Those who are employed to collect the zakaah are those who are appointed by the Muslim authorities, who collect it, store it and distribute it, and so on.
See al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/142
But if a person is delegated by the owner of the wealth to distribute his zakaah, he is acting on behalf of the owner of the wealth, and is not one of those who are employed to collect it.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’, 6/165:
Al-Shaafa’i and his companions (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If the one who is distributing the zakaah is its owner or his deputy, the share of the agent employed to collect it is waived and he must give it to the seven other categories (of people who are entitled to it). End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: A rich man sent his zakaah to someone and said: “Distribute it as you see fit.” Is this deputy one of those who are employed to collect it and is he entitled to any of it?”
This deputy is not one of those who are employed to collect it, and he is not entitled to any of it, because he has been delegated only by a particular individual. This is the reason – and Allaah knows best – why the Qur’aan says (interpretation of the meaning):
“those employed to collect (the funds)”
This refers to those who are appointed to do this task. Therefore the one who is delegated to distribute the zakaah on behalf of a particular individual is not regarded as one of those who are employed to collect zakaah. And Allaah knows best. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 18/369.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: I have some wealth on which zakaah is due, and I want to send some of it to the poor in another country. I know a rich man in that country and I want to send the money through him so that he can give it to the needy, but he will not do that unless I pay him. Is it permissible to give him some of the zakaah money in return for his doing that?
It is better for you to distribute your zakaah among the poor in your own country, but if you send it to another country where the poor are in greater need or because they are your relatives and are poor, there is nothing wrong with that. If you delegate someone to distribute the zakaah, there is nothing wrong with giving him something in return that is not part of the zakaah, because what you have to do is distribute it among the poor yourself or through your trustworthy deputy who you have to pay from your own wealth, not from the zakaah. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 14/258.