White paper | Managing the risk of virtual assignments

This White Paper highlights the increasingly virtual nature of future working and the need for organisations to recognise the need for new future-proofed governance.

The recent global challenges around responding to the coronavirus (Covid-19) has created an upsurge in remote working, as quarantines and travel bans have impacted working patterns around the world

Organisations are starting to see increasing compliance exposure from home working where the location in which the work is being performed is not always clear. It may be tempting for someone who works from home on the Monday and Friday and is only in the office on Tuesday to Thursday to look at their life and consider that they could spend the long weekend somewhere abroad with lower property prices or a more benign climate. It has not always been much more expensive to commute by plane from halfway across Europe than to commute by train from 90 minutes to a major city outside of the normal working business hours. Where an organisation has an employee working from home for those long weekends, there isn’t always a mechanism for them to capture when the employee decides that that home will now be in another country with warmer weather rather than it being a drive up the highway or motorway.

Once that employee owns a property in another jurisdiction and has a registered address there and starts to appear in e.g. the records of the local doctor or authorities, it may not be long before a question arises as to whether they are paying tax and Social Security. We have seen many cases where the home country employer is caught by a similar scenario as the case study, in a country where they have no physical presence and no business activity, other than the fact that one of their expensive employees has chosen to base themselves there. This situation may also apply where a virtual assignee is in another country. but recharged back to the cost centre or payroll of the central office.

Organisations do need to be aware of the people they have and where they have them, even more than they have been in the past.

Download the white paper to explore:

  • The shift in assignment trends and work arrangements
  • Defining virtual assignments
  • The growth in virtual assignments
  • The blurred lines of Business Travel
  • Business travelers: Who manages the process and is ultimately accountable for compliance?
  • The use of technology for tracking
  • The potential compliance and employee relations impact of virtual assignments
  • Pro-active interventions to achieve an explicit organisational position on virtual assignments
  • Case studies, and recommendations for best practice

As part of Santa Fe Relocation’s ‘Global Mobility Insights’ series – supporting HR/Global Mobility teams manage a globally mobile workforce.