Can I Work from Home Abroad?
More and more people have switched to working from home since the start of the pandemic. It might be that current restrictions and government advice mean that you’re working from home, or it might have become a permanent practice for you. Either way, working from home abroad can be a tempting thought, allowing you to enjoy the experience of a new country whilst also keeping up with your job.
However, there are a number of things that should be considered before you work remotely overseas.
Do I Need to Tell My Employer I’ll be Working from Home Abroad?
Yes – you will always need to inform your employer if you plan to work remotely overseas. This is because when you work from home abroad, there are a few different factors that could affect your employer and will require action from them.
One reason is that many employment contracts will require the employee to be able to attend the work site or office if required, even if working from home – something that will be quite difficult if you are overseas! If you work from home overseas and don’t tell your employer, you could face problems if they then need you to come into the office at short notice.
Even if you are never required to go to the office, you will still need to tell your employer. Depending on the length of time you plan to work remotely overseas, there could be tax implications that will affect both you and your employer. Typically, if you will be working abroad for less than six months, you will still be liable for tax in the UK, but not in the overseas country. However, you may still need to report to the country officials that you will be working during your time there. If you are working abroad for longer, you may be liable to pay tax both in the UK and in the overseas country. You should always take advice from a tax lawyer for your specific situation, as these rules may differ depending on the country you intend to work in.
There could also be problems around your employment rights if you work from home abroad. If you plan to work remotely overseas for a long period of time, you could end up acquiring the employment rights of the new country. These could be very different from UK employment rights and can affect things like the maximum number of hours you can work and the amount of holiday you are entitled to. You will therefore need to tell your employer if you play to work from home overseas as they may need to take legal advice to ensure they are compliant with the laws overseas.
Do I Need a Special Visa to Work from Home Abroad?
Whether or not you need a visa to work abroad will depend on the amount of time you plan to be overseas. If you’re taking a holiday and will still be checking emails or taking part in meetings, you probably will not need a working visa. However, if you will be working from home abroad for longer than a few weeks, the country you’re in would probably deem your time there no longer a holiday. In that case, you will likely need a working visa.
Each country will have its own rules about visas and working in that country, so you will need to find out what applies to the country you intend to work in.
Do I Need Travel Insurance When Working Abroad?
If you’ve sorted all the necessary issues with your employer and the country you intend to work in, you should look into working abroad insurance. Overseas medical insurance can be very expensive, and some free healthcare systems might not provide the standard of care that you require. Expatriate Groups are experts in working abroad travel insurance, providing the most complete and comprehensive insurance policies if you’re working abroad.