Setting Up Business in UK

Understanding UK Employment Law

Setting up a business in a different country can be a daunting process. It is important to note that there are several types of employment relationships in the UK. However, if you are engaging people to work for you they are very likely to be ‘workers’ or ‘employees’ unless they are very clearly self-employed.

Employer’s Liability Insurance

As soon as you become an employer, it is advisable to have Employers Liability Insurance from an authorised insurer. This insurance will help you should need to pay compensation if an employee is injured or becomes ill because of the work they do for you.

In the event that an employer is unable to produce a valid certificate upon request, they may be liable to significant fines.

Right to Work in the UK and Other Checks

All workers must show that they have the legal right to work in the UK, regardless of their background. The Government provides a checklist of documents that must be produced by a prospective employee in order to show that they are eligible to work in the UK. As an employer you must ensure that you have seen the original documents of the prospective employee and have checked their validity.

Written Statement of Employment Particulars (The Contract of Employment)

New employees must be given a Written Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment within two months of their start date although good practice is to give this information before the start of employment.

Holidays and Working Hours

Almost all workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). An employer can include bank holidays as part of statutory annual leave. You may provide more holiday than this if you wish.

Employees must not work more than 48 hours per week over an average period of 17 weeks unless they agree in writing to do so. Minimum rest breaks also apply and there are additional rules applying to night work and young employees.

National Minimum Wage

The Government sets a minimum wage for all workers in the UK, which is increased every year.

Health and Safety Regulations

In addition to Employer’s Liability Insurance, it’s crucial for businesses to comply with health and safety regulations in the UK. This includes conducting risk assessments, providing necessary safety equipment and training, and establishing clear safety protocols in the workplace. Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in fines, legal liabilities, and even the closure of your business in severe cases.

Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

UK employment law prohibits discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, age, disability, religion, or sexual orientation. Employers must create a workplace that promotes equality and diversity. This involves implementing anti-discrimination policies, providing equal opportunities for all employees, and addressing any instances of discrimination promptly and fairly.

Data Protection and GDPR

If your business processes personal data, you must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the UK. This involves ensuring data privacy, obtaining consent for data collection, and having data protection policies in place. Non-compliance can result in substantial fines.

Employment Contracts and Dispute Resolution

Having clear and well-drafted employment contracts is crucial to avoid misunderstandings and disputes. Employers should also be aware of the various methods of dispute resolution available, such as mediation and employment tribunals, and know how to handle grievances and conflicts in a legally compliant manner.

Ongoing Legal Updates

UK employment law is subject to change, so it’s important to stay updated on the latest legislative developments and adapt your practices accordingly. This can be done through legal counsel, industry associations, or government resources.

In summary, navigating UK employment law involves more than just understanding the basic rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. It requires a comprehensive understanding of various legal aspects, including health and safety, discrimination, termination, benefits, and data protection, among others. Staying informed and seeking legal guidance when necessary is essential for running a successful and compliant business in the UK.

Hiring Overseas workers

In today’s interconnected world, UK-based businesses often seek to hire skilled individuals from other countries. However, the process of securing the right visas and complying with immigration regulations can be complex. It might take some time to really get through the process of Hiring Overseas Workers. Hence, a deep understanding of Sponsorship License is a must for the businesses planning on hiring any overseas talent.

Understanding the Sponsorship License

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. To hire overseas workers, UK-based businesses must obtain a Sponsorship License from the Home Office.
  2. Eligibility criteria include demonstrating the authenticity of your business, financial stability, and adherence to immigration laws.

Types of Sponsorship Licences:

There are two main categories: 

  • Tier 2 (General) for skilled workers and 
  • Tier 5 for temporary workers.

Choose the appropriate licence based on the type of workers you need.

Responsibilities of a Sponsor:

  • As a sponsor, you are accountable for adhering to immigration laws, maintaining records, and fulfilling reporting duties.
  • Failure to meet these responsibilities can result in the revocation of your sponsorship licence.

Recruitment and Regulatory Adherence

Resident Labor Market Test:

In most cases, you must advertise the job to resident workers before hiring overseas talent.

Exceptions exist for certain roles and if the job is on the Shortage Occupation List.

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS):

Once you obtain a sponsorship licence, you’ll need to issue a CoS to your overseas worker.

The CoS contains vital information, including job details, salary, and the start date.

The Role of Davenport Solicitors

Immigration Law Expertise:

  • Davenport Solicitors is a reputable law firm with a specialisation in immigration law.
  • Their experienced team can guide you through the sponsorship licence application process.

Assistance with Regulatory Requirements:

  • Davenport Solicitors ensures that your business complies with immigration laws throughout the hiring process.
  • This includes helping you establish rigorous record-keeping practices.

Professional Guidance:

  • Davenport Solicitors offers personalised guidance, aligning their services with your unique needs.
  • They can assist with preparing and submitting applications, reducing the risk of costly errors.

Handling Complex Cases:

Davenport Solicitors can assist with more intricate cases, such as challenging visa refusals or aiding employees in switching visas.

Hiring overseas workers for UK-based businesses can be a strategic move to access diverse skills and perspectives. However, the process involves intricate legal and regulatory requirements, including obtaining a sponsorship licence. Seeking assistance from us can streamline the process, ensuring that your business adheres to immigration laws while successfully recruiting overseas talent.

In conclusion, the decision to hire overseas workers should be made carefully, considering the specific needs of your business. With the right guidance and legal support, you can harness the potential of an international workforce and contribute to the growth and success of your UK-based company.