Protecting Your Company and Employees from New Compliance Risks 07.20.2021 | Ellie Sullivan

relocation compliance

Turning a blind eye won’t help! Maintaining compliance and employee safety requires companies to process a lot of fast-changing immigration, tax and travel restriction data quickly and seamlessly.

Are you prepared?

A mobile workforce has always been one of the most valuable tools for growing business. Whether it’s a three-year assignment in Bangalore, a critical client conference in Denmark or a quick flight to train new staff in Brussels, the freedom to deploy talent across borders has been the foundation of success for many companies.

In the post-pandemic world, that’s changed. Tougher visa stipulations, Brexit, posted worker notifications and vigorously enforced tax penalties have converged with COVID-related restrictions to change business travel and corporate relocation forever.

If you manage your company’s workforce mobility program or business travel, your job has likely become more challenging over the past year. Unfortunately, that was just the start. The future will bring more complexity, including a need for greater vigilance in duty of care, knowing where your employees are working and being able to connect with them when you need to.

Are you prepared for these new threats to your company’s growth and reputation, not to mention employee well-being?

New World, New Challenges
Clearly, the best way to navigate the future of business travel and reduce risks will be implementing an easy pre-trip approval process – one that identifies immigration, tax and COVID regulations before the employee travels.

But the key is to make the process seamless and an organic part of your company’s “return to work” strategy, showing business units that you take the new threats seriously while demonstrating to employees that their safety and security is paramount. Especially since research shows that employees still want to travel and relocate if they can do so safely.

That’s why Weichert Workforce Mobility, one of the world’s leading global employee relocation firms, has introduced Weichert SMARTRIP™.

Know Before They Go
SMARTRIP uses more than 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.

It also empowers the business to plan better, compare different strategies (such as sending a technician who isn’t approaching a tax threshold) and avoid costs and expensive delays.

Once employees are where you need them, SMARTRIP provides ongoing monitoring to ensure they stay compliant with visa/immigration and tax requirements, while also allowing the company to locate and communicate with them in the event of emergency, strengthening duty of care.

“This solution evolved from work we had done for one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers to help better manage its human capital across the globe in the post-COVID landscape, and it’s a concern that will define the future of work for practically every company,” says Janet Markle, Weichert’s Senior Regional Vice President and one of the platform’s architects.

“With an increasingly distributed workforce, employers need to synergize both immigration and tax regulations to ensure compliance. This solution gives them the actionable information they need to make decisions that keep their business moving.”

Is your company’s compliance management built for the future of work? Review our checklist to see if your business travelers are generating risks you cannot ignore.

Best Practices for Business Travelers and Relocating Employees
Here are some of the ways SMARTRIP synthesizes data, keeps managers in the know and locks down corporate compliance:

• Pre-trip assessments ensure employees are authorized to travel or work in their new location

• An effortless mobile interface makes monitoring travel easy and provides an audit trail that supports duty of care, without dedicating enormous numbers of resources to self-monitoring

• Since many jurisdictions count cumulative time in country, the system monitors both business and leisure travel

• Automated alerts deliver a highly efficient solution for managing an increasingly dispersed workforce with greater transparency and efficiency. This supports company cost containment objectives without sacrificing security or duty of care priorities

Weichert also offers a host of service options – from supporting in-house cross-functional security, travel and mobility teams, to full outsourcing – that allow teams to expedite compliance co-ordination associated with V&I, Social Security, A1, Posted Worker and I9 documentation.

If you’d like a free assessment of your current compliance risks and how SMARTRIP can help you, ask your Weichert Client Service Director or email us.

This article was originally written for Business Reporter/Bloomberg.

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Written by Ellie Sullivan


Ellie Sullivan, SCRP, SGMS-T, has over 30 years of experience overseeing critical mobility advisory initiatives, including policy benchmarking, proprietary research and tracking global trends and best practices. She is also the creator of our proprietary Optimization Lab format, which brings together Weichert SMEs and client stakeholders for day-long workshops to analyze current program challenges, identify solutions and create a road map to the ideal future state.

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