Assessing the risks when staff work remotely from overseas

The surge in remote working – whether to deliver on-line learning or other services – has been a vital part of the education sector’s response to the pandemic. However the pace of change has sometimes been more rapid than the development of appropriate best practice and governance requirements to support it. This applies in a numbers of areas connected with remote working, including assessing the risks of working overseas, both to the workers concerned and to the institutions that employ them.

These arrangements can be particularly attractive during the coronavirus outbreak, especially for academics with close ties to overseas jurisdictions. However, even if adopted for a temporary period, they can carry significant financial and other risks for both parties. They include:

  • Tax and social security: working overseas can change an individual’s residence for tax purposes, and can also trigger obligations to make social security contributions in the host country. Social security arrangements relating to work done by employees in EU countries may also change following Brexit. 
  • Immigration: the employee will need to comply with the immigration rules of the host jurisdiction and living in another jurisdiction may also impact on foreign nationals’ immigration status in the UK.
  • Employment: local mandatory law may override the contractual terms applying in the UK.
  • Regulatory: the employer may need to register a local establishment or a local entity may be set up inadvertently

 Our briefing here explores these and other risks in more detail.

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