Working in the UK

The UK is a popular destination for jobseekers looking to work abroad. Morgan McKinley’s extensive office network means we are experts in the UK recruitment market and can help you secure a position as well as provide advice about working in the UK.

Tax in the UK

The tax system in the UK operates on a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) model, with income tax and National Insurance contributions withheld monthly by your employer and paid to the government on your behalf. The only time you have to fill in an end-of-year self-assessment tax return is if you are self-employed.

Important tax documents

To begin paying taxes in the UK as well as National Insurance contributions, you require a National Insurance (NI) Number. This is like a unique personal account you hold with HM Revenue and Customs and enables them to issue you with the correct tax code. You can apply for an NI Number through You must be able to provide evidence that you’re actively seeking employment, as well as proof of a UK address. Until you receive your NI number, you will be taxed on a higher, emergency tax code, but any overpayment can be reclaimed through PAYE.

  • P45 – When you leave a job, your employer will issue you with one of these forms and it tells your new employer what tax code you should be on.
  • P46 - You are issued with one of these forms in lieu of a P45. If you’ve lost your P45, you won’t be able to get another so the P46 allows HMRC to issue you with a tax code for your new employer.
  • P60 - This form provides a summary of your gross earnings and taxes that have been deducted for the financial year. Keep this form for your records as you’ll need it should you wish to make a claim for a tax refund.

Claiming a tax refund

The times at which you can claim a tax rebate throughout the tax year depends on your employment circumstance. If you are still employed in the UK, you must wait until the end of the tax year (April 5) to make your claim for repayment. If, however, you have departed the UK, you can make a claim for a tax rebate at any point in the tax year. To find out more about tax rebates, contact HM Revenue and Customs,

Banking in the UK

Opening a bank account in the UK can be tricky if you are not a UK national. Banks often require proof of a UK residence to which you are registered, and utility bills in your name, both of which can be hard to come by if you have just moved to the UK. However, there are a couple of solutions to the trouble of banking in the UK and, provided you possess the right documentation, you shouldn’t find it too much of a chore.

Thinking about Moving to the UK?

If you are considering working abroad, international recruitment specialists Morgan McKinley can give you advice and guidance on a number of locations worldwide, including the UK.