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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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PAYE operation: international employments: employees sent by overseas employer to work for an independent UK concern

Arrivals in the UK

Multinational concerns often send employees to companies within the group in other parts of the world. Each company in a group is a separate legal entity and PAYE applies to a group company in the same way as it does for any other independent UK concern.

Whilst the HMRC office dealing with the UK group member may not know about the overseas connection, the group member will. It is the duty of the UK concern to operate PAYE on employees seconded to it. PAYE should be operated on all payments to seconded employees regardless of whether they are paid by the UK concern, the overseas concern or partly by both. The CWG2 Employer Further Guide to PAYE and NICs sets out the responsibilities of the UK concern in relation to seconded employees and you should ensure they are carried out.

UK concern is charged for employee’s services

The charge by the overseas employer may arise before, during or after the period of secondment and it may be greater than the employee’s earnings. Whatever the circumstances, this does not affect the operation of PAYE. The UK concern must

  • Find out the total amount of the employee’s earnings from the employment in the UK, including payments from the overseas concern


  • Remit to HMRC any UK liability to tax and NICs on the total earnings. It is up to the UK concern to make arrangements to deduct this out of the sum to be paid to the overseas employer

No management charge is made by overseas employer

If the overseas employer makes no management charge, the UK concern

  • Must still pay the tax and NICs due to the HMRC on the total earnings


  • Where the overseas concern is actually making payments to the seconded employees, should arrange for the overseas employer to remit enough money to meet UK tax and NICs on the payments it makes

UK concern objects to taking on PAYE responsibilities

UK concerns often do not realise that they have PAYE and NICs responsibilities for employees sent here by overseas concerns, especially if the overseas concerns are actually paying the seconded employees.

You may sometimes have difficulty in getting UK concerns to accept that PAYE and NICs apply to all the earnings of overseas employees seconded to them, even though this is clearly set out in the CWG2, Employer Further Guide to PAYE and NICs. You should follow the guidance at PAYE81710 onwards but if you still cannot settle this with the UK concern send the papers and your report to Personal Tax Customer, Product & Process, PAYE Technical, Shipley, for advice on how to proceed.