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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

PAYE operation: international employments: employees in offshore areas

Subjects needing special care

Most offshore areas are now designated as part of a particular country. Both employers and employees will almost certainly have to meet the taxation requirements of that country.

UK offshore areas

EIM67100 covers the liability of employees who work offshore.

EIM34110 explains the relief available where an employer provides free transfers for offshore workers to and from the mainland and meets the cost of overnight accommodation. You should tell the employer about these payments and explain that they need not appear on any P11D returns.

Non UK offshore areas

If a UK employer has workers in

  • An offshore area of Danish jurisdiction, see PAYE81730 
  • Any other non-UK offshore areas, follow PAYE81715.

Divers and diving supervisors working in UK offshore areas

There is a special rule for divers or diving supervisors who work

  • For UK employers
  • In the exploration or exploitation of the natural resources of the seabed and subsoil


  • In offshore areas designated as part of the UK

These workers are deemed to be self employed, see ESM4050. However, UK employers of these workers must still deduct and remit National Insurance contributions in the usual way. These cases are dealt with by the Divers Unit in LC WSNI, Aberdeen Office.

Where divers and diving supervisors work for UK employers outside UK offshore areas, the employer must operate PAYE on their earnings.

Other employees working for UK employers in UK offshore areas

UK employers must operate PAYE in the normal way on earnings for UK offshore work paid to

  • Divers or diving supervisors not engaged on duties connected with exploration or exploitation of the natural resources of the seabed and subsoil
  • Employees not connected with diving at all

For divers and diving supervisors, see above.

Employees working in UK offshore areas for non UK employers

Employees not engaged in diving are dealt with by the Employers Section, East Kilbride.

Send any enquiries about UK liabilities or employers’ duties to them.

Workers on supply ships or aircraft

Employees working on supply ships or aircraft involved in oil or gas exploration are usually treated as performing their duties in the country of residence of the operator. Taxation requirements are normally those of the home country of the operator, not the place or places where duties are actually performed.