Consultants, freelancers, independent contractors, contingent workers… Workforce types have certainly evolved past traditional employees. With labour costs proving to be their biggest expense, modern businesses are starting to reassess their workforce structures and look at alternative staffing models.
The interest in more flexible workforces has also been growing as businesses look to expand rapidly and test the waters in new markets. However, navigating the complexities around worker classifications is where many will often – and unknowingly – stumble when it comes to compliant staffing and payroll.
Misclassifications and underpayments have led to costly lessons being learnt and are the leading benefit for utilising an external staffing service provider to ensure in-country compliance is met. These are our top three things to consider when going to market for a staffing solution.
Without setting up your own in-country entity, only an official Employer of Record or staffing provider with an in-country entity, licence or labour hire agreement can take on all legal liability of your workforce. Our Australian agreement is an example of this, allowing us to attract highly skilled overseas talent and employ them Down Under on behalf of global clients. To obtain these licences is a costly exercise and the use of licensed third parties by staffing brokers with limited global reach has become pretty standard these days. However, without the direct relationship, you’re relying on the broker to guide you on best-practice management of your employees without their own true local presence. If this concerns you, find out who exactly the compliance buck stops with and deal directly with the actual licensed staffing body – you’ll save yourself some pennies too.
It may not seem like an obvious one, but a good staffing solution today is more than just a headcount. Technology should be the driving enabler of maintaining compliance of a workforce while at the same time streamlining workflows and creating efficiencies. Ask a staffing provider what technology they offer to deliver their staffing solution and how does it connect your international workforce? Do you have access to top level analytics that allow for strategic decision-making around workforce management globally? Does it include best-practice onboarding that can ensure correct classification of your employees, contractors or contingent workers? And is this onboarding delivering one consistent but culturally-appropriate experience and message across borders, ensuring teams are united when it comes to your business values?
Auditing and compliance checks
As part of their service, a good staffing provider will provide regular auditing and advisory to ensure ongoing compliance of your workforce. In-country regulations and legislations are continually changing. What recommendations do they make for recording compliance? Do you have access to technology or processes that can facilitate this and give you total visibility of these audits along with any worker-specific obligations? How do they support the ongoing compliance of any migrating workers and certify their rights to work in-country? Privacy and security regarding how your sensitive information is handled is also a huge consideration. A genuine staffing provider will identify any risks that may be specific to your business or circumstances and put in place processes to negate these.
One last note
Do you know exactly how workers are classified? You’d be surprised how many people ask what the difference is between an employee, a contractor and a contingent worker. Let’s clarify this quickly.
- Employees: Workers are employed directly by the company for which work is performed.
- Contingent workers: Workers are provided by a staffing firm to the company for which work is performed and are employees of the staffing firm.
- Independent contractors: Workers submit their own invoices for services provided. They are neither employees of the company for which the work is performed nor employees of a staffing firm.
With our international licences and labour hire agreements, Easy Payroll Global is a direct employer of record across multiple jurisdictions and works with all industries and workforce sizes to build innovative staffing models that meet in-country compliance. Our solutions are backed by agile, HR technology that supports the onboarding and management of a global workforce. Connect with EPG today to discuss your staffing requirements.