07 Juil 2021

Remote work from abroad: the guidelines

The current Covid-19 outbreak led many employers to promote remote work. Remote work has become a way of reinventing the organisation within companies and an occasion to offer flexibility and to adapt to a context of globalisation and mobility.

Even though there is no text prohibiting an employee whose employer is located in France from working remotely in a foreign country, several aspects must be taken into account:

  • Work permit : according to the nationality of the employee and the host country, a work permit may be required prior to the employee’s departure;
  • Social security: the rules on social security have territorial application. Unless there are specific derogations, employees doing remote work from abroad are covered by the social security system of the country for which they work. Thus you must register your employee and your company in the country in which the activity is carried out on order to pay the contributions there. However, there are exceptions especially related to the Covid-19 outbreak and the concerned countries. Before leaving it would be necessary to verify international agreements on social security that may allow derogation from this principle. Moreover you must check in advance that your healthcare costs and preventative healthcare contracts cover the remote work in the event or illness or accident at work abroad;
  • Articulation between the French law and the law of the host country: whatever the contractual provisions, in terms of labour law, the public order rules of the country where the employee actually carries out his or her activity, i.e. place of residence, must be applied (minimum wage, working hours, etc.).

Furthermore, the employer remains responsible for the health and safety of the employee, even when working abroad. Thus, measures must be taken to ensure that the working conditions in the foreign country are respected, in particular with regard to the conformity of the accommodation, computer security, the adaptation and maintenance of computer equipment, the right to disconnect, etc

  • Other consequences : the coverage of the employee’s travel expenses which can be strongly impacted by the distance from the workplace, the conditions of repatriation, the obligation to ensure equal treatment of the remote worker abroad with his/her colleagues, the employee’s liability to income tax in the country where the activity is carried out (exceptions exist depending on the nature of the income), the problem of setting up a permanent establishment in the foreign country, …

While the trend of having employee’s doing remote work from abroad has become very popular, there are many consequences that need to be considered in order to best supervise this practice before operational decisions are made.


THE OFFER ORCOM : Our labour law experts are at your disposal to assist you in your procedures and to implement the actions best suited to your situation in order to secure the remote work from abroad of your employees.