With technological advancements and changing attitudes towards remote work, more companies are embracing a decentralized workforce, allowing employees to work from anywhere. While remote work offers numerous benefits, it also presents unique challenges related to compliance with tax, immigration, labor, and data protection laws across different jurisdictions.

One of the primary challenges of remote work for mobility is tax compliance. Employees working remotely from a location other than their employer’s primary office can trigger tax obligations for the employee and the employer in that jurisdiction. Tax laws vary significantly from state to state and country to country, and navigating the complexities of taxation requires careful planning and expertise to ensure compliance and minimize tax liabilities for both the employer and the employee.

International Remote Work Compliance

International remote work can also raise immigration compliance issues. International moves legitimately sponsored by corporations are quite complex on their own. However, employees opting to work in a location outside of their home country for an extended time but not on an official assignment with their employer will still be subject to local immigration laws, which require obtaining work permits, visas, or other authorizations. Failure to comply with immigration regulations can result in legal penalties, including fines, deportation, and restrictions on future travel and employment opportunities.

Local Labor Laws

Local labor laws can present another layer of complexity for remote work. Regulations affect everything from working hours and salaries to hiring and termination, and they apply as much to foreign companies with employees in the country as to local companies. Employers must pay careful attention and enact proactive measures to ensure they are not seriously at risk. The employee and employer can be significantly penalized if the employee works remotely in a foreign country or outside their home state, unbeknownst to the employer.

Data Protection and Privacy

Data protection and privacy laws are another compliance aspect that companies with remote workers must continuously address. Employees working remotely may access and transmit sensitive company data from different locations, raising concerns about data security and privacy compliance. Companies must implement robust data protection measures and ensure compliance with applicable data protection laws, such as the European Union’s General Data Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

To address remote work challenges, companies in the mobility industry are implementing comprehensive compliance/non-compliance programs and leveraging technology solutions to manage remote work effectively. This includes conducting thorough risk assessments, providing employee training and resources, establishing clear policies and procedures, and utilizing software tools for tracking employee locations and ensuring compliance with tax, immigration, labor, and data protection laws.

Explore the Future of Global Mobility and the Key Trends and Insights for 2024 > Download the Latest eBook from TRC

TRC Blog

Keep Exploring This Topic.

Get more expert insight on what matters most for your business -- keep checking out the TRC blog.

Ready to make your relocation program even better? Let’s move.

You’ve got a destination. We’ve got the plan to get you there. Let’s get started.

Talk to a relocation specialist today

Man talking on a phone