Working in Scotland



Being a part of the United Kingdom, Scotland’s advanced industrialized economy is closely related to the UK as well as the rest of the European Economic Area. Scotland has an approximated GDP per capita of $47,369, with the country being largely dependent on major sectors such as manufacturing, oil and gas, banking and financial services, and tourism.

Job Market

With a work force of around 2, 546, 000, most of the Scottish population is employed in professional occupations. The tourism sector employs approximately 200,000 people; oil and gas sector employs around 100,000; financial services sector supports about 95,000 jobs; electronic firms employ some 45,000 people; textile industry has a labor force of about 22,000; while whisky manufacturing supports about 35,000 jobs. Other industries that provide work opportunities in Scotland for locals and expats include energy, construction, and services.

Minimum Wage/Salary

The national minimum wage rates in Scotland are aged-based and are currently grouped in three levels:

  • Workers aged 21 years and above get £6.31 per hour
  • Workers aged 18 to 20 get £5.03 per hour
  • Workers aged under 18, but above compulsory school age get £3.72 per hour
  • The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the governing body responsible for implementing the national minimum wage in Scotland.

Working Conditions

Scotland has a standard work week of 48 hours per week, or 8 hours a day. However, the United Kingdom has a scheme of opting out of the general working hours, which means that an employee may choose to work longer than 48 hours if they wish to do so. All full-time workers are entitled to have 28 days of paid annual leave every year. Workers are also entitled to get £87.55 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) in case of illness, which will be paid by the employer for up to 28 weeks. To qualify for the SSP, the employee should have been sick for at least four days in a row, including non-working days, and earn at least £111 (before tax) per week.

Income Tax

All workers in Scotland are subject to pay income tax that is on a progressive scale. The income tax rate starts from 10% up to 45%, depending on the salary bracket of an employee.


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Work Guide

Expat Services in Scotland