WHAT: In Sweden, legislation around the workplace and organisation of work can trip companies up in forming a remote strategy. The main issues are how to navigate insurance, working hours and benefits such as coffee or fruit baskets which are provided in the office but not for remote workers. The Swedish Tax Agency changed the praxis of the legislation regarding primary workplace in December 2021, stating that primary workplace is not necessarily where the employee physically works most of the time (51%) as it used to be, but rather the office that the employer provides (regardless of how much each employee uses it), which is a big step towards higher flexibility.
In the UK, government guidance says that payment or reimbursement to your employees of up to £6 a week (from 6 April 2020) is non-taxable for the additional household expenses incurred when your employee is working from home. This amounts to about 5000sek/year.
When it comes to insurance, companies need to read the fine print and figure out what really is needed for employees to be properly insured no matter where they work. In summary, the new work life requires that each workplace makes the effort to design their own remote agreement between the employer and the individual employee, that states how things like office furniture and work hours should be managed, and making this work with unions and other regelverk.
SO WHAT: Establishing what is taxable in a new remote office environment, as well as how to ensure employees are correctly insured, is going to be crucial in the months to come, as laws become more established. There are still some laws which need clarifying or reshaping by governments, and these need to be closely watched by businesses.