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British Life and Culture

by Mandy Barrow

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British life and culture - England, Scotland and Wales
Working in Britain

There are about 3.7 million businesses in the UK.

About 75% of British jobs are in service industries - hotels, restaurants, travel, shopping, and computer and finances. It is our fastest growing business and employs over twenty million people.

The Working Day

The usual working day starts at 9am and finishes by 5pm. Most people work a five-day week.

How hard do British people work?

The working week is, on average, the longest of any country in Europe. In 1998 a new law was passed saying that workers do not have to work more than 48 hours a week if they don't want to. However, about 22% of British workers do work more than a 48-hour a week.

Paid Holidays

British employers must give their workers 24 days paid holiday a year.

UK National Minimum Wage from 2007

The minimum wage is a legal right which covers almost all workers above compulsory school leaving age (16 years old). There are different minimum wage rates for different groups of workers as follows:

The main rate for workers aged 22 and over increased on 1 October 2007 to £5.52 an hour from £5.35 an hour in 2006.

The development rate for 18-21 year olds increased to £4.60 an hour from £4.45 an hour in 2006.

The development rate for 16-17 year old increased to £3.40 an hour from £3.30 an hour in 2006.

Minimum Wage in London

Transport and accommodation costs make the capital one of the most expensive places to live in the world.

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, announced workers in the capital should be paid at least £7.20 an hour to reflect the increased cost of living. The Mayor's Living Wage Unit carefully works out the real minimum for London that enables an acceptable standard of living, currently £7.05 per hour almost £2 an hour more than the National Minimum Wage.

The report shows that anyone earning less than £6.25 an hour in London is at or below the poverty level, after taking tax credits and benefits into account, because of the higher cost of living in the capital.

UK Employment Law

Children are not legally allowed to work until they are 13. Under-15s can work up to five hours on Saturdays (and weekdays in the summer holidays), to a maximum of 25 hours a week during school holidays. They can only work two hours maximum on schooldays and Sundays. Over-15s can work eight hours maximum on Saturdays and school holiday weekdays, and up to 35 hours a week during the holidays.

What kind of Jobs can teenagers do?

What are Britain's main Trade and Industries?

Cost of houses in England

Cost of basic items in England

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© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2014

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consultant.
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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