As Spain seeks to ratify a new remote expenses policy that is designed to enhance the rights of remote workers, companies that hire outside of the country are reminded to check the compliance of their remote policies with the latest local labor laws.
With the UK, Netherlands and US among countries that are now bracing for a second wave, many new roles are likely to be remote, at least on an interim basis. It is critical for employers to check that their remote working policies are well-prepared and that all expenses and obligations are met.
Potential Legal Obligations of Employers
Generally, remote working laws can be tricky. The law may treat personnel who must work from home due to the pandemic differently to those whose contracts define them as remote for some or all the time. However, this is dependent on the employment contract and the country.
The proposed Spanish policy requires employers to cover the cost of working remotely for employees who work from home for at least 30% of their working schedule. However, the policy will not apply to personnel who are working from home due to the pandemic.
Employers in the UK must treat their staff equally, regardless of the location. Yet, there is some disparity. For example, workers who began working from home because of the pandemic are now entitled to £26 per month in tax relief to cover the costs of working remotely, while remote contract workers are not.
UK businesses are also required to ensure that every employee has the equipment necessary to fulfill their work duties remotely. Employers must complete assessments to ensure that the equipment and the working station follow health and safety guidelines.
In California, an employer is liable ‘for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties’ as per the California Labor Code 2802. Expenses should be reasonable but can include telephones, heating, internet, workstations, computers and even attorney’s fees for enforcing the rights.
How Can a Company Ensure Global Compliance for its Remote Employees?
While a company may consider its current policies comprehensive, it is still obliged to keep on top of the local HR laws in every country it employs in. It is a huge task to stay on top of local labor laws across multiple countries, even for experienced HR professionals.
Yet, companies have a choice when deciding how to handle global hiring. They can dedicate the money, time and resources to set up in a new country and comply with the latest local HR policies.
Or a business can simply guarantee local compliance by partnering with an Employer of Record (EOR).
Can an Employer of Record Keep a Business Ahead of All Local HR Policies?
Yes, it can! In fact, it is part of the service it provides. Partnering with an EOR enables a company to employ in countries where it lacks a local entity. The EOR assumes all the risk and responsibility for the new hire while ensuring that employees are onboarded, managed and paid correctly, on time and in line with local labor or tax laws.
While these unprecedented times are testing, it is empowering to know that any business that partners with an EOR is guaranteed to remain ahead of changes in local labor law – regardless of where its employees are based.
For advice you can trust, partner with an EOR.
About Elements Global Services:
Elements Global Services is an award-winning HR technology & services company. Elements provides employment solutions in over 135 countries – covering everything from payroll, benefits, HR, local compliance to visa & mobility. Headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, Elements has a global network of offices and employees delivering innovative solutions to its growing customer base. Elements’ Direct Employer of Record model helps companies expand, onboard, manage & pay employees worldwide. Visit www.elementsgs.com, LinkedIn or Twitter for more information.