How can your organization prepare for the post-pandemic surge in global mobility?

Deloitte Advokatfirma

Companies can now expect a sudden surge in business travels, relocations and other assignments that have been put on hold due to COVID-19. This can put HR and Global Mobility professionals under a lot of pressure to act fast and familiarize themselves with numerous rules and compliance requirements.

With vaccination programs in full swing and restrictions easing up, companies can expect a sudden surge in travel, from business travelers to relocations and assignments that have been put on hold for months due to the pandemic. This will increase the pressure on HR and Global Mobility professionals to familiarize themselves with rules and compliance requirements regarding immigration, social security, payroll and reporting obligations, Posted Worker notifications in Europe. Not to mention the added burden of checking travel restrictions and potential registration, testing, and quarantine requirements in the host country, which if not followed closely can result in employees being refused at the border and the accompanying frustration.

So how can your organization prepare for this sudden wave of travel?

1. Communicate and align with the business

It is important for the HR and Global Mobility professionals to communicate with business partners and other stakeholders in the business and to be included in any plans the business may have to initiate cross-border travel. Communicate the implications of cross-border travel and manage expectations with regard to processing times. For example, acquiring a work permit can take several weeks or months, even if travel restrictions have been lifted in the host country.

2. Create a checklist of items that need to be addressed before initiating travel. Some questions to ask yourself are:
  • Does this type of travel trigger any compliance obligations? (e.g. business travel vs. a relocation) If so, what are these obligations? (company registration in the host country, payroll obligations, etc.)
  • Is a work permit or visa required for the employee and his/her family?
  • Will the employee remain a member of the home country social security scheme? Is an A1 or Certificate of Coverage required?
  • What are the consequences related to tax for the employees and the company?
  • Is there a PWD notification requirement?
  • What are the travel requirements in the host country and to what extent will the business support the employee in fulfilling these requirements? This can include testing requirements, quarantine periods, vaccination requirements, etc.
3. Outsource where needed

It can be overwhelming to manage all the different requirements related to cross-border travel, especially when it all happens suddenly and at the same time. Some aspects may not be within HR and Global Mobility’s area of expertise. It is therefore advisable to reach out to your service provider(s) as soon as possible to lessen the administrative burden on the organization, ensure compliance and save costs and time.

At Deloitte we have a global network of experienced professionals to assist with all aspects of cross-border travel, from immigration to payroll obligations, and we are happy to help you prepare for global mobility in the post-pandemic world.

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