The reality of navigating compliance in another country

It’s easy to see why so many contractors end up seeking opportunities abroad. With a broader range of job roles (and salaries), we’ve seen a steady rise in talent emigrating across the globe for the last 20 years. 

But adjusting to the various tax rules and regulations of a new country is far from easy. That’s where organisations like Workr come in, helping all parties involved in international recruitment stay compliant and protect their take-home pay.

To explain this in more detail, we recently sat down with the new Managing Director of Workr International, Charles Daw. Here, he discusses his role and how his team helps support those looking for opportunities further afield.

Early days of international recruitment

I started working in the contractor management industry at a UK umbrella company. After a couple of years, an opportunity arose to join a company that focused on international contractors. I found it to be a far less transactional, more consultative and value-adding relationship with the recruitment industry. It turned out to be a great time to jump into the market.

I grew the business with agencies who were developing their international presence. Only a small number of organisations were able to offer the support that was needed at the time, and I was able to develop some great relationships. I moved from a junior sales role to become a manager, and then eventually to take up a more senior position.

Feeling like I wanted a new direction, I joined Easypay, a subsidiary of the Workr Group. Here, I was helping find funding for agencies – effectively selling a different product to the same market that I was used to. Workr Group then joined JSA Group, and with that came a greater focus on the international market. My experience made me a perfect fit for this division, and I became the Managing Director.

Simplifying international solutions

If you’re an agency based in the UK, and your end-client is based in the UK, you’d still have to consider the fact that the work might be taking place elsewhere. If it is, then the tax legislation and other legal requirements need to be applied.

For example, in Germany they have the AUG licence, which is effectively a labour leasing licence. So, if you want to lease out a contractor worker to an end client in Germany, you’ll need it. You’ll also need to consider that you can only have a maximum of three parties in the working relationship. Get that wrong and you could fall foul of German tax law.

It’s our job to know this legislation inside and out and keep all parties compliant. What’s more, we have to impart this knowledge to those we work with – at all levels. Whether we’re speaking to your CEOs or your junior agents, we explain the nuances of each country and help to avoid ending up in a non-compliant situation.

Managing relationships

To provide the support that international recruitment agencies need, there’s a lot that goes into being able to ensure a contractor or agency acts within the law. In order to stay compliant across the 90 countries we operate in, we have to work with a network of partners.

We have a strong partner network as well as our own in-house solutions. My role will be spent strengthening the partner relationships as well as increasing the size of our in-house services.

This is where we stand out from the competition: we accept our limitations and prioritise investment into finding like-minded organisations around the world. Not only does this allow us to scale faster, but it also ensures our clients get the best support available.

Taking the industry forward

As part of our responsibility to offer clients the best support available, we need to be able to forecast big changes in the industry. And one thing we see changing is a growing preference for employed solutions.

As recently as two years ago, the long-standing preference across Europe was self-employment. Today though, with increased scrutiny in almost every country, companies and contractors are far more concerned about taxation and their compliance.

It’s no surprise as we see this happening in the UK with the IR35 reform. Other countries like Germany addressed this a few years ago with new legislation, but around the EU, it has caught some businesses off guard. It’s for reasons like this that there’s been a rise in the need for compliance organisations such as ourselves and the level of our involvement in placing contractors internationally.

Seeking international tax advice and fully compliant payroll solutions?

If you’re interested in placing contractors across the globe, or could just use a little guidance on where you stand currently, we’re here to help


Just leave your details on our contact form, and a member of the team will be in touch.

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