A guide to working in the UK from Australia

By Robert Half on 5th July 2022

Thinking about making a move to the United Kingdom?

While many countries around the world are still recovering from the impact of COVID-19, the Australian and UK governments have made progress to rebuild the employment market through the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement, coming into effect by the end of this year or early 2023.

What this will mean for Australian jobseekers travelling to Britain is an equal footing with EU nationals in the UK for the first time in more than 40 years.

In addition to senior-level candidates, this trade agreement is also positive for junior to mid-level jobseekers who want to incorporate travel with their re-location, with eligibility to participate in working holiday opportunities raised from 30 to 35 years of age for Australians and stays allowed for up to three years in the United Kingdom.

If you are looking for advice on how to find a job in the UK from Australia, here are some important tips to consider that could be beneficial for both your professional and personal life.

Why should Australian citizens look for jobs in the UK?

Prior to COVID-19, Australians travelled the long-distance to visit the UK, with as many as 667,800 Aussies visiting the UK in 2019, and more than 120,000 currently residing.

For those interested in finding a job in the UK from Australia, here are a few positive reasons to consider:

Work-life balance

Since the move towards remote working, many employers in the UK are making an effort to provide better work-life balance for their staff.

Normal working hours are 9am to 5pm with a minimum 30-minute lunch break, however this will depend on your employment contract or if your company offers flexible working hours. Nearly all workers are also entitled to 5.6 weeks paid annual leave a year.

Travel

After two years of closed borders, it is no surprise that Aussies are keen to travel again, and the UK is an ideal destination to both travel and work. The country offers many famous landmarks, entertainment and dining attractions, and a remarkable landscape to visit via train or car.

And with London only a two-hour train ride to Paris, or a quick flight from Heathrow to various countries across Greater Europe, the UK is the perfect home base for Australians to enjoy travelling again.


Hannah Szymanski

Hannah Szymanski, Head of Contract Talent in London, has worked for Robert Half in both the UK and Australia.

She says, “While you might miss the Australian weather, there are plenty of reasons to consider a move to the UK.

The similarities in working hours and values help with the culture shock, and you’ll also be perfectly placed to tour not only the UK but the whole EMEA region, as well as the US East coast and the Caribbean. With the opportunities for salary growth too especially in the interim market, what’s not to like?”


Diversity, equity and inclusion

Like Australia, many organisations in the United Kingdom support diversity in the workplace, welcoming jobseekers from different cultural backgrounds and experiences.

UK workplace law governs strict regulations against discrimination in the workplace, protecting employees on the basis of gender, religion, sexual orientation or beliefs.

Salary

With one British Pound Sterling worth almost double the Australian dollar, the exchange rate offers Australian jobseekers the potential for a higher salary than what they may earn at home depending on the industry demand for their expertise.

What are the highest paying jobs in the UK?

Salaries are a top focus for jobseekers looking to find a job in the UK from Australia. For Australian candidates seeking the highest paid jobs in the UK, here are some of the highest paying and in-demand jobs:

For more information about salaries and job trends in the UK, visit the Robert Half UK Salary Guide.

How can Aussies apply for working visas in the UK?

Before applying for a visa to work in the United Kingdom, Australian jobseekers should review the available visas via the UK government to determine which is best suited for their current situation. Some examples include:

Youth Mobility Scheme visa

Designed to target candidates aged between 18 to 30 with intent to live in the UK for up to two years, the Youth Mobility Scheme visa would be ideal for most junior Aussie jobseekers and provide eligibility for most jobs in the UK.

If you intend to apply, you will need to do so six months prior to your travel and provide all necessary documentation.

Skilled Worker visa

A Skilled Worker visa allows Australian professionals to stay in the United Kingdom to do an eligible job with a Home Office approved UK employer.

There are several caveat requirements for this visa including a confirmed job offer before applying for the visa, proficiency in English and to be employed in a role on the list of eligible occupations.

Senior or Specialist Worker visa

A Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility) would benefit Aussies currently working for a company with a UK office, as the visa allows you to work and stay in the UK to do an eligible job at your employer’s UK branch.

UK Ancestry visa

Were your grandparents born in the UK? If yes, then you may be able to apply for a UK Ancestry visa, entitling you to stay in the United Kingdom for five years to work in full-time or part-time roles. To apply, you will need to provide evidence of your ancestry along with required documentation to begin the application.


Josef Aiston

"Businesses in the UK are crying out for talent at the moment, especially in the finance, technology and professional services sectors” says Josef Aiston, Practice Manager in London.

“If you’re thinking about taking advantage of what the UK has to offer, our team is here to help with advice, answer any questions you have, and ultimately find you that next great role.”


How to find a job in the UK from Australia

If you are an Aussie jobseeker ready to kickstart your British career, Robert Half has sixteen offices across the United Kingdom with recruitment experts available to help find the right role for your move.

Whether you are looking for contract or permanent roles in Birmingham, Edinburgh, London or Manchester (to list a few), contact us today to begin your job search.

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