So your employee wants to work abroad? What to think about…

11th June 2021

As we start to look to the future of work and what that looks like for businesses and employees, you may find your employees start to expect and request more agile working options, including working abroad. 

We have seen in the news recently that some businesses have introduced new policies allowing employees to work from abroad. This is not as straightforward as it might immediately seem (particularly post-Brexit) and can lead to a variety of legal issues that employers must take into account before allowing employees to work from home abroad, including tax, social security, employment rights and immigration.

Before granting any such request, there are some important considerations to take into account.  These are:

  • Employees may gain local employment law rights if they work abroad.
  • Tax and social security rules are complex and will vary.
  • There could be a risk of creating a “permanent establishment” for the purposes of corporation tax.
  • Immigration rules need to be thought about – working remotely is rarely permitted as a business visitor activity.
  • Data protection issues may arise if data is being transferred outside of the country.
  • Insurance and benefits policies could be invalidated.
  • Health and safety obligations still apply.

This is a complex area to navigate and it’s worthwhile reviewing your current flexible working policies and procedures and updating them to include a section on requests to work abroad. 

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  • Author : MGAA
  • 11th June 2021