The right person for your job can be anywhere, and that shouldn’t get in the way of doing work together. Clients with Enterprise Classification and Enterprise Standard subscriptions can both use Upwork Payroll to hire anywhere.

How it works


We handle compliance responsibilities so you only have to engage with the talent. Instead of approving time cards and running payroll, you’ll be able to focus on what’s important. Through Upwork's staffing partner as the employer, you:

  • Reduce the risk of legal disputes and negative publicity due to mishandling of worker classification and worker entitlements
  • Handle the legal, administrative and financial aspects of your worker relationships and ensure compliance with tax and employment laws, including country specific laws
  • Your talent is billed through Upwork, but getting legally, compliantly paid through their employer in their own currency
For Enterprise Classification accounts

Enterprise Classification hires will be classified by us, meaning we'll determine whether to engage each freelancer that you choose as an independent contractor or as an employee of a third-party staffing provider. Similar to other U.S- based Upwork Payroll assignments, we offer Upwork Payroll service through a trusted, third-party international staffing agency. The talent will become an employee through them and assigned to you for the purposes of the project.

Step 1: Request pricing

Once your suitable candidate for your project has been classified by Upwork to be best supported through the Upwork Payroll solution, the first step is to finalize your proposed annual salary in the local currency, the estimated number of weekly hours, the contract duration, as well as the title and description of work. You’ll need to provide this info to your Account Growth and Development partner.

Step 2: Review pricing

An Upwork Payroll Specialist will aim to provide you and your Account Growth and Development partner with the estimated cost breakdown, payment framework, and country-specific statutory financial obligations from the staffing provider within 48 hours of your request.

Step 3: Pricing Approval

Once you have reviewed the pricing and engagement details you can provide your approval via an electronic signature. Within 24 hours of receiving your approval, an Upwork Payroll Specialist will reach out to you to collect the details of the assignment, and communicate these to the staffing provider.

Step 4: Onboarding

After final approval has been received from you, the staffing provider will contact the employee to begin the onboarding process. This process will include the signing of an employee agreement that outlines the business needs as well as the legislated employment practices for the locale that will govern the employment relationship. Additional steps required by law or by the employer, such as a background check may also be included.

International onboarding typically takes 3-4 weeks (from quote signature to start date) but can move quicker. An Upwork Payroll Specialist will keep you and your Account Growth and Development partner up to date with the progress throughout the process.

Step 5: Commence working

Once onboarding is complete, a contract will be created on the Upwork platform for billing purposes, and the employee can commence work from the agreed start date. The employer will provide the employee with instructions on submitting approved expense reimbursements, time off requests, and getting paid. You can then seamlessly communicate through the Upwork platform.

Important:

Work must not begin until the employee completes onboarding with their employer (the third-party staffing provider). Any work that happens before the onboarding process is complete will be your company’s responsibility.

For Enterprise standard accounts

Enterprise Standard accounts determine the employee classification on their own. Similar to other U.S.-based Upwork Payroll assignments, if you determine the relationship is best classified as an employee (rather than an independent contractor), we offer Upwork Payroll service through a trusted, third-party international staffing agency. The talent will become an employee of them and assigned to you for the purposes of the project.

Step 1: Request pricing

Once you have found a suitable candidate for your project, the first step is to submit your proposed annual salary in local currency, the estimated number of weekly hours and contract duration, as well as the title and description of work, to an Upwork Payroll Specialist by email at upworkpayroll-intl-specialist@upwork.com

Step 2: Review pricing

The Upwork Payroll Specialist will aim to provide you with the estimated cost breakdown, payment framework, and country-specific statutory financial obligations from the staffing provider within 48 hours of your request.

Step 3: Pricing Approval

Once you have reviewed the pricing and engagement details you can provide your approval via an electronic signature. Within 24 hours of receiving your approval, an Upwork Payroll Specialist will reach out to you to collect the details of the assignment, and communicate these to the staffing provider.

Step 4: Onboarding

After final approval has been received from you, the staffing provider will contact the employee to begin the onboarding process. This process will include the signing of an employee agreement that outlines the business needs as well as the legislated employment practices for the locale that will govern the employment relationship. Additional steps required by law or by the employer, such as a background check may also be included.

International onboarding typically takes 3-4 weeks (from quote signature to start date) but can move quicker. An Upwork Payroll Specialist will keep you up to date with the progress throughout the process.

Step 5: Commence working

Once onboarding is complete, a contract will be created on the Upwork platform for billing purposes, and the employee can commence work from the agreed start date. The employer will provide the employee with instructions on submitting approved expense reimbursements, time off requests and getting paid. You can then seamlessly communicate through the Upwork platform.

Important:

Work must not begin until the employee completes onboarding with their employer (the third-party staffing provider). Any work that happens before the onboarding process is complete will be your company’s responsibility.

After you hire someone with Upwork Payroll, the contract is entered on the platform, but the Work Diary is disabled. Timekeeping will occur between the employee and their employer on their own time tracking tools where applicable; the contract on Upwork will be “paused” to prevent duplicate reporting. Compensation listed in your Upwork contract will reflect a USD hourly rate.

Making changes to an Upwork Payroll contract


Any changes that need to be made to an Upwork Payroll contract, including requesting a contract ended, will be supported by your Upwork Payroll Specialist. To reach your Upwork Payroll Specialist for questions or to make changes to an Upwork Payroll contract, email upworkpayroll-intl-specialist@upwork.com

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I end an Upwork Payroll contract?

All contractual requests including ending or modifying a contract should be emailed to upworkpayroll-intl-specialist@upwork.com. Advance notice is required and can vary from country to country. This allows the staffing provider to comply with any termination requirements, such as laws governing final paychecks or termination paperwork.

Does Upwork Payroll cost an additional fee?

The Upwork Payroll fee is listed in the client's MSA, and the fee is included in the quote pricing.

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