As an employee, your work covers the activities you carry out in the performance of your duties.
A voluntary post for which an individual has no contract of service does not count as work for the purpose of the statutory residence test.
An individual’s time spent working includes:
instances where their employer instructs an individual to stay away from work, for example while serving a period of notice while they remain on the payroll;
travelling time where the cost would have been a deductible expense for tax purposes had the individual incurred and paid for the costs themselves, regardless of whether or not they worked during the travel in question;
travelling time to the extent than an individual works during their journey, regardless of the rules on deductibility; and job related training provided or paid for by an individual’s employer.
In most cases work is considered to be done at the location where it is actually done, rather than where an employment is held (or a trade, profession or vocation is carried on).
If you require a more definitive answer, please write to HMRC with a description of your activities while you are on academic sabbatical in the UK.
RDRM11740 - Residence: The SRT: Days spent in the UK: Work for the purpose of the SRT
- Work takes its everyday meaning.
Income Tax: general enquiries