Things to to consider when recruiting UK employees

Things to to consider when recruiting UK employees

The UK labour market has an international reputation for being flexible and employer-friendly, particularly in comparison with its European peers. However, there are a number of laws, customs and idiosyncrasies that it’s important to be aware of if you’re setting up in the country for the very first time. In this guide, we’ve outlined a few things that you should be aware of when you’re recruiting in the UK.

Meeting tax obligations for your employees

Unlike some other countries, most UK employees don’t have much responsibility for their own tax affairs. Instead, their employer deducts tax and some other items from their salary before it is paid for them. This will require you as their employer to work with HMRC to ensure that the correct amounts are paid and that you remit these sums to them on a regular basis. You’ll then have to give your employees a P60 form, which is an annual summary of the amount of tax that you have paid on their behalf.

Tax can be a complex business in the UK. VAT obligations vary significantly depending on your sector and the particular arrangement you have with HMRC. If you aren’t confident, it’s well worth getting an expert to look at your setup to make sure that you don’t get caught out.

Minimum wage legislation

The UK minimum wage is split into a number of bands depending on whether an employee is an apprentice and how old they are. That means that the wage ranges from £3.50 an hour for an apprentice to £7.50 an hour for an employee aged 25 or over (known as the National Living Wage). The government has begun naming and shaming companies who do not comply with minimum wage legislation, so it’s vital that you get this right. Make sure you’re aware of what counts towards hours worked. You may be required to pay employees when they’re travelling between assignments for instance.

As with any country, the UK has a number of rules and customs that make it different from other markets. Trying to apply a model that’s worked elsewhere to your UK operations could easily get you into trouble. Before you recruit your first UK employee, please ensure that you’re up to speed with your obligations, and get in touch with Goodwille today for further guidance.

4 top tips for international expansion

Taking your business to international markets is a natural and ambitious growth goal. When done correctly it can increase your reach, expand your brand and boost your revenues dramatically. When done incorrectly, it can cause huge setbacks and costs.

Here are four questions to ask yourself to make sure your expansion is a success:

1. Is there a market?

It seems like an obvious question, but be sure you’re basing the answer on evidence, not assumptions. In the 1970s, United Kingdom-based tile manufacturer Redland tried to expand their concrete tile business to international markets. Unfortunately for them, concrete tiles were not very popular in the US and Japan, so their attempts there failed. Do your homework carefully, and ensure there is a market for your product.

2. Do you have the right people?

Make sure you have a management team with the skills and experience to manage business in the target company, and, crucially, to integrate operations between your two branches. You don’t need to set up an office abroad with full-time staff straight away. Some physical presence will be required, certainly, but you can use remote working and outsource to contractors until you get off the ground.

3. Is the required infrastructure present?

Even behemoths like Netflix can slip up when going international. Stock prices of the streaming giant fell when they went global in 2016, and one major problem was infrastructure. The payment processing and broadband technology wasn’t as developed or as well rolled out in some countries, and it cost them. What infrastructure do you need? Is it present? This is key, especially if you’re a technology start up.

4. Do you have the local knowledge?

When US delivery services DHL and Airborne moved to Germany, their American entrepreneurial spirit clashed with the previously state-owned Deutsche Post. You need people that know not only the country, but your specific market within in. By expanding into a new country you’re also entering a lesser-known legal jungle. It would be unwise to do so without a guide. So, get a good lawyer on your legal team who knows the country and the market.

Goodwille helps businesses with their international expansion every day, and we have a diverse client range in countries worldwide, which gives us a vast amount of experience and knowledge that we can bring to the table when helping you. Talk to us before you start your international expansion get the inside track and avoid the pitfalls.