Now working overseas due to Covid-19?
If you are newly having to work from home overseas, do take a few minutes to check whether you are covered by social security in the country in which you are working.
This may determine whether you can access the local healthcare system.
The rules vary depending on the country: e.g. if you are now working in the EEA or Switzerland then you can continue to pay UK NIC and not pay social security in your host country but you will need an A1 to prove you are paying social security in an EEA country.
Any concerns, please contact the Tax Team or call the new HMRC ‘Coronavirus’ helpline number: 0800 024 1222 (open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday).
The Insurance Team have put together a list of FAQs on travel insurance and the Coronavirus pandemic
Working overseas has implications for tax, social security, pensions, corporation tax, immigration, insurance and VAT.
The Tax Team is involved in a Global Mobility project to catalogue and document the international implications of the current work of the University and its subsidiaries. This page is to be viewed in the light of being a work in progress.
Social Securities Implications of Overseas Working
HMRC provide a summary at https://www.gov.uk/national-insurance-if-you-go-abroad. This includes details on how to apply for an A1.
There is also a telephone contact number for National Insurance and non-UK residents at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/national-insurance-enquiries-for-non-uk-residents.
Within the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
As an employee, if you temporarily work in a country within the EEA or Switzerland, you may be able to maintain your UK National Insurance contributions and avoid paying social security in the host location. You would need to apply for a ‘Portable Document A1’.
Note: It can take up to 4 months for the Portable Document A1 to be authorised by HMRC, the application should therefore be submitted as soon as possible to ensure compliance, although this does not restrict the individual from working overseas. Given the current climate 4 months is too slow, so the Tax team has written to HMRC to ask if this timeframe can be speeded up.
It should be noted that individuals who are not working temporarily in another member state, for example those who were living in the overseas location prior to their employment with the University, will not be covered by the posted worker regulations and it is highly likely that social security will be due in the overseas location.
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
Working in countries with bilateral Social Security agreements
If you are going to live in a country outside of the EEA and Switzerland but with which a Reciprocal Social Security Agreement (or ‘Totalisation’ agreement) is in place with the UK, you should be able to maintain contributions to UK National Insurance and avoid paying social security in the overseas locations. You must check this by completing form CA9107; if valid, a ‘Certificate of Coverage’ would then be issued by HMRC which evidences that the terms of the agreement apply to you.
Countries with reciprocal social security agreements with the UK are as follows:
Barbados, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Guernsey, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Mauritius, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Turkey, USA.
Please check the position in your host country if the Certificate of Coverage should take some time to come through.
Rest of the world
If you are working temporarily in a country outside of the EEA and Switzerland and reciprocal agreement countries, typically you will be required to pay National Insurance for the first 52 weeks of the period spent working overseas, provided you meet the following conditions:
- the employer has a place of business in the UK; and
- the employee is ordinarily resident in the UK; and
- the employee was living in the UK immediately before starting work abroad.
Once the initial 52 week period has elapsed, mandatory National Insurance contributions (class 1) should cease. It is possible for your National Insurance record to be maintained by making voluntary class 2 contributions. Please refer to the below guidance:
You may also be liable for Social Security payments in the country of work/residence. The rules regarding Social Security liabilities are entirely separate from income/employment tax in most countries. Payment of overseas social security will be your responsibility and, as with income tax, the mechanism of your paying this should be agreed with the department with the support of the Tax team.
Please check the position in your host country especially during the lock down period due to Covid-19.
HR are collating guidance for employees and managers on remote working during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
FAQs for HR staff can be found on the Coronavirus contingency planning Sharepoint site