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The work done is 100% remote in all cases, and the employee does not care at all where the employee does his/her work. For examples sake we can assume that the work in question is programming, although in the real world case it can be a variety of other things too.

The company is located in Ireland. The employees can be located anywhere, though EU area would be the most immediate practical case. The employees might or might not be citizens of the countries they're residents in.

Case A:

The employee is an actual employee (yet the company does not care at all about their physical location). Which country's employment laws apply?

Case B:

The employee is actually not an employee but a contractor with a contract for service with the company. Let's say there's some dispute regarding his/her employment status. Which country's employment laws apply?

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    There isn't a general answer to this question; there's no international convention that governs "which laws apply". Every country gets to make their own laws and to decide what they apply to. You could have an employer in Ireland and an employee in France, and Nicaragua could make a law that regulates what they can do. (Of course, Nicaragua may have a hard time enforcing that law - but their law still "applies" in their eyes.) If you limit this to the EU, there may be more hope for an answer. – Nate Eldredge Sep 27 '17 at 13:26
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Whichever country's courts decide they have jurisdiction has jurisdiction.

A case could be brought in either (or both) country and the court would hear arguments about jurisdiction and decide if they have it or not. If they decide they have jurisdiction they would decide which law applies: theirs or the foreign jurisdiction or (most likely) some of each. Courts will generally respect an election of applicable law clause in the contract, however,most jurisdictions have laws that cannot be excluded by contract which is where the mixture usually comes from.

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