The pandemic has accelerated thinking on the future of work. Virtualisation of the workforce is taking place in many organisations and there are many implications to be considered. Employees and employers want to evaluate the long-term potential for remote work.
Global Mobility functions are taking the opportunity to lead from the front and to evolve their organisations’ thinking and approach.The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased remote working, as we are all aware. Organisations are considering making some elements of remote and virtual work permanent for all or parts of their workforce.
Organisations that had not previously adopted remote work are seeing it either as a short to mid-term business imperative or as a longer-term change to where work can be done. In all cases, organisations have noticed the following:
- Cost savings through reduced office space and resources
- An enhanced ability to attract talent and retain a broader, more diverse workforce
- A better employee experience through flexibility and work-life balance.
As a result, organisations are actively considering how to integrate remote work into their workforce strategy. But they are seeing that compliance is crucial to a successful remote work strategy. Deloitte are helping clients who are looking to accelerate their domestic and international remote work programmes as they consider the potential compliance implications for the business and the employee of:
- Tax: individual employment and corporate tax compliance risks (including social security)
- Intra-company agreements: adjusting when costs are borne by one entity but the employee is employed by another
- Nexus and Permanent Establishment: when an employee is in one country and working for an entity in another
- Employment law: review of contractual documents and assessment of further employment law topics
- Tax: review of taxability of benefits in certain jurisdictions
- Payroll/Reporting: registration in the location in which the employee wishes to work, tracking of employee location
- Benefits: changes to global rewards programmes for remote workers
- Risk profile: company tolerance for legal and compliance risk, “no-go” locations for risk reasons
- IP & Data security: network security, safe location for intellectual property,
Leveraging its multi-faceted nature and understanding of multiple aspects of the organisation, Global Mobility is playing a critical role integrating remote work into policies and programmes. It is beginning to solve some of organisations’ greatest challenges and opening doors to significant talent opportunities.
Global Mobility can lead in assessing the organisation’s immediate needs and in putting a plan in place for future next steps, especially by advising on country compliance considerations and legal requirements, analysing possible remote work locations from the compliance point of view, determining how to use remote work in the global mobility pipeline, and by building cross-border remote work guidelines into the policy suite.
Deloitte GES is uniquely positioned to help organisations and Global Mobility professionals with the complex issues of remote work. Our assistance can consist of:
- Reviewing specific compliance issues created by remote work, such as potential tax, social security and immigration issues
- Helping organisations put in place tracking of their employees’ place of work for reporting and compliance purposes
- Preparing employer certifications for cross-border employees who have been working from home in 2020 and assisting with relevant communications
- Opening a broader conversation with an organisation to help determine their future strategy on remote work and put in place new remote working policies taking into consideration all the relevant issues. This can be in the form of webinars explaining the applicable rules for employees doing remote work or a review of potential scenarios for allowing employees to work remotely.
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