Working in London

Robin Berjon robin at
Thu Feb 18 13:05:32 GMT 2010

Hi all,

I'm currently looking at perhaps moving to London for a position with a rather large company there and I have a few questions if you fine people don't mind. I'm realising as I think about it that I know the place and love it, alongside the people, the beer, the food and all that, but that I have a somewhat limited idea of what it's like to work there.

For one I'm not sure what constitutes a decent pay there, one on which to live taking into account a wife who will probably need a few months to find a job and a small baby and that doesn't involve spending half of one's day in public transport. I know that it's more expensive than Paris, but that's about it (the strange legacy currency also doesn't help, but I can get used to that ;-). As a data point, the position is research/standards orientated, in a field in which I'm well-respected.

I also know very little about UK work law. Is there anything specific to look out for in a contract? Any catch that could bite me? I'm used to French law which is generally super protective of employees (at least for indefinite-length contracts) so I could well be quite naïve.

Another thing I know nothing about is childcare. Is there decent state/city provided stuff? Is it for pay (and if so around how much) but it won't be a problem to get in? In Paris it's supremely difficult to find a crèche place even if you're willing to pay so most parents resort to hiring a nanny that you share with other families.

Thanks a lot for any answers, and if you have advice on things I might not have thought about I'm all ears!

Robin Berjon -

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