Accessibility statement

Employing Staff Overseas

Some research projects ( e.g. those funded by GCRF) may involve the University employing staff in overseas countries for the duration of the project. There are a number of key issues to consider if considering such an employment model.

Contracts of Employment

The contractual position will need to be clear. University of York contracts of employment are subject to UK law. This means that the employee will have the usual UK employment rights relating to the Working Time Regulations (including holiday pay) maternity, redundancy, equal pay etc. The employee may also have rights under the employment law of the host country.

Consider whether the University’s standard terms and conditions of employment will apply.


Consider whether the salary will be paid in Sterling.  If it’s agreed that payment will be made in a different currency, this will need to be converted at an agreed exchange rate (which may fluctuate).  It will need to be established whether the individual will be paid into an overseas bank account and how this will be managed by Payroll.

Immigration and Visas

Compliance with the country’s right to work legislation is essential.  It will need to be established whether the individual requires and holds a work permit/visa for entry into the host country. If an employee works overseas without the correct authorisations in place, they could be subject to fines, deportation or detention and the University may be blacklisted from future employment or engagement with the host country.

UK Income Tax and National Insurance

For employees whose entire work takes place outside the UK, there will generally be no liability to pay UK income tax or national insurance and the appropriate HMRC code will be used.  This will need to be confirmed. However if the individual is spending time in the UK and in an overseas country the tax liability in the UK needs to be considered carefully.

Tax and Social Security (National Insurance) Overseas

Where an employee’s entire work takes place outside the UK, there will be a responsibility to pay income tax and employer and employee social security (national insurance) contributions in the host country, in accordance with the legislation of the host country. This will need to be confirmed.

Consideration should be given to whether there is an obligation on the University to operate a shadow payroll in the host country to account for tax withholdings where a personal tax liability is due.

Employees normally resident in the UK

Where the employee is normally a resident of the UK, there may be a liability to UK taxation/national insurance which will need to be confirmed.

Corporate Taxation in the host country

The University may become liable for corporate taxation if it has people working in - and carries out activities in - other countries.  This will need to be carefully considered to avoid additional costs, interest and penalties to rectify if not identified in advance.

Medical Support and Immunisations/Vaccinations

Consideration should be given to the provision of in-country medical support and to any required vaccinations and preventative medication.


Insurance requirements for staff based overseas should be considered.


Consider if an individual is relocating, what, if any support will be provided for example temporary accommodation, storage and travel costs.

Help and Guidance

Further information and help is available on the HR webpages.