Should there be simplified EU-wide rules for cross-border teleworking?


Teleworking (1.) has become more popular since the Covid-19 pandemic. However, EU Member States have different regulations for teleworking, which can be complicated for both cross-border teleworkers and their employers. (2.) This could be addressed by introducing common simplified rules for all EU Member States about cross-border teleworking, including regulation of tax and social coverage. (3.)


This arrangement could make the job market in the EU more flexible. Simplified teleworking rules could ease access to high-skilled employees and increase the international competitiveness of European companies. (4.) Empirical evidence also shows that increasing teleworking levels can boost staff productivity within firms. Improved job matching is also expected to contribute to productivity as, with distance between workers and firms becoming a less binding factor, employers can choose out of a larger pool of employees. (5.)

The European Economic and Social Committee recommends that a one-stop shop could help simplify cross-border teleworking. It would require the employer to report the number of days teleworkers worked in their country of residence and in the country where the employer is located for cross-border teleworkers. With this information, tax authorities would be able to assess in which country income would be taxable, and what part of the income would be taxable in each country. (6.)


Insufficiently developed agreements and institutional differences between EU countries may lead to tax avoidance and other types of fraud. In the case of widespread teleworking, it may lead to decreased state income and less ability to implement the obligations of states towards their citizens.

Empirical evidence shows that productivity climbs with a larger share of staff working more days per week remotely, but drops as soon as the level of teleworking becomes excessive, especially due to negative repercussions on teamwork and creativity. (5.)


  1. Telework | Eurofound.
  2. Telework in the EU: Regulatory frameworks and recent updates - Eurofound.
  3. Taxation rules on cross-border teleworking must be updated and...