Teleworking from abroad: we answer your questions

Teleworking or telecommuting came into our lives unexpectedly and immediately as a response to the containment measures of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the wake of this phenomenon, international telecommuting, a work option that allows you to work anywhere in the world, has become popular. However, despite being an option that generates possibilities, for legal purposes the possibility of working abroad is not simple, as it is currently an unregulated reality.
In this sense, Spanish Social Security establishes the principle of territoriality: this means that the worker must work within the territorial limits of the country in which he or she is contributing. A change in the employee's physical workplace has a direct impact on the social security obligations that arise for the company. 
However, bilateral agreements signed between different countries and EU regulations, depending on the country of destination, allow for exceptions to this general rule.

How does it affect the worker?

Although a country may have bilateral Social Security agreements, it is possible that the worker may not be 100% protected, especially in terms of health coverage. For this reason, it is important to find out about the coverage under the agreement signed between Spain and the destination country. It is also advisable for the worker to be informed of the legality of the country where he/she will be working to avoid losing his/her pension, unemployment or other rights.
On the other hand, it should be noted that when we talk about telework, we are not referring to posting. These are two different scenarios, of a different legal nature and, consequently, with different legal effects. Taking into account the complexity and lack of current regulation, it is necessary to study each case of teleworking abroad in particular: where Social Security contributions are paid, the possible tax implications, registration requirements for Social Security purposes, as well as obtaining the certificate of coverage in the countries that have legally provided for it.
The Employment Department of CINC Asesoría is at your disposal to study each case and offer you the best possible option.

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