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Employer of Record UK: Unveiling the Hidden Benefits

Looking to hire employees in the UK? Check out our complete Employer of Record UK guide and how it can help you understand the legal frameworks, benefits, and key requirements.

United Kingdom
Capital city
68.6 million
Pound Sterling (GBP)

Are you a business owner thinking of expanding to the UK?

The UK presents endless expansion opportunities with its thriving market offering record services and abundant business prospects. However, that often comes with navigating the complex UK government laws.

So, if you want to grow your business seamlessly without the headache of intricate hiring processes, Employer of Record (EOR) services in the UK can help you set up UK employment contracts.

This article'll discuss advantages, employment contracts, visa procedures, legal considerations, and other key considerations.

Let's begin.

Key Takeaways

  • Get key insights into the UK market and statutory benefits.
  • Understand what an EOR UK is and its key responsibilities.
  • Learn the 6 benefits of using an EOR in the UK.
  • Get a deeper understanding of UK work visas and employment relationships.
  • Learn how to choose the right EOR service to hire workers in the UK.
  • Understand the legal aspects of using an EOR in the United Kingdom.

Understanding the UK Market

With over 67 million people, the UK has a strong economy and a dynamic workforce. Despite several pandemic-related challenges, employment rates have remarkably increased recently.

Here are a few key points of the UK workforce that will help you gain a better understanding of the market you're planning to grow in: 

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the UK workforce has been significant. However, in the recent quarter, there has been an upward trend in the employment rate, characterized by an increase in full-time employment and a decrease in part-time employment.
  • The UK has clearly defined contracts of employment and working hours covering various factors, including employee rights, contract types, types of workers, and flexible work arrangements. These labor laws ensure fair working conditions for employees across the UK. 
  • Work-life balance has emerged as one of the major concerns for UK employees, with over 25% of employees expressing deep dissatisfaction over a lack of work-life balance. This is because of several factors, such as long working hours, which are 36 hours per week on average.
  • UK employers offer benefits such as flexible working arrangements that allow them to seek better talent and even remote workers.

What is an Employer of Record in the UK?

An Employer of Record or EOR is a third-party entity officially and legally recognized as the employer for tax and national insurance purposes.

The EOR typically manages payroll and benefits and assumes responsibility for compliance with the country's employment laws and national insurance contributions, allowing the client company to focus more on its core operations.

This is especially important in a country like the UK, where employment legislation can be complex, and each misstep could lead to hefty fines. In such cases, an EOR acts as a legal entity and safety net, taking on the liability while freeing the client company to conduct its business.

The Importance of an EOR in the United Kingdom

In today's competitive UK business landscape, companies strive to remain lean, flexible and focused on strategic goals. This is where employing an EOR becomes important for maintaining agility, compliance, and efficiency.

By using an EOR, businesses can optimize resource allocation, dedicating more time to growth. Moreover, an EOR minimizes risk, enhances compliance, and prioritizes employee satisfaction by managing payroll and employment compliance.

Key Responsibilities of an Employer of Record in the United Kingdom

The responsibilities of an Employer of Record are comprehensive and often tailored to the client company's needs. Here are the most important responsibilities:

1. Payroll Management

One of the most central roles of an employer of record is managing the payroll for hiring employees of the client company.

This involves everything from all employee payments to ensuring pay taxes all employees are paid on time and taxes are appropriately deducted and remitted to ensure the payroll complies with the United Kingdom's laws and regulations.

2. Benefits Administration

Another important role of an EOR is administering employee benefits, such as health insurance, severance pay, sick and annual leave, bank holidays, maternity leave, pensions, bonuses, and more.

3. Regulatory Compliance

One of the most critical tasks of an EOR within the United Kingdom is maintaining compliance with all local, regional, and national regulations.

This may include submitting necessary documentation and reports, staying current with changes in employment law, and ensuring the employee's working hours, salary, and policies meet legal standards.

Employer of Record Benefits

EOR streamlines hiring simplifies payroll, ensures legal compliance, and reduces administrative burdens while expanding access to talent.

1. Streamlined Hiring Process

The hiring process can sometimes be arduous. Potential legal issues, reams of paperwork, and the screening and interviewing process are taxing on managers hiring new employees and company resources.

However, an EOR in the United Kingdom can swiftly cut through this complexity, driving a faster and smoother recruitment process.

EORs have honed their hiring practices reducing the time to hire employees and enabling companies to ramp up their operations. They're experts in sourcing candidates and determining their suitability, offering speed and efficiency that surpass most internal HR teams.

2. Simplified Payroll Management

EORs support payroll management by reducing potential errors and compliance issues because they have dedicated payroll professionals in their ranks.

This accurate handling eliminates companies' worries about making mistakes that could lead to litigation or financial penalties.

3. Ensured Compliance

Laws frequently change, are complex in many countries and the UK is no exception. EORs provide peace of mind to companies as they are well-versed with local regulations and their updates.

EORs ensure that your organization is compliant by handling all employment-related legal responsibilities on your behalf. This enables employers to focus on their core business without worrying about potential legal pitfalls.

4. Reduced Administrative Burden

One of the most important benefits of an EOR is freeing your staff from the burden of administrative tasks.

By outsourcing administrative tasks to an EOR, businesses can focus on their core functions and strategic goals without getting bogged down by paperwork or bureaucracy.

5. Access to a Wider Talent Pool

Engaging an EOR gives companies access to a wider talent pool, contributing significantly to their ability to recruit the right candidates.

Due to their extensive network, EORs can seek out talent locally and globally. Such an extended reach can be a critical edge, especially in industries with scarce high-demand skills.

6. Cost-effectiveness of Using an Employer of Record

An EOR enables businesses to hire and manage staff without bearing the cost or responsibility of setting up a legal entity in the United Kingdom.

Focusing on payroll and human resource services, EORs provide a more cost-effective way of employing staff, and pay employees, especially for businesses expanding internationally or those working on project-based contracts.

As an example, EORs can leverage thousands of data points from working in several industries to assist in salary negotiations as they know the ranges of various markets.

By taking on the financial and legal obligations related to employment, EORs reduce the need for, and therefore the cost of, in-house HR and payroll departments. They handle everything from salary negotiations and employee benefits to payroll taxes and insurance.

How to Choose the Right Employer of Record Service in the United Kingdom

To ensure maximum value from an EOR service, you should consider its compatibility with current organizational operations.

Firstly, the service should handle worker benefits, HR management, payroll, taxes, and legal compliance. 

Secondly, it should accommodate flexible and remote working models - a trend that is here to stay. Also, ensure it has a strong reputation for customer service and support and a proven track record.

Remember, it's not just about finding any EOR but the right EOR for your specific needs.

Here are a few factors you should consider while searching for the right one.

1. Expertise and Industry Experience

Ideally, you should look for an EOR with an extensive history of success with businesses in the UK.

It would also help if they have industry experience across the niche that your business operates in. You must thoroughly research and check feedback and reviews from current or past customers. This can help you make an informed decision.

2. Variety of Services

Ensure the provider's expertise spans various services, including tax liability insurance, sick leave and pay, compliance management, and payroll.

This will relieve you of the primary responsibilities related to an employment contract.

3. Consider the Fees and Pricing Structure

Remember, EORs have varying fee structures depending on experience and proficiency. You should compare the different packages to determine the one that works for you.

A good EOR should be able to provide unique solutions customized to meet and fulfill each of your business needs.

4. History of Compliance

Opt for an Employer of Record that boasts a pristine track record of compliance. This ensures you steer clear of any potential financial or legal entanglements down the line, providing peace of mind as you navigate the complexities of international employment regulations.

5. Advanced Technological Infrastructure

Modern and intuitive software and technology allow businesses leveraging EOR services to receive real-time updates and streamline operations.

6. Cultural Awareness

An EOR attuned to local customs and culture can supercharge business adaptation in the UK market. 

7. Communication and Support

There will always be obstacles to any engagement and plan. While researching, ensure that the EOR has transparency in communication so you can receive timely assistance for any issues.

How do you obtain work permits to work in the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom offers various work permits and visas to interested employees. One of the most popular is the Skilled Worker visa. However, to work under this category, an individual must meet specific eligibility criteria and complete a comprehensive application process.

Here's everything you should know about working in the UK with a Skilled Worker visa:

Eligibility Criteria 

  • The interested candidates must have a job offer from a UK employer that the Home Office approves. 
  • Moreover, the employer should provide the applicant with a 'certificate of sponsorship' that contains details about the job opportunity. 
  • The job must be listed on the UK's eligible occupations list.
  • The interested candidate must be offered a minimum salary. The salary largely depends on the type of job. 

How to Apply

  • All applications must be submitted online.
  • There are various types of applications, depending on whether the applicant is:some text
    • Outside the UK and coming to the UK.
    • Inside the UK and extending a current visa.
    • Inside the UK and switching from a different visa.
  • Applicants can include their partner and children as 'dependents' if eligible.
  • Applicants can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the scheduled date of the start of the job in the UK. This is specified on the certificate of sponsorship.
  • Typically, decisions on visa applications are made within 3 weeks for applicants outside the UK and 8 weeks for those inside the UK.

Cost of the Application 

  • The applicants, partners, and children must pay the full application fees. 
  • A healthcare surcharge must also be paid for each year of stay.
  • It's also tuition for the applicants to prove they have enough personal savings to support themselves in the UK.

Rights and Limitations

  • Holders of the Skilled Worker visa can work in eligible jobs, study, bring dependents, take up additional work in particular circumstances, do voluntary work, travel abroad and return to the UK, and apply for settlement after five years.
  • On the other hand, they cannot apply for most benefits, change jobs or employers without updating their visa, or claim the State Pension.

Supporting Documents

  • To apply for the Skilled Worker visa, Applicants must provide several documents, including the certificate of sponsorship, proof of English language proficiency, passport or identity document, job details, and employer information.
  • Furthermore, documents such as proof of savings, relationship proof for dependents, tuberculosis test results, criminal record certificate, etc may also be required.
  • The applicant's biometrics may also be required at a visa application center, or the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app may be used.
  • Certain professions may require a criminal record certificate.
  • You may also need to provide a Tuberculosis test if you're from a listed country. 

Understanding the Legal Aspects of Using an Employer of Record in the United Kingdom

Overview of UK employment laws

Understanding the employment laws is key to managing a remote workforce in the UK. These laws have been implemented to regulate the employment relationship between employers and employees, from national minimum wage and contracts to working hours, sick pay, paid leave, and health and safety responsibilities.

Becoming conversant with these employment laws is necessary for companies aiming to expand their footprint in the UK.

However, familiarizing oneself with every regulation, especially in a foreign country or jurisdiction, can be daunting. That's where the role of an Employer of Record comes into play.

How an Employer of Record Ensures Compliance

Since Employers of Record are legal entities hired by companies to handle employment and compliance responsibilities for local entities, they hire employees and are responsible for navigating the complex maze of local employment laws.

Adopting an EOR mitigates legal risks as they supply complete legal compliance regarding employment contracts and mandatory employee benefits. This assurance from legal employers stems from their expertise in local labor laws, taxation, and employment standards.

They manage various legal aspects, such as drafting new employee contracts following the local laws, handling payroll and other income tax and deductions, and managing employee benefits. By shouldering these responsibilities, an EOR allows the company to focus more on operations and strategy, leaving the legalities to the experts.

Legal Implications of Non-compliance

Non-compliance with an employee termination employment contract or local labor laws can lead to penalties, damaged reputation, or even loss of business license and cancellation of employee's visa. Legal violations can stem from ignorance about employment or local entity laws, incorrect interpretation of labor law, or not updating policies timely based on changing regulations.

Non-compliance can be categorized as civil or criminal. Civil non-compliance includes breach of an employment agreement or contract, such as not adhering to minimum wage standards or overtime payments and employing someone without the right to work. Criminal non-compliance, on the other hand, can be actions that harm employees' health and safety.

Employers who don't comply with employment laws and regulations can be charged in court or an employment tribunal and must pay hefty legal fees. 

Employing an Employer of Record can help avoid these costly pitfalls by strictly adhering to the jurisdiction's laws. This can save the former employee's salary termination and the company from unwanted legal issues, penalties, and potential reputational damages.

Choose Knit for United Kingdom EOR Services

So, now that you have all the information you need about EOR UK, it's time to select the right service.

Enter Knit People, the leading global EOR service provider.

With Knit People, you have more time and resources to focus on what you do best. You can grow smoothly, scale up, and grow your business exponentially while we manage your UK employees.

But remember, switching to an EOR isn't about ditching your HR duties. It's about smartly adding experts to your team who can help you navigate the employment laws.

And with Knit People, you can do that just as easily.

So, request a free demo today and see how Knit is the ideal employment partner for your business.

Disclaimer: This article offers general guidance and should not be interpreted as financial, legal or tax advice. Regulations may evolve and differ based on geographical location and industry. You should seek assistance from certified advisors in the United Kingdom for personalized advice tailored to your business.

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What can a United Kingdom Employer of Record (EOR) do?
An employer of record (EOR) is a third-party service that acts as the legal employer for your hired United Kingdom employees.
The Employer of Record is responsible for:
  • Facilitate payroll and tax compliance
  • Manage employee benefits
  • Handle HR administration
  • Provide legal compliance
  • Assist with work permits and immigration
  • Offer risk management
  • Support employee relations
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Stay updated on employment regulations
How does the parties divide responsibilities?
Knit Platform
Serving as an intermediary, Knit handles administrative tasks such as payroll, tax compliance, benefits administration, and ensuring legal compliance between the client company and employees.
Client Company
Directly engaging with employees, the client company communicates, supervises tasks, and monitors performance to ensure efficient operations.
They are employed by Knit and carry out their job responsibilities within the client company.