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Employed in Singapore but training for 3 months in UK

Hi there,

Happy Friday!

I wonder if someone can help....we have a third party that we are working with or are going to be working with in Singapore.  They have someone in mind who will be hired by them to be the champion of our brand to help with sales in Singapore and will be living there (moving from Europe). To make it easier for the employee to understand about our products it has been suggested that she works with us for three months to get to know our products.  My question is if she is hired by the company in Singapore and works for us for 3 months in the UK at the start....is there anything that we need to do from an HR point of view here ie. ensure that whilst she is working here, the salary that she receives from the company is at least minimum wage for UK or does that not matter, i'm not even sure how well paid she will be from them.  Also, they will be sorting her out with a work visa...does she need to have this whilst she is here as she will be working for them or since she is in the UK it's ok? 

Thank you for your help, I've not come across this situation before and not sure if it's just my Friday head that is confusing things.

Emma

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  • Hi Emma

    Failing any other responses, I'll try.

    If this person is an EU national there shouldn't as yet (RIP Britain in Europe) be any problem with any right to live and work in the UK.

    Much depends on whether or not the prospective employer is willing to pay this person as well as their attitude to very slight risk.

    The least-risky and far cleaner option all round is that this person becomes a legitimate employee for the three months in which case they will require checking and confirmation of their right to work in the UK, a National Insurance number, a contract of employment and they will need to be paid at least the statutory minimum legal wage.

    It might just be possible if the employer is that way inclined and the prospective employee is agreeable to do this on an entirely informal and voluntary and unpaid basis, in which case they aren't an employee in law. But employers and public liability insurers will need told about it and will need to agree to covering them as an unpaid non employee 'Intern'.

    But I do hesitate to suggest anything but the first option - the second one is a little bit risky and potentially not too fair on the prospective employee.
  • Emma

    You'll need to cover - at the very minimum - the following points to avoid potential difficulties :

    • clarify who is the contractual employer during the UK period
    • decide who meets the payroll costs of the person, and if necessary establish appropriate billing and intercompany contractual arrangements
    • ensure that appropriate social security deductions are paid
    • who pays travel and accomodation costs?
    • if the person is not eligible for NHS treatment, what medical cover will be provided and by whom?
    • define what happens if for any reason whatsoever it dosn't work out as planned

    The answers to these questions will be driven by the nationality of the person and the country in which they have recent employment annd social security history

    Many of these questions may appear to be "detail", but if something goes wrong in any of these areas, then the company cost - as well as and impact on the person - can be major.

  • In reply to David:

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your reply, much appreciated.

    I have suggested that she becomes an employee on a fixed term contract for the first three months as this will keep it clear and clean from our perspective and then she can be hired by the company in Singapore after she has done her stint with us.

    She has worked in the UK before whilst studying at Uni so she will have an NI number etc.

    Thank you again for your advice, this has been most helpful.

    Emma
  • In reply to Ray Naylor:

    Hi Ray,

    Thank you for your response. This is really helpful and makes perfect sense. We are going to hire her as an employee for the 3 months as this is definitely the option that makes sense.

    I like your points as they are certainly things to consider, which makes me happier to employ her on a fixed term contract rather than work with us via the other company.

    Thank you for your time.

    Emma