Top considerations to work from anywhere compliantly

Top Considerations To Work From Anywhere Compliantly

It is critical for both employers and employees to consider what compliant remote working is to prevent risks.
Aug 10, 2022
For many employees, remote working has become the new norm. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become an option for most employees, with companies catching up and implementing remote work policies.

With the concept of remote work becoming more popular, so has the option to work from anywhere. Now, it is clear that working from anywhere, including working remotely from abroad, or as a digital nomad, is here to stay. It is therefore important for employers to consider what compliant remote working looks like, to prevent exposing their companies to any risks.

Defining The Types of Remote Work

There are various types of remote work. It is important to define them, in order for employers to fully understand the various types of compliance risks they may be exposed to. Overseas remote work is typically defined as any work performed from a location outside of the country or state, of the employer's central workplace, where the employee is employed.

The following are variations of the term "remote work," and some may have slightly different meanings in particular countries or regions:

• Work from home

• Telecommuting

• Telework

• Homeworking

• Mobile work

• Virtual work

• Agile work

•Digital nomad

In some countries, such as Norway, remote working has been banned for all non-residents of Norway, with the exception of EU/EEA citizens. Announced in June 2022 by Norwegian authorities, a residence permit is required when wanting to work remotely from Norway.

It is considered remote work when you work for a Norwegian or foreign employer off-site (e.g. from a hotel, a home or similar). This also applies if you are self-employed in Norway or abroad.   This is important, as some countries may not allow for remote working.

Therefore, although your employees may request it, an individual assessment of where they intend to work needs to be conducted.

See how to convince your employer to allow you to work remotely.

Considerations for Remote Working

Remote working raises quite a number of practical challenges which employers should carefully consider before agreeing to an employee’s request to work overseas. These are often additional challenges to those raised by domestic remote working. They include:

• Whether the employer’s home and remote working policies include information on working remotely overseas

• Ensuring that employees understand that prior approval is required before they can work remotely overseas

• Whether it is practically possible for the employee to undertake their role remotely outside of their home country, away from the employer's central workplace, where the employee is employed

• Ensuring that any agreement with the employee regarding overseas remote working is clear and in writing

• Ensuring that data protection and security arrangements are in place

• Whether the employee will have an adequate internet connection and equipment to perform their role

• Whether there will be any practical difficulties in communicating with the employee and providing instructions due to any associated time difference

An employer should always take expert local advice on any tax, social security, immigration and employment obligations before allowing employees to work remotely.

Compliance Risk To Consider

There are a handful of compliance risks that companies with remote workers need to consider. They can be broken down into three core categories ;

- Legal

-Immigration (Visa and Work Permits)

-Tax and Social Security

Each of these considerations requires careful review and, expert advice is needed in each across any country you have employees working from. The local laws vary from country to country, and it is, therefore, crucial that remote workers fully understand the risks they may expose to by working from a specific location.

Let us break down each consideration in more detail:

Learn more about the country-specific employee laws by signing up for Centuro Connect.

Legal Considerations

Overseas remote working is permitted in certain countries, and in most cases employees may work remotely outside of their home jurisdiction provided they meet certain criteria. This may include:

  • The employee has the necessary immigration and other approvals in place to do so
  • The employer complies with any tax, social security, and employment obligations in the host country
  • Their employment contract falls under the correct jurisdiction

An example of these employment laws can be evaluated by using Ireland as an example. There are currently no employment laws in Ireland regulating remote work or anything similar that can be interpreted to expand to remote work overseas.

Indeed, there is currently no specific employment law in Ireland regulating domestic remote work nor is there currently a statutory right to request a remote working arrangement in Ireland (although applications should be genuinely considered by employers to avoid claims of discrimination).

The Irish government is planning to introduce legislation regulating an employee’s right to request remote working and has issued draft legislation in this regard. It is unlikely that this will extend to a right to request remote work overseas.

It is however for an employment contract to be set out and drafted for the correct jurisdiction. All contracts should be relevant for that entity where most time is spent and where they trigger a tax residency. These contracts should be up-to-date and checked by a local expert.

Employers should be aware of the different rights and obligations governing the employment relationship, including the rights of the employee. For example, contract termination, maternity or paternity leave, annual leave days and many other contractual obligations will vary depending on which country you are hiring in.


If an employee holds immigration permission to work in a specific country, there could be implications for the employee’s immigration status when the employee spends time working overseas. This is because those holding immigration permissions are usually expected to work in said country for at least 183 days ( 6 months) in a full calendar year to be considered employed in that country.

Going back to Ireland as an example, it is required for a sponsored immigrant to work from Ireland for at least 183 days a year to be considered '' employed in Ireland'' (this is in line with the requirements of the Revenue Commissioners of Ireland (Revenue) for tax residence. Frequent absences or an extended absence which constitute part of the permit holder’s employment are not considered grounds for revocation of the employment permit.

Implications For The Employer

If an employee is working overseas temporarily, the employer should continue to deduct income tax under the PAYE system. This matter however becomes more complicated when the employee extends their stay or even requests to relocate to this new location indefinitely.

Employers should always remember the standard of 183 days in a country in a 12-month period; this is generally the tipping point for changing tax residency, often together with employer obligations to operate withholding tax. Contractual changes, entity setups and payroll processes are some of the items which will need to then be addressed and solved.

Employers should also consider whether the employee's stay in the host country (regardless of duration) creates risks of income tax or social security liability in that country or even the risk that the employee has triggered a '' permanent establishment''. This will hold corporation tax consequences for the employer (by virtue of the employee's activities in that host country). To understand the position, it will be necessary to establish the rules in place in the relevant host country.

Implications For The Employee

If the employee does become subject to tax in the country they are working remotely from but are continuously paying tax in their home country, they remain subject to income tax there as well as pay tax on their worldwide income in the host country ( where they are currently working remotely from). In some cases, it may be able to obtain credit for some or all of the tax they pay in the host country.

Legal Restrictions

It is permissible for employees who normally live and are employed by an employer based in another jurisdiction to work in some countries remotely. This will depend on their nationality, how long they intend to work and whether or not those countries have dual taxation agreements.

Continuing with Ireland, if someone wishes to work remotely from there and it is not their home jurisdiction, it is possible. They however have to meet the necessary immigration requirements and other approvals in order to do so. The employer may need to comply with any tax, social security, and employment obligations in Ireland.

There are certain mandatory employment laws that may apply to employees working in Ireland remotely.

The Disconnect Code introduced by the WRC could extend to overseas remote workers working in Ireland and its provisions would likely be particularly relevant where there is a time difference from the home country. A failure by an employer to follow the Disconnect Code is not in itself an offence but is admissible in proceedings before the WRC and the Irish courts.

Immigration Permissions

In some cases, European Union nationals are permitted to work from other EU countries for a certain amount of days, without having to apply for a specific visa type. For example, nationals of the EEA, Switzerland and the United Kingdom can work in Ireland without obtaining immigration permission.

All other nationalities need immigration permission if they plan to work in Ireland for more than 14 consecutive calendar days. If an individual is going to work from another country for more than 90 calendar days, immigration permission usually takes the form of an employment permit.

Income Tax And Social Security

Considerations For The Employer

If an overseas employee is working in a country temporarily, their employer should continue to deduct income tax under their local system ( if the country permits remote work of course). Where a stay becomes extended, or even indefinite, matters become more complicated.

Overseas employers should be vigilant of the standard of 183 days in a country in a 12-month period; this is generally the tipping point for tax residency, often coupled with employer obligations to operate withholding tax.

In some countries, such as Norway, remote working for foreign employees is completely banned except for EEA / EU nationals. If an employee intends to work remotely for even one day, they are required to apply for a business visa or another relevant visa type. Learn more here.

Implications For The Employee

If an employee becomes subject to tax in Ireland but remains tax-resident in their home country, they remain subject to income tax in their home country on their worldwide income but may be able to obtain credit for some or all the tax they pay in Ireland.

How We Can Help

Centuro Global can assist employers with the tax implications of employees working in another jurisdiction and mitigate any risks and costs. Please don't hesitate to contact us.

The Complete Guide to Work from Anywhere Compliantly 
Download this guide to learn:

- The types of remote work available

- The general considerations for remote working
- The legal, immigration and tax compliance risks of remote working


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