International Teleworking / Virtual Work

Labor News

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The pandemic has come to modify our way of working by demonstrating the viability of international teleworking (working from home), and it will put virtual assignments/projects in a preferential place, which can be more cost-effective and facilitate international work, since displacement of the family unit is not necessary, as an element that slows down workers mobility.

Legally, this new work modality has not yet been resolved, so it requires professionals specialized in the matter to use its creativity and flexibility, when designing and implementing these new systems and protocols, using the same existing regulations for expatriates, because as always, the reality comes before the norm.

International teleworking forces us to move from the classic expatriation model, in which the temporal employment contract and social security affiliation, can be fixed at origin or destination, depending if the assignment occurs within the scope of the European Union (EU), in a country with which Spain has signed a Bilateral Social Security Agreement (CBSS); or even in both places, when those instruments do not exist. There are times when the instruments do exist and it is opted for the double hiring and/or contribution due to migratory needs, social security, at the request of the expatriate or different particularities of the case.

Agreement for international teleworking

The scenario changes when we are faced with an international teleworking project, since the existing international element in that assignment modifies the classic expatriate status and transforms it into a mixed modality, to the extent that the provision of services for another country, in a virtual way, requires considering, in addition to the classical regulation, other aspects different to those that we have been applying:

  • To adequately establish labour services that exceed the local scope, including the provision of international services.
  • Comply with the obligations that derive from the provision of virtual services.
  • Establish compensation and adequate coverage for the new service provision modality.

And ultimately, because international social security regulations (EU Regulations, CBSS) and labour, come to have a different role in these new assignments, and put us in the need to evaluate the obligations to fulfill from a totally different perspective, in which some issues gain weight, such as:

  • Registration in social security and permanent establishment.
  • Immigration problems in the displacements.
  • Social coverage when traveling to the country for which the service is provided.
  • Contribution to public social security and possible contributions to private social security systems.
  • Prevention of work risks.
  • Applicable collective agreements.
  • Applicable taxation.

For this reason, international teleworking, which undoubtedly brings benefits for organizations and attracts talent, cannot be carried out with the same tools as classical expatriation, but rather requires adapting the policies of organizations to this new situation.

At UHY Fay & Co, we have a multidisciplinary team of labour, legal and tax advisers, and an international network present in over 100 countries, to carry out these changes.

 

 

 

 

Fe López

Partner – Lawyer specialized in Labour Law

flopez@uhy-fay.com

 

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