By Melody Simmonds & Chris Manson, International Product Team
You’ve seen success, and you occupy an enviable position in your local region. Now you want to broaden your horizons by venturing into the international market. This brings new commercial and hiring opportunities, but also risk. As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that your hiring policies comply with local laws and that the employees you hire have adequate right to work. This applies especially in Europe, where cross-border working is a common practice. In this article the Ceridian International Product Team outlines some key points for businesses to consider – and seek legal advice on – before going international.
- Ask for the right documentation. List all the required documentation for both local and international workers. Many countries will accept a passport and a valid work visa as sufficient evidence of right to work, but others require separate residence permits, criminal record checks, or specific types of work permit. Failure to acquire the right documentation can lead to fines – in the UK, for example, a civil penalty of up to £20,000 (€26,000) may be levied for every person employed illegally by the company, and the case may be made public as a warning to other businesses. Criminal charges can also be brought against someone who has knowingly employed an illegal worker.
- Make your infrastructure fit-for-purpose. Understand your data protection responsibilities. Your IT systems must be robust enough to secure personal data, and your staff should be trained in handling Personally Identifiable Information. Business processes should enforce compliance, both in hiring legitimate workers and in ensuring renewal of existing employees’ permits. Good systems, people, and processes help meet your legal obligations and can even help build customer trust – opening up even more markets.
- Ensure your employees are registered. Understand which systems your employees need to be registered with. Many countries operate data collection systems for taxation, others for statistics and resident alien tracking. Unregistered employees may not be paying the right amount of tax or social security, and may be excluded from receiving vital social services.
- Understand what’s expected of you from authorities in-country. Review local authorities position on reporting various activities with your legal counsel. Many countries have their own laws regarding anti-corruption, fraud or forgery – Reporting in a timely manner can provide you with defence against prosecution if criminal activity is later detected.
It is important to remember that you, the employer, bear the responsibility for checking your employees’ right to work. Enlisting the advice of experienced professionals – compliance officers, corporate, employment and immigration lawyers – is a must if you plan on hiring international workers. Good preparation avoids expense and bad press, and helps build a workforce you can trust.
Is your business ready to go international?
Melody Simmonds is the Senior Product Manager for ConnectedPay, Melody joined the Dayforce team 2.5 years ago as part of the Ceridian International Solutions team having previously worked for 12.5 years as a consultant/senior consultant with Ceridian’s affiliate Ceridian UK.
Chris Manson is a Business Analyst in the International Product Team, transferring from the ConnectedPay Implementation team in late 2015. Prior to joining Ceridian, Chris worked as a technology and process analyst in the offshore renewable energy engineering sector.