Case Study

BW Offshore Case Study

The Business:

BW Offshore Limited is a global owner and operator of floating production storage and offloading vessels. The company has its headquarters in Singapore and Oslo, Norway but operates internationally. BW Offshore engineers innovative floating production solutions to progress the future of energy. The company’s goal is to build on four decades of offshore operations and project execution to create tailored offshore energy solutions for evolving global markets.

The Challenges:

Prior to partnering with activpayroll, BW Offshore were facing significant challenges around the relocation and mobilisations of the company’s internationally mobile workforce and felt that they were not getting adequate support and guidance from a previous service provider to ensure the company remained compliant from an employment tax perspective, in relation to this population. This meant that BW Offshore felt they had to take last minute advice and make very reactive decisions around these mobilisations with regards to employment tax, payroll, immigration and other related aspects for these employees.

The main challenge was that BW Offshore had several employees moving from their Singapore office to the UK and vice versa on long-term assignments and BW Offshore and their employees required advice on employment tax, payroll, immigration, employment law and other aspects as a result of these mobilisations.

Our Solutions:

At this point, BW Offshore reached out to activpayroll and were delighted with the proposed approach of providing Global Mobility advice to the business, both from an employer and employee perspective, both with their Aberdeen and global offices.

Over the years, activpayroll has assisted and continues to provide guidance to BW Offshore with a number of employment tax related core compliance services including:

  • Employment tax, income tax and social security advice
  • Double-tax treaty exemption applications
  • Certificates of residence
  • Assistance with preparation of UK tax returns & tax exposure
  • A modified PAYE scheme
  • UK shadow payroll assistance for internationally mobile employees
  • Assistance with international tax returns
  • IR35 guidance


For over five years now, BW Offshore have been using activpayroll for their UK Payroll and Global Mobility needs in Singapore, UK, France, Norway, Holland, USA and many more on an ad-hoc basis.

The UK-Singapore project proved to be well-managed and successful, providing the needed outcome: overall compliance. UK shadow payrolls (for employees based in Norway and France) were also dealt with, achieving compliance in each location.

The GMOB team have provided cost savings to both BW Offshore and their employees by flagging up National Insurance (NI) exemptions, giving advice on how to tackle IR35 and guiding the way around the Singapore double tax treaty. This has resulted in BW Offshore becoming smarter, so that when someone is moving for work, they have the full picture of what this is going to mean financially and can be more transparent to the budget holders.

Having the activpayroll GMOB team, UK payroll team, our benefits provider and my team working closely together is a great feeling and ensures we get all the parts right! The GMOB team have been very patient with us during the years and I feel comfortable contacting them at any point; they always give us a steer on what to do next. We’ve established a fantastic working relationship based on mutual respect and honesty. The GMOB team don’t just speak in finance terms or numbers, but in a straightforward manner which makes it easy for me to understand and pass on that knowledge to my department.

Senior Human Capital Manager – Operations BW Offshore