On December 13, 2017, a preliminary agreement was reached on a final tax bill that would significantly overhaul the Federal tax code. Titled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” the tax legislation represents a collaboration to sort out the key differences between the House and Senate proposals. This bill represents a big step forward toward passing the tax reform before the end of the calendar year. The updated bill is now in a Conference Committee to address discrepancies between the House and Senate versions. A vote is expected next week on the bill by both the House and Senate.
While the official text of the bill has not been publicly released as of this release, here’s what you need to know. Continue Reading →
You’ve arranged the airplane tickets, rental home and new car for your mobile employees. But your job as a mobility manager isn’t done quite yet. It turns out that employees actually want a whole lot more out of the relocation process than an itinerary stating their flight time and new address.
That’s the latest discovery from our recent research paper that offers revealing insight from the perspectives of all of the key stakeholders in any relocation–from the employees being moved to the corporate managers and business unit leaders who are moving them. It’s a project that makes sense; after all, the more we know exactly what our clients and their mobile employees want out of a move, the better we can ensure the entire process is a sweeping success for all parties involved.
And while both companies/clients and mobile employees have a lot riding on a relocation, research shows that mobile employees are often the most vocal stakeholders. After all, they’re the ones packing up their bags, families and lives. And if they’re not happy with the process, their companies will be left grappling with frenetic employees obsessing over the relocation as opposed to focusing on their new role. And that’s a perfect recipe for soaring stress and plummeting productivity. Continue Reading →
What’s your first move if an emergency situation – whether a tropical storm or a political uprising – breaks out around the corner from your home? Now imagine this is your new home – in a new city, state, or country. Suddenly, you’re not just dealing with the emotional and financial stress of an impending disaster coming at you at supersonic speed, but you’re also in an unfamiliar land and possibly navigating a language barrier with no escape in sight.
This nightmare scenario was a horrifying reality for countless mobile employees in Texas and Florida, who were recently battered by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The colossal hurricanes wreaked havoc on the regions; claiming over a hundred lives, destroying hundreds of thousands of homes, and causing hundreds of billions dollars of damage, according to White House estimates.
Of course disasters aren’t always avoidable, but we can avoid being ill-prepared. So, here are a few best practices to ensure your mobile, on-the-move workforce is 100% prepared when an emergency strikes. Continue Reading →
Weichert Workforce Mobility will be conducting complimentary, half-day educational summits for HR & corporate mobility professionals in Zurich and Geneva. These programs offer strategies for measuring engagement levels across your mobile workforce and insight to key mobility trends that will impact your program for years to come. Subject matter experts from the corporate and provider perspectives will provide valuable insights and best practices to make it faster, easier and more cost-effective to manage mobile talent.
To ensure an intimate learning environment, attendance at these events will be limited. Dates and locations are as follows:
Tuesday, 10 October, 15:00 – 20:00
Rennweg 7, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Wednesday, 11 October, 15:00- 20:00
Rue de Lausanne 14, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland
Today, we have a lot of Jetsons-style technology, literally at our fingertips. Who doesn’t love FaceTime, Google searches and the Roomba (Ok, maybe not the Roomba)? To remain competitive and keep your rising mobile talent happy, it’s vital to acknowledge that the construct of family has also progressed. Let’s visit some of the major points that are part and parcel of 21st century mobility management.
What Makes A Family A Family
As technology has changed, so too has our definition of “family.” No longer defined by Dad, Mom and 2.2 children, families can be multigenerational, include domestic partners, be single parent in nature and even have members of a different species. Being sensitive to your mobile employee’s particular situation strengthens the corporate relationship, increasing the likelihood of a successful assignment.
When your mobile employee is not flying solo, it’s imperative to lend support and consideration to a spouse or partner who may be feeling less than thrilled about uprooting his or her life. Often, there is an entirely separate, established career to consider and offering career counseling assistance can help. The loss of a second income may be the kind of financial hit the family just can’t take and can influence whether or not your preferred assignee signs on. Continue Reading →
Today’s post was authored by guest blogger Dave Leboff, President, US Operations for Immedis Inc., a premier global payroll solutions provider based in Dublin and New Jersey.
The Brexpat vote is a year in the rear view mirror and it continues to create growing ripple rings for Europe, the US and the world. A year ago I wrote a short article about the potential effects of Brexpat on exchange rates and, therefore, on expatriate allowances. That prediction is bearing out.
If we take a look at employees with Cost of Living Allowances the effect over the past year can be illustrated by looking at the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). Continue Reading →
While research shows a growing number of millennials choosing to purchase homes, the majority of this demographic still prefer to rent, especially in metropolitan areas, which are far more attractive to skilled employees looking for work/life opportunities in vibrant cities.
Of course, as the experts say, living in these locations ain’t cheap. Especially in New York City, where the median rent for a two bedroom apartment is $1,638 in the metro area and $3,895 in Manhattan. Groceries in NYC cost 28-39% more than the national average and public transportation is about 75% higher than the average city.
Companies certainly feel that this can be a deterrent to mobile employees, which is why cost-of-living allowances are on the rise. According to Worldwide ERC’s recent Relocation Assistance, U.S. Domestic Moves survey, 39 percent of companies reported using such allowances in 2016 versus 32 percent in 2012. Among companies reporting difficulty in transferring employees to high-cost areas, the most frequently cited reason (by 80 percent of respondents) was “very high housing costs.” Continue Reading →
Our recent two-part webinar series on cost optimization drew large corporate attendance, no doubt eager to hear their peers talk at length about their experience collaborating with Weichert to optimize program costs. While three of our four corporate presenters have had their existing programs in place for many years and the other is just beginning its journey as a newly formed company with a developing global mobility program, all four agreed that program optimization is an ongoing, iterative process.
As you might imagine, attendees had plenty of questions for our panelists. And while they did an admirable job of responding, there were too many to address in our one hour sessions. In this post, we present the unanswered questions with feedback from our panelists.
To make sure we only use mobility as a tool to support well thought-out business strategies, I find it critical to hold the line on requiring a business case for each assignment, and thus control costs by eliminating unnecessary assignments. Would you agree? Continue Reading →
Among the greatest challenges facing managers of mobile employees and business travelers, three stand tall: remaining compliant with ever-changing visa/immigration laws, accurately tracking days in specific locations for tax purposes, and the ability to contact expatriate employees in the event of emergency. We are proud to announce the first app to simplify and streamline all three, the Weichert Global Organizer.
This app improves visa/tax compliance by tracking time in each location, alerting the employee and HR of pending tax or immigration events—such as visa renewal or days in a certain jurisdiction triggering tax liability. These features allow HR managers to be proactive, rather than reactive, to any concerns. Further, at tax time, all of the critical data that the employee and company need for filing and reporting is easily accessible in one place.
Additionally, in the event of an emergency, the app empowers HR managers to instantly locate their employees at any point on the globe, alert them to danger and, if necessary, evacuate them to a place of safety.
The Weichert Global Organizer represents a quantum improvement in managing these processes for today’s companies, many of which rely on a corporate travel agent or a tax provider for this information. But these solutions have limitations; travel agency data merely suggests that someone bought a ticket, not that they actually traveled, nor does it indicate a traveler’s precise location. This would not meet the IRS’s requirement that companies have an adequate process to track their employees. Likewise, Big Four firms usually bundle their trackers with larger advisory services and they do not include integrated immigration or duty of care.
Simply put, today’s companies need a better way to keep track of their entire globally mobile population, where they are going and what they are doing. That’s why we developed the Weichert Global Organizer. In detail, here’s what it tracks:
global taxation: through direct link to their phones’ GPS system, the app tracks the time employees spend in country and monitors it against local, federal and state compliance requirements, and provides alerts to potential compliance issues.
visa/immigration: the app monitors employees’ time in country against visa and immigration requirements, providing renewal reminders and live alerts of potential infringements.
emergency communication: when emergencies unfold, the app instantly pinpoints your global assignees and travelers and allows you to transmit instant safety alerts.
The unfortunate certainties of life are death, taxes and, in the case of corporate mobility managers, the never-ending pressure to reduce costs. I am constantly asked by clients to help them achieve that delicate balance between maintaining benefits levels that keep employees engaged and productive while avoiding cost spiral.
Beyond the policy provisions themselves that account for 98% of all costs, clients should examine the processes they use to administer mobility. Every program I review is ripe with opportunities to improve their operational efficiencies. This can be difficult for mobility managers comfortable and familiar with their current processes to acknowledge or see, but often our “outside” perspective can shed light on improvements.
What follows are a number of time tested ideas that might lead to efficiencies and/or cost savings for you: Continue Reading →