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Managing contracts in a global project team

Matthew Franceschini
May 20, 2015

For organisations operating in global environments, juggling the compliant engagement of both contingent and permanent workers is complex. With each country having its own regulatory obligations associated with employing and engaging workers, managing the complexity of payroll, legislative compliance, insurances and work rights of contingent project workers is not without its challenges.

Technological advancements, reduced barriers to trade and the general homogenisation of the international market have seen many barriers of engaging niche talent largely fall away. Workers are loyal to skills and projects, not necessarily the employer, so employer value proposition (EVP) and contingent value proposition (CVP) in the acquisition of key talent provides critical competitive advantage.

This EVP/CVP extends to offering global workers options. Organisations operating in world markets where workers need to deliver services in this space need to accept:

  • Work is fractionalised
  • Careers are virtual
  • Talent is global

Working internationally is complex, but in a world of technological advancements, reduced barriers to trade and the general homogenisation of the international market it is complexity that needs to be confronted. Having insufficient knowledge and support for both the worker and the organisation, as to work right obligations, engagement options, regulatory obligations and taxation impacts, mobility management can have negative ramifications.

Engaging workers in foreign countries, whether remotely or through a sponsorship agreement, is now not only possible but often the most economically and financially viable way to meet your objectives. So how can you ensure you operate in a risk managed and compliant framework with no immediate and downstream consequences?

Engaging global workers

When engaging contingent workers globally, the same considerations you might make for Australian workers will not apply. There are, however, several key elements that regardless of the locality will have to be considered.

Engagement mode

Does your organisation engage with a mature and large global company that specialises in the engagement of workers or contract direct with a local provider? Contingent worker is a broad term that includes any worker engaged on a temporary basis. Within this are a plethora of engagement types that each come with their own rules surrounding taxation, insurances and superannuation. What engagement structure applies to the worker? Can you engage as a contingent worker or employee only? If you are engaging contingent workers globally it is essential you are across the rules and requirements linked to each worker. What are the advantages or disadvantages to the worker?


Payroll is about processing the payroll elements. In Australia, how to treat tax deductions or superannuation, for instance, are known as payroll elements. It has statutory obligations, payment dates and dedication rates. In Singapore, it is not known as superannuation, it is the Central Provident Fund (CPF). In the UK it is the Pension Fund. A simple example, but with varying complexity.

Is your payroll and CRM system equipped to manage multiple jurisdictions?


Insurances protect both the worker and the client organisation and are essential components to a risk-free, compliant engagement. This will include many forms:

  • Global public liability and professional indemnity at the appropriate levels.
  • Is Workers Compensation applicable? If not how do you provide an alternative safety net?
  • What about health insurance, Medevac, travel insurance?

Are you familiar with the requirements of the worker’s location?

Right to work

Right to work regulations in Australia determine if you can work here legally. If you are from overseas, then you require the appropriate visa. This could be a 457, 400 or 417. These visas need to be prepared and submitted by a migration consultant and approved in Australia by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Similarly, overseas jurisdictions require work rights pre-approved if you are an overseas worker, and approved by the local immigration authority. Do your contingent workers have the correct work rights and visas in place for the relevant country?

Mobility services

Now that you have agreed to your key talent working in another jurisdiction, how do you connect that person to the project with minimal inconvenience and urgency? A mobility specialist that provides the essential resources to meet the requirements of both the worker and the organisation will ensure a smooth transition.


The ability to communicate, manage process, capture time and assign contracts is critical when control and visibility is fundamental.

Whether it is from digitised services or online access to data secure portals, connectivity should not be compromised. The complexity of reach should be simple in the digital era.

Do your contingent workers have the correct work rights and visas in place for the relevant country? A dedicated global workforce management company will ensure organisations:

  • Can attract, retain and facilitate your key talent by being able to compliantly offer, engage, and manage them in their various localities.
  • Seek to place key talent in various countries, dealing with one business, or can provide a holistic service with risk mitigation, compliance and customer experience.
  • Can offer an EVP/CVP that can include international opportunities knowing that an international payroll and CRM system can manage all the overseas requirements irrespective of country.
  • Achieve their mobilisation and relocation objectives.
  • Have control and visibility via modern technology, and generate economies of scale.

Engaging a specialist provider makes this potential complexity simple, within compliant frameworks that ensure people and projects are connected, engaged and facilitated with absolute peace of mind.

Matthew Franceschini
Matthew Franceschini is a co-founder and the CEO of Entity Solutions, a contractor management agency. He has more than 10 years’ experience working in the contract workforce management industry. He holds a Bachelor of Economics and is also the Vice President of Independent Contractors of Australia.
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