Legal briefing | |

Global mobility (briefing version)

Global mobility (briefing version)


Most businesses today have a mobile workforce and either operate from offices in multiple jurisdictions or are looking to expand globally. 

Whether you are moving employees to the UK, or expanding out of the UK and sending employees abroad, our multidisciplinary approach brings together specialists from across the firm to help your business succeed by providing practical and strategic support to navigate the following key areas:

Employment law: we can advise on, and help you prepare, all employment contracts, assignment letters, and other local legislation requirements

Immigration and visas: we can advise on, and help you secure, all necessary work permits, residence permits, and visas

Income tax and social security obligations: we can advise on, and help you comply with, all income tax and social security payment obligations in both home and host locations

Payroll: we can advise on the different options available for managing your local payroll obligations, including whether a 'global payroll scheme' is an appropriate way forward

Share Incentives: we can advise on the impact that an international assignment will have on an employee's existing share incentive arrangements and we can help establish bespoke long term incentive arrangements for employees in multiple jurisdictions

Corporate Law and Tax: we can advise on the different corporate structures you may wish to consider (such as setting up a local office, branch or subsidiary) as well on your business's obligation to pay corporation tax in both home and host locations

Regulatory Compliance: we can advise on, and help you comply with, all necessary regulatory requirements (such as data protection laws), as well as sector specific obligations, such financial services conditions.

Internationally Mobile employees can fall into many different categories:

  • permanent transfers to another country,
  • long-term or short-term assignments in another country,
  • travelling often to other countries on business,
  • commuting from one home country to another for work, and
  • working from home for an overseas employer.

Each of these arrangements will have different, often complex, legal and tax implications, as well as significant impact on costs and management time.

Some key questions for overseas business sending employees to the UK:
  • Does the employee have a right to work in the UK and what are the immigration considerations?

  • Can you keep your employees on their home country payroll, social security and benefits?

  • What are the implications of Brexit for EU nationals in the UK?

  • What changes will the new points-based immigration regime bring for non-EU citizens in the UK?

  • Will you need to switch to a UK employment contract or can your employee continue to work under their existing contract?

  • Will the employee's eligibility to participate in your incentive plans be affected by the move?

  • Will your employee's presence in the UK create a permanent establishment of your business in the UK and if so, what will the corporation tax implications be?
Some key questions for UK businesses sending employees on international assignments:
  • Does the employee have a right to work in the overseas location?

  • What employment rights will your employees have overseas? Will they also retain UK employment rights?

  • Do you need to change your protection of trade and confidentiality provisions when sending employees on assignment?

  • Do you have to use local employment contracts? Should contracts be translated into local language?

  • Can your employees continue to participate in your UK incentive plans?

  • Will you be required to operate a local payroll and account for local withholding tax and social security contributions?

  • If the employee is moving to a jurisdiction with higher income tax rates than in the UK, do you want to offer the employee a tax equalisation package or other incentive during their assignment to account for this?

  • Does sending your employee on an international assignment create a permanent establishment in the host location for your business?

  • What happens if you wish to terminate an employee's employment whilst on international assignment?

Key Contacts

Read Emily Clark Profile
Emily Clark
Read Elissavet Grout Profile
Elissavet  Grout
Read Moji Oyediran Profile
Moji Oyediran
Read Mahesh Varia Profile
Mahesh Varia
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