• So your employee wants to leave the UK… Dec 18, 2019
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    The last few seasons of Brexit have been a bit of a slog but we finally got to the penultimate episode last Thursday when the results of the general election were revealed. The election, which was really about Brexit and nothing else seemingly, was full of twists and turns and shock endings. But no matter what way you look at it, a pin has been put in it (so to say) and the UK is now definitely set to leave the EU next year (third time’s a charm!)

    Whatever side you fall on - I'm not here to judge - it’s safe to say a lot of people are not happy with the results and have been very irate on social media, exclaiming loudly that “THAT’S IT, I’VE HAD IT WITH THIS COUNTRY!” And apparently this is not something to sniff at, as #Brexodus and similarly snappy hashtags have been trending online and there has been a spike in searches on how to leave the UK following the results of the election.

    So other than packing everything up, giving your old Pokemon cards to your little brothers and hopping on a plane, how does one actually leave the country and what do you, as an employer, need to be aware of?

    The main thing is tax and payroll. This should be the first thing anyone who wishes to emigrate takes care of. This applies to both the leaver and the employer. The leaver will need to notify HMRC of their intention to leave the country. This is to make sure that they pay the right amount of tax and don’t accidentally pay tax in two countries at the same time. If they have a student loan, they will also need to notify the Student Loans Company of their intention to get the hell out of dodge.

    As the employer, you will also need to inform HMRC and put the employee’s leaving date on their payroll record and make deductions as normal. You'll also need to provide a P45 as standard to the employee. Make sure to use a payroll software like BrightPay that automatically produces P45s for you, thus saving you a bunch of time.

    To cover all the bases you can advise your employee to fill out a P85 form (Leaving the UK - getting your tax right) which you can find on the GOV.UK website. The employee sends parts 2 and 3 of their P45 along with the completed P85 to HMRC, who will calculate if they can claim any tax relief whilst abroad or if they are due a tax refund once they’ve left the UK.

    If the employee receives a pension then they must contact the International Pension Council. Their website states that you can still claim a state pension whilst abroad “if you’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions to qualify”. Similarly, if the employee plans on coming back once this has all blown over, then they may decide to continue paying National Insurance contributions to maintain eligibility for a State Pension. That’s if we haven’t all descended into a dystopian Mad-Max style future by the time their pensions roll around.

    Other than this, they are good to go! Other issues to take into account would be the same as when any employee leaves any company such as maternity, paternity or adoption pay; you know the drill. The last thing left to do if your employee decides to jump ship is to throw them one helluva sendoff and wish them all the best as we wade into uncharted waters and hope for the best!


    Written by Aoibheann Byrne | BrightPay Payroll Software
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