On November 1, 2016, China’s State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) launched a pilot work permit program in select regions of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Anhui, Guangdong, Hebei, Shandong, Sichuan and Ningxia. The program is widely anticipated to roll out nationwide on April 1, 2017.
China’s previous foreign work permits have been integrated into the Permit System for Foreigners in China, a single work permit based on a three-tiered classification system. The permit provides a federal model, eliminating the often troublesome and inconsistent regionally administered policies.
The three-tiered system classifies foreign workers as A, B or C level candidates, based on their education, salary level, age, time spent working in China and Chinese language skills. Applicants who receive more than 85 points are given the letter A, 60 to 85 points, B, and less than 60 points, C. Continue Reading →
UK Customs (HMRC) has announced changes to customs procedures for household goods and motor vehicles entering the UK that will impact assignees being relocated to this region. This change goes into effect on 31 March 2017 and shifts responsibility for completing the Transfer of Residence (ToR) application from the shipper to the owner of the goods being shipped (in this case, the assignee).
Under these new guidelines, assignees moving to the UK are required to complete an online application for ToR relief. This form can be found here.
Once the online ToR form is completed and approved, the assignee will be sent a unique reference code which will allow the freight to be cleared and released by the HMRC. This reference code is critical and it is the responsibility of the assignee to ensure that it is issued in good time; therefore, your assignee should advice his or her Weichert contact as soon as it is received. If a shipment arrives in the UK without a reference code, it could be delayed or refused clearance.
Our recent webinar on cost optimization was widely attended and many folks wrote in requesting that we share the presentation, so we decided to provide this summary blog.
With 97% of global mobility spend on taxes and direct costs of assignment such as short and long term housing, shipment of household goods and travel and only 2-6% of spend attributable to a combination of internal administration and third party service fees, it’s no wonder that companies look to reducing policy benefits as the swiftest and obvious path to cost savings. We know however that severely cutting back or setting caps can impact ability to recruit, hire and retain the right talent for the assignment.
So it really makes good sense to stop and ask some important questions: Continue Reading →
MORRIS PLAINS, NJ, January 25, 2017 – Weichert Workforce Mobility Inc., one of the world’s leading providers of global talent deployment solutions, announced today its collaboration with Going-there, Global Destination Services, to launch the Weichert Global Organizer. This new smart phone application helps corporations easily track mobile employees and business travelers to ensure compliance with strict immigration and tax laws.
The Weichert Global Organizer is extremely easy to use. Employees and business travelers simply enter their specific locations and the Weichert Global Organizer automatically begins tracking their 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. Data collected through the app is fed to a portal-based reporting system, giving HR managers accurate, real time access to the activities of all business travelers.
“With immigration and tax guidelines evolving more rapidly and enforcing entities pursuing violations with greater vigilance, companies that can’t accurately track the movement of their mobile workforce risk serious compliance issues, not to mention the heavy fines and business restrictions that come with them,” said Stewart McCardle, Senior Vice President of Assignment Management Services and Global Supply Chain Solutions with Weichert Workforce Mobility.
“The Weichert Global Organizer eliminates these compliance risks, automatically generating for companies a clear picture of the tax and immigration status of their employees and allowing them 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.”
Beyond immigration and tax compliance, the Weichert Global Organizer addresses another issue of critical importance to companies managing mobile workforces: duty of care. 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.
“Immigration, tax and duty of care represent the three biggest challenges for managing mobile talent and business travelers,” said McCardle. “The Weichert Global Organizer is the only app of its kind to track and synergize the data surrounding these functions into actionable information for HR and corporate mobility managers.”
MORRIS PLAINS, NJ, December 6, 2016 – Weichert Workforce Mobility Inc., one of the world’s leading providers of global talent deployment solutions, announced today that as part of its rigorous commitment to operational excellence, the company has successfully completed its SOC 1 Type 2 Report.
This Report attests that Weichert’s systems, and operational and security controls have been carefully audited by the independent CPA firm CohnReznick LLP and found to be suitably designed to achieve their objectives and consistently applied throughout the evaluation period of April 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016.
Controls examined include homesale and expense management services, encompassing such key operational components as managed security services, change management, service delivery, support services, logical and physical security, managed hosting services, managed storage and backup services.
Annual SOC 1 audits are a best practice risk mitigation strategy that Weichert commits to annually to demonstrate the integrity of its internal controls. Companies that complete annual SOC 1 assessments are able to demonstrate a substantially higher level of security assurance and operational visibility than companies that do not conduct such assessments.
“We pride ourselves on our intense, companywide focus on internal controls and for establishing the industry standards in process improvement, data security and risk mitigation,” said Anthony Pilato, Weichert Workforce Mobility’s VP of Financial Services. “Our continued commitment to the SOC 1 Type 2 standards gives our clients the confidence to focus on what is truly important, managing and engaging their mobile talent.”
Canada is the second largest country in the world by area, but has a population of only 36 million people. With a relatively small (and aging) population, Canada’s need for expats to fill key roles continues to pose challenges, a problem exacerbated by governmental roadblocks to immigration. Companies are required to complete a rigorous process to prove the need for expats to fill positions, with significant penalties leveled against any corporation or company that tries to circumvent these rules.
The CERC (Canadian Employee Relocation Council) continues to be a strong advocate for the Mobility sector in Canada, and is working actively with the Canadian government in trying to streamline the process and removing some of the obstacles present so as to make it easier for companies to attract and bring in foreign workers to Canada.
So what should an expat expect to find in Canada? Read on to find out. Continue Reading →
The rock band Van Halen will forever be remembered for spandex, teased hair and changing lead singers more often than most people change socks. But there’s another side to VH that you likely never suspected: the band that launched such hit songs as “Hot for Teacher” and “Jamie’s Cryin” pioneered a unique methodology for spotting red flags that can be valuable to today’s corporate mobility managers.
Yes, you read that correctly.
It all starts with M&Ms. Brown M&Ms, to be precise.
Mexico is the second largest economy in Latin America, after Brazil. The country has an export-oriented economy with more than 90% of trade under free trade agreements. In recent years, exports of manufactured products have been expanding more than 10% per year, mostly due to the increase in car production.Due to new laws, Mexico has changed its regulations regarding oil and telecommunications, opening the market to foreign investors, with the oil industry growing particularly in the southeast states of Campeche, Veracruz and Tabasco.
Mexico’s housing market and economy are still recovering somewhat from the economic slump, which resulted from the US downturn. However there are many developers building new homes, which keeps prices at a reasonable level, and interest rates are relatively low in the social sectors due to subsidies. Low interest rates, salary and employment growth, longer payment terms and a recovery in consumer confidence are also expected to drive housing demand.
The real estate market is not well regulated in Mexico and properties rent very quickly. Landlords are requesting monthly rent payments in cash as many banks are now required to regulate recurring payments and report to the government for tax purposes. Continue Reading →
Last month, I partnered with Mark Frederick of IOR to present a webinar on the alignment of workforce mobility and talent management. As a follow-up to that session, Mark has written a guest post for our blog that expounds upon some of the concepts raised during the webinar. Specifically, the critical but often overlooked practice of assignment candidate selection.
The hallmark of a savvy Talent Mobility professional and department is behaving both strategically and proactively. One of the more neglected areas of Global Mobility support is on the front end of international assignments. Too often, candidates are chosen quickly without adequate decision making and then whisked away into support services before they leave the country.
A stronger, more strategic approach is to build talent pools of employees who would be ideal candidates for a global assignment. This type of process is all about identifying talent proactively, and the best place to start is with the business unit leaders. Mobility professionals are often “invisible” to the business units, so reaching out to them proactively will not only let them know who you are, but also brand you as a strategic business partner within the organization. Ask the business unit leaders to identify the talent they have that they think would be both interested and qualified for an international assignment and capture that group in a database. Continue Reading →
As companies face tighter competition for the best available talent, internships provide an opportunity to fuel their talent pipeline and present themselves as an employer of choice. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the intern conversion rate in 2015 was 51.7 percent, making internships a healthy recruiting solution. Even more importantly, this report indicated that employees who completed an internship (or co-op program) with their employer are more likely to still be with the company at both the one-year and five-year retention benchmarks. Continue Reading →