When an expanding company does not want the effort or cost of setting up a local entity themselves, a Global Employment Organization (GEO) provides them with a problem-free and cost-effective mechanism for a quick start. The company that is expanding into the foreign market can use Shield GEO to employ and payroll their staff in a particular country.
As the Employer of Record Shield GEO then assumes the legal responsibility for these employees, sponsoring them on work permits (if required), complying with local employment law and handling every aspect of immigration requirements.
The client remains responsible for day to day management of employees, and Shield GEO takes on responsibility for visa and work permit sponsorship and administering local employment. The only difference for the employee is that their pay slip comes through Shield.
Shield GEO services can benefit a company in several scenarios:
- As a long term solution for employing staff in a foreign market
- A temporary solution prior to establishing an entity
If a company does not have an entity established in a foreign market, there may be barriers to obtaining work permits. Since many countries require a formal, registered business presence for work permit sponsorships, there is a tendency to look for ways around this regulation. For example, sending employees on multiple short assignments, using the wrong type of visa or extending a work assignment without the proper documentation.
Failure to secure the proper immigration permissions carries risks for a company including:
- Being denied entry/exit from a country if using a method of frequent travel for short term assignments, that violates visa requirements
- Civil and criminal penalties for companies that attempt to circumvent immigration procedures
- Tax violations, where extended stays or certain types of business activities require local tax and withholding compliance
By using the services of Shield GEO a company can avoid these ongoing pitfalls of staffing foreign offices, including the expense and damage to business reputation in the instance of any violations. Repeated non-compliance by a company in a foreign market could create barriers to future business activity and expansion in that country.
When a company uses Shield GEO to handle employment requirements, we can assist in the following areas:
- Business visas, work visas, spouse and dependent visas
- Immigration compliance based on local rules and practices
- Employment contracts, payroll administration and tax withholdings
Each of these areas has their own specific in country structure of laws and regulations, and many foreign markets are becoming more strict in the enforcement of these rules. Shield GEO helps you avoid any compliance or immigration issues that could delay or interrupt your staffing process. For the client this means quicker deployment, reduced compliance risk and less expense.
The Shield GEO immigration service uses these basic steps on behalf of the client:
- Shield provides the client with a roadmap outlining all processing steps, timeframes, actions and who is responsible for each activity.
- Employee / client supplies supporting documentation to Shield GEO. e.g. job description, CV, passport copy, educational and technical qualifications, etc.
- Shield lodges application with immigration department and handles the approval process.
- Shield advises client when the employee has been granted the immigration approval and can commence work in the host country.
- Shield becomes the Employer of Record and employs the staff on local Employment Contracts that are fully compliant with the host countries employment regulations.
- As their employer in the eyes of the host country, Shield GEO is fully responsible for the staff’s compliance with employment, immigration, tax and payroll.
- Shield GEO invoices the client each month, deducts tax and social security and payrolls the staff.
- No change in day to day relationship between Employee and Client, just their pay slip comes from Shield instead of the Client.
- Shield GEO monitors immigration requirements in the host country and advises the client of any changes which affect the employment (e.g. changes in renewal requirements, etc).
- When the assignment comes to an end, whether because the assignee is leaving country or the client has decided to take over employment directly:
- The client gives notice under the framework agreement
- Shield GEO gives the employee the notice required under the Employment Contract
- Shield GEO informs the immigration authorities that the work permit will terminate on the last date of employment
- Shield GEO runs the final payroll.
If a company decided to handle all of these areas on its own, there is a great deal of work, management and expense involved, which will differ between each host country. Some of the steps involved will include:
- Full registration of a local entity to sponsor work permits
- Obtaining a business license from the immigration department
- Liability for every aspect of compliance with employment laws
- Expense of hiring immigration attorneys to ensure compliance
- Regular reviews of the business license, and potential changes in conditions or limitations of the scope of work activity
- Immigration inspections of the local office to review documents, permits and visas
- The task of processing all visa and work permit documents
There is a real advantage for expanding multinational companies in using the immigration and work permit services of Shield GEO. Shield handles the complex and country-specific employment administration, while the client can focus on the substantive business activity and employee performance. When the client uses Shield for its immigration and work permit documentation, they are assured that employees will be in compliance with local laws and can pursue their assignment without delays or obstacles. If you are interested in learning more about immigration rules in a particular country please contact us.