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Post Pandemic World Demands Modern Workforce Mobility Policies

Joint Declaration Emphasizes the Importance of Talent Mobility to Economic Recovery

NEI Global Relocation applauds Worldwide ERC®, EURA® and CERC in coming together to represent workforce mobility and the relocation industry by releasing a joint declaration calling on government and business leaders to adopt modern talent management policies to support faster economic recovery and growth.

“With all that has changed related to workforce mobility, especially over the past year, regulators around the world can benefit by consulting with these expert organizations to support an efficient global recovery,” said Randy Wilson, NEI President | CEO and Worldwide ERC® Government Affairs Council member.

Michelle Moore, NEI Chief Global Mobility Officer and Worldwide® ERC Finance Committee Chair, believes that the impact of corporate entity rules and global tax regulations could impede recovery and consulting with these organizations could bring a more clear understanding of the complexities of these issues.

“We firmly believe that countries and industries with a policy infrastructure that recognizes the importance of talent deployment to economic recovery will bounce back more rapidly,” wrote WECAN – the Worldwide ERC®, EuRA and CERC Associations Network. “That is why we have joined forces for the first time to deliver solutions for modernizing relocation and mobility policies and practices that will drive economic recovery and meet the new workforce realities of a post-COVID world.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how and where we work. A recent Worlwide ERC® survey of senior human resources leaders found that 80.9 percent of employers with more than 10,000 employees anticipate that 50 percent or more of their workforce will be working remotely on a permanent basis.

Meanwhile, existing challenges, like the competition for global talent and ensuring families have a safe relocation experience, have intensified as industries and countries begin to rebuild. Core to these mounting concerns is the importance of talent mobility to economic recovery.

“Workforce mobility and relocation professionals are experts in talent management and relocation, making them central to post-pandemic recovery and future growth,” said Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC) President & CEO Stephen Cryne. “Our declaration today makes it clear that our industry will be partners to government and business leaders looking to modernize mobility policies.”

“National leaders must deliver public policy solutions that ensure business can access and relocate the talent they need to rebuild and recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Worldwide ERC® President and CEO Lynn Shotwell. “Government can rely on our industry as a trusted source for solutions to their most pressing talent mobility challenges.”

“At the heart of our declaration today is recognition of the critical role workforce mobility professionals and our industry play in worldwide economic recovery and growth,” said European Relocation Association (EuRA) CEO Tad Zurlinden. “Our commitment to elevating our industry in government and business discussions worldwide is ongoing and will continue.”

The WECAN leaders will focus on three core objectives:

  • Recovery, providing the experts, skills and resources to help our memberships and the networks they serve be part of the economic recovery solution.
  • Recruitment, delivering public policy solutions that ensure business can access and relocate the talent they need to rebuild their workforces, industries, and economies around the world.
  • Recognition, advancing awareness for the value of the many professionals working in the field of employee relocation and the critical role of the global mobility industry in worldwide economic recovery and growth.

“We commit to collaborate in areas of research, education and advocacy in our respective countries and through participation in international bodies to make it easier and faster for employers to recruit and deploy international talent,” the declaration concludes.

Read the full declaration and learn more about WECAN here.

 

About NEI Global Relocation

NEI Global Relocation delivers dynamic, world-class, workforce global mobility and assignment management solutions. Recognized as the top relocation management company in the 2020 Trippel Relocation Managers’ Survey among all RMCs in the survey, NEI consistently delivers Service Exceeding Expectations to more than 200 clients, including 23 Fortune 500 and 47 Fortune 100 companies. Additionally, NEI has received numerous awards including the CVS Health Star Award, twice recognized as the Best Relocation Management Company of the Year at the Relocate Awards in London and WBE of the Year.  Other recognition includes the Stevie Awards, The Coca-Cola Company Partners in the Promise Award; the Exelon Diverse Supplier Awards; Molson Coors Supplier of the Year and a Best Place to Work in Omaha for two consecutive years. https://neirelo.com/home

About Worldwide ERC®
Worldwide ERC® represents the people and businesses that facilitate where work is going. Our members are the relocation and workforce mobility professionals who have the unique skills to move talent around the globe. As the voice of the industry, Worldwide ERC® provides research, education, certification and an advocacy platform to over 5,400 global mobility professionals and the organizations they represent worldwide. Learn more at https://www.worldwideerc.org/

About the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC)
The Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC) is a membership organization whose goal is to provide leadership, services and assistance to members enabling them to effectively serve relocated families by addressing issues that impact workforce mobility both domestically and internationally. CERC has a clearly defined vision of the future and is guided by an important set of values. Founded on October 22, 1982 the Council has over 500 members from across Canada, the United States and internationally. Through our programs, publications and services, CERC helps members increase their expertise in the field of workforce mobility and provides a forum for corporations and service organizations to effectively communicate and provide a more efficient and cost-effective relocation. Learn more at https://www.cerc.ca/

About EuRA | The European Relocation Association
EuRA is the professional industry body for relocation providers and affiliated services. As a non-profit organisation EuRA promotes professional relocation services. We provide practical support and advice, training and best practice guidance for all of our members. Intercultural understanding, social values and information sharing are deeply ingrained in our DNA. EuRA members are dedicated professionals who share our vision and values in helping create a better business environment. Learn more at https://www.eura-relocation.com/


Workforce Mobility Safety Framework Guidelines Released

Worldwide ERC® adds its voice to the Safely Back to Work Initiative with the release of its Workforce Mobility Safety Framework. The document provides guidance in developing protocols for safely moving global talent and creating safe workforce mobility practices.

“We are pleased with our industry’s efforts to help companies ensure key elements of workforce mobility are being addressed,” said Randy Wilson, NEI Global Relocation President | CEO. “The Framework guidelines include high-level direction for mobility professionals to consider during these fluid and ever-changing times. As a member of the Worldwide ERC Government Affairs Council, I commend Lynn Shotwell, Worldwide ERC President and CEO, and Rebecca Peters, Worldwide ERC VP of Government Affairs, for leading this initiative and forming the framework guidelines.”

Topics and resources provided in the Framework include suggestions for:

  • Duty of Care
  • Workforce Planning
  • Tax Implications
  • Immigration
  • Travel
  • Housing (temporary and permanent situations)
  • Moving and Transportation

NEI Global Relocation is here to support the safe and successful movement of a global workforce and meet the needs of our clients. To access the framework guidelines and accompanying information, click the below link. If you have any questions, please reach out to your NEI representative for further assistance.


New Travel Restrictions and Closures

Covid-19 Update

Due to client feedback NEI has received for coverage of this rapidly evolving issue, we would like to share two important, new updates: a White House Executive Order impacting new travel restrictions and new Closures throughout the APAC region.

Coronavirus now has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of State has also updated its travel advisory to “Level 4: Do Not Travel” for China. The virus has infected almost 24,662 people across 28 countries with 493 deaths - 99 percent of those cases occurring in China.

Participate in Our Survey

Please click HERE to participate in our survey to consolidate the various actions being taken by Global Mobility professionals in response to the Coronavirus Outbreak.  Deadline to complete the survey has been extended to 6 February at 5:00 pm ET so we can provide a timely response to participants by week's end.

Executive Order Defining New Travel Restrictions

To help contain the outbreak from China, the United States, by White House Executive Order (E.O.), “Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus”, began implementing strict travel restrictions that went into effect Sunday night 2 February at 5 PM. ET.

The E.O. includes temporarily denying entry to foreign nationals who visited China in the 14 days prior to their arrival in the U.S.   Restrictions also apply to U.S. citizens who have been in China's Hubei province in the two weeks prior to their return to the U.S.   Upon their return, those citizens will be subject to a mandatory quarantine of up to 14 days.   The E.O.’s Sec.  2 provides a 10-point bullet list of limited exceptions to the ban for some non-immigrants related to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. A link to the E.O. can be found HERE.

Eleven Designated Airports in U.S.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued instructions that direct all flights from China – and all passengers who have traveled to China within the last 14 days – to be routed through one of eleven (11) U.S. airports. At these eleven airports, the government has established enhanced screening procedures and has the capacity to quarantine passengers, if needed.  If passengers are screened and show no symptoms, they will be re-booked to their final destination and asked to "self-quarantine" inside their home, DHS stated.

Considerations

Due to these new restrictions, it is possible employees/families may need to remain in China as many airlines have temporarily cancelled flights to and from the country.   If assistance is needed with housing options or extending housing, please let your NEI representative know. 

Employers and visa applicants in both China and the U.S. should expect continued delays. Employers should be prepared to be flexible with employee schedules and start dates.  Similar delays are occurring for those needing to deregister from China.  If an inability to travel to/from China has an impact on one’s visa status, we recommend contacting a member of your NEI team or your visa and immigration partner for discussion. NEI can help clients explore other travel options and their employees’ immigration needs, including potentially applying for a visa at a third-country consulate.

Increased Closures Throughout the Region

Various government offices, schools and businesses have announced closures. In all cases, it would be best to check websites or call before making a personal visit.  Some examples that would impact mobile employees:

China

  • The U.S. Embassy and consulates in China are canceling all immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments the week of 3 February
  • Local closures of businesses or reduced staffing may impact services

Hong Kong

  • Kindergartens and schools are closed until at least March 2
  • Government offices will have limited office hours; this will impact HKID registrations and visa and immigrations services

Taiwan

  • Schools are closed until February 25

South Korea

  • Approximately 500 schools have suspended classes

Singapore and Malaysia

  • Visa and immigration applications from China have been temporarily suspended

Developing Information

In a developing story from Thailand, the Ministry of Public Health on Sunday said they discovered a medical treatment that rendered the new strain of Coronavirus impotent in 48 hours with one 70-year-old patient. While the finding will be shared with the international medical community, they warned that the method posed a negative reaction in another instance and more testing is needed.

NEI Global Relocation Assistance

NEI continues to monitor the situation as it progresses and will share updated information as it becomes available.   If you missed our prior update on how other companies are approaching this related to their mobile employee population, you can access that article HERE.

If you would like to discuss a plan of support for your traveling or on-assignment employees, please do not hesitate to reach out to your NEI representative or Mollie Ivancic, NEI’s VP, International Services.


Coronavirus Outbreak and Proactive Steps

To help halt the spread of the Coronavirus in China, which has left 3,000 sick and 80 dead, Chinese authorities on Friday greatly expanded a travel lockdown in central China to include 12 cities near the center of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei province - in effect quarantining about 35 million people. Authorities have canceled major events in Beijing during the Lunar New Year holiday period.

As much remains unknown about the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday the viral illness in China is not yet a global health emergency. WHO defines a global emergency as an "extraordinary event" that constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a coordinated international response.  WHO said it will not ask airlines and airports to go beyond their current screening efforts.    

However, airline and airport officials in the U.S. are examining passengers arriving on international flights that may be exhibiting certain symptoms. Other major global hubs, like Hong Kong and London’s Heathrow, have now also begun to monitor people disembarking flights from the center of the outbreak. Additional information related to the virus and its impact to travel can be found at the Center for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov.

Impact on Mobility Programs and Assignees

As a company’s Duty of Care obligation is to protect employees wherever in the world they are employed, NEI encourages companies take a proactive, advice-based approach. This may range from information sharing to formal briefings on the current virus situation and carefully examining employee / family international travel plans. 

“We encourage companies to consider all options to work with assignees who may need assistance and determine how to advise employees traveling or on assignment in China," says Michelle Moore, NEI Chief Global Mobility Officer.  “Employees should be aware of Coronavirus symptoms and confirm where local medical resources / hospitals are should they need treatment. Individuals should be encouraged to seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan and are either still in or returning from visiting China.”

NEI will continue to monitor the situation as it progresses and will share information updates as they become available.  If you would like to discuss a plan of support for your traveling or on assignment employees, please do not hesitate to reach out to your NEI representative or Mollie Ivancic, NEI’s VP, International Services.