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International Social Security


One area that often gets overlooked when businesses think about moving assignees around the world is that of where they pay their social security contributions. This is of considerable importance for their entitlement to benefits, pensions and healthcare coverage and there can be problems down the line if contributions are paid in the wrong country or not at all.

Within the EU there are rules and regulations covering the social security system applicable to multi-state workers and employees sent to work temporarily abroad and some of these continue to apply to UK assignees in the post-Brexit era. The UK also has social security agreements with a number of other countries, including the USA, Japan and Canada, which allow qualifying assignees to maintain their home country contribution record while working in those countries on a temporary basis, subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable agreement. Individuals being sent to a country with which there is no social security agreement in place may find that they and their employer are subject to social security contributions in both the UK and the host country, so planning is essential to avoid any nasty surprises.

Different countries have different rules about what constitutes income or benefits subject to social security contributions and this is another area where care needs to be taken to ensure that contributions are being calculated and paid correctly.

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