Moving to a new country can be a whirlwind experience, with so many different issues to consider. To help with that process, below are ten key points relating to your employment if you are thinking of, or are in the process of, moving to the UK to work.
Ensure Your Contract of Employment Is Comprehensive
- Most employees are legally entitled to a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment within two calendar months before starting work. This should include details of things like pay, holidays and working hours.
When moving to the UK, you should seek to finalise all contractual terms before you agree to move. It is important to try to agree on practical terms such as rental costs, travel allowances, children’s education – and to have them all set out in your contract of employment.
- Your contract should also set out what will happen when your contract terminates. Will you return to your home country and have all relocation costs covered? Will you return to your previous job? Will you be made redundant? This should be carefully considered and clearly set out in your contract of employment.
- As some legal protections in the UK only arise when an employee has at least 2 years of continuous employment, it is important to ensure when moving to the UK that you focus on how long your employment will be regarded as continuous (consider adding your service with the company outside the UK to the period that will start in the UK) and have it clarified in the contract. What the contract says on this point is not necessarily going to be accepted by the UK courts, but it will help.
Agree Upon an Appropriate Notice Period
- Employers usually must give employees at least the notice stated in the contract of employment (the “contractual notice”) or the legal minimum notice period, whichever is the longer. The legal minimum notice required to dismiss is:
- One week if the employee has been employed between one month and two years
- One week for each complete year of employment up to a maximum of twelve weeks
For example, for three years of continuous employment, the notice period will be three weeks.