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Managing Expats in High-risk Countries: How Tech Can Help

One of the most challenging aspects of managing a global workforce is when employees work in high-risk countries. Security risks can arise from outbreaks of disease, terrorist activity or periods of political or economic unrest. Compliance risks, meanwhile, can result from snap changes to immigration rules or tax laws.

Such instances can be inconvenient or even dangerous for the employee, expensive for the organization, and a real concern for global mobility teams. The more people a company has in a high-risk area, the greater the overall risk.

The right technology can help teams with even the most difficult situations. Here are some ways to manage your workforce in high-risk countries.

Permanent Establishment Risk

The Equus Platform can notify the relevant teams when business travellers are coming up against limitations of days of travel, and when permanent establishment status will come into play.

Permanent establishment is a tax status that may be triggered when businesses send employees and contractors on foreign assignments. Whether an individual qualifies for permanent establishments depends on the country involved, the nature of the business, the length of time the person is staying in the country and whether there is a physical office in that country. Ignoring permanent establishment status can lead to extra tax burdens for the company and the individual business traveller.

The Equus Platform allows companies to reduce the risks associated with permanent establishment by performing a pre-travel assessment for business travellers and remote workers. This considers the type of activities performed, income tax treaty specifics vs. domestic law and the duration of time spent in the country. Companies can use Equus to monitor the global employee population’s presence in countries and the tool highlights countries where work is carried out above the organization’s risk threshold level.

Health and Wellbeing

We have become familiar with new variants of Covid-19, how they move through populations and the different ways that governments respond. This is the best live example of health risks that
companies now have to monitor. Rules on entry, and exit and travel between countries, have been in flux for two years and this may well continue.

The Equus Platform helps businesses keep global workers up to date about their obligations and options as health and travel rules change. Companies always know where employees are and it is quick and easy to notify employees of new restrictions in a country and relocate them if necessary.


Using the Equus Platform, companies can interpret any employment, immigration, tax and social security considerations and be clear to employees about options, advice and HR policies prompted by changes in national rules.

Equus allows you to respond with speed and agility to major changes in the immigration landscape, including health crises, political instability and changing border restrictions and requirements. In such instances, you need instant access to real-time information on everything, from employee contact details to application status.

In addition, some counties have strict visa rules, and breaking those rules can result in being expelled from the country and banned for several years. The Equus Platform can be set up to focus on advance alerts for the business and the international assignee, reducing the risk that deadlines will be missed.


In countries where there is a heightened security risk, either temporarily or over the longer term, companies need to be ready to quickly assess who is in that country and be able to deploy communications and support for relocating these people, whether temporarily or permanently. Equus provides real live data of who’s in the country and can easily communicate with them

Interested in using tech to manage expats? Click here to contact us.

Scott Turner

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