Workations: Limited to 30 days max within Europe – what can go wrong?

Learn how workations within the EU still pose compliance risks, from permanent establishment to HR and tax implications. Mitigate these risks with a workation management process.

Gonzalo Corrales Cortés

While a workation within the EU entails fewer risks than working from third countries, this does not mean it is risk-free. In practice, they have proven to be a BIG burden for employers, but why?

Permanent Establishment (PE) risk

Watch out, because if the employee conducts activities on behalf of the enterprise, a Dependent Agent PE could easily be triggered. Some EU countries have a strict approach to PE and potentially even a Fixed Place of Business PE could be created depending on the location where the employee is working from.

No audit trail and employee's confirmation of the work-from-abroad policy

This means a higher labour law risk, in case something goes wrong during the workation. Combine this with no travel insurance (from the employer) and it turns out to be not as safe as one would expect.

No management

A good 30-day workation management requires some time. Even a trip within the EU should not be done without proper employee instructions and neither without A1s (or a WorkFlex Social Security Statement for countries where the process of obtaining an A1 is not that quick). Sometimes forgotten, yet essential.

Accumulated presence

Be careful, not every EU country follows the same logic to stipulate tax obligations in regard to physical presence. That is why in particular countries (e.g. Czech Republic) being compliant can be more complex than expected and it demands you to update yourself regularly as local regulations often change.

HR risk

Not adopting a Working From Abroad policy is definitely not appealing for any employee. Some may wonder why they cannot spend more days abroad if they are EU nationals and want to enjoy this benefit.

Implications of family visits

Visiting family is one of the main purposes of a workation and this entails two inconveniences. Firstly, these trips may lead to having the center of vital interests in the other country (and this has some tax implications). Secondly, workations in the EU countries only could lead to non-EU citizens wondering why they cannot visit their families. Eventually, this policy can reduce engagement and reduce retention.

Your employees undoubtedly love the freedom to go on workations! To avoid compliance risks, we highly recommend implementing a workation management process, even if your current policy permits travel within the EU for less than 30 days. Book a demo with WorkFlex today to see how we can help you streamline this process and mitigate potential risks.

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