With offices and workplaces closed around the globe due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people have been tasked with working from home, in some cases, for the foreseeable future.
This brings its own challenges. For some, where they don’t class the country they work in as their “home country”, this raises a separate issue and many internationally mobile individuals, or even international hires, either requested permission or were instructed at the start of this pandemic to travel back to their home country and work from home there.
Of course, this pandemic being an unprecedented event and with time being of the essence due to travel restrictions being implemented with little notice period, these working from home arrangements were simply put in place. As such, we are now seeing, for example, UK employees working from home across Europe and the rest of the world, being paid from the UK and remaining UK employees. Many of these employees are unsure when they will be able to travel back to the UK, or even when or if their offices will be open again.
The question is, do these working from home arrangements present any issues, implications or obligations with regards to payroll tax, income tax or social security? The short answer is, potentially yes.
The extent of any such implications and obligations depend to a great extent on where the employee’s “home country” is and how long they will ultimately spend in that country working from home. The answer to these questions will differ on a case by case basis. There could be implications or obligations for both the employer and the employee in these situations and to ensure compliance, we would strongly suggest reviewing each employee’s situation on a case by case basis.
The Global Mobility team here at activpayroll are currently supporting many employers who have found themselves in this situation. We would be delighted to help ensure that you, as an employer, remain globally compliant and that there are no payroll, income tax or social security surprises further down the line in respect of these employees, simply as a result of working in a country other than where they are normally employed.
Similarly, your internationally mobile employees may have had to remain in another location for longer than anticipated due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, and the advice you previously had on the implications and obligations of this overseas work, may now need to be reviewed and updated or revised. This could be as simple as requiring a social security certificate of coverage/ A1 certificate extension, or it may be that the position is completely different and action is needed to ensure you remain compliant.