by Hannelore Durieu and Elise Vanhamme
The Covid crisis proved to be a true turning point where traditional work arrangements are concerned. While remote working was formerly regarded with great suspicion, it became standard practice during the pandemic. The virus’s impact is thankfully waning, but thanks to current labour shortages, remote working is definitely here to stay. The so-called ‘War on Talent’ is forcing businesses to look beyond their own region in their search for suitable job candidates – or even outside their own country. A willingness to look farther can open up opportunities for your business as well.
Remote working is when an employee carries out work from a location other than their employer’s place of business. The most well-known type of remote work is working from home, of course, but the concept is broader in scope. It can also cover the provision of co-working spaces near an employee’s home, for example.
If your business activities allow for it, remote working offers the advantage of access to a much larger talent pool of potential employees. Additionally, remote working can offer you a competitive advantage over other companies in the war to attract new talent.
Remote working often assures employees of a better work-life balance, especially when combined with flexible hours that allow them to determine their own work schedule. It also reduces their commute, leaving them more time for their personal lives.
Remote working means an employer and employee may not necessarily be located in the same country and your employment arrangements may be subject to foreign legislation. This can affect social security and taxation, for instance. In practice, it will involve payroll processing in your employee’s country of residence.
Still, there is no reason to be scared of employing foreign workers. Belgium is known to be one of the European Member States with the highest wage pressures. If you employ someone who is covered by a different Member State’s social security and tax systems, this could well result in lower labour costs for your business.
A thorough prior analysis of the implications and a solid legal framework can also help to address many of these difficulties.
Are you considering employing workers in an international context? Do you have questions about what remote working could mean for your business? Be sure to contact your account manager or one of our experts.
In our opinions, we rely on current legislation, interpretations and legal doctrine. This does not prevent the administration from disputing them or from changing existing interpretations.
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