So you’re about to make the move across the pond to start a promising career in the UK. Once the initial excitement dissipates, you may realize you don’t know much about working in the UK, except maybe where to show up the first day. Here are the four essential things every new UK employee should know.
In negotiating your salary, remember that your money won’t stretch as far in the UK as it did in the US. In fact, Numbeo reports that local purchasing power in the UK is 14.16 percent lower than that of the US. You can safely assume you’ll be paying more for groceries, rent, and other expenses, so make sure your salary can keep up.
If you’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK, you can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa. Before you can travel to the UK to work, you’ll need a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor — usually your employer. This certificate isn’t actually a piece of paper; it’s a reference number that your employer provides for you to include on your application. To qualify for a Tier 2 visa, the job you’re offered must pay at least ₤20,800 ($32,267).
National Insurance Numbers (NINs) are in the UK what social security numbers are in the US. The number helps administer the UK’s National Insuran ce system and is also used for tax purposes. You’ll need a NIN in order to work in the UK, but you can’t apply until you arrive. You’ll apply via telephone, and you’ll need to prove you have the right to work in the UK.
Here’s a quick summary of what you can expect from the UK’s labor laws:
Starting a new career in a foreign country is a life-changing event. Now that you know the basics of working in the UK, you’ll be able to hit the ground running when you arrive. Check out our Relocation Guide to learn even more about living and working in London.
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