Remote Work from Abroad - 7 things to be aware of

Lön & HR | 27.05.2024

by Jonas Larsson

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Have you, as an employer, ever been asked by your employees about working remotely from abroad? We clarify which questions you should ask yourself before making a decision about remote work. 

As hybrid workplaces have become more common, the demand for working remotely from abroad has also increased. Some employees see the possibility of working from other countries for periods, and a more global workforce invites greater demand for such a solution. 

To avoid disputes or unforeseen costs, there are various aspects an employer must consider before agreeing to remote work from abroad. Below are a few examples that the employer should be aware of: 


1. Legal Issues 

It is important to understand the laws and regulations in the country where the employee intends to work. There may be labor law and visa-related issues that must be handled correctly. What are the local labor laws outside Sweden regarding, for example, working hours and vacation? 


2. Taxes and Social Contributions  

Potential tax consequences and the requirement to pay social contributions may arise when working from abroad. The responsibility lies with both the employer and the employee. The country and the duration of the work period play a role in determining where taxes and social contributions should be paid. It is important to investigate what applies to your situation. 


3. Pension and Insurance 

The employer must ensure that the employee has access to necessary insurance and pension benefits even when working from abroad. There can be differences between various collective agreements and pension agreements, so it is important to review the overall situation to ensure the employee has adequate protection, both for shorter and longer periods abroad. 


4. Security and Privacy 

The employer must ensure that the employee has access to secure work tools and that the company's data and sensitive information are protected in the working country. 


5. Work Environment 

The employer retains responsibility for employees working from abroad according to the Work Environment Act (AML). The work environment efforts do not stop outside the workplace or office. It is important to be aware that work environment legislation is nationally limited, and the employer is responsible for working with systematic work environment management. 


6. Employer Perspective 

Employees today have different expectations than before regarding remote work, and there is reason for employers to review their offers on hybrid/remote work. A crucial factor for maintaining employee engagement and productivity in remote work is company culture. Does the company have a culture that promotes open communication, trust, and collaboration? Is there also leadership that maintains motivation, trust, and engagement throughout the organization? If so, there is a good foundation to further explore the possibilities of remote work from abroad for your employees. 


7. Addendum Agreement 

For remote work from abroad, the employer needs to establish an addendum to the existing employment contract. This should regulate the issues we have discussed earlier. It is also important to clarify the framework for contact with the immediate supervisor, meeting times, and how communication with other employees should be handled regarding scope and timing. Any time differences should be taken into account. 


Do you need help setting up an agreement for remote work from abroad? Do you have other questions about the rules for remote work? At Azets, we have experts in this field ready to help. Please contact us, and we will assist you.


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About Jonas Larsson

Jonas arbetar inom lön på Azets som Expatriat Specialist och säkerställer intern och extern support inom lönehantering för Expatriater. Jonas tar även ett helhetsgrepp på utbildning samt utveckling av interna rutiner och processer.