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With so many different Employer of Record (EOR) services out there, figuring out which one is the best for hiring UK-based employees is challenging. You know you want to tap into the United Kingdom’s talent marketplace, but you also want to get the hassles of UK legal compliance, payroll, benefits, and other challenges off of your desk. But which UK EOR service is best? In this article, I'll help you make this choice easy by sharing my insights on the best Employer of Record services to hire employees in the UK.

What is an Employer of Record for the UK?

An Employer of Record (EOR) for the UK is a third-party service provider that acts as the legal employer for future employees you wish to hire within the United Kingdom (including England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), while your parent company maintains day-to-day control of your employee's tasks and workload. As the legal employer, the EOR assumes full legal responsibility for any new hires, including payroll, tax deductions, compliance management, benefits administration, and any other UK-specific employee perks.

Using an EOR service is beneficial for companies wanting to hire British staff or expand their operations into the UK since it simplifies this process considerably. Rather than burdening your HR professionals with the task of becoming experts in UK labour laws and regulations, you can outsource these requirements to a UK EOR and gain peace of mind that your future operations will be compliant.

Overviews of the 10 Best Employer of Record UK

To help you find the best UK-specific EOR service for you, I’ve described my top 10 selections in detail, including the specific services each provider offers, and how HR teams can use them. I’ve also included 10 more EOR service providers for the UK below if you’d like even more options to choose from.

1

Deel

Best for rapidly onboarding UK EOR employees

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.7
2186 reviews

Free demo available

Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people

Deel is a well-established employer of record platform that enables companies to rapidly employ people in 150+ countries, including within the UK. 

Deel owns a local entity in the UK that is staffed with legal experts to keep track of regulatory changes, and ensure all legal obligations are met on your behalf. To hire a UK-based employee with Deel, the average onboarding time frame is 1 day.

Why I picked Deel: Deel offers a free employee cost calculator to help you estimate the cost of hiring a British employee, including a breakdown of all required employer costs such as national insurance contributions and pension enrollment costs. 

The well-established business has launched several new offerings over the past year, including global payroll, global mobility support, integrated Slack tools, and advanced integrations.

Deel Key Services:

Deel offers end-to-end management for your British employees covering everything from hiring and onboarding to termination and severance. Their web app is user-friendly and provides a range of features to help businesses manage their British workers effectively, including contract management and expense tracking. 

Their integrated contract management function supports advanced customizations such as stipends, signing bonuses, and stock options. Deel also automatically calculates your national insurance contributions and the mandatory private workplace pension costs which all UK-based employers are legally required to provide at a minimum of 3% of the employee’s monthly salary in GBP. 

In addition, Deel is known for its fast support. They offer 24/7 customer support and live chat.

2

Papaya Global

Best for tracking complex leave entitlements

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.5
31 reviews

Free trial available

EOR from $650/employee/month or $2/contractor/month; Global payroll from $3 to $12/employee/month

Papaya Global is an automated, SaaS platform that helps organizations remove barriers to global hiring. You can use their EOR service to hire full-time employees or contractors within the UK. 

Why I picked Papaya Global: I included Papaya Global in this list because of their detailed knowledge of annual leave entitlements for UK employees. Their software automatically allocates 20 working days of paid leave per UK employee, plus 8 days of public holidays. 

Their software also simplifies the process of tracking and compensating employees for extended sick leave. In the UK, employees are also entitled to receive up to 28 weeks of paid sick leave, for which employees are compensated with Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) at 109.40 GBP per week. 

Papaya Global can help your company simplify the process of managing British employees. Enterprises can access Papaya’s state-of-the-art automation, security, and BI without replacing their existing payroll system. Their self-guided tour also walks you through how payroll professionals can use their technology to automate and manage their global payroll quickly and compliantly.

Papaya Global Key Services:

Papaya Global's services include advanced compliance, liability coverage, employee contract lifecycle management, immigration and visa assistance, data security monitoring, and enterprise-grade global payroll processing using an AI-based payroll engine.

Their platform integrates with all management tools, and uses smart technology to eliminate errors and ensure compliance. It also creates a highly visible system for tracking payroll spending and real-time business intelligence (BI).

3

Remofirst

Best for cost-conscious companies wanting a dedicated account manager

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.3
59 reviews

Free demo available

From $199/employee/month for EOR and $25/mo for contractors

Remofirst is a global EOR service provider on a mission to free employers from geographical boundaries so they can build a global team with ease. You can use their EOR platform to hire and manage full-time employees or contractors in the UK, eliminating the need to set up a local entity.

Why I picked Remofirst: If you plan to hire many EOR employees in different countries, Remofirst is a good option to consider because of their aggregated invoice function. To simplify your payroll process, Remofirst summarizes and aggregates your EOR invoices for review, showing each EOR employee’s salary in their local currency, including sterling pounds (GBP or £). 

They'll automatically calculate your team’s hours, time off, holidays, bonuses, and commissions so you don’t have to worry about it. Instead, you only need to review a single monthly invoice and approve it for payment, rather than approving multiple individual invoices and payments.

Remofirst Key Services:

Their team of legal experts and HR professionals will ensure your business operations are always compliant with changing UK regulations, with compliance documentation accessible at all times through your secure dashboard. Their customer support team is also available 24/7 in case you need additional help. All clients also receive a dedicated account manager as their main point of contact too.

On top of their EOR services, Remofirst also provides international payroll and invoice management, global benefits management (including insurance and equity plans, plus time-off management), and employee support with obtaining visas and other immigration documentation. They can even help you with provisioning equipment to your entire global workforce.

4

Multiplier

Best for quick employee onboarding

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.6
676 reviews

Free demo available

EOR from $400/employee/month or $40/contractor/month; Global payroll from $20/employee/month

Multiplier is an employer of record company that provides HR and global payroll services to businesses, allowing them to outsource these responsibilities to a single provider. You can use their services to hire and pay employees based in the UK and ensure you’re always in compliance with changing labor laws and tax policies.

Why I picked Multiplier: Multiplier helps businesses quickly and easily onboard new employees, manage their payroll and benefits, and ensure compliance with local laws and regulations. Their EOR services are very fast, with the ability to employ new talent in less than 24 hours once you've decided which candidate you'd like to extend an offer to. Their 4-step onboarding process is also user-friendly, providing a good experience for your new employees. 

Multiplier Key Services:

Their EOR services include payroll processing, tax compliance, benefits administration, and worker's compensation. Their team of local experts, based in their local headquarters in London, England, provides ongoing support and guidance, ensuring compliance with British laws and regulations. By outsourcing your core HR responsibilities to Multiplier, you can reduce your exposure to the legal and financial risks associated with employing workers in the UK.

5

Atlas HXM

Best UK EOR for small businesses

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
5
3 reviews

Free demo available

From $595/employee/month or $49/contractor/month

Atlas HXM offers innovative companies the tools they need to compete in a global economy. As one of the largest, direct EOR service providers, they believe that businesses should be able to employ whomever they want, wherever the talent exists.

Why I picked Atlas HXM: They're a popular choice across numerous industries, including non-profits, financial services, oil & gas, energy, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, technology, and government, and they can tailor their service offerings to your needs, whether you're a new startup, an SME, or an enterprise organization.

Atlas is committed to widening the margins of entrepreneurship and employment alike. As such, their business model helps startups and SMBs compete on the international playing field—turning commercial innovations into viable global enterprises. In doing so, Atlas brings opportunities to local economies and the people who work there.

Atlas HXM Key Services:

Services include UK-specific compliance monitoring, employee engagement and productivity monitoring, benefits administration (health, dental, and vision), and guidance on safety programs to minimize business risks.

Their technology platform is supported by international experts that deliver flexible services to companies wanting to expand across borders, including into the UK. Their services can help you onboard talent, manage compliance, and pay your global workforce without the need for a local entity or multiple third-party providers.

6

Skuad

Best for intellectual property protection

From $199/month

Free demo + free trial

Skuad’s digital HR platform helps international organizations hire, pay, and manage employees in over 160 countries, including the UK. When you hire them as your EOR for the UK, they’ll manage the whole hiring process on your behalf, including creating employment agreements in French, as needed.

Why I picked Skuad: As part of their EOR service, Skuad offers coverage for your intellectual property (IP) and invention rights which relate to all the work your EOR employees conduct on your behalf. This includes coverage for your copyrights, trademarks, and any other sensitive IP projects that relate to your business activities. 

Skuad Key Services:

Skaud's EOR services include remote employee onboarding, employee benefits, time-off tracking, and managing tax compliance. As part of their global hiring service, they will even stickhandle all the required documentation on your behalf, including work permits and visas for your new hires as well as their dependents. Beyond that, they can also help with tracking company assets like phones and computer equipment.

7

Horizons

Best for a flexible EOR contract with no termination fee

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

Horizons offers streamlined global HR solutions including EOR and PEO services, international payroll and recruitment, and global mobility & immigration support.

Why I picked Horizons: I included Horizons in this list because their EOR service is cost-effective compared to others, and they offer flexible contract terms. You can end your EOR relationship with them at any time without worrying about costly termination fees or other penalties.

Their UK EOR services are administered by their local experts who are well-versed in UK employment laws, including statutory maternity leave and parental leave.  

Horizons Key Services:

In addition to their standard EOR services, they offer additional niche service offerings such as tips for doing business in the UK, guides to help with global expansion, resources for strategic mergers & acquisitions, and advice on how to access new and emerging markets.

8

Omnipresent

Best for estimating employment costs

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

Omnipresent offers a range of global employment services that cover the full talent management lifecycle from onboarding and offer management to termination and offboarding. In addition to their employer of record (EOR) service, they also offer professional employer organization (PEO) and virtual employer organization (VEO) services as well.

Why I picked Omnipresent: Their OmniCalculator tool helps you estimate the different employment costs associated with hiring employees in the UK, including contributions for National Insurance (NI), apprenticeship levies, and mandatory pension plan contributions.

Omnipresent Key Services:

Their employer of record service works in tandem alongside their legal & compliance and global benefits offerings, giving you all the tools you need to successfully manage new employees based in the UK. Omnipresent also covers onboarding, payroll processing, and benefits administration, helping you offer benefits packages for British employees that comply with local employment labor laws.

Omnipresent handles all the complexity of local taxes and cross-border payments, giving you a single monthly invoice for all services rendered. Payslips, expense forms, employee contracts, and other documents are held securely on the platform.

9

Velocity Global

Best for offering EOR employees flexible work spaces

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

Velocity Global is a well-known employer of record (EOR) and professional employer organization (PEO) provider that simplifies global hiring thanks to their network of on-the-ground experts in 185+ countries, including in the UK. 

Why I picked Velocity Global: I included Velocity Global in this list because, in addition to helping you source UK employees, they can also help you offer them a physical workspace as well. They achieve this through partnerships with flexible work spaces such as WeWork, Industrious, and The Office Group, creating a positive employee experience for your EOR hires. 

Velocity Global Key Services:

Velocity Global’s services include payroll, compliance, benefits management, employee training, and risk management for your UK-based employee operations. Their team of experts takes care of all required paperwork and can get your new employees up and running in the UK in as quickly as 2 working days. 

In addition to their EOR services, Velocity Global can also help you simplify your plans for global expansion through its global immigration services in case you’re wanting to move international employees to the UK.

10

Rippling

Best for managing IT assets and required compliance training

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.8
1133 reviews

Free demo available

From $8/user/month (EOR pricing upon request)

Rippling is an all-in-one global HR, payroll, and IT platform that offers additional EOR and PEO services. You can use their combined software and services to run payroll easily, with each EOR employee paid in their local currency, including sterling pounds (GBP or £).  

Why I picked Rippling: I included Rippling because of their unique dual functionality as both an HR platform and IT management system. Using Rippling, you can provide a streamlined employee experience for all your new employees, easily granting them access to all the IT assets they’ll need as part of their employee onboarding process. 

The platform also automatically assigns required country-specific compliance training for EOR employees. This means you don’t have to figure out what type of employee compliance training is required in the UK, or lean on a separate training management system for assistance. Instead, everything is handled directly by Rippling.

Rippling Key Services:

Rippling offers enterprise-grade security, scalability, and operational efficiency with its unified platform, allowing you to manage payroll and benefits, time-tracking, and reporting for your entire workforce from a single user interface.

Their combined services and software include compliance monitoring, automated tax filings, accurate time tracking, and reporting. Their payroll processing doesn’t require you to feed the system with employee data manually and doesn't require manual calculations. Everything is done automatically, as the system syncs all HR data with the payroll system. All you need to do is set the right pay periods for your employees, review the payroll, and approve it.

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Other Options for Employers of Record in the UK

Here are some other UK EOR services that didn’t make the top list, in case you’d like a few more options:

  1. Remote

    Best for competitive and cost-effective benefits packages

  2. Oyster HR

    Best for global hiring compliance

  3. Foxhire

    Best for hiring UK healthcare and higher education workers

  4. Mercans

    Best EOR for supporting payments in cryptocurrency

  5. Airswift

    Best EOR for the energy, infrastructure, mining, and technology industries

  6. Plane

    Best for US-based companies looking to hire UK staff

  7. Safeguard Global

    Best EOR services for NGOs and non-profit organizations

  8. GoGlobal

    Best for 24-hour quotes

  9. Pivotal

    Best EOR for temporary staffing and short-term contracts

  10. Globalization Partners

    Best for a library of UK-specific HR resources

Selection Criteria for Employer of Record UK 

If you’re curious how I created this list of the best Employer of Record for the UK, I'm happy to explain my process. I started by reviewing recent Employer of Record market data to create a long list of EOR service providers to assess. Next, I drilled into each EOR’s website to judge their experience in the UK talent marketplace. 

For the final portion of my assessment, I carefully compared the service offerings from each provider using the selection criteria below. This helped me determine which partnerships would add the most value for organizations wanting to hire UK employees.

Here's a summary of the fine details I was looking for, to satisfy your curiosity.

Core Capabilities

Here are the core capabilities I vetted for each UK employer of record service that made it into my shortlist. Each service provided needed to demonstrate the strength and depth of these capabilities in order to be included.

Industry Expertise

The EOR service providers in this list clearly demonstrated a strong track record in this complex and highly specialized field. To assess this, I reviewed the depth of their services offered and the credentials of their team members, if available.

Compliance & Legal Expertise

To give your human resources team peace of mind, all of the EOR service providers in this list have UK experts that are fluent in local labor laws and income tax requirements. This expertise is crucial as their British HR professionals will be your front line of defense to avoid any non-compliance issues, which can lead to big problems (i.e., fines, penalties, and legal actions).

Customer Service

I selected service providers that offer strong customer support, with proactive service for both employees and the client company. Since the EOR provider will act as your remote workers' legal employer, it's important to ensure you'll receive timely communications and top-level support.

Value for Cost

EOR services are complicated, and because of that the price tag can sometimes be high. Most providers offer a flat rate per employee or contractor hired through their service. However, some only offer pricing details upon request. Either way, the prices for their services still offer a good ROI considering the complexity of the premium-grade services you're gaining.

Other Key Services

In addition to the core capabilities above, I also assessed the depth of the other key services each British EOR provider offered. While each one does have its own unique blend of options, this list covers the core functions every EOR provider should cover:

  • Processing and funding payroll: ensuring that your employees are paid correctly and on time
  • Depositing and filing taxes: covering all legal obligations regarding deducting and managing local and payroll taxes
  • Dealing with timesheets: collecting and processing time records as necessary, including tracking time off requests
  • Top talent acquisition: working with the client company to source additional talent from the global market as needed
  • Background checks: checking the background of new hires to confirm their credentials and ensure their suitability for their role
  • Employee onboarding: helping new hires assimilate into their new company and role
  • Managing employment relationships: creating and maintaining appropriate employment contracts for staff members and dealing with any grievances
  • Handling workers’ compensation: ensuring legal compliance with all workers’ compensation matters
  • Maintaining certificates of insurance: providing an adequate level of cover for all business activities
  • Administering benefits: managing and paying out employee benefits as appropriate, including local health insurance for remote workers
  • Handling offboarding: dealing with the termination of employment and related matters as per the labor laws of each jurisdiction

FAQs about EOR Services in the UK

If you’ve got specific questions about the requirements to hire British employees or how EOR services work, these answers to frequently asked questions are a good place to start:

What does an Employer of Record do?

An Employer of Record (EOR) service provider is a third-party entity that can help an organization hire a new employee in a country where it has no physical presence. It’s a useful service for businesses that are expanding internationally but don’t have physical offices established yet, or don’t ever plan to establish them. In these situations, the EOR provider becomes the legal employer of your remote staff on your behalf.

In this type of partnership, the EOR service provider deals with local employee-related matters such as managing payroll, deducting taxes, and administering the onboarding process for new employees. This allows organizations to access global talent while reducing their legal liabilities and compliance risks. This is because the EOR company assumes the legal responsibility for your international new hires on your behalf.

For a more detailed breakdown of EOR services, I recommend our article explaining how an EOR service works too.

What are the benefits of using an Employer of Record in the UK?

A UK-specific EOR service offers many benefits for companies that want to hire top talent in the UK, including:

  • They’ve already established a legal entity in the United Kingdom
  • They’re up-to-speed on the local employment laws and tax regulations in the UK
  • They can help you source and hire new talent quickly
  • They can negotiate better insurance rates and benefit packages on your behalf

Using a UK EOR service is also cost-effective for businesses trying to enter a new market, compared to the significant costs of establishing a new European entity. The latter option involves significant upfront legal fees, plus other costs related to office infrastructure, staffing, and local benefits and insurance coverage.

What are the minimum wage requirements in the UK?

In the UK, the national minimum wage (also known as the national living wage) varies depending on the age of your employee or EOR hire. As of 2023, the current national living wage for employees aged 23 and above is £10.42 per hour. However, the UK has already announced that as of April 1st, 2024, employees as young as 21 years old will be entitled to receive the national living wage, which will also increase to £11.44 per hour.

Staying on top of changes to minimum wages is just one of the benefits of working with an EOR. For more details on the upcoming wage increase in the UK, visit the gov.uk website.

What are the standard working hours and overtime regulations in the UK?

In the UK, the standard working hours are 40 hours per week, or 8 hours per day spread over 5 days. However, additional regulations state that employee work hours cannot exceed a maximum of 48 hours per week when averaged over 17 weeks, though employers can request workers to opt out of the 48 hour limit if reasonable for their role.

Paying overtime hours is not required in the UK, and tracking the rules surrounding overtime arrangements can vary depending on your industry, quickly becoming a time-consuming task. By working with a UK EOR, you can get this hassle off of your desk and give yourself peace of mind.

What are the bank holidays in the UK?

There are eight nationwide bank holidays (also known as public holidays) in the UK, including:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Good Friday (date varies)
  • Easter Monday (date varies)
  • Early May holiday (1st Monday in May)
  • Spring bank holiday (last Monday May May)
  • Summer bank holiday (last Monday in August)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • Boxing Day (December 26)

Your EOR provider can work with you to determine the appropriate holiday dates for your UK staff. If you want to note the UK bank holidays for 2024 and 2025 in advance, visit the gov.uk website.

Do EOR providers offer other types of global HR services?

Yes, most of the time they do. Many service providers in this space also offer professional employer organization services (also known as PEO services), as well as global payroll services.

PEO services are a way of outsourcing portions of your HR function to support your international teams. They can help you with international compliance issues, benefits administration, workers’ compensation, and other HR administrative tasks.

Global payroll services allow you to easily pay remote employees or independent contractors within a unified payroll run. They manage in-country compliance requirements and juggle payments in multiple local currencies on your behalf.

To dive even deeper into this topic, read our article covering other types of global HR services to figure out the best fit for you.

What are some of the consequences of non-compliance?

As an organization, you never want to be deemed as non-compliant in the eyes of any government body. The exact rules and regulations will vary according to the jurisdiction you’re operating in, which is one of the main benefits of using an EOR service provider.

If you don’t use an EOR and you do hire international workers, you may quickly find yourself in non-compliance. The consequences of doing so will depend on the severity of the violation, but they could include all of the following:

  • Fines and penalties
  • Legal actions such as lawsuits or other litigation proceedings
  • Corrective measures and compliance orders
  • Revocation of business licenses or operating permits
  • Reputational damage if the news becomes public (loss of public trust and loss of internal employee respect)
  • Increased monitoring and additional government scrutiny

Companies who fail to follow international labor laws cannot simply say they were unaware of the legalities, and hence, didn’t follow them. That’s where an EOR service can really remove a lot of potential risk and liability from the international hiring process.

To brush up on your compliance best practices, have a quick read through our 2023 HR Compliance Guide.

Are there any risks to using an Employer of Record service?

In the world of business, nothing is ever 100% risk free, and that is true for Employer of Record services as well. While EOR services do offer substantial advantages, here are some of the risks you should also be mindful of as you choose the right partner for you:

Financial risks:

  • Hidden costs and service fees: Some EOR providers may charge additional service fees for specific tasks, such as processing documents, onboarding or offboarding employees, or providing additional HR advice.
  • Mandatory benefits: Some countries require mandatory benefits for employees. In that case, the EOR will charge you for those benefits in addition to the employee salary and their service percentage, which can add up.
    Currency fluctuations: Exchange fluctuations can impact the cost of payroll and other financial transactions as the strength of a currency you’re using goes up or down.

Operational risks:

  • Data security: Since you’re entrusting sensitive employee data to your EOR, you’ll want to consider the strength of their data protection practices and policies, including their incident response plans, IT penetration testing, and data management certifications, such as ISO 27001.

Strategic risks:

  • Loss of control: You will need to relinquish some degree of control over the workforce management processes of your EOR employees, which may impact your organization’s strategic decision-making capabilities.
  • Brand reputation: Any negative actions, incidents, or practices of your chosen EOR can directly impact your organization’s brand reputation and create a negative employee experience if not handled properly.

For a deeper dive on this topic, read our guide to the risks of using an EOR, including ways you can mitigate each potential issue upfront.

Other EOR Resources & HR Services

With HR services already on your mind, I think you’ll find value in these articles too:

Gain Access to the Best British Talent with an EOR for the UK

If you made it this far, I hope you have a better sense of how EOR services can simplify the process of hiring British employees. They're truly a valuable resource, whether you're an enterprise organization looking to snap up the top talent in the UK, or a small business or startup trying to break into the UK talent marketplace.

If you found this article helpful, I recommend signing up for our weekly People Managing People newsletter too. You'll get access to the latest insights from thought leaders, as well as our latest podcasts, and more software and service recommendations.

By Kim Behnke

Kim Behnke is an HR Tool Expert & Writer for People Managing People. She draws on her 9 years of human resources experience and her keen eye for systematic processes to support her analyses of the top HR tools on the market. She is passionate about maximizing efficiencies and streamlining workflows to ensure internal systems run smoothly. Kim's HR experience includes recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training and development, policy development and enforcement, and HR analytics. She also has degrees in psychology, writing, publishing, and technical communication, and recently completed a Certified Digital HR Specialist program through the Academy to Innovate HR. When away from her desk, she can usually be found outside tending to her ever-expanding garden.