Employers and employees often take compliance matters for granted. They assume it will be easy to meet home and host country requirements for items such as work authorization and taxation, as long as they follow the requisite steps.
But if not properly planned, an international assignment can be at risk of failure due to unforeseen compliance hurdles. Here, we address three potential stumbling blocks in the global assignment process.
The impact of COVID-19 has brought about rapid and unforeseen changes to policies and procedures impacting international travel. Barriers to entry due to lengthy delays or suspension of issuing visas, potential quarantine periods and local measures to prevent the spread of the virus are examples of the disruption now facing business and leisure travelers. Other circumstances include changes in leadership in a country or region, predicating a change in policy. It is pertinent that any organization planning to relocate even a single employee internationally keep well informed about developments in the host country and be prepared to act promptly in response to unexpected changes.
Many issues around compliance can be complex and specific to the situation or country. Whilst it is tempting for organizations to feel their way through such issues, or rely on past experiences, the best course of action is to seek advice from someone with the appropriate expertise to ensure that an assignment begins as quickly as possible will not fall short of what is required for it to be compliant with both the home and host country. Mistakes can be costly and lead to avoidable delays and complications.
Communication is a recurring theme throughout the international assignment process and one we have discussed in more depth in a previous post. It is however, of continued importance when it comes to ensuring compliance. It is, of course, crucial for organizations to communicate clearly with their assignees about what is required of them in order to ensure they are, and remain compliant throughout their assignment. However, it is of equal importance that employers maintain good communication with the relevant agencies in the host country. Particularly in these challenging times, delays and mistakes can often be made when there is a lack of information, or miscommunication between the organization and relevant agencies in the host country.
By bearing in mind some of these potential pitfalls, organizations can save themselves both time and money by ensuring that they correctly meet compliance requirements the first time around. Good planning and depth of knowledge is key.
Numerous resources are available to help organizations navigate compliance issues and ensure that they are correctly addressed. Please contact us to schedule a call or virtual meeting to explore how we can assist with your global mobility program.