Finance Division

Global Mobility

On this page you will find guidance on working overseas.

Overseas working

Working overseas is not a personal choice, and is not permitted under the Flexible Working Procedure or under the Remote Working Framework. Overseas working will only be permitted where it is required for the employee to deliver the University's business objectives.

Any permitted overseas working must:

  • Be considered on the basis of the business benefits to Sussex not the personal choice of the employee, and therefore represent value for money for Sussex, and not just be affordable or in budget.
  • Represent reasonable and visible risk for Sussex in terms of tax and employment law.

If you believe that you have a valid business case to be based overseas then authorisation will need to be sought from your Dean/Head of School/Director of Professional Service.

Overseas working often requires specialist advice and consultancy, therefore there is a lead time for the School/Division to work with Finance and HR to seek external advice on tax compliance and employment rights.

This external advice is charged to Schools/Divisions, along with the cost of compliance solutions such as overseas payrolls, filing and registration. If overseas working is approved, you will be responsible for meeting all personal tax and other legal responsibilities in the host location, and for ensuring you have the correct visa and other work authority documents.

If you have questions on overseas working, please email


1. What do you mean by tax compliance?

There are a number of things we might need to do to reduce the risk of the University having unmet tax compliance obligations and liabilities. These could involve registering overseas, paying tax, and submitting returns, reducing the time spent overseas where it is not required. 

2. I go overseas 3 or 4 times a year for a week or two to conferences and in connection with my research. Do you need to know?

If you spend 60 days or more in the same country over a period of 12 months for any reason then we need to know. The days do not have to be consecutive.

3. I have been, or will be, travelling to China. Do I have to let you know about my travel there?

Yes. All travel to China must be reported to the Tax Manager, so that the total number of days of all University employees can be tracked, and reported to the authorities as required. This is an extra obligation arising in China because of the TNE arrangements between Sussex and China.

4. I have been working outside the UK because of the Covid-19 travel restrictions. Do you need to know?

Yes, we need to know who is/was displaced and where they are as a result of Covid-19 disruption so that we can assess any tax and social security obligations and develop plans to transition towards UK based working. 

Your contractual workplace is Falmer Campus and working elsewhere should have the express and written permission of the Head of School or Division, or as determined under the Remote Working Framework.

5. I have been living outside the UK but all, or some of, my work has been for the UK and delivered into the UK (research and online teaching). Why do I have to provide details of where I was?

Personal tax and social security compliance is based on the physical presence of the individual. We need to know if you were physically outside the UK when performing your Sussex duties, irrespective of where the work was delivered. 

6. Do these rules apply if I am going overseas for a sabbatical or research leave?

Yes. As a paid employee your presence and activity in an overseas jurisdiction may create compliance risks and obligations for the University, and these need to be addressed.

7. What should I do if I still have questions about overseas working?

Please send your query to this email address:

8. Are there data protection considerations?

We will only ask for data that is necessary. Your personal data is held securely and only a limited number of staff have access to it. If you have any questions about compliance with data protection requirements, you can contact the University’s Data Protection Officer