University of Wisconsin–Madison

International Remote Work Agreements: Two Tips for HR & Supervisors of Employees Working Abroad

Here are two tips for HR and supervisors of employees who complete a Remote Work Agreement (RWA) to work from an international work location.

Risk Management: Risk Flag for All International RWAs

UW–Madison’s Worker’s Compensation (WC) coverage (as established through the State of WI Self-Funded WC Program) is not properly established to respond to occupational injuries/illnesses that occur for employees in the context of international RWAs.

Supervisors should work with HR to ensure that your School/College/Division’s highest approvers understand the uninsured risk that they are accepting by approving international RWAs.

Job Responsibilities

You may wonder if your employees seeking to work abroad are putting too much or too little information in this field.

The consulting Offices which evaluate and recommendations for mitigating risk often lack information needed in this field and require follow-up with the employee. If you confirm that this information is provided before approving the RWA, you can expedite the RWA approval process.

Here’s a quick list to help guide you:

Do move forward if: Don’t approve RWAs:
Employees have completed the “Job Responsibilities” section with specific information that clearly illustrates the focus of their work. If employees left the “Job Responsibilities” input space blank or wrote “N/A.”
Employees have described their work and work objectives with specific details, such as:
– [For research] “I’m researching local fauna and its effects on wildlife migration.”
If employees described their work in generalities, such as:
– “planning meetings”
– “development”
– “research”
– “teaching”
Employees have described the work domain. If employees listed as explanation: “research common to the area” (or such variations).
While you and your employees know your field in depth, the consulting offices responsible for mitigating risk both to the university and to employees related to remote work do not.
Employees have added explanatory text in the “Job Responsibilities” field in addition to uploading a TTC job description. If there is no description beyond an attached TTC job description (if the title was in scope of TTC). These descriptions are broad and do not contain specific information as to what an employee does day-to-day.
You’ve ensured that all fields have been completed with specific detail. Out of an assumption that certain work or a certain country won’t require much or any explanation.
You’ve checked that specific information has been provided and risk flags have been discussed with the relevant consulting office(s) (i.e., Offices of Compliance and Cybersecurity, Export Control, Research and Sponsored Programs, Risk Management) Don’t approve RWA if all external reviews have not been received.

For more information, please review the Approver Guide to Hard Stops, Risks and Attestations in the Remote Work Agreement (RWA).

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