Contract signed but the Corona situation restricts travelling. Is remote work from outside Finland an option?

Question: I have signed a trainee contract with a Finnish company. The work was supposed to start on 1st of June. I have the accommodation arranged. Under the current Corona situation, it is not sure if I can enter Finland in June. With the employer we started discussing the possibility of starting the work remotely.

Closing borders as measures to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty in many ways. Physical relocation is currently impossible, however there are ways the planned employment can start as scheduled.

Remote work as an option

First and foremost, it is important to discuss and plan for remote work. If the nature of work allows for it, the employment can start via remote work. The employer and employee can discuss and agree on the remote induction process, obtaining working tools, access to required systems and if necessary, adjust the tasks and responsibility for the remote work conditions.

Status of a remote worker

If the employee is not able to relocate and complete their immigration process nor the local registrations, they could start their employment remotely and their status will therefore be considered as posted workers from immigration point of view.

Tax card

The employee cannot obtain local ID-number, municipality registration, social security nor a standard tax card. They will remain under the home country (or their country of residence) social security system. They will also remain under the home country taxation system.

For the Finnish employer to be able to pay salary, the employee would need to obtain a Finnish tax at source card. An application for a tax number also serves as an application for entry into the Tax Number Register. The tax percentage will be 0% for the period the employee is working outside of Finland and for a period of up to 6 months. If the employee visits Finland during this time, the tax percentage for the days in Finland would be 35%. The employee would need to declare their income and pay taxes according the home country´s tax regulations.

Salary payment and employer obligations

The employer would need to get acquainted with their employer obligations as per the employee country of residence regulations. The employee will remain in their home country (or country of residence) social care system.

The salary can be paid to a foreign account, if the employer’s salary payment system allows for this. Please note that there may be a couple of days delay in receiving the international bank transfer, so the salary payment date may need to be adjusted unless agreed otherwise.

As part of the employer obligations, the employer needs to ensure that their employee has the appropriate occupational insurance for their employee. The type of insurance may vary depending on where the employee is residing and what the local occupational insurance policies offer.

How long can the employee work remotely?

The above-mentioned paperwork is sufficient when the remote employment continues for up to 6 months.

We all hope that the restrictions can be lifted soon and we can get back to where we left off. Until then, let’s embrace the positive effects like the rapid development and acceptance of remote work.

Marina Velikova currently heads Barona Relocation, a newcomer and ambitious disruptor on the Nordic relocation market. Marina is dedicated to building and developing international working environments that suit the modern employment trends. If you have questions concerning recruiting and relocation, please be in touch with her.