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Remote and Overseas Working

NPSA has produced guidance to inform employers about the personnel security vulnerabilities of remote working, and a general overview of the overarching principles and key issues when using offshore centre.

Last Updated 25 February 2023

Remote working

Remote working, whether it is working from home, on the move or in clients' or satellite offices, has become ever more commonplace.

Remote working brings advantages for both the employer and employee including retention of motivated staff, increased flexibility and autonomy, and reduced costs for the organisation through consolidating and reducing office space.

However, it also brings a number of personnel security issues which, if left unchecked, could lead to employee disaffection and increase the risk of counter productive work behaviours and malicious activity. These might include:

Laptop and hands
    • Increased security risks resulting from the loss of IT equipment or sensitive company data, living in shared accommodation. 
    • Direct supervision of employees is not possible, with potential security or welfare concerns going unchecked. 
    • Perception by the remote worker of loneliness and isolation, and being left 'out of the loop'. 
    • Performance issues including the possibility of both under and over working, and resulting management issues.

    By informing employers about the personnel security vulnerabilities of remote working, NPSA's Personnel Security in remote working guidance can be used to help reduce this risk.

    Offshore working

    There are many advantages to offshoring, but these can be cancelled out by a lack of familiarity with a country's laws, administrative practices and cultural sensitivities. 

    The Personnel Security in Offshore Centres guide, tackles all these important issues in relation to personnel security. It gives a general overview of the overarching principles and key issues, and detailed country-by-country entries for fourteen popular offshore locations:

    Bulgaria, China, the Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia and South Africa.

    The NPSA overview looks at:

    • regional similarities and differences in terms of law, practice and culture, 
    • the role and responsibilities of a prospective employer, 
    • the importance of a proportionate, risk-based approach, 
    • additional checks available beyond the traditional core of pre-employment screening, and 
    • when to seek local legal advice.
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