How to manage Global Employees during COVID-19

Could An Employer of Record Help You Manage Global Employees During The Pandemic?

For global HR professionals, the last few months spent navigating the response to the COVID19 outbreak have been a challenging and worrying experience. As more and more companies expand beyond their home markets, HR responsibilities and management of employees have become spread over a wider network of regions – and when laws, legislations and employment requirements change so rapidly, especially during a pandemic like this it is worth revisiting the options: Either you manage employees overseas yourself, and potentially save costs, though you’re going to be spending a lot of time trying to communicate effectively and learn about the laws and regulations of a foreign country. You can also hire someone overseas to manage and hire your employees, with the potential drawback of having to pay a manager and offer all the benefits they are entitled to as an effective manager. Finally, you could partner with a PEO that will manage your overseas employees and global payroll for a flat rate fee.

Another possibility is partnering with a foreign PEO (Professional Employer Organisation) also known as a EOR (Employer of Record). An Employer of Record will be able to manage your overseas employees for you and will have a qualified team of professionals keeping track of all the laws, regulations, and paperwork that’s necessary in order to manage your team. It will be up to the Employee of Record to handle all the HR tasks, effectively alleviating you of any potentially risks and liabilities that could occur as you attempt to wade through managing both a local business and a team overseas.

Without you having to spend all that time learning about the laws and regulations of a foreign country, and dealing with the cultural tensions that may occur as you attempt to handle overseas employees, an EOR will help you focus on your vision, content that your overseas employees are able to work and assist you in your business to the best of their abilities.

Some employees are requesting moves to be nearer family or access better healthcare during the virus and travel lockdowns. Others who are ordinarily frequent travellers have found themselves confined to one location. With many team members now situated in countries outside of their norm, TopSource is experiencing requests for support from managers who want to ensure they are following the very latest local laws and rules.

These clients are right to do so – although many allowances are being made by governments due to the pandemic, employers still have a duty to employ their staff compliantly in-country and not doing so will still result in consequences, some of which can be very harsh. During an already concerning time, international workers do not need added stresses caused by the incompliant practices of their superiors, and nor do employers want the headaches of unforeseen risks or penalties from local authorities further down the line.

Following the confusion of the fast-paced and widespread shutdowns that occurred last month in response to COVID19, many companies are now taking stock of where their overseas workers are currently situated, and the impacts this could have on their payroll. Timely payroll is vital to ensure compliance and morale amidst the various concerns of the pandemic. And when you are dealing with global payroll this can be especially tricky.

What fiscal measures have been released by governments in the country in question? Many have announced a host of measures to ensure workers are not out of pocket, so they continue to spend and boost the local economy. There may be measures that benefit your business and are applicable to your employees.

Our teams in Payroll and Compliance have been supporting clients by providing interim Global Payroll services while their workers are situated in a different location and require local funds. Our payroll services can go further by assessing fiscal impacts, liabilities or risks that may arise for clients from adapting their in-country business to new circumstances, including if there is any risk of permanent establishment if paying staff members in a new location. By creating bespoke global payroll and compliance reports, we are helping companies to become more efficient by indicating new governmental economic measures available to their business or workers.

Some countries have announced protections for workers such as the inability to terminate contracts for a certain time others have announced that there is a total tax holiday in place. Non-compliance with local employment laws could result in penalties and blacklisting. It is important to ensure your contracts and human resources and global payroll procedures adhere to local laws if you are employing staff outside your normal jurisdiction or knowledge. Employee handbooks may also need to be updated with relevant employment advice in the face of new directives.

With the uncertainty around the length of time current measures will continue for, Employer of Record solutions can provide a good interim solution while plans are confirmed for the long-term. If staff need to be employed overseas on a short or long-term basis, an Employer of Record solution could be the answer.

TopSource is monitoring immigration updates from our in-country partners on a day-to-day basis, and can provide unparalleled advice on everything global payroll and employment related across our network.

How TopSource can support you

TopSource has set up a fast-track payroll service to make transitioning to using us as your providers easy, guaranteeing a simple on boarding experience to support compliance in as little as four weeks. 

Simply contact us to find out more.

If you’re a TopSource customer, we can provide you with a separate payroll for your global payroll needs.

You can email contactus@topsource.co.uk or call 0203 6915303.

TopSource IndiaHow to manage Global Employees during COVID-19