ON: Remote Working Operations. Solving Payroll, HR, Tax & Compliance Challenges.
ON: Remote Working Operations. Solving Payroll, HR, Tax & Compliance Challenges.

ON: Remote Working Operations. Solving Payroll, HR, Tax & Compliance Challenges.

All about the operational challenges and solutions of remote working, with a focus on payroll, HR, tax and compliance.

As the pandemic continues, more companies are making a shift to being remote-first, or at the very least, adapting to the new conditions of temporarily operating on a remote basis. Whilst this shift creates more opportunities and flexibility, it can come with a heavy administrative burden and a ton of questions around managing this from an operational perspective.  With so many things to factor in such as different residencies, nationality, destinations, tax implications, as well as which option to go for - contracting, outsourced payroll, subsidiary, etc., how do you know what's the right way? To answer some of the above questions, on 19th November 2020 we held an online panel featuring three amazing speakers, all co-founders of companies helping to navigate the intricacies of international employment.

📽️ Watch the recording of our full panel discussion here:

🗒️ Read through our notes here.

📒 Browse through the resources here.

💰 For Operations Nation attendees:

📧 Get in touch with...

🤑 No fee for the first 5 employees for 2 months from Boundless.

To redeem this offer from Boundless click here.

🤑 30% off of hiring an independent contractors for 6 months from Deel.

To redeem this offer from Deel click here.

Boundless: Dee Coakley

Shield GEO: Duncan Macintosh

🗣️ SPEAKERS

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Alex Bouaziz, Co-Founder & CEO @ Deel

Deel is a payroll platform dedicated to supporting and hiring remote workers globally, that connects localised compliance and payments in one system of record and automates everything. They are backed by Y Combinator and Andreessen Horowitz.

Alex is a MIT alumnus and a true international entrepreneur, who helped to build startups such as Sarona Ventures, Lifeslice, and Cryptofighters earlier in his career.

Duncan Macintosh, Co-Founder @ Shield GEO

Having dealt with thousands of international workers over the last 20 years, Shield GEO is on a mission to make international employment simple.

Originally from Australia, Duncan has been living in the UK, France, Switzerland, Spain and Korea, and therefore firsthand experiencing all the issues Shield GEO's customers and international teams face. To escape the COVID and British winter, Duncan has recently moved to work from Barbados!

Dee Coakley, Co-Founder & CEO @ Boundless

Previously a three-time COO, Dee has spent the last 10 years building B2B SaaS businesses, and has experienced the operational challenges of setting up remote teams firsthand.

Boundless is the international employment platform for remote teams. It takes the hard work out of remote people ops by allowing companies to compliantly employ people wherever they are, and to get set up to handle payroll & tax filings in minutes.

Discussion moderated by Charlene Chen, COO @ Lantum

The panel discussion was moderated by Operations Nation Co-Founder, Charlene Chen. Charlene was a Co-Founder and COO at BitPesa (now AZA), managing global teams across 5 international offices and therefore is very familiar with all the challenges of international employment.

🗒️ NOTES & RESOURCES

What are some of the things we should be thinking about?

  • The most important: look at the tax residency of the individual. If they're working in a country that they're not employed / paying tax in, this can lead to issues.
    • Generally, for many (not all!) countries it's about the 183 day rule: if the individual stays for more than that in any rolling 12 month period, it's very likely that they will incur tax obligation after that period. However, this should be looked into on country by country basis.
    • An individual will have tax obligations once they trigger tax residency or they go over the time limit. As an employed you will ALSO have obligations. You have an obligation, as an employer, to know where your people are. Otherwise, you can face fines.
  • Then look at HR implications. If they trigger the tax residency in the country they're working from, do they need to be payrolled and employed in that country, under local law.
    • Entitlements to local employment rights at any country they're working from.
  • Corporation tax implications (rare cases).
  • Visa implications. You can end up with someone breaking visa regulations and becoming a tax resident in a country where they're not paying tax.

Brexit

  • Talking to your team and understanding their long-term plans so you can act on that. Think about how you see a person throughout the lifetime of your company. It's all very situational.
  • From employment perspective, it's an immigration issue. EU nationals will find it harder to work in the UK and vice versa.
  • Any European employer can just register as a foreign employer in another European country and just have to run payroll in that country instead of setting up entity. Presumably that option will now be off the table after the cooling off period.
  • From company's perspective, the impact has already felt severe from UK employer's perspective, e.g. number of applications plummeted which has increased the need for more international employment. However, this impact has been felt for a while already, not necessarily brought about by Brexit only.

How to think about global expansion?

  • Consider the longevity of the engagement. Every country has very different rules around worker classification (contractor vs employee). If the individual is only working for you (no other clients), gets the same salary every month, has company email address, attends internal company meetings, many governments will ask for this individual to be classified as employee.
  • You can start with contractor and then employ them full-time.
  • Classification of worker's legislation varies widely depending on the country.
  • Ask yourself "what's the relationship and what makes sense? What is practical? From the taxation, equipment perspective?"

Decision making

  • Make sure you know what your options are before making a decision. There's no "only way". E.g. register, do contracting, use EOR. EOR isn't necessarily the best option for everybody.
  • Might depend on the funding round and your business position.

Geographical locations

  • Termination can be very challenging in many countries, so any country you look at - if you're considering to employ any people directly, or through EOR, the first thing you should look at is how easy is it to terminate someone in that country.
  • UK, for example, is not hugely challenging. Not much grey area.
  • E.g. The Netherlands, Germany, you have to go in front of a judge and plead your case why you're terminating this person. There's a chance that the judge will just say "no".
  • EOR is a good place to start if you're thinking about a specific country.
  • 3rd party employment isn't even regulated in most countries; it's not even a notion that governments have tackled. Some don't even consider 3rd party to be normal means of employment.
  • Europe is one of the most challenging places to employ people because of termination and very employee centric legislation.
  • Latin America is very challenging, Mexico has just passed a piece of legislation that's "just madness".
  • North America is relatively easy. Australia is very easy (much like UK and Canada).
  • Asia is fairly straight-forward.
  • Africa is a massively mixed bag (depends on former colonies, e.g. South Africa is easy as ex-UK colony)
  • Also very important: if you're in a position where you're considering your strategy around international employment, consider your ability to harmonise the employee experience and benefits for employees in different places. If you have a very distributed team, perfect harmonisation will not be possible.

📝 ON Remote Working Operations: resources from Deel, Boundless and Shield GEO

NameLinkTagsSourceTypeTopic
The Ultimate Guide to Independent Contractors
Contractors
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
Why Hiring Remote People as Independent Contractors is a Bad Idea - Compliant Employment
Contractors
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
Remote Teams and Compliance Issue
Contractors
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
Why Hiring Remote People as Independent Contractors is a Bad Idea
Contractors
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
10 Inherent Inequalities Between Independent Contractors and Employees
ContractorsContractor to FTEFTEs abroad
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
All You Need to Know When Hiring Independent Contractors in 2020
Contractors
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
Independent Contractor Guide: Definition, Legal Aspects & Benefits
Contractors
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors: Everything You Need to Know
Contractors
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
Independent Contractor vs. Employee: A Complete Guide
ContractorsContractor to FTEFTEs abroad
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
Create a great independent contractor agreement: A step-by-step guide
ContractorsRemote hiring
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
What to Do When a Foreign Contractor Starts to Resemble an Employee
ContractorsContractor to FTE
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
Risks of Non-compliance with Tax Laws for Multinational Companies and Employees
COVID "movers"
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
How to continue employing people who want to move to another country
COVID "movers"
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
How to be a Compliant Remote Company in 2020: A 10-step Guide
COVID "movers"
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
Should You Hire an Independent Contractor to Work for Your Company Overseas?
Contractor to FTE
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
Converting a Contractor to a Full-Time Employee: A Guide for Overseas Employers
Contractor to FTE
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
The Pros and Cons of Setting Up a Foreign Subsidiary
Subsidiary setup
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
How do you Pay Remote Employees in Different Countries?
FTEs abroadPayroll
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
Can You Pay Your Overseas Employee Remotely?
FTEs abroadPayroll
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
How to Manage Payroll if your Company has No Legal Entity in the Country
Payroll
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
The Ultimate Guide to Payroll Outsourcing
Payroll
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
When and how to outsource payroll
Payroll
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
A Guide to Benefit in Kind Tax Around the World
Payroll
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
An 8-Step International Payroll Set-up Guide
Payroll
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
Five areas of international payroll you need to understand
Payroll
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
What is an Employer of Record?
EOR (Employer of Record)
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
How to choose your Employer of Record with 11 questions
EOR (Employer of Record)
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
What is an Employer of Record?
EOR (Employer of Record)
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
The Complete Guide on Employer of record (EOR): Definition, Benefits, and Liabilities
EOR (Employer of Record)
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
What is a Global Employment Organization?
GEO (Global Employment Organisation)
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
PEO Solution vs. GEO or Employer of Record Service
PEO (Professional Employment Organisation)
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
How to Hire Remote Workers
Remote hiring
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
Setting Up Safe Workspaces For Your Remote Employees
Remote hiringRemote management
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
Should You Pay Your Overseas Employee a US Salary?
Remote hiring
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
How to successfully onboard remote employees
Remote hiring
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
How to Conduct a Remote Interview: Preparation, Questions & Setup
Remote hiring
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
Five things that helped me become a good remote People Ops Partner
Remote hiringRemote cultureRemote management
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
Why Should You be a Compliant Remote Employer?
Remote hiringCOVID "movers"
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
Best Management Practices for Supporting Remote Workers
Remote management
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
10 Essential Software Tools for Your Remote Team
Remote managementRemote tools
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working OperationsTools
How to Run Inclusive Online Meetings with Your Remote Team
Remote management
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
The Art of Remote Team Alignment
Remote management
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
Suddenly Remote: Tips for Leaders to Succeed
Remote management
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
A First-Aid Kit for Remote Newbies
Remote management
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
How to Draft a Great Remote Work Policy for Your Remote Workers
Remote management
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
Remote Workers 101: A Guide to Managing a Successful Virtual Team
Remote management
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
Working From Home: A Productivity Guide for Managers and Employees
Remote management
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
How to Track Performance in Remote Teams
Remote management
Deel
Article
Remote Working Operations
Diversity and Inclusion in the Remote Workplace
Remote culture
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
Leadership and Shaping Company Culture in a Remote Team
Remote culture
Shield GEO
Article
Remote Working Operations
Succeeding as a Remote Company: Lessons from Shopify
Remote cultureRemote managementRemote hiring
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations
Top Remote Work Tools & Software for a Productive Team
Remote tools
Deel
Article
Remote Working OperationsTools
Country specifics
Country specifics
Boundless
Article
Remote Working Operations

Boundless infographics [click to download PDFs]