CWS 3.0

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Heard on the StreetCWS 30 July 2.14

CWS 30


Anyone who's travelled to Europe knows that it's very easy to cross borders. While such freedom of movement is good for tourism, Europe's countries do want to protect their economies with regard to immigration and employment. To that end, there is country-specific legislation regarding EU citizens being able to work freely in different European countries.

For example, the United Kingdom has specific requirements for people coming in from Bulgaria to work in England as opposed to workers coming in from Poland. A U.K. contractor wishing to work in Germany will not be able to provide services through his or her U.K.-based Limited Company, and the organization that supplies the contractor must have a labor leasing license (AUG) or the client company may face penalties.

Such laws can be a challenge to contingent workforce managers. For starters, companies need to be concerned about whether a worker can actually work in a European country without a work permit, and there are different obligations in each country around the work permit for workers outside the original EU member states. The problem arises because all immigration legislation is actually drafted around employment law and with contingent workers, there may be no employer of record. It is also important to understand that countries that have special arrangements with the European Union, such as Switzerland also have distinct requirements.

Often, multinational companies will have a centralized approach to managing their European CW programs maybe led from someone outside of Europe (such as a U.S. citizen). These individuals may not understand the various requirements that apply to each individual country and jurisdiction they are responsible for. Companies establishing a program in a European country would be better served by going with an individual who has an HR perspective and legal knowledge of that particular country's employment and contingent worker laws.

Penalties around CW issues could vary from simple fines to criminal charges. More, the reputation of a client company could get tarnished. If there are tax liabilities surrounding even one contingent worker, there could be intense scrutiny and further investigation. In some countries, authorities can insist that contingent workers leave the site while the inquiry is underway. This obviously has implications for the completion of the project that the contingent is working on and ensuring full compliance across all contingent worker providers is essential

So proceed with caution and do your due diligence up-front before expanding your CW program in Europe and always work with a partner who fully understands the requirements and can provide appropriate guidance.

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