must give their employers proof in form a “fit-note” if they’re ill for more than 7 days. An employee starts receiving statutory sick pay from the fourth day he/she is off work sick.

Termination/Severance in United Kingdom

As an employer, you can dismiss an employee if there is a valid reason (for example theft) or if you are acting reasonably due to the circumstances. An employee must receive at least the notice given in his contract or the statutory minimum notice period, whichever is longer. In the UK the statutory notice period is one week’s notice if the employee has been employed between one month and 2 years. An additional week for every year the employee is employed between 2 and 12 years, and 12 weeks notice if the employee has been employed for 12 years or more. There are instances where one can be dismissed immediately, such as violence.

As an employee, one has the right to ask for a written statement from your employer stating the reasons for the dismissal if you have completed 2 years of service. Your employer must supply the statement within 14 days.