Global Mobility

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


Internationally mobile employees fall into many different categories from permanent transfers abroad to long-and short-term assignments or frequent business travel. 

Due to recent global events, flexible home working arrangements (often in a different country to that of the employer), are also growing in popularity. Each of these arrangements will have different and often complex legal and tax implications, as well as significant impact on costs and management time. 

Whether you are looking to move your senior executives or wider employee base to the UK or expanding out of the UK and sending your executives abroad, our multidisciplinary approach brings together specialists from across the firm to help your business succeed by providing practical and strategic support. 

Some key questions for overseas business sending employees to the UK:


  • Will you need to switch to a UK employment contract, or can your employees continue to work under their existing contracts?
  • Will your employees enjoy statutory employment rights in the UK in addition to their existing contractual rights?


  • Do the employees have a right to work in the UK and what are the immigration considerations?
  • How will Brexit specifically impact the rights of EU nationals?

Tax and Incentives:

  • Can you keep your employees on their home country payroll, social security and benefits?
  • Will the employees' eligibility to participate in your incentive plans be affected by the move?
  • Will your employees' presence in the UK create a permanent establishment of your business in the UK and if so, what will the corporation tax implications be?
  • Will your senior executives benefit from the tax rules that apply to non-domiciled individuals?

Corporate and Regulatory:

  • Do you need to operate an office, branch, subsidiary or partnership in the UK?
  • If you are looking to carry on a regulated activity (such as investment services) are you clear on the compliance requirements?

Some key questions for UK businesses sending employees on international assignments:


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


  • Do the employees have a right to work in the overseas location?
  • Will the assignment affect their immigration status in the UK?

Tax and Incentives:

  • Will you be required to operate local payroll and account for local withholding tax and social security contributions?
  • Can the assignment be structured in a way to keep the employees within UK payroll and benefits?
  • Can your employees continue to participate in your UK incentives plans? What happens to any equity they may own?
  • 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?

Corporate and Regulatory

  • Will you need to establish an overseas office, branch or subsidiary?
  • If you are proposing to carry on regulated activity what licences or authorisations do you need to obtain first?

Travelling. Seamlessly. global mobility podcast series

In this series, members of the Travers Smith Global Mobility team will be talking about the tax implications of moving your people and operations into and out of the UK, in a variety of contexts.

European Business Travel Rules – Interactive Map

We have put together an interactive map which sets out a high-level summary of the key rules in each jurisdiction relating to business travel.

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