Paying International Employees Compliantly

An increasingly painful problem that arises with international expansion is, how to pay employees compliantly. This is one of the good problems to have when growing, but has to be managed correctly to avoid complications in the future. Deepening on where employees are located, they will fall into government regulations and company labor laws that will not be covered in international money transfers.

If the company fail to comply with local law and regulations such as pay, bonus, claims, overtime, taxes etc there would be severe repercussions which might include court cases and penalties which would also include a bad reputation. Despite the good intentions and goodwill of the company wanting to adhere to all these policies, being compliant might not be easy, as it requires a series of things for each country that needs to be adhered to. That is why outsourcing this service has become one of the most used strategies for global companies. There are two methods when outsourcing payroll to a third party to follow.

Hiring employees as independent contractors

Many think this is the easiest way forward, which could be for an assignment based job requirement. However, what most companies don’t understand is that most roles require a job that a full-time resource would do and this often leads to a company being non-compliant which becomes a major issue much later on. If an independent contractor is being treated as an employee or is visibly misunderstood by the government or other authorities that it could be an employee, then it is an issue in the long run. As long as the company adheres to the criteria that differentiates an employee and a contractor, then this is one successful method for the company.

Hiring employees as direct hires and paying internationally

To be able to pay as direct hires, firstly the company has to be established as a legal entity in the country where the employees are located. Once the entity has been established, the country’s employees will fall under the normal payroll procedure. There is a massive risk involved in this entire process, as it would take time, money and effort to establish an entity, hence it is a strategic decision if the process is worth in the long run. Although entity has given access to pay employees directly, there is a legal process involved in payroll. The company has to comply with law and regulations while managing a workforce in the country.

Both methods are not easy, that is why there are experts such as ExroAsia who can take up your burden in paying and managing payroll for international employees. Message us for a free consultation.

Why you need to Consider Outsourcing your HR when Expanding Internationally

All companies have steady policies and regulations in an HR department and usually managed quite effectively with minimal issues. However which could be a challenge when expanding globally, as HR is an area which has to be carefully developed into an internationally equipped HR department to overcome the challenges that take place during expansion.

Given below are few aspects of HR that has to be carefully considered during a global expansion.


One of the most key areas to success is finding and recruiting the right talent to take over the newly established entity, and this usually comes with many challenges. If current recruitment is managed in-house then the methods of recruitment has to be changed according to the region that they operate in. It is important to do a research on the country’s talent pool to identify the gaps and challenges which may come across your standard job role, it is important to rectify before looking for the right people to recruit. Understand the labor market, be aware of legal process of hiring employees and ensure that proper protocol is followed during the process. It is important to blend in within the country’s recruitment channels, have a clear understanding of platforms to publish ads and have few head hunters or advisors in place to bring in right talent to the company.


HR has to have a clear knowledge and understanding of different regulations that govern the labor relationships within the region. It could vary from government regulations, national labor laws to industry regulations. The International HR needs to have a solid understanding on holidays, employee rights within the countries and industries. It could be the simplest regulations such as working hours, minimum wage and overtime rates, allowance for maternity leave or employee termination regulations; but if not complied can be risked for penalties and tarnish the image of the company.


Payroll is considered as one of the highest outsourced units during global expansion. Most companies outsource for the simplest reason of the hassle and inability to place an employee in a particular region to manage payroll. Even if the company has a different entity, payroll involves a lot of complexities including different laws and compliance. Hence many companies outsource Payroll to specialists such as ExroAsia to save cost, eliminate time spent on manual processes and mainly due to security reasons. Having an in-house payroll department would require additional security measures which a middle level organisation might not be equipped to have. Outsourcing a payroll unit would ease all these extra risk factors and security issues as experts like ExroAsia are equipped with data storage and protection measures with multiple backups.


During international expansion, one of the strategies that an HR has is to have more than two official languages to be used within the company. Certain multi-national companies use 5 or more languages to communicate across regions officially.  It is important to find communication channels that would suit every employee within the company to stay connected. Global teams connect virtually on many platforms for formal and informal communications, and it is important to identify the tools that work for the teams and support employees with multiple tools so they can be connected from where ever they are.

Things to know about Remote Work Compliance

Remote work compliance has become one of the vital things for an organisation to consider along with the Pandemic. Most organisations has developed policies and regulations for remote work and soon it will become the norm. Most of the global organisations would get their employees to work from home within the next few months. There are laws that apply to temporary Work from Home situations, most of the countries have issued legislature along this line of work.

Managing Human Resources globally is not easy and there are few things that organisations should consider when building a Remote Work Compliance Policy in-house.

  • Data Compliance

Privacy and security is definitely the most important aspect of an organisation to consider, client information is extremely sensitive and it is vital to maintain privacy and security of these data when employees access information and servers from home. Complying with GDPR regulations when transferring data is a must, especially within international borders. It is important to get employees to use a VPN to ensure secured browsing, encrypt sensitive information, use two factor authentication and most importantly have privacy and security policies in place.  

  • Payroll Compliance

This is not an easy task to manage inhouse and hence most organisations hand it over to experts such as ExroAsia to manage it for them. When operating globally, this becomes challenging and extremely cumbersome due to the fact that organisation has to be aware of labor and employment laws and regulations of each country of which their employees are at. Paying the employees in accordance to country regulations is a must. That is why it is easier to outsource payroll as there are companies who are compliant and experienced in managing these activities for multiple locations.

  • Health and Safety Regulations

Taking care of an employees’ health and safety while they work remotely can be very difficult, what organisations have to understand is that, it is still their responsibility to be responsible for them.

Identify potential risks and find measures to control risks, set up a system to report and notify on accidents, injuries and grievances. Provide health and safety guidance and education to employees specially be extra cautious on mental health and wellbeing of the organisation.

  • Tools and Equipment for remote working

One of the first things to be done is to ensure that employees are equipped with necessary tools. Certain organisations reimburse employees for meals and other equipment costs while they work remotely. If countries have specific requirements, it is important to comply with those such as reimbursing for extra services such as phone, electricity and internet.

  • Intellectual Policy

One of the most important areas to consider is how an organisation plans to protect intellectual property while working remotely. Organisation should have a system in place to protect the work that employees do and find a mechanism to execute it. Execution can include identifying the countries that employees work in and register IP’s, and signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement or adding it as a clause in the employee contract.

Your Visa to a Dream Home in Sri Lanka is just Days Away

Sri Lanka flourishes in every way after 2009 when a 30 year old civil war came to an end. There were vested interest by many foreign entities and communities to invest in Sri Lanka also the urge to make the beautiful island their home. The country which is surrounded by pristine beaches, rich culture and history with many monuments, ever famous tea and many other accolades became everyone’s go to destination during the past decade.

The laws and regulations to invest in a property, or a business is simple and straightforward. Many expats have shown interest to spend their retirement in the tropical island after the government of Sri Lanka announced ‘Sri Lanka My Dream Home Program’ to allow foreign nationals to look at a feasible long term stay in Sri Lanka. This long term resident visa programme allows applicants to bring their children and spouses to the country alongside the visa holder.

There are many benefits which is packaged with this dream home programme, listed down below.

Key Benefits:

  • Unlimited time of stay in Sri Lanka with multiple entry visa
  • Ability to invest or own a business in Sri Lanka
  • Live a luxury lifestyle at a smaller cost
  • Hub for traditional ayurvedic medicine which is a new favorite
  • Ability to travel within the entire country within hours
  • Access to medical facilities everywhere in the country
  • Living with friendly, hospitable people with a high literacy rate
  • Retain your own country’s citizenship while staying in Sri Lanka

Why you should consider applying for My Dream Home programme.

  • Residence visa valid for 02 years which is renewable, will be granted
  • Feeling welcome and safe while living in Sri Lanka among who are kind to foreigners.
  • Enjoying range of climates, seasons and temperatures etc.
  • Endless outdoor health-giving opportunities for golf, tennis, physical training in gyms, marathon running, swimming, surfing, snorkeling, sea or fresh water fishing, bird-watching and observing nature in world class game reserves.
  • Luxurious furnished houses or flats are available on the tropical coastal belt, in the scenic central highlands and in the main cities

Eligibility Requirements for Dream Home Visa

  1.  Any foreign national over 55 years of age
  2. a. Should remit US$15000 or the equivalent in an approved foreign currency and deposit them in a fixed deposit account in an approved any bank in Sri Lanka.

b. A monthly remittance of US$ 1500 or the equivalent in an approved foreign currency for the principal applicant and US$ 750 or the equivalent in an approved foreign currency for each spouse and dependent child* for their upkeep (if accompanied by spouse/children) in a savings or current account in an approved any bank in Sri Lanka.

We can help you with your documentation and visa application if you consider of applying to the programme. Speak to ExroAsia for a hassle fee support and relocation with ease.

Top 5 reasons for Small and Medium Companies to Outsource Payroll

Employees being the main asset, taking care of them by ensuring that their paycheck goes on time is one of the biggest responsibilities for any organisation. The accuracy and punctuality of the payroll process is key while adhering to government policies and tax regulations in any country. If it is a small or medium organisation, it is vital to have all these processes and policies in place to grow. While many opt to have an in-house payroll division, it has become a new favourite to outsource payroll to an expert for many beneficial reasons.

Time saved in manual processes

Managing payroll internally is one of the most tiresome and hectic tasks as there are many intricate details to look into before processing. New hires, terminations, benefits and deductions are just a few that has to be looked into for each employee. It is extremely expensive to adhere to all rules and regulations be it internal, country or globally. Outsourcing payroll to an expert in the area will not only let an organisation save time but will get rid of a mundane time consuming task. The HR team gets to focus on more strategic areas to build their employees while outsourcing payroll to a complete third party who is able to handle it with professionalism and expertise.

Reducing costs

Outsourcing a payroll function can save an organisation quite a lot, especially if it is a small or medium scale enterprise. Large enterprises can afford to be equipped with a large payroll team while it is a burden for a smaller company to maintain an entire team only for payroll. Many of the payroll activities can be handled by experts when outsourced such as payroll calculations, calculation of tax & returns, purchasing a payroll software etc.

Increased security

Payroll processing is a complex and a risky process to handle internally, especially where theft and accessibility of information is concerned. Having an in-house payroll department would require additional security measures which a middle level organisation might not be equipped to have. Outsourcing a payroll unit would ease all these extra risk factors and security issues as experts like ExroAsia are equipped with data storage and protection measures with multiple backups.

Team of experts with best practices

An expertise payroll outsourcing company would have a team dedicated to research, upgrade knowledge and share best practices within the region. You should not worry about the latest regulations as the outsourced partner will be well equipped to implement the best practices for your organisation. Their expertise will also help your HR department learn the best HR practices in the region and to support employees in the best way possible with any new regulations.

Zero infrastructure or maintenance costs

When you outsource you don’t need to worry about any payroll software upgrade cost or any new server cost. It is already being taken care of by your payroll partner who would take these extra precautions and measures for you. You don’t need to worry about incorrect filings and penalties as that too will be taken care of.

Outsourcing your payroll helps many small and medium enterprises to focus on their operational growth while letting a partner take care of their payroll entirely. Choosing the correct payroll provider will help the organisation gain competitive edge, it is vital to choose a partner who is flexible, supportive and easy to work with. ExroAsia has a fully-fledged team of experts who are willing to offer consultancy as a start.

Outsourcing your Global Talent Acquisition in the New Normal

As the flexibility of the global workforce increases, more employers are searching for the best talent globally. Multiple factors contribute to this increased flexibility, and companies armed with the knowledge and proficiency needed to pilot a global talent pool will hire and retain the best workers in the competitive talent landscape.

One notable contributing factor is the growing economic economies in many countries around the world. Even with the Covid 19 pandemic still looming around, America is experiencing record low unemployment rates, and job growth in counties such as Australia and Singapore have maintained a strong pace. In countries with low unemployment, many employers are looking beyond their backyards for the best talent. Furthermore, workers in countries with high unemployment rates are increasingly willing to relocate for challenging and fulfilling work wherever they find an opportunity that fits their bill

Technology is making things much easier in a day and age where travel restrictions and quarantine periods have made it almost impossible to have a face to face chat with a potential employee. However, virtual interviews makes it simple to interview candidates without incurring large travel costs, and virtual reality technology could give candidates a realistic look at your office without having to cross oceans.

Through sourcing talent globally, one would also expand ones talent pool and increase the potential of finding the ideal candidate with the ideal skill set. As companies look to hire workers with the skills of the future, broadening your search across the world can keep you ahead of your competition.

Starting a global sourcing program has its own hurdles, the most apparent of which is immigration. If you are hiring expat employees to work domestically, you need to abide by the immigration laws in your country. In general, the immigration process can add cost to hiring foreign employees. However, you would find that foreign workers are more open to relocation that you would expect.

If you are recruiting from other countries as part of an effort to start a new office or venture into a new market, special attention should be given to applicable labor laws in the respective countries. For instance, in countries such as Australia, employees are entitled to long service leave, or a period of extended paid leave from work after a long period of working for the same employer. The exact requirements vary based on jurisdiction, but are in general, six to 13 weeks of leave for every seven to 10 years worked in a particular organization.

In addition to compliance matters which you would have to give extra thought to, you should also be prepared to manage the cultural differences that exist in recruiting, hiring and work cultures around the world. While a cultural mistake isn’t likely to result in legal consequences it might cause other sensitive problems. A lack of cultural literacy can lead to anything from communication confusion to a negative impact on your brand that will make it tougher to acquire quality talent.

It’s also important to understand the role social media plays in a candidate’s country. In the U.S, employers search and review posts on public social media pages which has now caught up and sort of appears to be the best method to profile a potential recruit. Some countries will have different social media sites instead of the common Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. For example, in China, western social media platforms are banned, and Weibo, WeChat and Youku are popular.

Employers should also be geared to deal with fears from current employees about replacement or outsourcing. It can be a sensitive conversation, but it is an important step to help retain employees. Establishments should work with their management and internal communications teams to frame the conversations about changes in the workplace. HR should also review conflict management best practices to ensure that any issues that develop between employees can be mediated before they come to their boiling point.

In conclusion, it all boils down to finding the right partner as employers look to start global sourcing programs, it is important to look for an RPO partner who has in depth experience with international programs and who understands the part of the world where you are looking to expand or source the ideal candidates from. Your partner should help you navigate the compliance and cultural issues that comes along with any global talent sourcing program. An RPO partner can help prepare you for a gamut of challenges before you post a job or extend an offer to a potential employee. Additionally, a partner with years of hands on experience can help you anticipate any communication and training issues so that you can overcome any hurdle that comes your way.

Sri Lanka – Employer of Record

ExroAsia consultants would take care of your organisation’s Employer of Record Services entirely with a fast track approach. The client does not require to establish a subsidiary or a branch in Sri Lanka, ExroAsia would hire employees and run the complete payroll in accordance to compliance and statutory requirements in Sri Lanka. You can hand over the hassle of hiring an employee, while ExroAsia would hire, do background verification and offer employment on your behalf. This will take place in accordance with labor laws and other local requirements within days, and you can welcome a new member whose complete responsibility is taken care of by your Expansion Partner, ExroAsia.

Overview of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island with many assets and beautiful surroundings, speaking for itself Sri Lanka has steady economy growth during past five years with economic transformations taking place, building the nation towards a long term development relying on its major exports, tea, tourism, apparel and other agricultural products, also a booming IT & BPO sector.

Employment in Sri Lanka

The Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Act No. 19 of 1954, as amended (SOEA) is a key labor law that regulates work schedules, holidays, and leave entitlement. There is no clear guideline or provision for probation period in labor laws, the standard probation period is 6 months in Sri Lanka.

Work Time

The standard weekly work hours comprise of 45 hours with 8 hours per day, if an employee works beyond these hours it qualifies for overtime which is generally compensated by not less than 125% of the regular pay. Employees are not allowed to perform overtime more than 12 hours per week and overtime does not apply to employees in an executive capacity.

Holidays & Leaves

The following days are considered as public, bank and mercantile holidays in Sri Lanka

  • Tamil Thai-Pongal
  • National Day
  • Milad-Un-Nabi (Holy Prophet’s Birthday)
  • Day preceding the Sinhala and Tamil New Year
  • Sinhala and Tamil New Year Day
  • May Day
  • Day after the Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
  • Christmas Day
  • All Poya Days

Annual Leave
Employees are entitled to 14 days’ annual leave after completing 1 year of employment. Out of these 14 days, 7 days must be taken on consecutive days.

Maternity Leave
Female employees are entitled to 84 days’ maternity leave for the birth of their 1st or 2nd child. The leave can be taken for 14 days before the expected date of delivery and 70 days after that. For the birth of the 3rd child, employees are entitled to 42 days’ maternity leave out of which 14 days can be taken before the expected date of delivery and 28 days after that.

Casual Leave
Employees are entitled to 7 days’ casual leave.

Medical Leave

Employees are entitled to 7 days’ medical leave.

How ExroAsia can help:

With our Global PEO Services, organisations can expand to any country in Asia and hire employees through ExroAsia without establishing a branch or subsidiary within the country.

  • A candidate can be vetted, interviewed and hired via our PEO
  • We would manage the employment contracts, statutory and non-statutory benefits, and paying their salaries on time in full compliance with Sri Lanka laws.
  • We would take care of day to day operations including all HR tasks including employee termination

Speak to our consultants when you are ready to grow, you can always schedule an appointment to have a casual chat with us.

Are you equipped to meet the new HR Challenges globally in the New Normal?

For a global company, outsourcing certain operational areas is a tested strategy as it helps the leadership and management focus on business continuity effectively. Aftermath of Covid19 has changed the gameplay for many departments, Human Resources is a division where it was drastically changed and there was no option but to implement the latest practices and trends as it involves an organisation’s best asset, its employees. With so many organisations shifting to ‘Work from home’ or a hybrid model, the demands of employees and the expectations have risen. An in-house HR would need to have a large capacity to cater to new requirements of employees and work culture that has evolved into the New Normal. To cater to all these requirements, the existing team might not be equipped, and might not have the experience or capacity, that’s why outsourcing HR might be a viable option this season.

  1. Employee Engagement & Wellbeing is Key.

In most global offices, focusing on ‘Employee wellbeing’ has increased massively with the workforce working from home. Many have protocols and procedures which focus mainly on Employee Wellbeing and have implemented many activities to enhance both wellbeing and employee engagement. Employee engagement has increased with HR focusing on many virtual activities to keep employees relaxed and comfortable during this transition period. 

  1. Virtual Learning & Development

There is a shift in employees focusing on learning, and most HR divisions have brought in all the trainings to a virtual platform. The way of doing business, sales, marketing and even technology has changed in 2020 so there are many things to learn from, while catering to transitioning the employees to face the uncertainty it is also important to identify these training needs and equip them with new skill sets to suit the market. 

  1. Change of Policies, Rules and Regulations

The new normal has changed the way employees come to work to dress, it is important to have all these policies, rules and regulations in place. Even policies like dress code has changed, meeting regulations, the modes of communications have been identified and defined. These revisions could take a long time to complete, unless there is an expert who has handled multiple situations at the same time, hence HR outsourcing can fast track the process with all these matters as they will have set templates for most of these revisions. 

  1. Maintaining Workforce Stability and Culture 

Workforce stability in a global environment is important to sustain, where certain waves take place in turns in certain regions, it is important to maintain stability in all regions with guidance and support by HR so the communication and day today transactions among employees across regions will be smooth with less diversions. Employee culture, remaining positive plays a major role at times like this to sustain globally. Work from home situation adheres many complications including taking care of kids and home-schooling, the guidance from a global HR outsourcing company will be helpful to maintain a happy stable workforce. 

Global HR experts have already tried and tested these mechanisms for different industries, tying up with an ExroAsia HR consultant or outsourcing your HR might be helpful to try out these new norms in the space of HR. If you are looking at guidance or to outsource HR during New Normal, speak to us for a free consultation. 

8 Reasons Why it is the Right Time to Outsource to Sri Lanka

Yes, you heard it right. Sri Lanka. A nation that has gone through a lot, so much of persistence and courage and struggle. They have been through it all, now slowly seeing light in so many ways. Sri Lanka is one of the few countries to get through the Covid catastrophe successfully, that is just one of the pluses they have out of many. Let’s see why anyone should consider outsourcing in Sri Lanka this season.

  1. Access to educated workforce Sri Lanka has a literacy rate of over 90%, have more than 20,000 graduates every year from educational institutes in Sri Lanka, providing both specialized soft skills and hard skills. Education standards in Sri Lanka are high with students being involved in extra curricular activities and adding many additional values like IT, fluency in English etc. Sri Lanka is also one of the largest hubs for CIMA graduates in Sri Lanka producing over 14,000 graduates annually – largest force outside the UK.
  2. Improved labor costs as an outsourcing hub Ranked above 25th on the A.T. Kearney ranking system for best outsourcing destinations in 2017, Sri Lanka manages to keep a secure position every year. Companies can save upto 30% of their labor cost by outsourcing in Sri Lanka according to studies. This makes Sri Lanka a great hub for outsourcing skilled labor.
  3. Transport – Colombo has a couple of express-ways and a stable road network from the International Airport to the heart of Colombo. Bandaranaike International Airport is a state of the art international airport with more than 20 international airlines offering direct flights to many worldwide destinations including 140 flights per week to most cities worldwide, and travelling to India is just a couple of hours away from Sri Lanka.
  4. Avoid double taxation – Sri Lanka has signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements with 44 countries to eliminate or mitigate the incidence of juridical double taxation and avoidance of fiscal evasion in the international trade (or transactions)
  5.  Entrance to key markets – Sri Lanka’s natural location provides many chances to enter into free trade and partnership agreements with several of Asia’s trade giants which effortlessly opens up an avenue to approach at least two billion people, when venturing into the Sri Lankan market. An added advantage for a company moving to Sri Lanka is the preferential trade access gained to two large regional alliances under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA).
  6. Treaties & Conventions – Sri Lanka is the only South Asian country to have acceded the Budapest Convention on Cybercrimes and is the only South Asian country to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts. “Sri Lanka has among the most rigorous intellectual property (IP) protection regimes in the region.”
  7. Government Support – Being the first country to successfully hold elections after the Covid catastrophe, Sri Lanka has a new government in place. The Sri Lankan government is one of the biggest catalysts for driving its IT-BPM industry growth and has publicly shown its commitment by setting the target for IT and BPO being one of the country’s largest export revenue earners by 2022.
  8. Attrition – Sri Lanka’s IT industry attrition levels are consistently below 20% and is extremely towards the low end compared to most countries in Asia. This portrays a sense of stability and permanence for those looking to invest in Sri Lanka.