Compliance by Country: The UK

Through our monthly ‘Compliance by Country’ series we aim of provide information that candidates need to consider in order to ensure that they fully comply with the rules/requirements of working in different countries.

We recently gave advice for compliance in Switzerland and The Netherlands.

For the third post of the series, Smriti Malik BCom MBA, Senior Manager at Access Tax & Accounting Limited provides answers to frequently asked questions for contractors working in the UK.

What are the residency rules/requirements in the United Kingdom where the contract will take place and how does one go about registering if required to do so? 

There are no individual registrations required upon arrival in the UK.

A UK National will have an existing NI number which will be used for paying National Insurance contributions in the UK and a UTR number for settlement of income tax.

A non UK National will need to apply for a NI number at the Job Centre and a UTR (Unique Tax Reference Number) which will be required in all tax related matters. Both the registrations involve filling in forms and sending them to the HMRC. Registration numbers are then received by post.
Do I need to move from a Limited Company to an umbrella company? 

Not necessarily. It is possible to work in the UK through your Limited Company.

If you have a UK Limited Company, it will be your employer in the UK that is liable for corporation tax and VAT. If you have a foreign Limited Company, you need to get it registered as a foreign employer in the UK without tax liability. Further your employer will also be liable for PAYE and employer’s NI contribution in the UK. If the contractor chooses to take dividends from his Limited Company in the UK, these dividends will be subject to dividend tax, taxable in the hands of the contractor.

You can choose to work through a Limited Company or under an umbrella, as both are recognised as legal structures in the UK. Umbrella will give you lesser administration burden but a Limited Company can give you higher net take home.

What are the income tax and social security rates in the UK? 

Resident individuals are liable to pay tax on their worldwide income in the UK.

Income tax is charged at a progressive rate from 20% on earnings up to GBP 31,785 to 45% on earnings over GBP 150,000.

Social security is obligatory for all employed contractors working in the UK. Employees pay Class 1 NI. The contribution is 12% for income greater than GBP 155 per week up to GBP 815 per week and 2% over GBP 815 per week.

Employers pay 13.8% NIC on weekly earnings over GBP 156.
Are you able to give an indication of the legitimate tax allowances available to expatriates? 

There are no special expatriate tax rulings in the UK. However the UK offers tax free personal allowances of GBP 10,600 to non – UK nationals who are tax residents.
Do I need a VISA to work in the UK?

All EEA (EU and EFTA) and Swiss nationals can enter and work in the UK without needing to apply for a Visa, but if you are a national of Croatia, you need to apply for permission before you start work.
Should I keep my company registered in my home country? What are the pros and cons of this?

You should keep your company registered if you plan to use it for your next assignment or in future.

The benefit of keeping your current company active can be to facilitate its use for your future assignments rather than incurring costs by closing the current company and incorporate a new one for future use.

The negative of keeping a company can be maintaining its dormant status (inactive but alive), complying with a few legal formalities like filing dormant accounts every year.

A cost analysis should be done comparing the costs involved in closing down the company and keeping a dormant company.

For more information on freelance and permanent SAP jobs from Recruit 121, call us on +44 02920 496121 or email us at:

Recruit 121 Limited and Access Tax & Accounting Limited are unrelated companies, other payroll solution providers are available and contractors should take independent advice so that their individual circumstances are properly considered.

EDITOR: Ian Zagrecki BA MA


Cut the jargon with Recruit 121 Limited

Here at Recruit 121, we play a crucial role in helping our valued clients find the highly-skilled specialists they need.

In an industry where all things digital are on the rise, it can sometimes be difficult to cut through jargon to keep on top of your game.

A total 80 per cent of members surveyed by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group admitted they are sceptical of terms like ‘digitalisation’ and ‘digital transformation’.

Speaking at the UKISUG 2015 conference in Birmingham, group chairman Philip Adams said: “Our feedback has indicated there’s a lot of buzzwords, maybe a wee bit of hype, around the whole concept of digital business.”

With the introduction of new customer-facing applications like those from hybris, the SaaS applications from Success Factors, Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur and the Internet of Things projects, it can seem like things are becoming increasingly difficult to stay on top of in the world of SAP.

Here at Recruit 121 Limited, we are dedicated to keeping things as simple as possible for both clients and candidates and being an official SAP® Education Partner allows us to do just that.

The E-learning hub is designed specifically to deliver knowledge wherever and whenever it’s needed, giving on demand access to SAP learning solutions to fit in with your schedule and personal learning style. This learner centric approach allows you to ensure that having the skills needed to keep on top of changes in the industry is as simple as possible.

The cloud-based learning platform allows you to access over 4,000 training titles – including e-learning courses, course handbooks and expert-led learning rooms – through one single subscription. The most cost effective way to keep up to date and competitive in SAP solutions with product and technology knowledge.

Keep your skill set accurate, utilise the many opportunities that come with digital transformation and fit it around a busy schedule in a changing business landscape.

For more information on our Learning Hub offering and SAP jobs, contact us on +44 02920 496121 or Email us at:

Freelance Employment  – Could it be ‘THE  ONE’?

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many people across the world are analysing their relationships and thinking about the next steps.

Questions such as ‘is this for the long term?’ and ‘are we the perfect match?’ are common place when thinking about a bond with a loved one, but can they also work when thinking about your career?

At Recruit 121, we serve organisations domestically and overseas on a “one-to-one” basis. With thousands of placements to more than 500 SAP customers around the globe, we are helping to create the perfect match between candidate and employer.

When thinking about the length of relationships on a career basis, freelance placement options are becoming increasingly popular. Many employers are upping the number of freelancers they are taking on, for reasons such as special projects and high workloads; freelance assignments have become a popular choice for many professionals when considering their career options.

In our experience there are four main characteristics of freelance assignments, in SAP, that you should consider when figuring out if it’s ‘the one’ for you.

  • There is no typical contract length. Some SAP contract candidates are brought in for a half day assessment whilst some are placed for several years. However, contract roles have the potential for extension or development on to a permanent basis, meaning they are often a great way to get your ‘foot in the door’ with an organisation. We are, however, seeing an average increase in contract duration. In 2014, the average length of a freelance placement was 4.5 months, an increase of 63% from 2013.
  • Some companies offer flexible working opportunities for freelancers. Working from home, partial expenses paid for and flexible work hours are all potential benefits for freelancers, this will depend on the employer.
  • You can get a sense of your long term goals. Many freelancers enjoy the freedom of being able to work with a variety of companies on different projects. Taking on freelance roles can be a great way to see which type of role you prefer and help you think about longer term career goals. Additionally, it gives you the freedom to take time off in-between assignments (summer vacations anyone?)
  •       The more attractive your CV is, the better your prospects. Just like in the dating game, marketing yourself well is a great way to get the attention of a prospective partner. One of the best ways to do this for your career is to talk to a specialist agency because they have the closest relationships with the employers.

It’s clear that there are many benefits when considering entering into freelance roles. They can be great as a stepping stone into companies, or for those looking for the option of flexibility; they also have a much higher pay rate. Just like a relationship, it’s just about weighing up the options in order to determine whether you’d be the perfect match.

For more information on SAP jobs, both freelance and permanent, contact us on +44 02920 496121  or Email us at:

Do you remember the first time?

Whilst all at Recruit 121 in the UK look forward with anticipation to 2015, we have been reflecting on the past.

It has been an incredible 14 years since Recruit 121 Limited was first incorporated in the UK.  Since then we have seen Recruit 121 LLC grow business significantly in the US and our international team develop to a point that we have concluded over 3,500 placements with the world’s most talented SAP consultants in many of the most highly-regarded global companies. 

We have seen much change in this time.  SAP has grown in popularity, market share and has continued to expand through the acquisition of a variety of dynamic competitors and complimentors, including the recent $8.3bn acquisition of Concur.  Much has changed in the sphere of recruitment too:  The growth of social media in general and LinkedIn in particular have radically altered the way that our customers, other agencies and potential recruits engage with each other.

We would love to hear back from you, be it on Twitter (@Recruit121_SAP), Facebook (Recruit121_EMEA) LinkedIn (Recruit 121 Limited) or via the form below, to discover how you first heard about Recruit 121 and how you would like to find out about exciting future opportunies, SAP news and events?  For those kind enough to respond by Sunday November 30, 2014, we will enter you into a draw to win £50 of vouchers or a gift of an equivalent value.

We eagerly await your response and look forward to working with you in 2015!

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