Due to the current circumstances, large multinational enterprises such as Facebook and Microsoft have recently decided to alter the company policy, allowing employees to work from home on a permanent basis. However, there are potential implications from the perspective of immigration, tax and labour law, that should be carefully taken into consideration when making such decision.
When considering a permanent or a hybrid remote work policy change, companies need to be aware on the impact of labour law, immigration and taxes in their decisions. Here are several potential issues that must be identified, managed and resolved:
- Control working hours and wage regulations, especially for non-exempt employees.
- Ensuring that your company’s policies on privacy and data security are being practiced
- Knowing what are the taxes that must be withheld based on your employees’ working location
- Checking whether the jurisdiction within which your employee is remotely working has any particular employment law entitlements that you may not even have contemplated
- Checking whether a Posted Work Notification is necessary – if the work is happening within European territory
Furthermore, the employer must know the exact location of where the employee is conducting the remote work. This could have an influence on a few factors that must be well defined in between the two parties. Such factors include:
- How would this influence a work/ residence permit
- If the employee is currently on a work permit, whether a new application has to be made or might the current one be revoked on the basis of the employee’s absence from the country.
- Adjust salary levels based on the location where your employees currently work
- Whether you have a plan in place in care the employees are not able to return to their home country – think about renewals/extensions
- Take into consideration Social Security within Europe
Even though there are quite a few struggles and immigration consequences, implementing a plan will definitely help comply with the current situation. Such plan can consist of:
- Verifying the location of your employees, as well as their immigration status and how long they are being allowed to stay in the country of choice
- Understand their current immigration status and seek advice as to whether further actions are required
- Review local labour laws of the jurisdiction in which an employee is performing work
- Ensure that the reasons for relocation decisions are non-discriminatory and well documented, in the case of employees not being allowed a flexible work option
- Always consider immigration, employment and tax issues before amending any remote work policy
Shifting to a permanent work policy is quite a difficult task that involves multiple consequences, as seen above. Nestlers Group offers services that could make your life easier and our immigration and tax & labour law specialists are glad to assist.