An interesting discussion with MoveGuides CEO Brynne Herbert and Peter Clarke and Julia Onslow-Cole of PwC covering current Global Mobility trends and the role of technology.
Of particular interest are the complexities of ensuring business travelers are effectively tracked from both a "duty of care" and compliance standpoint; this has been a recurring theme in several of the recent mobility surveys issued by Santa Fe and others, with the duty of care of assignees and business travelers currently very high on the agenda of mobility and travel managers.
While there has been a recurring focus on "stealth expats" over the last few years, the need to track business travelers and other ad-hoc assignments has, literally, slipped under the radar of many companies, often through either lack of awareness of the compliant processes which must be followed, or due to business pressure.
Very recently we came across a company sending an entire project team to a middle eastern country, without any form of work visa or employment permits in place. The consequences of these employees being discovered, and potentially held by the authorities, would have been far-reaching with fines and potentially other sanctions for the company, along with significant damage to their chances of operating in the host country in the future.
Our advice is simple - planning any new branch office or project in a new destination needs to involve the global mobility team and experts in local law, tax, and immigration at the earliest opportunity, to ensure full compliance with local regulations.