Remote Worker – “necessity” or “choice” – you be the judge?
During the first wave of COVID-19 back in the spring of 2020, many employers found themselves dealing with the issue of “remote workers” in significant volumes, for the first time.
Fri 19 Feb 2021
On 24 December 2020, a draft protocol on social security co-ordination for EU-UK cross border working arrangements that start from 1 January 2021 was published.
The draft protocol contained an article covering detached workers, i.e. employees who normally work in one EU member state/the UK who are sent to work in the UK/an EU member state from 1 January 2021.
As a transitional measure these employees and their employers paid social security contributions to the state the employees had been sent to work from, provided that they did not work in the destination country for more than 24 months.
EU states had until 1 February 2021 to decide whether they would apply the detached worker rule, or apply the general rules, i.e. where these employees pay social security contributions to the state they have been sent to work in, regardless of the length of their detachment.
The draft protocol provided EU member states with a deadline of 1 February 2021 to opt out of the detached worker rules with the transitional rules applying until this date.
Last week Mazars received written confirmation from HMRC that all EU member states had notified the EU of their intention to apply the detached worker article.
What does this mean?
Where employees are sent from/to the UK by their employers under a detachment, provided that:-
the detached worker and their employer will pay social security contributions to the state they have been posted from.
Where the detachment is for more than 24 months, they will pay social security contributions to the state they have been sent to work in.
However, it is unclear from what point employees will become liable to pay social security contributions to the state they have been sent to work in, where their detachment length is extended beyond the initial 24 months.
This could be:-
We have asked HMRC for clarification on this point and will update this blog once we receive their response.
What are the issues employers now need to consider in respect of detached workers?
For more information, please contact Robin Bailey, Global Mobility Senior Manager, at Robin.Bailey@mazars.co.uk
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