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Remote working and business travel. What are the implications?

Do employers have ways to track their travelling population for compensation allocation, payroll reporting and withholding?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought remote working to the fore. After more than a year of adaptation, employers and employees are, more or less, settled into this new way of working. A knock-on effect is that the definition of remote workers has expanded from the employee sitting in their home office, just a few kilometers from the workplace, to a workforce scattered across national boundaries. Employers have started to realise the opportunities that this creates, when a wider pool of talent is at their disposal. You can read more about this in our recent article  'Is remote, cross-border working in your talent strategy?'.


Business travel as part of cross-border working

But when talking about remote, cross-border working, how many employers have considered the implications in terms of a future business travel scenario? With teams potentially dispersed over several countries, business travel will be necessary for project reasons, team meet-ups and working sessions. Employers have or are in the process of creating governance around cross-border working, but they also need to think how to integrate business travel into the picture, an inevitable consequence of this new remote working reality.

Organisations are already getting to grips with the complexity of remote cross-border working, but what they are perhaps not aware of is the extra layer of complexity that comes with the business traveller. To cite just one example, the EU Posted Worker Directive seeks to protect the rights and working conditions of posted workers throughout the EU. Its purpose is also to ensure a level-playing field and avoid "social dumping", where foreign service providers undercut local service providers due to lower labour standards.

What about tax, compensation and duty of care?

Remote cross-border working should not be considered in isolation, but should be looked at in the context of how it impacts business travel. What about business travellers crossing different tax jurisdictions? Do employers have ways to track their travelling population for compensation allocation, payroll reporting and withholding?

In these times of Covid, employers also need to know where their workers are at all times, generating the need for a reliable and officially recognised tracking mechanism. In addition, do they have methods in place to track travelling workers from a compliance and duty of care perspective?

If you’re interested in discussing the implications of remote cross-border working on business travel in your organisation, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Contact us

Sanjita Chetri Samal

Sanjita Chetri Samal

Senior Manager, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 476 86 07 90

Connect with PwC Belgium