If you want a good example of the challenges facing international business travelers — not to mention the negative PR effects of less-than-robust global mobility compliance — look no further than the recent headlines surrounding Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic. Like any good tennis match, his attempt to participate in the Australian Open has been a whiplash-inducing spectacle.
Although the State of Victoria, where the Open takes place, enforces strict COVID-19 rules, Djokovic arrived in Australia under the presumption that he had a medical exemption. However, his visa was canceled on arrival by a border official who denied him entry because he couldn’t comply with Australia’s vaccination requirements. He was sent to stay in a hotel (reportedly a detention facility that holds refugees and asylum seekers) before having the opportunity to plead his case before a judge. He then had his visa re-approved, only to have it revoked again by the Immigration Minister. He then lost his appeal and had to leave the country.
The question to ponder here is, how would your transferees fare in a similar situation?
Even with a sizable legal team and extensive financial resources, Djokovic couldn’t escape the uncertainty, inconvenience and reputational damage associated with compliance; neither can employers worldwide. At the risk of fearmongering, it should be scary to think how this sort of scenario could impact your traveling CEO or client services rep.
That very real headline is one of the reasons we are seeing a significant increase in the number of clients finally getting serious about business traveler programs. And of course, the best time to avoid these risks is BEFORE the trip. For an easy to use, automated approval workflow, check out our award-winning compliance tool, SMARTRIP.
SMARTRIP uses over four million algorithms to assess each relocation, assignment or employee trip against the latest travel, tax, COVID and visa/immigration requirements. This allows employers to protect the welfare of their employees so they can travel and work without the penalties, restrictions and reputational damage that compliance violations can bring.
In my role at Weichert, I help companies see clearly just how simple managing compliance for their globally mobile workforce can be. I’m happy to provide a demo of SMARTRIP if you’re interested. Just ping me here.