United Kingdom

Core Facts

  • Population:  65M
  • GDP:  USD  2.8 trillion
  • GDP per head:  USD 41,183
  • Workforce:  31M
  • Unemployment (2017):  4.6%
  • Average high skilled monthly wages (2017):  USD 2,783


In many major European jurisdictions labour law is heavily defined by detailed Labour Codes, but in the UK, case law decisions play a significant role alongside statute. This is due to the UK’s greater emphasis on the importance of common law. Another interesting difference is its approach to litigation. Historically the UK relies on an adversarial system and the Employment Tribunals are no exception. The parties must make out their case to an Employment Judge who only has limited powers to ask questions. Much of the European continent works on an ‘inquisitorial’ system, such as Germany, where the Employment Judge can intervene much more in the case and at times may even influence the outcome.