Global virtual working

Work from anywhere in the world?

After over two years of working remotely, various major tech companies are announcing new global remote working policies, badged as ‘work from anywhere’ policies.

A key benefit of this shift to global remote working is that it allows companies to attract a worldwide talent pool and employ the best candidate for the role irrespective of where they live and the country of employment. This will also ensure it remains attractive for their current employees.

However, to facilitate this there are several areas for employers and employees to consider in order to help manage your risk, tax, and social security exposure, and ensure you remain compliant. Key topics include:

  • Immigration – does the employee have the right to work in the location of home working? With the UK having left the EU, different immigration rules now apply.
  • Legal and employment law considerations
  • Has a corporate tax presence been established?
  • Income tax
  • Social security
  • Has a payroll requirement been created, for income tax and/or social security?
  • Are there any other mandatory reporting obligations?
  • Benchmarking of compensation
  • Ensuring you have robust policies and procedures in place
  • EU Posted Worker Directive is now adopted across the EU States, with each country applying the Directive independently and, potentially, differently.
  • Do you have company equity plans your employees participate in? What are the tax/social security and reporting obligations of these in each country?

A flexible working landscape is now the norm for many industries, particularly the technology sector, where some operated remotely even pre-pandemic. The businesses best placed to deal with these modern ways of working will be the ones who consider their risks and exposures and have a firm understanding of their global travel pattern, where their employees are based and where their talent pool is. These steps will help ensure companies are compliant with the authorities and remain attractive to current and potential employees. 

In addition to permanent arrangements, we are seeing a myriad of queries from clients regarding accommodating shorter term flexible working arrangements. These may be shorter term arrangements of say, up to six months / one year, or working holiday arrangements, where non-UK nationals wish to return to their home country and would like to extend this by a short period of time by remotely working for their UK employer from the other location.

Our International Tax team will be happy to assist you with any queries you may have in this area.