Expanding into the UK – all you need to know when starting a business in the UK

Thames and london

The UK is ranked as one of the best locations for businesses looking to expand internationally. Starting a business in the UK can be challenging, but with the right set of tools and knowledge, it’s a great place for business opportunities. The global environment, ease of doing business and strong market potential are of particular interest for overseas companies starting up in the UK.

When setting up a company in the UK, there are a number of registration requirements, regulations and obligations that need to be taken into account. This article highlights the most important things to consider when expanding your business into the UK.

  1. Legal Structures for Market Entry
  2. Set up and Registration
  3. Opening a Bank Account
  4. Understand UK Regulations
  5. UK Taxation
  6. Complying with UK Employment Law
  7. Expand to the UK With Goodwille
  8. Useful Contacts for Your Business

business men making choices

Legal Structures for Market Entry

When setting up in the UK, there are several legal structures to choose from. The company structure most suitable to you will depend on your type of business, where you are based and whether you have employees on board or not. Below are some of the most common legal structures in the UK;

  • Limited company
  • Branch office
  • Limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • Sole trader
  • Partnership

Limited Company/Subsidiary

Limited company (LTD) is the most common form of business entity in the UK. A LTD company is a separate legal entity, owned by shareholders and managed by directors. The profits of a limited company are liable for UK corporation tax. Setting up an LTD company in the UK is a well-recognised structure that is quick and cost-effective to complete. With share capital starting at just £1, and with the risk contained within the subsidiary company, this is often the preferred route for international businesses expanding into Great Britain.

Branch

An international company may consider registering a branch office in the UK, rather than a LTD company. A branch office is not a separate legal entity from the head office company and full responsibility for the operations, debts and liabilities of the UK branch lie on the overseas parent company.

To learn more about the best option for you when expanding to the UK, check out the differences between a UK branch and a subsidiary.

Set-up and registration

A company can typically be registered with Companies House in 48 hours once all documents are completed. A UK company must register for corporation tax with HMRC, within three months of starting to trade. The paperwork for registration is not too extensive, however, certain statutory documents will be required. Check out our comprehensive company registration services.

woman hand calculating expenses

Opening a Bank account

In order to make any transactions, you’ll need to open a UK bank account for your business. Opening a bank account is a time-consuming process as you will need to go through a money laundering process to ensure your company is credible for a corporate bank account. Therefore, prepare to have time and patience for this stage, it can easily take up to six months or more to complete.

Check if your bank in the company’s home country has any operations in the UK. In some cases, this might speed up the process, as it may prove some creditworthiness for the business.

regulations represented with wooden blocks

Understand UK Regulations

The regulatory system in the UK is open and transparent, making it easy to do business. In general, the UK aims to minimise bureaucracy and deregulate marketplaces in order to allow companies to develop and expand. However, there are strict regulations e.g. with regards to employment, industrial emissions, pollution monitoring and control, and waste disposal. Make sure you are aware of the regulations that directly or indirectly affect your business!

All businesses operating in the UK are subject to UK law, and every company registered in the UK must have a registered address in the UK. By law, all UK companies must file their annual accounts with Companies House within nine months of the end of an accounting period. Additionally, a confirmation statement must be filed with Companies House every 12 months (within 28 days of the anniversary of incorporation).

To get all the details in order and prepare for the regulatory areas, you should look for specialist advice. Our Corporate Governance Services can help you comply with any regulations or business’ obligations in the UK.

UK Taxation

Foreign businesses looking at overseas business opportunities in the UK will find a competitive and business-friendly tax regime. Companies need to consider their exposure to UK taxation, including corporate income tax, value-added tax (VAT) and employment taxes.

Companies may become subject to UK taxation in a number of ways, such as

  • Establishing a formal taxable presence in the UK, such as a branch or Ltd company, and making a profit.
  • Registering a company for VAT in the UK. Companies must be registered for VAT if their taxable turnover for any 12 months period is £85,000 or over. The current standard VAT rate in the UK is 20%.

It’s important to remember that an international business operating in the UK do not necessarily create a taxable presence in the UK. In order to be subject to UK corporation income taxation, an overseas business needs to be trading in the UK through a permanent establishment. Check out our comprehensive outsourced financial services and to find out more about when you may need to register an entity in the UK, please contact us.

department for work and pensions

Complying With UK Employment Law

When employing people in the UK, you need to be aware of several regulations within UK employment law. To start with, make sure your employees have the right to work in the UK (that they hold a valid UK/EU passport or work permit/visa) and a NIN (National Insurance Number) for the deduction of taxes. Also, remember to follow the guidelines for UK employment contracts and provide these within 8 weeks of starting the employment.

In addition, you need to register you employees into a PAYE scheme (Pay-As-You-Earn: social costs of employment including income tax and National Insurance) and organise relevant company insurances. Every employer in the UK must also enrol their employees into the workplace’s pension scheme within three months after the start of the employment.

In terms of the remuneration, you must ensure the employees are paid at least the National Minimum Wage in the UK. As the recruitment market in the UK is highly competitive, also make sure your remuneration package is attractive enough and fits into the scope of the role.

If you are recruiting in the UK, you may want to turn to specialists who can help you with all the employer regulations and responsibilities you need to consider in the UK. Goodwille’s HR Department deals with these issues daily and are happy to help if you have any questions regarding UK employment.

uk flag over london

Expand to the UK With Goodwille

The UK market provides great opportunities for expanding your business, however, starting up a business in the UK is a challenging process full of regulations. In order to get the set-up processes and ongoing compliance right, it’s good to turn to professionals who are able to provide you with advice and all the necessary help you need to get your business operations up and running correctly from the start.

If you are a foreign-owned business looking to expand into the UK, either through setting up a UK subsidiary or employing staff in the UK, Goodwille can help you to get the inside track. We have helped businesses expand into the UK for 20 years, and are experienced in Corporate Governance, Finance, HR, Payroll and Virtual Office services in the UK. With a track record of supporting almost 2,000 businesses, we have extensive experience to help you grow your business. Get in touch with us today, if you are planning to expand to the UK or have any questions regarding the UK market.


Useful contacts for your business

When expanding your business to the UK, there are many organisations you may find useful.

Networking-wise, it’s good to get know your local chamber of commerce and see if their network is worth accessing. For example, Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce and Swedish Chamber of Commerce provide good opportunities for professional networking.

Also, when developing your strategy for the new market, Department of International Trade (DIT) provides free advisory and supports companies with their UK strategy and planning.

We’re recruiting – Chartered Secretary

Goodwille is a forward-thinking, ambitious company dedicated to providing essential business services to overseas companies looking to enter, grow & scale in the UK. These services include Corporate Legal, Finance, People Management, Payroll & Virtual Offices.

We are currently recruiting a Chartered Secretary, to join our Central London based team. The Company Secretarial Team instils Corporate Governance best practices and helps our clients comply with their obligations under Company Law & other regulations.

Within your role you will be responsible for:

  • Building relationships with clients across various jurisdictions & industries
  • Establishing UK Companies and Branches
  • Arranging Know Your Client (“KYC”) and People with Significant Control (“PSC”) documentation and liaising with various providers, advisers and banks
  • Assisting with the UK aspects of corporate reorganisations, mergers & acquisitions, rationalisations, strike-offs, and collaborating with different function lines (HR, benefits, tax, finance, etc)
  • Attending board meetings, minuting & advising on Corporate Governance
  • Assisting with setting up & administering Employee Share Scheme
  • Dealing with all Company Secretarial matters relating to your own portfolio of clients (share capital, shareholding structures etc)
  • Advising Directors on their duties and responsibilities and ensuring they are compliant with the statutes, constitutional documents and their company’s internal governance policies
  • Drafting & reviewing departmental policies & procedures
  • Keeping abreast of company secretarial best practice in company law and governance; proposing, implementing and communicating change, as necessary, within the company and to clients.
  • Supervising & mentoring junior colleagues
  • Supporting other departments with ad-hoc requests

The applicant must possess strong academic credentials (minimum of ACIS / ACG level), be a good communicator, both orally and in writing, and be able to demonstrate initiative and pro-activity.

Reporting to the Head of Company Secretarial it would be advantageous if the applicant has experience working in a professional services firm in a client facing role, preferably with an international client base. The candidate must be able to demonstrate good technical knowledge and in-depth knowledge of the Companies Act 2006, together with accompanying relevant regulations.

Although an international language is not mandatory, being able to speak a Nordic language would be advantageous. In joining us, you will become part of a modern, forward-thinking and inclusive organisation, capable of offering a stimulating environment for you to grow & develop in.

This is your chance to join #teamgoodwille – check us out on Instagram. When you join Goodwille you get access to a whole range of employee benefits, all designed to ensure an enjoyable work/life balance. Some benefits for all employees include:

  • Office fruit every week
  • Employee perks, rewards & benefits including discounts on supermarkets (Sainsburys, Tesco etc.) high street stores (Topshop, John Lewis etc) & gyms.
  • Complimentary phone insurance, as we know how important it is to stay connected
  • Access to the well-being & lifestyle platform, including eating advice, exercise routines and yoga videos
  • Generous social budget, for team lunches, parties or for you to hang out with colleagues.
  • Company Massages

Job type: Permanent, full time

Location: Kensington, West London

Salary: Depending on experience/skill set

If you like the sound of this vacancy and all the features and benefits you get by being part of a team like Goodwille, then please contact eamon.roche@goodwille.com

We’re Recruiting – Marketing Executive

Goodwille provide essential business services to overseas companies looking to enter, grow or scale in the UK. These services include Corporate Legal, Finance, Human Resources, Payroll & Virtual Offices.

We are currently looking for an ambitious Marketing Executive, fluent in a Nordic language (preferably Swedish or Norwegian), to join our Marketing and Business Development team. Within your role you will be responsible for;

  • Managing, developing & growing our social media presence
  • Writing stories & articles in English for online distribution
  • Owning internal communication across the two sites
  • Managing the CSR initiative
  • Organising events & seminars, in the UK & internationally
  • Proactively growing our network across the UK & Nordic countries
  • Promoting Goodwille to fast growing Nordic businesses looking at entering the UK
  • Representing Goodwille at networking events

Although not a prerequisite, anyone that can demonstrate experience working with Photoshop or inDesign, along with experience in graphic design would be advantageous. You should be able to demonstrate experience working across social media channels, preferably within a B2B organisation.

In addition to your main role as a Marketing Executive you will also be expected to support the close-knit marketing department with varied day-to-day tasks across the marketing mix. Reporting to the Marketing Manager but working day-to-day alongside another Marketing Executive you will be expected to confidently work independently, to manage your time and proactively develop your projects. As you grow in the role there is the opportunity to mould and develop the role into a position you find stimulating.

In joining us you will become part of a modern, forward-thinking and inclusive organisation, capable of offering an environment in which to accelerate your career in marketing & communications.

This is your chance to join #TeamGoodwille – check us out on Instagram. When you join Goodwille you get access to a whole range of employee benefits, all designed to ensure an enjoyable work/life balance. Some benefits for all employees include:

  • Office fruit every week
  • Employee perks, rewards & benefits including discounts on supermarkets (Sainsburys, Tesco etc) high street stores (Topshop, John Lewis etc) & gyms.
  • Office massages twice yearly
  • Complimentary phone insurance, as we know how important it is to stay connected
  • Access to a well-being & lifestyle platform, including eating advice, exercise routines and yoga videos
  • Generous social budget, for team lunches, parties or for you to hang out with colleagues.

Job type: Permanent, full time
Location: Kensington, West London
Salary: Depending on experience/skill set
Date: Immediate start

If you like the sound of this vacancy and all the features and benefits you get by being part of a team like Goodwille, then please contact james.service@goodwille.com
www.goodwille.com

We’re recruiting – Financial Assistant

Goodwille provide essential business services to overseas companies looking to enter, grow or scale in the UK. These services include Corporate Legal, Finance, Human Resources, Payroll & Virtual Offices.

We are currently looking for a Financial Assistant to join our Finance team in London. As a Financial Assistant at Goodwille, you will work along the Financial Controllers to support our large client base of international clients, mainly from the Nordics and central Europe, with their day-to-day UK Finances, as well as ensuring efficient and effective processes within the Finance team.

You will be responsible for:

  • Posting purchase invoices onto systems (various software)
  • Checking supplier statements and request copy invoices
  • Reconcile accounts payable to the creditor’s control account in general ledger and the accounts receivable to the debtor’s control account
  • Updating accounts payable with new suppliers
  • Raising & posting sales invoices
  • Updating sales ledgers with new customers
  • Various reconciliations of general ledger accounts
  • Checking expenses, credit card and petty cash and ensuring correct authorisation
  • Reconciling payroll and pension accounts
  • Supporting the Payroll Manager with processing of client payrolls
  • Working with and updating Goodwille’s Standard Operating Procedures
  • Setting up payments within agreed routines and across various banks

To excel in this role, you should be a team player with great attention to detail. Being organised, motivated by working towards deadlines and proactive in reaching out to clients with an excellent client service manner is essential. We are a small but strong and diverse team, so being sociable, engaging and communicative is important as we put a lot of emphasis on team and company culture.

The ideal candidate should have at least 6 months experience from a similar role, but we are happy to train anyone with the right attitude and aspirations. We believe that you are interested in pursuing a career in finance, and will support training for an AAT qualification. International or cross-border experience would be an advantage, as many of our clients are based outside the UK.

In joining us, you will become part of a modern, forward-thinking and inclusive organisation, capable of offering a stimulating environment in which to accelerate your career in finance and accounting.

This is your chance to join #TeamGoodwille – check us out on Instagram. When you join Goodwille you get access to a whole range of employee benefits, all designed to ensure an enjoyable work/life balance. Some benefits for all employees include:

  • Office fruit every week
  • Employee perks, rewards & benefits including discounts on supermarkets (Sainsbury’s, Tesco etc.) high street stores (Topshop, John Lewis etc.) & gyms
  • Office massages twice yearly
  • Complimentary phone insurance, as we know how important it is to stay connected
  • Access to the well-being & lifestyle platform, including eating advice, exercise routines and yoga videos
  • Generous social budget, for team lunches, parties and for you to hang out with colleagues

Job type: Permanent, full time
Location: Kensington, West London
Salary: Depending on experience/skill set

If you like the sound of this vacancy and all the features and benefits you get by being part of a team like Goodwille, then please contact kevin.rutter@goodwille.com.
www.goodwille.com

We’re Recruiting – Corporate Legal Controller

Goodwille provide essential business services to overseas companies looking to enter, grow or scale in the UK. These services include Corporate Legal, Finance, Human Resources, Payroll & Virtual Offices.

We are currently looking for an experienced Corporate Legal Controller to join our Corporate Legal team in London. As a Corporate Legal Controller at Goodwille, you will manage your own portfolio of clients and work closely with the Head of Department to deliver new/existing services and grow the business.

Key responsibilities include

  1. Legal
    • Provide point of reference for initial legal advice of clients
    • Provide corporate legal service offering, including;
      • Drafting corporate agreements
      • Share option schemes registration
      • Corporate restructure support
    • Liaise with and further develop relationships with Professional Support Partners
    • Staying updated on legal developments and changes to UK laws and regulations and assist with the development of CoSec bulletin on legal developments
  2. Compliance
    • Performance of Company Secretarial role (incorporations and statutory filings, HMRC registrations)
    • Work with the KYC/compliance team and optimising existing processes
    • Provide point of reference for compliance team and oversee day-to-day work
    • Ensuring application of best practices as required by client profiles
  3. Management
    • Assist the head of department in managing the CoSec team’s daily processes and long-term development
    • Mentoring and coaching members of department
    • Possibility to drive clients’ legal business development
    • Project development in accordance with legal requirements and market sentiments
  4. New Client Acquisition
    • Taking an active part in winning new business, and developing existing relationships
    • Represent the department and company at networking events

To succeed in this role, you should be educated to degree level, preferably in a legal or business discipline with further Company Secretary qualifications (e.g. ICSA, MSC Corporate Governance). We believe that you have experience of working in an international environment and coaching/supervising team member. Experience of client relationship management and technical company secretarial know-how, as well as experience working with company secretarial software (preferably Blueprint OneWorld) is essential. While fluency in English is a must, being able to speak an additional (Nordic) would be an advantage.

We are a strong and diverse team, so being sociable and engaging is important as we put a lot of emphasis on team and company culture. This is a client-facing role, so being communicative with a high level of cultural awareness and the ability to build and develop new and existing relationships with clients and partners is highly valued.

In joining us, you will become part of a modern and inclusive organisation, capable of offering a stimulating environment where you will be working with a diverse range of client companies and given the opportunity to develop the team and department which you will be part of.

This is your chance to join #TeamGoodwille – check us out on Instagram. When you join Goodwille you get access to a whole range of employee benefits, all designed to ensure an enjoyable work/life balance. Some benefits for all employees include:

  • Office fruit every week
  • Employee perks, rewards & benefits including discounts on supermarkets (Sainsbury’s, Tesco etc.), high street stores (Topshop, John Lewis etc.) & gyms
  • Office massages twice yearly
  • Complimentary phone insurance, as we know how important it is to stay connected
  • Access to the well-being & lifestyle platform, including eating advice, exercise routines and yoga videos
  • Generous social budget for team lunches, parties and for you to hang out with colleagues

Job type: Permanent, full time
Location: Kensington, West London
Salary: Depending on experience/skill set

If you like the sound of this vacancy and all the features and benefits you get by being part of a team like Goodwille, then please contact vidou.motee@goodwille.com.
www.goodwille.com

Employment legislation to consider before taking on UK employees

If you’re expanding into the UK and plan to take on UK employees, you’ll need to ensure you comply with UK employment legislation. The following tips gives you a good start to ensure you keep on the right side of the law when you start to employ UK workers.

Points to consider when taking on employees in the United Kingdom

1. You need to pay at least the statutory minimum wage to UK workers. The rates for the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage change every April. From April 2019, the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage are;
£8.21 per hour for workers aged 25 and over,
£7.70 per hour for workers aged 21 to 24 ,
£6.15 per hour for workers aged 18 to 20,
£4.35 per hour for workers under the age of 18,
£3.90 per hour for Apprentices.

2. It is important to check whether potential employees have a legal right to work in the UK.

3. If your job vacancy entails working with vulnerable members of society or has security issues, you may need to register your employee for a DBS check prior to taking them on.

4. You will need to organise an Employers’ Liability Insurance just as soon as you engage your first employee.

5. If you intend to take on employees for longer than one month, you will need to issue them with a written statement of employment which confirms all the terms and details of their job.

6. You should register for PAYE (Pay-As-You-Earn, which includes National Insurance and Income Tax) with HM Revenue and Customs at least four weeks before you pay your first employee.

7. Find out whether if all new staff will need to be automatically enrolled in a workplace pension scheme.

Goodwille provides a variety of services to companies planning to expand into the United Kingdom. We can help you with all the above issues and more to make sure you fulfil your duties as a UK employer. Read more about our HR Services here or contact us to find out more.

We’re Recruiting – Office Assistant

Goodwille provide essential business services to overseas companies looking to enter, grow or scale in the UK. These services include Governance, Finance, Human Resources, Payroll & Virtual Offices.

We are looking for an Office Assistant who thrives on providing great customer service to join our Front of House team in Warwick. Within your role you will be responsible for:

  • Meeting & Greeting visitors
  • Telephone answering
  • Post handling
  • Customer services & sales processing
  • Meeting room bookings
  • Supporting both internal and external clients with administrative tasks
  • Working with onboarding new clients
  • Liaising with suppliers
  • Supporting other departments & building tenants with ad hoc requests

The applicant must be computer literate, have a strong understanding of the Microsoft Office Suite (Outlook, Word & Excel) and experience working within a busy administration/reception role. We work with clients from all over the world, so experience working in a international environment would be a bonus.

Handling incoming calls will be an important part of your job and you should be passionate about providing great customer service, both on & off the phone, as well as being able to work independently to ensure the smooth running of the reception area. In joining us, you will become part of a modern, forward-thinking and inclusive organisation, capable of offering a stimulating environment for you to work in.

This is your chance to join #TeamGoodwille – check us out on Instagram. When you join Goodwille you get access to a whole range of employee benefits, all designed to ensure an enjoyable work/life balance. Some benefits for all employees include:

  • Office fruit every week
  • Employee perks, rewards & benefits including discounts on supermarkets (Sainsbury’s, Tesco etc.) high street stores (Topshop, John Lewis etc.) & gyms
  • Office massages twice yearly
  • Complimentary phone insurance, as we know how important it is to stay connected
  • Access to the well-being & lifestyle platform, including eating advice, exercise routines and yoga videos
  • Generous social budget for team lunches, parties and for you to hang out with colleagues.

Job type: Permanent, full time
Location: Warwick / Homebased Temporarily
Salary: Depending on experience/skill set

If you like the sound of this vacancy and all the features and benefits you get by being part of a team like Goodwille, then please contact james.service@goodwille.com
www.goodwille.com

Why outsourcing HR is good for your new UK office

When you open a UK office, you’re going to need to employ local people to ensure operations run smoothly and help with cultural differences that can often hinder success. Hiring these people yourself might seem like the right thing to do, but for so many reasons, it can lengthen the time it takes to open a UK office. Therefore, the best option is to outsource your HR needs to help you with your recruitment and related activities.

Here are some of the reasons why you should delegate HR to an outsourced company.

HR service providers know the local market

One of the challenges for your new operation in the UK is familiarising yourself with local laws. They might be similar to the laws in your home territory, but there are bound to be differences. By outsourcing responsibilities to a local HR provider, you can ensure you’re following these regulations and don’t end up being taken to a tribunal.

In addition, the recruitment team will know the best places to advertise and will understand the qualifications system in the UK. This will make the recruitment process shorter and less expensive.

You have more important things to focus on

While you will want to be involved in the interviewing stage of the recruitment drive, you don’t need to be involved in the crafting of job adverts, invitations to interview, reference checks etc. You need to be doing other work that keeps your worldwide operations going.

A good HR service provider will take on the menial tasks, while keeping you informed. This allows you to better spend your time on other activities.

Experienced recruiters might already have talent for your business

When you’re dealing with an experienced recruitment team, you can be certain they’ve been dealing with local talent for years. This often means they know who the best employees are and if they’re looking to advance their career. By tapping into this network, you can get access to quality candidates that would not otherwise be available to your business.

When recruiting talent like this, costs are reduced and the potential benefit to you is much higher.

Recruitment can be a very tiring process

Recruitment can be hard at times. Candidates can seem interested in your business to start with, only to get a good offer elsewhere and leave the process. At the same time, all the paperwork that is required can be very time consuming. This can be demotivating at a time when you need be at your most passionate.

Outsourcing these problems to an outside company enables you to maintain momentum and excitement surrounding the set up of your new office. Then, when it comes to opening your UK office, you will hit the ground running with enthusiasm and a great new team behind you.

If you’re starting up a business in the UK and need HR help for the UK market, then contact Goodwille. Our HR Department can support you throughout the whole employee life cycle, and we offer advice and practical support with everything related to employment. Read more about our HR services to find out more about our expertise and knowledge of best practise HR in the UK.

3 main factors to consider when recruiting UK employees

For many UK-based businesses, taking on a new staff member can be a daunting and intricate process. With no reachable source of guidance, it will definitely feel burdensome.

Whether you are planning to launch a startup or expand your international business, employees are critical to the process. Get started on the right foot by attracting the best job seekers and avoid legal consequences due to improper recruitment practices.

Here are 3 key factors to consider when recruiting UK employees:

Know the law

UK employment laws protect both employees and employers, so it’s vital that your HR department knows and understands these laws. By keeping up to date with the legal obligations in the UK, you can easily make sure your recruitment procedure complies with the regulations. Such laws include: anti-discrimination policies, immigration laws, pre-employment checks and many more. It is also vital to know and understand the various post-employment regulations in the UK. If you don’t know the law or fail to comply, it can be detrimental and costly for your business.

Determine your employees’ pay

Always pay the correct rates. From their first day of employment, all employees have the right to be paid at least National Minimum Wage. However, their total pay will likely exceed the national wage to include pensions, travel expenses, loans and meal subsidies.

Also, paying the National Living Wage to your potential workers can help them afford a better standard of living. This is something you need to consider as it motivates employees to perform better.

How to reach out to quality candidates

Just as vital as it is for HR to understand how job seekers are searching for roles, they must also consider the type of information they seek.

A survey conducted by Glassdoor in May 2018 revealed that online job sites are the leading job source platforms. Therefore, using top job sites facilitates the hiring process as experienced and talented candidates will be able to find and access relevant information about your company.

The study by Glassdoor also highlighted the critical pieces of information UK job seekers are looking for on a job description. These include the salary, the location of the job, and any work-life benefits.

When opening a UK office, quality should also be your top priority. To attract quality candidates, you must be able to tailor your adverts in a manner that entices job seekers and portrays your company in a positive light.

Goodwille is here to support your business with everything related to HR and employing people in the UK. Check out our HR services and get in touch with us today if you need help with your UK employees.

Right to Work Checks

If you are looking to set up a company in the UK, Right to Work Checks are an essential part of taking on employees and casual workers. This post gives a brief overview of some of the main questions those entering the UK market might have about Right to Work Checks.

What is a “right to work check”?

Employers must check and ensure that any employees or workers they take on are legally allowed to work in the United Kingdom before they employ them. This is a legal requirement, and it is illegal to hire anyone, formally or informally, who is aged 16 or over and is not able to work in the UK.

What happens if an employer does not carry out Right to Work Checks?

Employers in the United Kingdom have a legal obligation to prevent people from working illegally. If it is discovered that an employer has hired an illegal worker, and there is no evidence of a Right to Work Check having been carried out, the employer may receive a civil fine of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker discovered.

Who needs a Right to Work Check?

Right to Work Checks should be carried out on all employees before they begin work. Carrying out Right to Work Checks on only certain groups of people may be in breach of discrimination laws. Employers should not make assumptions about a person’s right to work in the UK based on colour, nationality, ethnicity, accent or the amount of time they have been a legal resident in the UK.

If I know the candidate personally, do I still need to carry out a Right to Work Check?

Yes, regardless of whether you know the job candidate personally, you must still carry out a Right to Work Check before they commence work with you.

How do I carry out a Right to Work Check?

Carrying out a Right to Work Check is a three step process. Firstly, you must see the applicant’s original documents that prove they have a right to work in the UK. You must then check that these documents are in fact valid, and you must check the validity of the documents whilst the applicant is present. Finally, you must take clear copies of the documents, in a way which means they cannot be altered, to record the date the check was carried out.

If you have questions about your obligations when hiring in the UK, check out our HR Services or contact us today for more advice and tips.