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How does an agile global mobility strategy better support your workforce?

The way we work has changed. With increasingly global, mobile and remote workforces, businesses now need to understand how immigration, tax and other compliance matters can affect a team’s global agility. A technology-led, automated and self-service approach can see many organisations take mobility planning to the next level.

For the workforce, global mobility programs are becoming important career development opportunities and tangible employee benefits. Done well, they not only attract the best new talent but also help retain long-term employees and improve satisfaction levels. They can also increase transparency across the business, help leadership teams understand their people better, and offer an improved service to clients.

However, compliance can be a significant concern when designing an effective program.

“Understandably, organisations can struggle to stay up to date with evolving immigration, tax and other compliance matters across jurisdictions. That’s magnified when you consider the need to balance cost-efficiency, talent strategy and growth objectives against existing global mobility schemes and planned initiatives.”

Claire Pepper, Director, PwC UK

When do you need a global mobility strategy?

Remote Working

To attract and retain the best talent, organisations need to respond to employees’ increasing expectations of remote working. This leaves businesses with many considerations around international remote working: permissible activities; viable immigration routes; costs and processing times; tax and social security compliance obligations; payroll withholding; posted worker notifications; the impact of Brexit; and COVID-19 concessions, among others.

These considerations are continually in flux. Take Brexit as an example - last year, during the pandemic, UK nationals were able to work remotely from anywhere in the EU. As of 1 January 2021, this is no longer permitted - organisations and workers are subject to specific immigration regulations agreed between the relevant jurisdictions.

Miguel Oliveira, Senior Manager, PwC UK says: “Cross-border remote working is here to stay. But it’s not always that easy to navigate - compliance rules vary depending on jurisdiction, employee nationality, tax residency status and company policy. It can be difficult for organisations to keep on top of rapidly changing requirements without expert assistance.”

Business assignments

Mobilising talent quickly and efficiently is essential to an organisation's success. But moving employees across borders quickly and within budget is a formidable task, considering immigration and visa requirements, tax implications, data privacy, employment rules, and compensation issues.

Organisations need efficient pre-planning systems or processes to stay informed of changing requirements (such as necessary visas or qualifications), doing so in a cost- and resource-conscious way.

Business travel

As the pandemic begins to subside, we’re likely to see increased employee mobility across global markets. Workforces will need to evolve to be quicker, more efficient and agile. While remote working offers one solution, it’s unlikely to ever replace the need to be on-site or meet in-person in certain situations. Early indications show us that business travel in 2021 is expected to be back to 95% of 2020 levels by the third quarter.

Post pandemic, organisations may need to track and identify business travellers and the risks they create across employment tax, social security, corporate tax, immigration and EU Posted Workers Directive (PWD) in multiple jurisdictions so they can complete the necessary downstream compliance actions. Further complicating this picture could be any considerations concerning Brexit rules or COVID-19 security protocols.

myAtlas: a seamless, automated way to manage your global mobility

With remote working requests, cross border projects, global mobility and the demand for talent on the rise, it’s important to understand the impact of immigration on your mobility strategy. Changes to immigration rules and legislation are now more frequent, and sanctions more stringent, making it important to have the right information at your fingertips. But just obtaining this information can be difficult and costly. This can be an even bigger challenge for those organisations that cover multiple jurisdictions, particularly where interpreting local legislation may also be necessary.

This is where we can help.

myAtlas is a pre-planning tool for all your global mobility needs: cross-border remote working requests, business trips, project planning, formal assignments or a combination of all. It’s a solution that removes the complexity, effort and cost of global mobility. With certainty and reliability of source information, there is also no need to translate information or confirm that it’s correct.

A market-leading digital offering, it gives you up-to-the-minute guidance on permissible activities, compliant work permit and visa options, the EU posted worker directive, tax, social security, payroll and much more. There’s also guidance that covers COVID-19 and Brexit. With just a few clicks, myAtlas will give you essential information to help you stay compliant with local laws and restrictions, covering 75 destinations and 223 nationalities.

Fully customisable and self-service, myAtlas can automate remote working requests by linking in with companies’ HR and ticketing systems. Anyone in the business can access the tool and it’s available 24/7, with information updated in real-time.  

A new way of working needs a new approach

As organisations look to embrace new ways of working, they’re likely to move towards a ‘work from anywhere’ approach. However, this means their global mobility planning needs to move up to the next level. This is where understanding is key. A better appreciation of the costs, timings and feasibility of any proposed move allows organisations to plan more efficiently and make informed decisions around any mobility strategy. Having the right knowledge at the right time makes an organisation more agile, more compliant and ultimately more competitive.

Contact us

Claire Pepper

Claire Pepper

Director, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7525 280693

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