Don’t Be Afraid to Switch Your EOR 

Posted on  Dec 15, 23 by Dee Coakley

If you are thinking about changing your Employer of Record (EOR), then it’s normal to have some concerns. But don’t let that stop you from acting on the important reasons you’re considering the switch in the first place. The right EOR has the potential to: 

  1. Offer expert-led support and efficient delivery.
  2. Improve the employee experience.
  3. Simplify employee management for your HR team while guaranteeing local compliance.
  4. Equip you with a seamless platform for rapid employee onboarding and speedy monthly payroll processing. 

While it might seem like a large undertaking, the reality is that switching your EOR is a lot less time-consuming and difficult than it seems, and absolutely worth it if your current experience is causing you headaches. 

One of the biggest green flags to look out for with a new EOR is their commitment to support during the transition. This is critical to ensure that the switch is seamless and compliant. It also provides insight into what it will be like working with that new EOR long term.

Here, we’ll help you understand what to look out for in a new EOR to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible. You need to know what they’ll take care of and what you’ll need to do (hint: it’s not a lot, read on) to ensure the setup with them is 100% compliant. 

Fighting your fears around switching your EOR requires doing a little homework to find the right partner that will help you make the switch.

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Your new EOR should help you make the change

You should never be alone in the process of changing EOR. Your new EOR should guide you on necessary end-of-employment data and employee information to collect from your previous provider, walk you through the new setup with them, and explain how the employee’s length of service may be recognised. If you want to choose the best Employer of Record, look out for the following. 

1. Proactive, well-informed employer guidance  

Every country has different employment regulations. This is a big part of why you need (and are using) an EOR in the first place, and a lack of expertise from your existing provider is as good a reason to switch as there ever was. 

You will get a very good sense of an EOR's local expertise from how clearly and confidently they outline the process from the point of moving employees to them during your early sales conversations. You should expect guidance on: 

  • Employment continuation options: In the ideal scenario, switching your EOR will allow you to recognise an employee's previous service, as well as their length of service. However, not all regions allow this to occur. This will depend on the model of operation in the country and any restrictions on the ability to put a prior start date in the employment agreement with the new EOR. Every EOR will have a different policy on this. Again, your new EOR should be able to advise you on the best way for employment to be recognised as a continuation.
  • Consultation on benefits: Your new EOR should work with you to ensure that your benefit offerings are competitive within the local market and any existing benefits provided to the employee are matched when you make the switch. 
  • HR and payroll expertise: Factors like employment regulations, employer obligations and EOR contract structures differ depending on the specific country, and that expertise should be reliably provided by your EOR. They should also be capable of automating your monthly payroll reporting to save you time and resources.
  • Visa and immigration advice: Employees with a work visa require extra care during a transition. The right EOR will have an understanding of the available options for your employees to legally work in the country they reside, and can act as a visa sponsor if needed and possible for them to do so.  

Your existing EOR should guide you on how to end employment through them. All the while, your new EOR should be supportive during this process and respond to information provided from the current EOR. If the new EOR has the local employment expertise, their ownership will feel natural to you and they will help you prioritise a quality employee experience. 

2. Support for employees

While an EOR will predominantly work with you and your HR/Operations team, they can also support employees directly. An EOR that proactively acts as an operational point of contact will help your employees feel secure and grant you more space to foster positive working relationships with your people.

Remember, your employees will be directly impacted by the transition process your new EOR is implementing. Ultimately, you will know how best to communicate with your employees. However, your new EOR will need to support you on how to communicate the details of their transition plan. 

Quality EORs will have a self-service portal where employees can easily access information and have the option to speak to an expert. A truly supportive EOR will jump on calls with your employees if needed, and keep you in the loop about these conversations so that you’re never caught off guard by employee concerns. 

During the transition phase at Code Institute, we made sure that each of their employees had direct contact with a Boundless HR Compliance Manager to guide them through every step of the change. This ensured that any concerns they had were addressed and employees could fully focus on their work.

3. Clear communication and commitments 

Timelines and commitments are critical to make clear during the EOR transition process. This applies to you and your employees and should always include: 

  1. Timelines for onboarding employees with the new EOR based on your preferred start date.
  2. Necessary steps to ensure a smooth and compliant transition.
  3. Any important deadlines or dates that are determined by authorities

Take our recent onboarding with a FinTech enterprise as an example. In the early sales stage, we set a clear, straightforward transition project plan for their team, including actionable steps and staggered start dates for over 200 of their employees across multiple countries. Just 6 months after the first sales call, the full plan had been executed and the employees were fully and comfortably set up under our employment. 

To guarantee that you’re getting full transparency over how the entire transition will work, ask your EOR to provide the following: 

  1. Project management documentation that clearly details the timelines you have agreed, and will help to track progress and accountability of onboarding tasks. (here is the template we used in the above-mentioned transition.)
  2. SLA documentation that details all responsibilities so you get the guarantees you need. This is particularly important in cases where you are transitioning a large number of employees.
  3. An overview of the employment agreements and employment documentation that will require action from the employees.   

Your new EOR should give guidance around timelines and how they’ll range depending on location. For example, some countries will require signatures for employment contracts to be made in ink. Compared to other territories that allow digital signatures, that’s going to add more time to the onboarding process and should be taken into account by your EOR. Registrations with local authorities is another factor that might slow things down.

It all comes down to partnering with a provider that’s well aware of what requirements need to be met and is clear with you about them along the way.

4. Secure and seamless data transfers 

Once you’ve decided on your new EOR, transferring your existing data to them should not be a painful process. Manually adding your employees to the new EOR platform is a very time-consuming job. A good EOR should have automation and integration capabilities that can be leant on and used during the data transfer phase. A good EOR should also be able to provide consultative/bespoke solutions for the transfer of data during onboarding, especially in the case that out-of-the-box solutions don’t work.

Essentially, your new EOR should be able to figure out the best way to transfer your data to them without sacrificing safety, security, or speed. 

Here are some positive indicators of an EOR that can handle your data transfers securely:

  1. They define the best-fit files and formats to effectively transfer your data to them, guaranteeing consistency and saving time.
  2. They can offer automated data transfer. 
  3. They have security and privacy practices that meet internationally recognised standards.
  4. You have full transparency on how they store data, including where their servers are physically located, their disaster management and data recovery plans, and the threat detection systems they have in place.
  5. They are happy to work with you and follow your vendor security processes.

In addition to personal employee data, your EOR should be able to advise you on what documentation you need for each country you’ll be operating in. For example, region-specific tax rulings or end-of-employment documentation that the old employer will have to provide. 

You don’t want any kind of data transfer happening through standard communication formats like emails. Your new EoR should offer a non-intensive way of enabling information to be passed quickly, while maintaining your privacy.

What you need to do when changing EOR 

Although your new EOR should take the lead on creating a change plan to guide you through your required actions, there are a few things you will need to own. 

  1. Understand the notice period with your existing EOR: Most EORs have a 30-day notice period on their commercial agreements, providing a window of time for your transition to your new service provider. If you have signed an annual contract, or paid a year in advance, this is something to consider. However, remember that you can negotiate with your existing EOR to see if this can be reduced.  
  2. Strategically time your change and announcement: You’ll need to assess the best time to actually make the transition. Critically, this means making sure that the termination of employment agreements is followed, the next day, by the start of new employment agreements. You also need to consider the best time to announce the switch company-wide, allowing your people ample time to process the change, ask questions, and directly speak with the EOR to ease any of their concerns. 
  3. Coordinate internally: It’s important to ensure that all stakeholders, including HR, finance, and legal teams, are coordinated to manage the transition quickly and effectively. And, of course, remember to communicate clearly with your employees about any change that will impact them. 

Your responsibilities when switching EOR really are this simple… if your new EOR can provide you with the right support. 

Before you’ve even given notice for both your commercial and employment agreements with your existing EOR, you should have already taken enough steps to develop full confidence in your new provider. Once you make the commitment to your new global employment partner, they will step in to ensure that all that follows is smooth for you, your employees and is compliant with local regulations.

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More than anything, choose an EOR that supports you 

Switching EORs doesn’t have to be nearly as painful or disruptive as you might imagine. The right provider will make the process straightforward, helping you throughout and demonstrating the support they will provide long-term. That way, you can be sure that you avoid all of the common problems with Employers of Record and are always 100% compliant.      

At Boundless, our mission is to provide companies with a supportive and compliant approach to employing abroad. Backed by experts in the field and with experience helping customers of all shapes and sizes to easily navigate switching providers, we can help you make the transition, too. Reach out to us today for a free EOR consultation.

The making available of information to you on this site by Boundless shall not create a legal, confidential or other relationship between you and Boundless and does not constitute the provision of legal, tax, commercial or other professional advice by Boundless. You acknowledge and agree that any information on this site has not been prepared with your specific circumstances in mind, may not be suitable for use in your business, and does not constitute advice intended for reliance. You assume all risk and liability that may result from any such reliance on the information and you should seek independent advice from a lawyer or tax professional in the relevant jurisdiction(s) before doing so.

Written by Dee Coakley

Before founding international employment platform, Boundless, Dee Coakley was a three-time COO, having spent 10 years with B2B SaaS businesses (Masabi, Bizimply & Axonista). In her COO roles, she experienced first-hand the operational challenges of setting up employees in new countries, and so set about building a solution. Boundless handles cross-border HR compliance and payroll for small and mid-size businesses, removing the barriers to growing teams internationally.

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