Employing abroad: get it right first time!

a lot of businessperson walking forward global business human resources management strategy.jpg s1024x1024wisk20cC6Etxj4 | Employing abroad: get it right first time!
By Anthony Wolny | 31st August 2023 | 5 min read

For the first time since records began, there are fewer unemployed people than vacancies in the UK.

As a result, businesses must rethink their recruitment approach, examining new markets in an attempt to secure critical skills.

A few years ago, the concept of hiring abroad would be unimaginable for many UK businesses.

Now, the reality is you can work from anywhere!

However, with global mobility, while horizons are broader, considerations from compliance to onboarding create a new set of challenges.

Fear not! If the idea of employing abroad interests you, read on for our top tips.

1) New market, new rules

Don’t get it wrong, entering a new market is by no means an easy feat.

But with a bit of planning, it’s more than doable.

As a starting point, familiarise yourself with the local regulations and policies you’ll need to comply with.

While it may mean adjusting your approach, skipping even one could cause a massive headache.

Take the Right to Disconnect as an example.

In countries such as Ireland, employees have the right to completely switch off after working hours without being penalised by their employer to encourage a better work-life balance, particularly for those regularly working remotely.

If you expect your employees to work overtime, you’ll need to make some changes if expanding into a country that has actioned the Right to Disconnect.

On the flip side, if you’re bringing employees into the UK from another country, make sure to stay on top of Visa requirements – the last thing you want is to find the perfect prospect only for an oversight to complicate things.

2) Money, money, money!

A top priority when entering a new market is ensuring your payroll is in order.

Aspects such as getting your taxes right helps mitigate complications further down the line.

For example, if your company is making revenue in a new market, make sure you’re paying the right amount of income tax.

Also, don’t forget about pensions, insurances such as liability insurance and even complying with local statutory sick pay regulations.

Sound like a lot? Consulting with an expert can make the whole process easier and set you up for success.

Note: some countries may offer incentives for businesses looking to expand into their market, so it’s worth checking if you’re eligible for a grant to help get you set up.  

Podcast: Everything you need to know about employing abroad

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3) Avoid contractor complications

It’s crucial to define the employer-contractor relationship from the get-go.

Depending on if you’re the only business they’re contracted to, it could blur the lines between contractor and employee.

If a contractor believes they’re operating as an employee, they may be eligible to certain rights, and could even go as far as taking you to court should you deny their request – a messy situation you don’t want to be in.

To make it clear, we’re not saying hiring contractors is a bad solution, but it’s one you need to take great care in getting right.

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4) Take a holistic approach

The opportunity to live in a different country, experience a new culture, meet new people – it’s an exciting time!

But it’s still change.

So, be mindful that your new employee will need time to settle into their new life.

Are they bringing family and children with them? Are they fluent in the local language? Are their qualifications still valid?

Offering support will build a trusting relationship, and significantly boost performance in the long-run.

As an employer, you’re responsible for making sure employees are in a position to give 100%, even if it means taking a more holistic approach to support.

IRIS HR Consulting: keeping you compliant

Getting it right first time has never been easier with IRIS HR Consulting!

Our experienced team of UK and international HR consultants work as an extension of your business to keep you compliant and help manage your workforce no matter where they are.

Find out more about IRIS HR Consulting here and talk to our team today!