International HR Adviser The Leading Magazine For International HR Professionals Worldwide
Features Include: White Collar Bullying • Retirement Savings Managing The Global Workforce • Return on Investment: Evaluating Expatriate ROI Employee Engagement • Data Analytics - The Data Revolution In International Mobility Management Talent Beyond Borders • International Assignment Policies • Immigration Advisory Panel for this issue:
Expatriate Adviser Summer
Autumn International HR Adviser
In This Issue Page 2
Retirement Savings Peter Cox, Zurich Corporate Life & Pensions
Managing The Global Workforce: A Brief Strategic Article For Employers With Mobile Employees Kim Miller, Director, EMEA Reward, Global Compensation, Brown-Forman Corporate
International Assignment Policies: Tax And Social Security For Different Types Of Assignment Andrew Bailey, International Expatriate Tax Services, BDO LLP
White Collar Bullying: Country Cultures Make Their Mark On Workplace Bullying Nikos Bozionelos, Professor of Organisational Behaviour & Human Resource Management, Audencia Nantes School of Management
Return On Investment: Evaluating Expatriate ROI Dr Yvonne McNulty, Singapore Institute of Management University
Key Issues For International Assignees Richard Musty, Lloyds Bank International
Employee Engagement: Do You Know The Top Three Issues Effecting Employee Engagement? Gary Cattermole, Co-Founder & Director, The Survey Initiative
Education: Dyslexia, Learning Support And All Things Special Ronda Fogel, Moat School
Immigration: Married Same-Sex Couples Now Eligible For US Immigration Benefits Jonathan Davis, Solicitor & US Attorney, Fragomen LLP
Focus On The Pipeline Report: Securing The Female Talent Pipeline Karen Gill, Founder, everywoman
Special & High Risk Insurance David Tompkins, TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd.
International HR Strategy: Data Analytics – The Data Revolution In International Mobility Management Scott McCormick & Robin Brown, Deloitte LLP’s Global Employer Services
Global Taxation Update Andrew Bailey, BDO LLP
Health: Hong Kong: Expat Life In The Pearl Of The Orient Dr Mark Simpson, Bupa International
Talent Beyond Borders: A Complex Landscape Simon Mitchell, DDI
Global Immigration Update Global Knowledge Team, Fragomen LLP
International HR Adviser, PO Box 921, Sutton, SM1 2WB, United Kingdom Publisher • Helen Elliott +44 (0) 20 8661 0186 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Director • Damian Porter +44 (0) 1737 551506 • Email: email@example.com www.internationalhradviser.com In Loving Memory of Assunta Mondello While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of information contained in this issue of “International HR Adviser”, the publishers and Directors of Inkspell Ltd cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither the publishers of “International HR Adviser” nor any third parties who provide information for “Expatriate Adviser” magazine, shall have any responsibility for or be liable in respect of the content or the accuracy of the information so provided, or for any errors or omissions therein. “International HR Adviser” does not endorse any products, services or company listings featured in this issue.
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Autumn International HR Adviser
Retirement Savings: The Bigger Picture Peter Cox, Head of International Pension sales Asia Pacific Middle East (APME) at Zurich, looks at the impact of End of Service Gratuities on businesses in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and suggests a new way forward that could benefit both employers and employees. For the majority of expatriate workers in the GCC the occupational retirement schemes found in western countries do not exist. Instead, employers are obliged to make a lump-sum payment known as the End of Service Gratuity (EoSG). The EoSG was designed to compensate expatriate workers for the fact that no government scheme exists for them to build up basic retirement savings. Legislation underpinning this goes back to 1980, and without it employees would have nothing at all when they retire as very few actually save adequately for life after work. The amount of the EoSG payment depends on the employee’s salary at the time they leave service and how long they have been with their employer – it is therefore a 'defined benefit' payment. Employers and those responsible for running pension schemes in western countries are well aware of the implications of defined benefits and its 'open cheque book' approach to future, ever-shifting, liabilities. Many defined benefit schemes are under-funded, and although well intended, are now a huge burden on employers. As a result, many employers, both large and small, have moved away from the financial uncertainty of providing defined benefits in favour of the much more predictable nature of defined contributions. Interestingly, research conducted by Towers Watson in 2010 showed that the combined EoSG liability of employers in the GCC was around USD16-17 billion and could increase to over USD75 billion by 2020. However, unlike most western countries, the problem faced in the GCC is not one of under-funding – it's nonfunding! It appears that although employers do account for EoSG in their balance sheet, they do not set aside money specifically to fund it. Instead the money that’s International HR Adviser Autumn
theoretically 'earmarked' for EOSG payments is used for working capital.* Let’s look at the implications of this approach: • A company facing a crisis, such as cyclical economic downturns or efficiency pressures, that leads to it making redundancies may then have to find the cash to make EoSG payments to a large number of departing employees. The timing could not be worse • The fact that the EoSG promise is nonfunded doesn't provide any degree of comfort to supposedly 'valued' employees. In fact, it could be argued that the employees are in effect making an interest-free loan to the employer from a cash flow perspective • The employees’ 'asset' may be at risk if their employer faces financial problems and can't make the payment. This could tarnish the employer’s reputation and affect their ability to recruit in the future • Employees are generally not very sympathetic to an employer’s needs when they are about to leave the business! The employer has a legal duty to pay - employees are preferred creditors with money they are owed being a first charge on the employer’s property • A 5% pay rise will end up being a lot more due to the final salary nature of the liability! • While expats used to be a transient workforce, many are staying longer and settling in the region. This results in increasing liabilities. Many will want to see evidence of gratuity funding before joining an employer. With this in mind is there a better way? Perhaps we should be looking at the issue from a new perspective – one that focuses on the potential for employers to create a way to save that has advantages for all. Let’s start with the fundamentals. Employers want to attract and retain talented and quality personnel in order to enhance and progress their businesses. This goal places them in competition with other businesses. Once they have attracted an employee, the employer is legally obliged to provide benefits – one of which is an EoSG payment. This payment is not intended to lead to a life-changing experience for the individual, but rather to go towards basic
retirement savings; but it’s not enough. Surely, the bigger issue is the need for individuals to save adequately for their future - something that is being increasingly addressed at the employer level in many countries. Research shows that many individuals are simply not saving enough to provide for a comfortable later life. This is not about 'pensions' as such but lifetime savings – something to enhance quality of life when it's needed. Giving employees the means to address this need could be an important differentiating factor for employers in the GCC as they seek to attract and retain a talented workforce. So how could they do it? Let's look at it from the employee’s point of view first. What sort of things might they value from our theoretical scheme? • A way to invest in a range of funds covering all major asset classes and geographical regions. Plus multiasset managed funds that are easily differentiated by their risk profile and an automatic investment strategy for people who don’t want to make active investment decisions • The ability to invest at 'institutional' prices rather than the higher 'retail' price • Fund information and past performance data available online • Benefits that are held safely in trust, separate from the employer’s assets • A secure online system that allows them to see real-time fund values and make switches between funds free of charge. And switching that happens on a daily basis to reduce time out of the market • Access to an online investment planning tool that enables them to model various financial scenarios to produce a forecast • The ability to see online that their employer is making contributions on their behalf that will be used to offset the EoSG payment • The freedom to nominate beneficiaries and the knowledge that the trustees will carry out their wishes • The ability to retain their assets within the trust when they leave service, rather than having to access them straight away. The investments would continue to be held in a tax-free environment and benefit from 'institutional' pricing, as well as confidentiality and security.
retirement savings Online access could allow the former employee to see their information and make fund switches • On return to their home country, assets that are still held in trust, offshore. UK nationals, for example, may benefit from tax advantages • On leaving service, the ability to access all or part of their benefits as a lump sum. • Policyholder protection that ensures that in the event of the provider of services being unable to meet its liabilities, up to 90% of their assets will be covered. It’s easy to imagine that potential employees would look favourably on an employer who could create this situation. And our scheme could also have attractive features for the employer: • They have access to an investment vehicle that helps them meet their EoSG obligations by building up funds on an ongoing basis • They are able to hold funds in an earmarked and/or non-earmarked account. Non-earmarked funds (that is, pooled funds to enable employers to determine each member's benefit at the appropriate time) can be used to top up an individual EoSG if required
• They can set their own eligibility and contribution rules within the scheme – subject to minimum EoSG obligations – as part of an overall benefits package • They can ring-fence their own contributions so that control over fund choice and switching lies only with them • Contributions can be set up as single and/or regular contributions payable automatically through the company’s payroll system • Access to scheme information is online and in real-time. There is passwordprotected access for plan administrators to add/remove members, view account details, run reports, etc. • Employees receive annual statements showing benefits accrued – an opportunity to reap the employee dividend in terms of recognition. Schemes of this nature are not new to the GCC region - but they are rare. Some large employers have set up provident schemes for their employees in recognition of the need to move beyond a simple promise to do something in the future. They don't replace the EoSG obligation but they do fund it as part of an overall benefit design. Employees can also make additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) if they
wish. The fact that employees take up the AVC option shows that it provides a valuable benefit. Employers offering these schemes have clearly differentiated themselves in their employees’ – and potential employees’ – eyes. EoSG is intended to compensate for the lack of a government retirement scheme for expatriates. But isn't it time we stopped thinking about only basic retirement savings and focused instead on the bigger picture? There’s a need for employers to offer quality, state-ofthe art corporate plans that enable their employees to save for their future in a cost-effective way. *Insight – beyond EoSG www.insightdiscovery.com Zurich Corporate Life & Pensions is a leading provider of International Corporate Savings plan. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +852 2977 0306.
Autumn International HR Adviser
Managing the Global Workforce
A Brief Strategic Article For Employers With Mobile Employees Kim Miller, Director, EMEA Reward, Global Compensation, BrownForman Corporate, briefly reviews the key issues of working globally, from identifying key processes of managing a global workforce to examining the factors that encourage or dissuade employees to successful work around the world, and in particular to identify the influences on the global business and strategy, continued challenges between the ‘employer’ and the ‘employee’, the global HR model, identifying fundamental processes to global management, performance management and cultural sensitivity in understanding the differences in behaviours, attitudes and expectations that exist among different multinational employers and employees. There are plenty of practical ideas, lessons and information from working in a global environment that we learn each day; together with understanding varying aspects of global operations and globalisation, understanding cultural differences and global influences each day, managing from a distance and global leadership. To reflect and examine other areas which will include organisation cultural drivers and building long-term market leadership, global management structure, entering into new revolutionised economy, and getting to global alignment with the global HR model. There are many factors that influence the world of international employee mobility and are true today as it was 20 years ago.
Global Performance Management So far research has indicated a variety of opinions and suggestions in managing global employees, and it is stated that it is the means of getting better results from the organisation, team and individuals by understanding and managing performance within an agreed framework of planned goals, standards and competence requirements. The performance management process is not just a system of forms and work flow processes – it is essentially about the actions people take to achieve the dayInternational HR Adviser Autumn
to-day delivery of results and manage performance improvement and a positive approach to managing staff working around the world. This reinforces the strong business needs for expanding globally and moving towards a consistent but flexible approach to managing performance, and adapting too many cultures within the organisation. There sometimes appears to be limited integration across global companies and long-term strategic planning and how global companies are continuously improving with new processes and technology. The process of effective performance management will be critical in developing world class people who instantly recognise the capabilities of the future. Companies, who are seeking for international growth and to deliver with a short- or long-term plan, should ensure that the numbers of employees working from their home base must increase their global perspective and communicate effectively with people from around the world. On occasion, the process of relocating employees to work overseas from initial selection and recruitment, monitoring effectiveness throughout employment to completion of the work assignment can sometimes be a little fraught with anxiety for all parties concerned. The selection and premeetings have a very positive effect on adaptation to a new working environment, even though the effectiveness of these is strongly influenced by other factors. From previous research is transpires that employers highlight that a mobile workforce can represent a significant investment in future organisational capability. Of course, it is perfectly true that factors other than a failure of the career development process are at play in the issue of workforce retention. A mobile workforce have family issues which companies must not ignore; the family has to adapt to working and living in a different culture and the problems ‘reverse culture shock’, for example, are all important consideration. Some staff encounter difficulties and there is evidence of negative effects on both personal and family life. However, there
is strong evidence that issues associated with career development, promotion and redeployment planning, are central to the retention of valuable employee resources. Cultural differences within a multinational workforce has to be carefully managed and appropriate induction, cultural awareness training etc., should be put into place to build a successful working team in-country, irrespective of differences.
Mobility As companies grow globally and more companies enter the international marketplace, the reasons for international assignments continually change with greater expectations for all parties concerned. All global companies search for the best talent in their workforce from wherever the talent is located and, as a result, assignments are no longer predominately assigned from the Head Office and can be identified from any of the local organisations worldwide locations. In all mobility cases it is important to ensure that the international assignment is perceived as an important part in career development and talent management. This leads into the process of mobility and how this is managed – as some mobile employees are still known to feel that “it is merely a question of out of sight and out of mind” - however, let’s think whether or not there are other factors in the work location. The possible cause for concern for most employers, and the intention, is to develop a more strategic perspective within global companies. As research has highlighted over the years, a mobile workforce can be more damaging to the organisation and be more difficult to resolve than managing employees in an equivalent home country position; as we all know managing employees away from the home base is much more difficult to manage ‘at a distance’. Monitoring deliverables, coaching performance and developing others are key skills, which are necessary for success in any business. The dilemma is that the business requires a consistent approach i.e. the process of managing a global workforce should be embarked in broadly the same way everywhere, but there
Managing the Global Workforce must be sufficient flexibility to tailor goals, objectives, and an approach to specific business needs that are operating overseas in a variety of usually international markets. The desire to have a united employer around the world underscores the need for an integrated approach, which provides consistency across companies whilst providing flexibility in terms of accommodating the differing needs of company units. As the saying goes: 'Think globally', 'Act locally' or should it be ‘Be Inclusive and Act Globally’. It is apparent that any steps to remedy this situation have to be part of the company integrated strategy for employee mobility. The stages must encompass all the elements in the global employee cycle – from recruitment and selection for mobility across many locations, to training and development, tracking and monitoring, compliance and managing risks and the challenges that the global employer and employee faces every day. It is also clear that all global organisations will have to be responsible in making the mobility process efficient and impactful to the development of the employee. The organisation will emphasise a high level of commitment, particularly in utilisation of the process of global management, with senior leadership being prepared to act as ‘coach and role models’ for the success of the mobility process and willing to act on results, as well as comprehensive positioning, marketing and communication of the process of mobility programmes from commuter to short and long-term assignments and permanent local to local transfers. Design and implementation of the mobility programme should be managed as shared responsibility between Line Management and Human Resources Management; consultation and involvement are key to design and implementation of the components if the process is to be managed globally. The design of mobility of employees should be able to take into account of local needs and the bigger picture. Employers should ensure that the mobile employee is highly committed to the organisation’s global activities and is able to move from country to country as managers, gaining valuable experience. The objectives of the company can be achieved to ensure that the global management style can initially be measured by pre-assignment on-boarding programmes being implemented as
the process of initiation into different culture. Understanding cultures and local workforce can help to build a strong business with a diverse organisation and both the employee and employer can gain. The ultimate goal is to achieve a global corporate culture sharing experiences and learning from each other which encourages all employees to play an increasing role when base in any location. The way forward is to build a framework of objectives and strategy to add value to your organisation. Kim Miller has worked in Global Human Resources for approximately 25 years mainly with global companies. Managing the global mobility of local employees and expatriates, specialising in Global HR/Expatriation, European Employment Law, International Total Rewards incorporating international global strategy, cultural awareness, change management, European HR and ER policies, Succession and Talent Management, Global Reward strategies, M&A, implementing best practice and being a very proactive business partner. Although mainly based in the UK – thoughout Kim’s career has been involved in major construction/ civil engineering companies in the International Human Resouces on overseas projects around the globe. Kim joined Brown-Forman Corporate in 2004 and was the first HR Director, Europe outside the US and the current post is Director, EMEA Reward, Global Compensation based in London Kim is degree qualified and FCIPD; specialises in International Expatriation, Global Total Rewards and European Employment Law. Throughout Kim's international career travelled and worked extensively from across Europe, Middle East, Far East and USA. Also a regular speaker at International CIPD, ORC, ECA, Employment Benefits World conferences/seminars and authored numerous articles, eg, “Managing your Multinational Workforce”. In 2003 nominated on the shortlist by Re:Locate for “Personality of the year” and “Inspirational HR Team of the Year” Awards.
The 2014 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition is taking place on
Monday 3rd February 2014 from 10am-5pm and will be held at Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE There will be six free seminars and over 40 exhibitors with products and services that support International HR professionals and their assignees This event is FREE to attend For further information or to reserve your place, please email: email@example.com or call Helen Elliott on +44 (0) 208 661 0186
Autumn International HR Adviser
international assignment policies
Tax And Social Security For Different Types Of Assignment In the last of our recent articles covering international assignment policies we seek to provide an overview of the tax and social security implications arising from different types of assignment that may occur.
Types of assignment As a quick recap, assignments are increasingly of varying length and remuneration package. They include: • Virtual assignments • Commuter assignments • Business trips • Short-term assignments • Longer-term assignments • International continual assignments • Unaccompanied assignments • Local assignments with variations. Your company may well have additional types of assignment depending on your business and location of company sites and employees. For example, those in oil and gas industries may have rotational assignments and those with employees and offices in close proximity to national borders may have trans-frontier issues. These types of assignment are not considered within the scope of this article. Employee tax and social security liabilities are considered below. There is a danger with all assignments that the activities of the individual may result in a taxable presence for corporate purposes of the foreign entity. There may also be Value Added Tax issues in respect of cross border charges for the provision of an assignee. A brief description of the types of assignment follows: Virtual Assignments - These assignments do not have any minimum or maximum duration. The individual remains living, working and usually paid in their home country, but the duties they perform are in respect of work generally connected to, or being undertaken in another country. The individual may travel to the host location. Commuter assignments – During a commuter assignment the individual is based at the home location but commutes to spend regular time at the host location. This time can vary in length. These International HR Adviser Autumn
assignments used to be project based and of a limited duration but increasingly involve an ongoing role and regular travel. Business trips – These typically last from one to thirty days and are not really an assignment but merely a part of an employee’s existing duties. Tax consequences may arise if the trips become too extensive and frequent. Short-term assignments – The definition for our purposes covers those assignments that typically last from 31 days to 364 days. Longer-term assignments – These assignments are traditionally between eighteen months to three years for an overseas move. International continual assignments – The type of assignment envisaged here is that where the individual moves from one assignment to another and does not really have a home location or contact with a home country. Unaccompanied assignments – These assignments can be of varying length but are unaccompanied. Local assignments with variations – The individual is usually employed by local entity on a local package, although they can be employed in the home country. Additional elements of remuneration may be paid for a period of time to supplement the base package.
Issues to consider When reviewing tax and social security it is helpful to separately consider: • Individual taxation – home and host • Withholding issues – home and host • Social security Looking at each of these in turn:
Individual Taxation – Home And Host This section deals with tax for the individual in both the home and host countries. There could be several host countries depending on the employment duties. It is important to remember that each country has its own tax rules and tax rates. Whilst the method of taxing employment income is generally the same, there are usually differences with regard to the taxation of employment related benefits.
Residence status The main criterion for taxation is usually residence status. Residents tend to be taxable on worldwide income whilst nonresidents are generally taxed on income from sources arising in the country. The source of employment income is generally the place of physical performance of the duties. Countries rules do vary and, for example, the US taxes its citizens and long-term residents on the basis of worldwide income. Thus a US citizen will remain taxable in the US even if they are on a long-term assignment to another country. Various factors can influence an individual’s residence status for tax purpose and these may include: • Time physically spent in the country • Availability of accommodation – this can be rented accommodation • Location of a home • Location of the family • The individual’s usual or habitual abode • The centre of economic interests – where for example, the employer is located where the job is performed, where bank accounts and other investments are located • Other factors including citizenship, nationality, resident permits etc. Having determined that an individual is potentially liable to tax in two or more countries under domestic tax rules and legislation, it is necessary to review tax treaties, if in existence, to ascertain how the individual will be taxed and where. If tax treaties do not exist countries may provide unilateral tax relief under domestic legislation.
Tax treaties If an individual works in two or more countries a tax liability can arise, even though the individual may be not resident for tax purposes in a country where duties are undertaken. This is where tax treaties are likely to apply. Reference will need to be made to any applicable tax treaty to determine which country has primary taxing right and how exemptions or tax credits will apply. Notwithstanding tax treaties, individuals may well have filing requirements in both countries and this will need to be examined on an individual
international assignment policies case and country basis. Most treaties, but not all, tend to follow the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) model. Within a treaty there are usually articles covering the scope of the treaty, definitions, taxes covered by the treaty, residence status, and employment income, elimination of double taxation, non-discrimination and exchange of information. Treaties also include articles covering issues such as self-employment income, interest, capital gains and pensions. They may also cover certain specific issues such as government employees, mariners and aircrew, artistes, athletes and entertainers, directors, students, teachers and offshore activities. In summary, you do need to look at the specific treaty that may apply and do remember that existing treaties get revised and new treaties are signed. The residence article is intended to define the meaning of “resident” and address cases where an individual is resident in two countries. It covers application of the treaty to the individual and who has primary taxing rights. Where an individual is resident under domestic rules in two countries, tiebreaker tests determine the country of residence for treaty purposes. These tiebreakers consider various issues in turn such as availability of a permanent home, centre of vital interests – personal and economic, habitual abode, nationality and, in event of continuing uncertainty, mutual agreement procedure between the two states.
Tax Treaties and Employment Income The treaty article entitled “Dependent Personal Services” usually covers employment income. In contrast, the article “Independent Personal Services” covers selfemployment income. This may include contractors, consultants and partners. A typical treaty article covering employment income, mentions that employment income will only be taxed in a country if duties are performed in that country. The next section in the article is the source for the common myth than an individual is only taxable in a country if they spend more than 183 days in that country. There are usually two other conditions that must also apply in addition to the 183-day rule. These are: • The remuneration is paid by or on
behalf of an employer who is not resident in that country • The remuneration is not borne by a permanent establishment or fixed based, which the employer has in that country. Only if all three conditions are met is treaty exemption possible. Further consideration must also be given to each specific condition. For example, older treaties often refer to 183 days in a calendar or fiscal year, whereas newer treaties tend to refer to 183 days in a cumulative twelve-month period. The more traditional test means that it may be possible to spend more than 183 days in a country by spanning the relevant calendar or fiscal tax year. The cumulative test prevents this but additionally means that you have to keep the position under constant review. Generally any part of a day spent in a country is counted as a whole day when considering the 183 days test. It is usually clear whether the individual is or is not employed by an employer resident in the host country. Most assignees remain employed by the home country employer and meet this test, although assignees on a local employment contract will typically fail the test. The last condition may appear straightforward, but again care needs to be exercised. Some treaties also include the words “... as such ...”. In addition, some revenue authorities consider who is the “economic employer” as opposed to the legal employer. In these cases it is necessary to consider for example, who directs, controls and manages the individual and the impact of any recharges. For example, a recharge to a UK entity whether this is for direct costs or a management recharge for the provision of an individual’s services could result in the UK entity being regarded as the economic employer by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The Netherlands and Germany follow the UK Revenue’s thinking on this point but are not as strict in interpretation. In such cases tax will be due in the host country even if at first glance the assignee appears to be exempt by virtue of the treaty. If an individual meets all treaty conditions then employment income will be exempt from tax in the host country. This may well be the case for assignments of limited duration or regular but minimal visits. For example, business trips, virtual assignments, commuter assignments and some short-term assignments. Planning utilising treaties can minimise
tax liabilities. Additionally, many countries have reduced filing obligations if treaty exemption is likely, although this should be reviewed depending on the circumstances. Liability and filing obligations for shorter assignments will usually continue in the home country.
Tax treaties and double taxation All is not lost if shorter assignments do not meet the treaty conditions. Here it is necessary to consider the article covering double taxation. A tax credit will usually be allowed in the home country for taxes due in the host country. This will also apply to longer-term, and possibly both unaccompanied and local plus assignments if a dual liability to tax arises. As an alternative to a tax credit some countries, for example France and Germany, give “exemption with progression”. In essence this means that whilst the exempt income will not be taxed in the country, it is taken into account in determining tax rates applicable to income that is taxable. This provides relief but at lower tax rates. The actual mechanism for double taxation relief will be covered in a future article. Where treaty exemption is not possible there may well be a dual filing obligation in home and host countries. As assignments increase in length the greater the likelihood that filing obligations switch from home to host country. For human resource individuals one of the key issues is to ensure individual assignees track where they are and what they are doing. Tax advisors can then help to provide the additional guidance required.
What is taxable? Once you have ascertained whether someone is taxable you need to consider what is taxable. Individuals on many assignments, in particular those for a shorter period, tend to remain on their home payroll and on their home base salary but may receive per diems and expenses to cover the time spent at those locations. Additional remuneration elements may also be provided such as: • Accommodation • Home leave • Travel costs • Education expenses • Transportation • Subsistence costs • Per diems Autumn International HR Adviser
international assignment policies • Cost of living allowances • Expatriate premiums • Bonuses • Shares and share options • Pensions • Tax equalisation In general, cash items are taxable. Certain items, such as per diems, travel costs and home leave may not be taxable. Additionally, provision of accommodation at the host location may be subject to preferential treatment where the organisation provides the housing, for example in France, Japan and Hong Kong. For shorter assignments and sporadic visits, special rules can also apply to accommodation and for example where dual housing costs in home and host countries are incurred these may be exempt. Germany, UK and the US are some of the countries where special rules apply. Expatriate exemptions or allowances may also be available for shorter assignments. Conditions apply and it is necessary to review these in depth. Countries such as France, UK, Netherlands, and Denmark have rules relating to international assignees whereby reduced amounts may be assessable or a reduced rate of tax applicable. It is probably true to say that the tax rules become less favourable as the length of the assignment increases or once the individual becomes employed in the host country. The tax burden on assignments tends to move from home only to home/ host jointly and finally to host only as the assignment length increases. Additionally, the tax burden trends to move from home to host in accordance with employer changes. Generalisations are however very tricky with tax, and you do need to look at the rules in each country and the particular circumstances applying to both the assignment and the individual.
Payroll withholding issues The individual tax position may differ from the payroll withholding tax position for the organisation. Do remember that withholding tax can usually be refunded, although things may not always be the case and in some countries withholding tax is a final tax. Withholding tax may be applicable in the host country depending on issues such as the employer, the length of the assignment and whether treaty exemption is available. It may not matter where the individual is paid, the currency they are paid in or the paying entity as withholding tax may still apply. For International HR Adviser Autumn
shorter assignments in particular there is also likely to be a continuing withholding tax in the home country, especially if the individual remains either resident or employed there. Consideration may have to be given as to how to avoid dual withholding and the adverse cash flow impact this may bring. This usually involves the employer advancing funds to the individual, although certain countries, such as the UK, recognise the problem and measures exist to provide cash flow relief. For longer-term assignments, especially where an individual ceases to be resident in the home country, home country withholding is less of an issue. From the organisation’s perspective withholding, both tax and social security, is probably the most important aspect to get right, unless tax equalisation applies. This is because revenue authorities tend to focus on targeting the employer and not the employee. Assignees, especially those in certain industry/business sectors and those with short-term contracts, move between employers and countries with increasing ease. Trying to recover taxes from an errant employee is difficult, time consuming and costly, and it is best to get the real withholding taxes and tax equalisation withholdings correctly operated from the outset. This can be a hard task given that assignments frequently change from short to long and long to short assignments. Human resource professionals should liaise closely with colleagues in payroll and finance to keep in control of the situation.
home country only. Certificates of coverage should be obtained to confirm exemption from host country social security. As assignments increase in length, or the employer changes, liability tends to switch to the host country. Depending on the circumstances this could be from the first day of the assignment, possibly with effect from the fifth anniversary or potentially even later. As with tax treaties the specific social security agreement applying must be considered in detail and do remember that agreements change. A major problem can arise where there is no social security agreement. In some cases a dual liability to social security can arise. There is no equivalent to double taxation relief and in such instances this may be a case where both the individual and the company have to bear the cost. Invariably employees merely look to the company to compensate them. A tax gross up may therefore also arise. Again, differing circumstances will vary the outcome.
Summary The above comments can only provide a general overview of tax and social security issues and how they vary with different types of assignment. At a later date we will explore in-depth some of the issues and topics raised in this current article.
Social security (UK National Insurance) Social security can often be overlooked but it is a very important factor as employer costs in particular can be significant. For business trips and short assignments, social security implications in the host country may not arise. A commonly cited rule of thumb is that for a period under 6 weeks no action is necessary. This may be a dangerous assumption. It does depend on issues such as, the countries involved, the employers, nationalities, length of assignment and social security agreements. With regard to the latter, agreements determine whether social security will be payable and for what period. Within the EU and for most reciprocal agreements, short-term assignments coupled with continuing employment in the home country, often means a liability in the
Andrew Bailey is global leader for BDO International’s expatriate tax services and national head of human capital at BDO LLP. He has over 30 years’ experience in the field of expatriate taxation. BDO is able to provide global assistance for all your international assignments. If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article or any other expatriate matters, please do not hesitate to contact Andrew Bailey on +44 (0) 20 7893 2946, email Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org
Autumnâ€‚ International HR Adviser
White collar bullying
Country Cultures Make Their Mark On Workplace Bullying Few international human resource professionals would argue that bullying does not exist in the world of work. In any hierarchical organisation there is room for power to be abused. While type of industry, salary and gender can all play a part in the scale of workplace bullying, little systematic research has been done into the impact of a country’s culture on the acceptance of such behaviour. This has now changed thanks to a worldwide study into how much white collar workers will put up with office bullies. Carried out by myself and 19 other international academics, the research reveals that until now we have been neglecting an important factor in the degree of workplace bullying: the country concerned. In a whole new development, results show that if we are lucky enough to work in a certain country the national culture will keep bullying to a low level, whereas someone in the same post in another country could suffer at the hands of volatile bosses. The study also suggests that while bullying may be stronger in particular societies, people in other societies experience more anxiety when bullied simply because the practice is considered more unnatural. This research dealt with 14 countries grouped into broad world zones. In this way, the acceptance of white collar bullying was studied in six country clusters: Southern Asia (India), Anglo (England, United States, Australia), Confucian Asia (Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong), Latin America (Colombia, Argentina, Mexico), Sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria), and Eastern Europe (Greece, Poland, Hungary). Nearly 1450 alumni and current students of Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programmes were questioned. All were white collar with similar educational levels. Because these factors remained constant across respondents it was possible to conclude that national differences in the acceptance of workplace bullying are distinct. In this way, other factors that relate to features of the job/ occupation or the work environment did not ‘contaminate’ the results. When dealing with such a subject International HR Adviser Autumn
the first challenge is how to measure ‘bullying’ itself. The problem lies in the fact that what may be seen as bullying by one culture may not be viewed in the same way elsewhere. Instead, the focus was on getting respondents to describe the behaviour of their boss without explicit reference to the word “bullying”. Respondents therefore simply reported their boss’s actions and did not have to decide whether it constituted bullying or not. These actions were then split into physically threatening bullying or work-related bullying. Unsurprisingly, physical bullying was deemed unacceptable across all countries. The same cannot be said of the much more widespread phenomenon of work-related bullying. What emerges is that such actions as shouting, loading certain employees with too much work or consistently highlighting their mistakes, may be seen in some countries as boosting productivity. This makes bullying more acceptable in so-called “high performance orientation” cultures which value accomplishments, a sense of urgency and explicit communication. This is true of the Anglo group of
countries (England, US and Australia). Workplaces in such countries are more likely to tolerate bullying if this is seen as a means of achieving better results. Ironically, the bullying behaviour seen in ‘Anglo’ countries as keeping employees on their toes actually often has the opposite effect. The study implies that bullying might bring greater productivity in the short-term in certain cases but at a longer-term cost. This is because constant criticism, unfair division of labour or excessive monitoring can cause emotional exhaustion or even physical trauma. As a result, workers can feel depleted of energy and lose their initiative, but they can also feel trapped, develop anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts. Little wonder that such a scenario can lead to problems of motivation, fall in the standard of work, or good employees leaving. In contrast to the ‘Anglo’ countries, the Latin American zone shows itself to be distinctly anti-bullying. It seems that in countries such as Argentina, Mexico and Colombia, more value is placed on humane treatment of the individual at work, through the cultural value of “humane orientation”, as opposed to economic performance. As a result, office tyrants are less accepted and so apparently less common. While English, American or Australian white collar workers are prepared to bite their lips when faced with workplace bullying, their acceptance of such behaviour is still less than that of their counterparts in the Confucian Asia region. The study shows that an even higher acceptance rate of bullying bosses is to be found in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. This is linked once more to the cultural feature of “high performance orientation.” However, in Confucian Asian countries this strong performance orientation is linked to strong “power distance” making work-place bullying more acceptable. Such high power distance means that the actions of those with ‘power’ are seen as a natural right. As a result, any behaviour from bosses is deemed acceptable and rarely excessive.
white collar bullying Meanwhile, what is important and interesting is that workers in countries such as the UK may fall victim to bullying at the same rate as Confucian Asians but are likely to suffer more because AngloSaxon societies are extremely low in “power distance.” This means that British or American employees find bullying not only very unfair but also unnatural, and can develop strong psychological distress because of this. Ultimately, the highest levels of acceptability of bullying were observed in countries with a combination of low “humane orientation” and strong “power distance”, such as the survey’s Eastern European countries (Greece, Hungary and Poland). Here, bosses are allowed to behave in any way they think proper while at the same time kindness from supervisors is not something that is valued or expected. Such bosses find it normal to bully while subordinates find it natural to be bullied. What is important, and somewhat sad, is that unlike white collar workers in the Anglo and the Asian countries, those in Eastern European countries not only accept
bullying from supervisors but expect it regardless of whether it helps achieve results. Bosses in Greece, for example, are expected and allowed to harass simply because they are bosses. It is clear then that a country’s culture of work is the key influence on the degree of workplace bullying. This finding, while of interest to employees wishing to enjoy a good quality of professional life in another country, is above all vital to multi-national firms setting global HR policies. Organisations that become international in scope need to be aware of the acceptance of such behaviour and to so in turn develop their own codes of acceptability. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which represents over 250,000 members in more than 140 countries, is campaigning for the adoption of global standards for HR policies and practices as well as for a universal code of business ethics. This push for global standards highlights the importance of understanding cultural differences in the acceptance of workplace bullying. In short, both employers and employees
need to recognise that the culture of the country in which a company operates has a substantial effect on how managers can treat the workforce.
Nikos Bozionelos, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, Audencia Nantes School of Management, France Tel: 00 33 2 40 37 45 68 Email: email@example.com
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Return On Investment
Evaluating Expatriate ROI The perceived critical role of “metrics” and the heavy focus on finding a measurable “magic bullet” for managing global mobility programmes has preoccupied the relocation industry for a long time. Mobility managers have tended to believe that the right metric would solve all their problems – gauge assignment success, justify their own job of managing the mobility function, secure continued investments in mobility and more internal funding for global staffing, and elevate their status as true deliverers of value based on unquestionable rock-solid metrics much like the accounting department can do. But this search for tools has distracted managers from focusing on what really matters: the approach, the mind-set, the philosophy, and the culture that lives and breathes expatriate ROI (eROI). What do I mean by this? Metrics are superficial – for a small cost, they can be bought in any number of management books. But what cannot be bought is the more difficult-to-achieve and elusive goal of “lasting organisational change”. This may explain why so many instead chase after the metric – it’s easier and it says, “I’m doing something”, even if that isn’t much, and has no real value. It proves mobility managers are active, even if the activity is misplaced. In this article, rather than develop or promote an extensive list of metrics per se (because there are many that can be used which are easily available elsewhere), the core message instead is that metrics are useless if companies don’t get the basics in place first – the ‘basics’ being an eROI philosophy.
Building an eROI Evaluation Framework So, how can we evaluate eROI? The core message here is that eROI is not so much a measure as it is a philosophy, one that requires metrics but requires a robust framework even more. In Figure 1 (on next page), I outline two phases with five criteria that can help companies build an evaluation framework. Let me explain in more detail what each critical step in the evaluation framework involves.
PHASE 1: Vertical Fit/ Strategic Alignment Phase 1 is a necessary part of strategic International HR Adviser Autumn
alignment, and is based on a “systems approach” that is essential to proper eROI management. When a clear reason for calculating eROI is known, mobility managers will be better equipped to determine what needs to be measured, and to manage expatriate activities so that appropriate data are collected and reported to relevant stakeholders. [1: ASK]. In Phase 1, the concern is with the vertical fit of eROI metrics to a company’s broader strategic objectives. Here – before deciding on actual metrics – one must first determine how senior management across all business units (and not just the HR or mobility department) intends to use the information arising from the chosen metrics, and the purpose it will serve in the broader scheme of achieving organisational-wide objectives. The point of Phase 1 is to ensure that the choice of metrics is linked to an assignment’s purpose. Doing so ensures that only relevant data is captured to assess the costs and benefits arising from any particular international assignment. When metrics are linked to assignment purpose, two things happen: (1) the accuracy, and by default the reliability, of the eROI outcome increases because the metric is appropriate to what it is measuring; and, (2) the metrics help to foster greater strategic alignment of global mobility to other areas of the company.
PHASE 2: Horizontal Fit/ Operationalisation In Phase 2, the concern is with how to choose metrics that can be implemented and used appropriately ‘on the ground’ (horizontally, across business operations), as well as how to approach the measurement of eROI specifically. Here, there are four additional criteria to assist in choosing the appropriate metrics. [2: MIX]. I strongly advise using a mix of financial and non-financial metrics, ideally a combination of traditional accounting (e.g. salary expenses) as well as intangibles (e.g. development gains). Example metrics could be adaptations of remuneration/ costs and human capital ROI. Using a mix of metrics is critical because a company’s broader corporate strategy should demand that a range of mobility activities is used to determine value, for example, financial revenues, successful
transfer of tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge, reassignment of a successful expatriate to another location for career enhancement purposes, or retention of a key individual for succession planning. Furthermore, in considering that eROI is based on outcomes arising from many mobility activities, then it is logical that a mix of metrics stands a better chance of accounting for outcomes from the total “expatriate management system”. The benefit of using a mix of metrics is that it pushes managers to capture eROI value beyond only the (much easier to measure) financial costs associated with deploying expatriates, thereby allowing criteria to be assessed that might otherwise be overlooked. This is particularly important for assignments where the main purpose is to achieve intangible or ‘softer’ results, such as acquiring intercultural capabilities or enhancing leadership skills. Because the inclusion of non-financial metrics does not restrict perceived assignment value to only the period in which the corresponding outlay of investment (i.e. expense to fund the assignment) occurs, it also provides greater predictive power in relation to longer-term profitability. [3: USEFULNESS]. In choosing metrics that can be implemented and used appropriately ‘on the ground’, a third criterion is to choose metrics that are clear, feasible, and useful. Clarity requires that any eROI metric is well defined and avoids ambiguity, trivialisation or irrelevance through too few or too many, or the wrong metrics being used. Feasibility assesses whether a manager can actually collect the required data that a metric demands in a systematic and chronological manner. As many mobility managers know, one of the main barriers they face in making progress on eROI measurement is a lack of available time and resources; when data are too difficult to collect, they are less inclined to bother. Similarly, data collected in an ad hoc manner holds little value for longer-term planning; thus the ability to collect data consistently, over time, in a chronological manner, is critical. Usefulness implies that outcomes stemming from the eROI metrics can be utilised effectively. Here, the concern again is with strategic fit: if an eROI
Return On Investment
metric has clarity and is feasible but the outcome itself will not tell a company what it needs to know about the value gained from international assignments, then the metric itself has little meaning. For example, if revenue per full time employee (FTE) or profit per FTE is used to assess financial gains, but the global staffing strategy is tied up in expatriates’ developmental gains, then the usefulness of such metrics is questionable. [4: SIMPLICITY]. The next criterion is to avoid being overly prescriptive by attempting to measure the impact of every global mobility activity or every outcome expected from international assignments. This is important because mobility managers are busy people who are frequently overworked and understaffed, leaving them with fewer resources and more time constraints. It therefore makes more sense to measure carefully selected mobility activities using just a few key metrics, ensuring a greater likelihood that there is a clear intention for the use of the resulting data, given that less – but the
most important - data will be collected. [5: TIMING]. The final criterion is to measure eROI at the appropriate time, recognising that the outcomes to be expected from expatriates may not be fully realised for several years. This is particularly true for assignments where predominantly non-financial benefits are expected, in areas such as building leadership and succession pipelines, and talent management programmes. Assessments of eROI can also be made at more than one point in time: for example, during the assignment (via performance reviews); at the immediate conclusion of the assignment; during and/or after the point of repatriation (if appropriate); and in subsequent years as the benefits accrue. The timing of the eROI assessment is critical because it shifts the measurement of eROI beyond the traditional accounting approach that expects assessments of value to be conducted in the same time period in which the initial financial investment occurs. Instead, eROI can, and should, be assessed when the value that is gained is
expected to be most apparent.
Why use an evaluation framework? A key benefit of the evaluation framework outlined here is that it elevates the mobility manager from an internally focused and programme-based “advisory” role, and makes him or her accountable for business results. By capturing and combining hard outcomes such as sales and profits, and soft outcomes such as developing expertise and building leadership, the accuracy of eROI assessments improves, thereby improving global staffing decisions. It also proposes a ‘paradigm shift’ from using only one ‘best’ measure to assess outcomes from every type of assignment, to instead using a mix of metrics that better suit the purposes and expected outcomes of each type of assignment. By accounting for differences in assignment purposes, including different assignment types (short-term, long-term, commuter and so on), the resulting eROI outcome is far more accurate. Autumn International HR Adviser
Return On Investment Furthermore, the framework is sufficiently flexible to be adapted when new trends and learning needs emerge, and therefore to account for changes in organisational priorities over time, particularly in relation to changes in a broader corporate strategy. Additionally, the focus on evaluating, rather than “measuring”, is likely to avoid metrics that are not relevant, timely, or useful. After all, it is not the measurement of eROI itself but what mobility managers do with the insights gained from the measures that matters and drives business performance. Of course, I don’t mean to suggest that developing metrics is unimportant – it is a very critical step in implementing eROI when the right metrics are used, though here I will go so far as to suggest that some companies will not even require additional metrics to achieve a satisfactory eROI, provided they have the right philosophy and framework in place. Doing this may be enough if senior management is realistic that lasting change is more than just the metric, and has invested sufficient time, money, and thought in implementing a
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proper eROI philosophy. As many mobility managers know, metrics are not likely to deliver the change that is needed to improve their international assignee programme. My goal in this article has been to advocate how eROI measurement might best be achieved, but the core message remains quite simple: while it can be important for some companies to use metrics, for others it may not, where the metric matters less than the philosophy that drives satisfactory eROI outcomes. For these companies, we must now ask: How do we get the expatriate ROI we are seeking? A recently published book provides some direction. With a focus on strategically-based practices for the management of expatriates applicable in international organisations worldwide, and an in-depth understanding of today’s corporate expatriates, the lives they lead and the issues they face, Managing Expatriates: A Return on Investment Approach (Business Expert Press, 2013) draws on the latest research to address the critical challenge of expatriate ROI. In the book, my co-author (Professor Kerr Inkson, the world expert on global careers) and I focus the concept of Return on Investment (ROI) – both corporate ROI and the individual ROI expectations of expatriates themselves – and explain how to manage expatriates with an ROI approach in mind. We re p l a c e the traditional model of expatriation with a new model. We define what ‘expatriate ROI’ is, why it matters, and how organisations can improve expatriate management
to secure a higher ROI. We focus particularly on expatriates themselves and the ‘mobility managers’ who manage them, and on the expatriation processes and practices of their organisations. These and other key concepts are explained in more detail in “Managing Expatriates: A Return on Investment Approach” by McNulty and Inkson (Business Expert Press, 2013).
Metrics Resources Although I do not endorse any specific metric for measuring eROI, readers may find some of the following sources useful: • PricewaterhouseCoopers. 2010. Key trends in human capital: A global perspective - 2010. UK: PricewaterhouseCoopers. • Fitz-enz, J. 2002. The ROI of human capital. New York, NY: MacMillan. • Becker, B., Huselid, M., & Ulrich, D. 2001. The HR scorecard: Linking people, strategy, and performance. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. • Fitz-enz, J., & Davison, B. 2002. How to measure human resources management (Third ed.). New York: MacGraw-Hill. For an excellent summary of the business case for human capital metrics including traditional approaches to its measurement, see: • O'Donnell, L., & Royal, C. 2010. The business case for human capital metrics. In J. Connell, & S. Teo (Eds.), Strategic HRM: Contemporary issues in the Asia Pacific region: 110-138. Prahran, Australia: Tilde University Press. Dr. Yvonne McNulty is a leading authority on expatriate return on investment and an academic expert in the field of expatriation. Currently on the faculty at Singapore Institute of Management University, her research has been featured in The New York Times, Economist Intelligence Unit, International Herald Tribune, BBC Radio, China Daily, andThe FinancialTimes, among others. An Associate Editor for the Journal of Global Mobility, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, www. expatresearch.com, or hp +65 9107 6645.
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Key issues for international assignees
Key Issues For International Assignees Expats are increasingly turning temporary overseas work into a permanent move. Availability of jobs in the UK and the cost of living certainly plays a role, but as our research shows, lifestyle factors can also be decisive in where people chose to live. Lloyds Bank International has been conducting surveys of wealthy Britons, and British expatriates for a number of years and for the first time in this series of international wealth reports, these groups have been brought together, allowing comparisons to be made. A number of interesting findings come to light. British expats enjoy their lifestyle abroad so much that they often don’t return, although with continuing uncertainties in the Eurozone and further afield, the world remains a challenging place. For individuals, the basics of good investing and good financial advice have never been more relevant. For employers, providing transition services when employees move overseas is generally well-received. And for both ‘emerging’ and developed country governments, the survey confirms that focusing on infrastructure, good public services and competitive tax and regulatory regimes will help to attract the world’s wealthy. Wealthy Britons tend to disagree that the state of the economy in Britain in the last two years has made the prospect of moving abroad more attractive. Less than three in ten agree with this statement, with 46% disagreeing. British expats were most attracted to life overseas by the prospects of a higher quality of life (39%), better weather (38%), an opportunity to gain different life experiences (35%) and a more relaxed way of life (35%). Most British expats plan to remain abroad indefinitely (79%), with only 8% planning on returning to the UK within the next five years. In the past year, 14% have cancelled plans to return to the UK, with over a third citing money (37%) and family (36%) as reasons for cancelling. Expats do, however, cite a number of factors that would influence a return to the UK. Missing family and friends (28%) and missing the UK lifestyle (19%) are the most significant. Some expats received a number of transition services from an employer when moving abroad, and generally found them useful: International HR Adviser Autumn
• Just over half (55%) were given a moving allowance, and of these, 84% found it useful; • Half (51%) received help with housing costs, and of these, 79% found it useful;
• Nearly half (46%) received health care support, and 66% of these benefitted; • Just over two fifths (43%) were given flights home, and 71% of these found it useful;
Key issues for international assignees • Social / networking events were laid on for 35%, and of these, 57% found them beneficial; • Just under a third (31%) were given financial advice, of which 39% found it useful and 36% didn’t find it helpful; • Three in ten (30%) were helped with education, and 57% of these found it useful. • Language services were provided to 29%, of which 52% found them beneficial. Opinions are split on whether more transition services would have been helpful, with 35% agreeing that they would have benefitted from more services and 38% disagreeing. British expats tend to trust their bank (50%), an independent financial adviser (31%) and family (31%) to give them good financial advice. Despite this, however, more than four fifths (81%) didn’t talk to a financial adviser when they moved overseas, and more than three fifths (63%) did little or no research into the best banking arrangements in their new country. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a significant minority of expats feel that they would have benefitted from more financial
advice regarding their investments (30%), tax issues (32%) and pension arrangements (37%) when they first moved overseas. In today’s difficult employment market there is a trend for people to relocate to different countries for work. The financial services and manufacturing industries, both of which have been impacted by a challenging economic climate, stand out in terms of the number of people moving abroad for work. However, employers seem to be aware of the challenges and it’s encouraging to see the extent to which they are prepared to help facilitate the move. Significantly, 55 per cent of our respondents were offered a moving allowance, with a further 50 per cent offered help with housing costs and 43 per cent flights home. While the global employment market remains in a state of flux it’s essential that when people are moving specifically for a work assignment, they are offered the necessary levels of advice and support to ensure a smooth transition. For example, providing guidance around finances before people emigrate will ensure they have flexibility and
access to their money internationally. It is more important than ever that people are equipped with the right tools and information to maximise the benefits of a higher salary and greater financial stability which come with working overseas and, as more and more people look at career opportunities abroad, we need to ensure that more is being done to close the gap.
Richard Musty, International Director, Lloyds Bank International Lloyds Bank Global Mobility Banking provides financial guidance and services to globally mobile employees at http://international.lloydsbank. com/employee-banking/
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Do You Know The Top Three Issues Effecting Employee Engagement? Most companies spend time and effort getting to know their personnel, investing in their wellbeing and aiming to keep them effective and loyal to the business. Engaged employees are a valuable asset, they’re more productive, take fewer days off sick and go that extra mile. Still, time and time again, there appears a disconnect between the organisation strategy and day-today work. Companies scratch their corporate heads, they thought they had good human resource measurements and communications in place - so what’s not right? In our work with organisations and their employees we regularly come across the blockers to and enablers for engagement, if the right conditions are not in place an employee is less likely to be engaged. Situations that tend to block an individuals propensity to be engaged are related to Maslow’s basic needs and include things like: poor IT systems, lack of resourcing (in particular people), and policies and procedures that restrict autonomy. Employee research (such as employee engagement surveys, focus groups and workshops), no matter what type of business or where it is located, regularly pinpoint three main enablers where organisations are performing less well than other areas: • Internal Communications • Training and Career Development • Recognition The three areas are closely linked to engagement, and poor performance in these areas can detract from engagement. Many companies are surprised at these outcomes, believing that they are ticking the right boxes for all the above. Yet one of the biggest bug bears is that people don’t know if they are performing well and directors are not always sure that information on organisational strategy is shared across the whole organisation. Of course this can be even trickier to control when a company is based over numerous territories and employs people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.
Internal communications With today’s intelligent social media International HR Adviser Autumn
platforms it is a complex matter talking to people within businesses, particularly those spread across different locations and countries, performing a myriad of jobs. Online newsletters or daily missives are great for those who love accessing information this way but may exclude those who do not always have connection to the software or are less technologically aware. It is worth considering how new technologies have changed patterns of work and establishing acceptable business etiquette within your company. Email culture can also hamper employee engagement. People should be encouraged to get up from their desks and go and speak to their colleagues face-to-face, where possible. New social media tools have helped geographical disperse workforces collaborate better and more intelligently. However, employees who spend more time using email as their primary communication tool are losing the art of human interaction. Without that ability to bounce ideas off one another, creativity, ideas, solutions to problems are less spontaneous and generally less effective. Schaeffler Group is a leading provider of rolling bearings; their Asia Pacific region undertook a review of its internal communication activity. The feedback from staff has resulted in many practical changes including the development of cross-functional conversations to counter exactly this kind of situation. Schaeffler Asia Pacific have also introduced town hall style meetings for shop floor employees. This allowed top management to communicate the strategy directly to staff ensuring that all were engaged and working towards the same organisational goals. Large organisations need to ensure that the ‘say-do’ gap between its leaders and people is as small as possible. When it comes to communicating the strategy, values and behaviours of an organisation – actions speak louder than words. Employees need to see that leaders within an organisation ‘live’ the values on a day-to-day basis and don’t merely pay lip service to them. This is why it is critical that senior leaders instil this by
demonstrating it themselves. Companies find that when they address issues they reap major rewards. The wellestablished international engineering company, Buro Happold works in all areas of the built environment. The company had been through five years of very rapid change, growing from 500 people to over 2,000. In their regular staff survey they found that one of the less positive areas was the consistency of its communications: a gap seemed to have emerged between the strategic messages from the top and the way these were perceived lower down, where the emphasis tended to be more project-focused. On the back of this, it produced an action plan, setting up a firm-wide employee forum to bolster twoway communication. The company made its team-briefing cascades more formal, and opened up a host of online channels including blogs and tweeting.
Training and development The second biggest area companies fall down upon is training and career development; it’s hard to believe that companies do not see the importance of training, and that is because many of them do. However, personnel often cite a lack of proper training as the main reason that their performance may have slipped or that they are stressed in their jobs. Looking at training from the employee perspective it is easy to see how the lack of basic training that enables someone to do his or her job can create a disengaged employee. It makes good business sense to invest in new ways of doing things, in how to work with your team more effectively or in properly showing people how to use that new software instead of relying on them to instinctively know. Bringing in experts and mentors to assist people not only makes for more efficiency and company profitability, it also de-stresses people and makes them more happy and confident in their roles.
Recognition There may not be many promotion opportunities in this current economic climate but career development is still required by most individuals. This not
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT only benefits them but the organisation as a whole. Having an employee who has risen in the ranks and knows the business inside out is a valuable asset. This means that lots of businesses need to think laterally. By moving people around so that they develop new skills and get a broad view of how a company operates and is managed they can encourage staff to develop themselves and provide opportunities for career development, maintaining engagement levels. An employee engagement survey undertaken by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) identified two specific areas that needed to be more positive. These were career development and recognition for jobs well done. As a result, it instigated a new page in the staff newsletter to showcase staff career progression case studies, especially internal moves within the RSC, so that its staff could be inspired by others experience and feel confident in leading their own career development. The RSC also implemented a new high level and very visible staff awards programme to encourage recognition.
Lack of recognition from line managers in particular can create an environment where an employee disengages from the organisation. It may seem such a basic enabler of employee engagement but the fact remains that a simple, genuine ‘thank you’ from your line manager is one of the most powerful rewards. Not a platitude or a throw away remark, nor a champagne moment or all-staff awards. For a vast majority of people, the power of a thank you, from managers or peers is both motivating and engaging and it is incredibly cheap and easy to do – yet, many simply don’t – merely forgetting. Finally, if you haven’t already, consider undertaking some investigative work to understand what is driving engagement or disengagement within your organisation. Be it an employee engagement survey, some focus groups or workshops or even one to ones. These can pinpoint issues, help with benchmarking, with reaching goals and continuously developing people and the business alike. Here are some tips on how to combat everyday employee engagement problems:
• Don’t underestimate the power of a thank you • As a manager ask your team, what can I do to help you do your work better • Do not let email culture hamper employee engagement • Consider how new technologies have changed patterns of work • Get teams to share their experiences/ successes/ issues with other teams during informal get togethers • Organise job sharing, internal mentoring and secondments between teams to help with communication and cooperation and personnel development • Bring in experts and mentors to help develop key personnel • Look at showcasing staff career progression • Have an agile appraisal system in place • Survey personnel regularly to identify issues. Gary Cattermole is the co-founder and director of The Survey Initiative, a leading staff survey provider specialising in employee engagement. www.surveyinitiative.co.uk.
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Dyslexia, Learning Support And All Things Special… We all dream of our children excelling at school – in maths, English, sport or music, but for some children, just getting through the normal school day can be challenging enough, and this can add extra stress to families considering, or already in the process of an international assignment. With a bit of luck, a pupil’s school will flag up any learning difficulties around Year 2 and suggest an assessment, although many children with specific learning difficulties (SpLD) can remain undiagnosed for much longer. Parents may have suspected their child was not keeping up even though his or her intelligence appeared ‘normal’ otherwise it could come as a bolt out of the blue. It is at this stage that parents usually wonder what they should be doing. A good school will probably recommend an educational psychologist (EP) and this will be the next step to finding out what the difficulties are and how serious. You can access a good list of EPs through the BDA. An EP will assess the child by performing a series of tests designed to calculate verbal and non-verbal reasoning as well as general cognitive ability. Parents will receive a report with the results of the administered tests and a recommendation on how to address the child's needs. The sort of difficulties identified by an educational psychologist cover a broad range from Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Discalcula, Aspergers or ADHD/ ADD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder/Attention Deficit Disorder), all on the Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) spectrum. There are many independent schools that offer specialist teaching outside of the classroom, but for children with moderate to severe difficulties this minimal intervention is like “papering over the cracks”. In many cases, there are children unable to cope in a mainstream school environment and who need something more specialist. For parents in the expat community this will be a particular concern, not only will their child have to cope with a completely new home environment and new friends, but also a new school. If confidence levels are low due to previous poor achievement, International HR Adviser Autumn
then this will add to the family's anxieties at an already stressful time. Much of the difficult part of the transition can be avoided by transferring a child to a school that specialises in the teaching of children who require more individual learning support. This is where the child will get a complete an individual programme of the help they need including occupational and speech and language therapy, as well as counselling where necessary, all incorporated into their school day. Specialist schools provide children diagnosed with a SpLD the opportunity of receiving an academic education in a safe and supportive learning environment up to GCSE for children between the ages of 11 to 16 years. CReSTeD produces a useful handbook and their website gives a list of accredited schools. It comes as no surprise to parents that their children often possess extraordinary talents and creativity and it is an important goal for these schools to identify and foster this by providing additional courses in non-traditional subjects such as creative and performing arts, food technology, computer technology, art and design, media studies and design technology. Pupils will need individual timetables that address their needs and classes must be small with a high teacher/ pupil ratio. Look for a school that offers an enrichment programme that enhances the pupil's skills academically, emotionally and socially. It is well known that progress of pupils at these type of holistic specialist schools are typically outstanding. This reinforces the belief that, given the opportunity and resources at the right age, despite their difficulties, these children can make meaningful improvements to the quality of their lives and their contributions to society. Helping parents find their way through the minefield of special education is not easy, but follow these steps and you could put them on the right track: 1.Do some research, this will pay enormous dividends 2.Get free advice from the numerous agencies there to help. In the UK this will be the British Dyslexia Association, CReSTeD, and the Helen Arkell centre
3.Make sure there is an up to date assessment of the child's special needs 4.Encourage research in possible schools in the country the families are relocating to 5.Speak to professionals such as educational psychologists, therapists and specialist tutors 6. Consider an educational consultant who will know and understand schools in the destination area of relocation and who will be able to follow a particular brief. Especially useful if there is no time for research. There are many alternative therapies and treatments around, but it is the view of many professionals that repetitive and intensive teaching from qualified teachers experienced in the teaching of children with SpLD pays the best educational dividends. With proper diagnosis and tailored educational practises, children with SpLD can go on to achieve academically, reach their full potential and have successful careers and future lives. Ronda Fogel Executive Director www.moatschool.org.uk T: 020 7610 9018 E: office@ moatschool. org.uk Ronda is the last remaining founding Director and Trustee on the Board of the Moat School. She set-up the charity, The Constable Educational Trust, in 1994 to establish London’s first secondary school for Dyslexic children. She has spent the last three years as a Project Director setting up and opening two Free Schools in challenging inner city areas of London with the aim of improving life chances of all children. As a flagship Government initiative, it is her aim to expand the Trust to a small group of London based primary schools where CETPS can have the most impact. Ronda’s early career began as a retail buyer and she worked for major multiples including WH Smith, Debenhams, Tesco and Marks & Spencer. She is also a business mentor working with young entrepreneurs in London.
Autumnâ€‚ International HR Adviser
Married Same-Sex Couples Now Eligible For US Immigration Benefits Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Board of Education, Bowers v. Hardwick, and now United States v. Windsor – the latest case to join the pantheon of landmark United States Supreme Court civil rights decisions. In their 26 June 2013 judgment, the Court stuck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, effectively allowing married same-sex spouses the same immigration benefits as their heterosexual counterparts, for the first time in history.
Marriage Law vs. Immigration Law In order to explain the significance of this decision, some background information might be helpful: In the US, family law is considered ‘state law’, which means that each of the 50 states can define marriage independently, including what types of marriages they will perform and what outside marriages they will recognise. Currently, same-sex marriages are allowed in just 13 of the 50 states, as well as Washington DC and five Native American tribes. In contrast, over 30 states specifically limit marriage to the union of one man and one woman. In 2003, Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay marriage. Most recently, Minnesota legalised same-sex marriages, which took effect this summer. Immigration law, in contrast to marriage law, is considered ‘federal law’ because it applies to all states equally. Individual states cannot create their own immigration laws; this is reserved for the federal government.
Defense of Marriage Act In 1996, President Clinton signed into law the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ (DOMA). This Act is classified as federal law and therefore applies to all states equally. Section 2 of the Act provides that states are not required to recognise same-sex marriages performed in another state. For example, if two men were legally married in Massachusetts, the authorities in Alabama are not required to recognise the marriage and can treat them as two single men. Section 3 of the International HR Adviser Autumn
Act then limited federal benefits ‘only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife’. Examples of federal benefits include insurance benefits for government employees, social security survivors’ benefits, tax relief, and the ability to sponsor non-US citizen relatives for immigration purposes. People were often shocked to learn that the same-sex spouse of a US citizen, even though legally married in a US state, was nevertheless ineligible to obtain any immigration benefit based on the marriage. With tens of thousands of same-sex marriages between US citizens and foreign-born spouses, this harsh law meant that families were faced with a difficult choice: In order to remain together in the US, the foreign-born spouse had to qualify for her/his own independent visa or live in the US illegally. Alternatively, many couples decided to start a life outside the United States.
Recent Supreme Court Ruling Relief arrived on 26 June 2013, when the Supreme Court held that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional and is therefore no longer law. The federal government is no longer limited to defining marriage as between opposite-sex spouses only, and can immediately begin offering immigration benefits to same-sex spouses. The facts of the underlying case brought to the Supreme Court, United States v. Windsor, involved Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer. Edith and Thea shared their lives together for 44 years in New York. They were married in Canada in 2007 and two years later, Thea passed away, leaving her entire estate to her wife Edith. Although they were legally married and their marriage was fully recognised by the state of New York, Edith was forced to pay more than $360,000 in federal estate taxes because the US government was prevented from recognising their marriage, thanks to Section 3 of DOMA. Edith therefore sued the federal government, seeking a refund of the estate taxes. In its highly anticipated decision, the Court found in Edith’s favour, ruling that DOMA’s rigid interpretation of ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse’ violates the US constitution.
In addition to striking down Section 3 of DOMA, the Supreme Court also simultaneously ruled on a case brought by supporters of Proposition 8 in California, a ballot measure opposing same-sex marriage in the state. The Court’s decision effectively legalised same-sex marriage in California, the most populous state in the country.
What This Ruling Means for Same-Sex Couples The Supreme Court’s decision offers immediate immigration benefits to samesex couples. US citizens can now begin sponsoring foreign-born same-sex spouses for permanent residency (green cards). In addition, the spouses of foreign-born workers who live in or plan to relocate to the US on a temporary work visa are now eligible to apply for dependant visas. Regardless of where in the country a same-sex couple lives – even if in a state that expressly forbids same-sex marriages – the US government must recognise the marriage for immigration purposes. The only requirement is that the couple was legally married in a jurisdiction that allows for same-sex marriage and that the marriage was entered into in good faith – not just to obtain an immigration benefit. Note however, that whilst samesex couples can live and work freely in any of the 50 states, if they happen to live in a state that does not recognise same-sex marriages on a local level, they may be ineligible for state-level benefits. In addition, it is important to remember that whilst a lawful marriage between same-sex couples is now recognised under US federal law, the same recognition has not been officially extended to couples in civil partnerships, whether hetero- or homosexual. Nevertheless, guidance is currently being sought as to whether a civil partnership will suffice where is it identical to marriage in every way but name, for example, a civil partnership certificate from the UK or a Pacte civil de solidarité (PACS) from France.
Common Scenarios Our US-citizen employee who has just married his Spanish partner. We now wish to transfer him to work in our
immigration New York office. Is there a minimum amount of time they must have been married in order for his new husband to join him? Should his husband apply for a work visa or a green card? How long does the process take? The process of applying for a green card whilst resident outside the US is referred to as ‘consular processing’. There is no minimum amount of time that a couple must have been married in order to start the process, although this can affect the green card’s validity. US citizens cannot sponsor their spouses (whether oppositeor same-sex) for a temporary work visa; sponsorship is limited to permanent residency (green cards). Depending on what country the couple lives in when they file the paperwork, the process can range from around four months up to a year. During this processing period, the non-US citizen spouse will need to continue residing abroad; she/he cannot actually move to the US until the process is completed. An American employee in our Boston office lives with his Australian partner, who has an H-1B work visa. They now plan to get married and the Australian partner plans to apply for a green card. How long do they need to have lived in the US before they can get married there? Once married, how soon can they apply for his green card and how long will it take to be issued? Each state – and often individual counties within each state – has its own procedural requirements for marriage. In most states the local residency requirements are fairly short, and eligibility information is readily available. Once the marriage certificate is issued, the couple can immediately file the green card paperwork; there is no minimum amount of time they must wait, although it is wise to first consult an experienced US immigration attorney to discuss timing issues. The process of applying for a green card whilst resident inside the US is referred to as an ‘adjustment of status’. Processing times vary considerably depending on where in the country the application is filed, but it is normal to expect a wait of at least six months. The couple will be required to attend an in-person interview at a local immigration office, where the officer will ask questions and review documentary evidence to determine that it is a legitimate marital relationship. If successful, a green card will
follow in the mail within a few weeks. We have a British employee whom we would like to transfer to the US under an L-1 (intra-company transfer) visa. She and her civil partner have lived together for over 20 years and have two young children. Can her partner apply for an L-2 visa as her dependant spouse? Under the current law, only couples that are in a valid marriage – and can produce a marriage certificate – are entitled to spousal visas, so unfortunately this employee’s partner cannot obtain an L-2 dependant visa. As an alternative, she may wish to consider a B-2 domestic partner visa, although this category does not allow for work authorisation and is less straightforward with regard to longterm residency rights. One of our London-based employees is a dual US-UK citizen, married to a German citizen. We now wish to relocate her to our Houston office, but understand that same-sex marriage is not recognised in Texas. Can they live there together as a married couple? US immigration laws apply to the entire country and same-sex couples are not restricted to living in one of the 13 states where same-sex marriages can be performed. However, remember that individual states are not required to recognise same-sex marriages for purposes of local state law. Therefore, there may be local benefits – such as state tax benefits – that are not available to same-sex couples living there. We need to transfer our US-citizen employee to New York. His husband is British. Given the tax burden placed on permanent residents, our employee’s British husband does not want a green card, but still wants to live in the US with his husband and be able to work there. What are his options? One of the benefits of US citizenship is the right to sponsor certain family members for permanent residency (green card). However, there is no equivalent right to sponsor them for something less than permanent residency, such as a work visa. If the non-US citizen spouse does not wish to become a permanent resident, she/he will have to qualify independently for another type of visa. The most common work visas include the H-1B, L-1 and E-2. One of our employees is a French citizen, married to his French husband. He will be transferred to California on a temporary work visa, and his husband
will be joining him on a dependant visa. Will his husband be able to seek employment in the US as well? Some dependant visas allow spouses to seek employment whilst others do not. If the primary work visa holder is on an L-1, E-1, E-2 or E-3 visa, the spouse will be able to apply for a work authorisation card. In contrast, no work authorisation is granted to spouses of workers who hold H-1B, O-1 or TN visas. It should also be noted that the process of applying for a work authorisation card is not automatic: The application cannot be filed until the spouse is physically present in the US, and it can take up to three months for the card to arrive in the mail. As a final point, remember that immigration law is characterised by constant change – as highlighted by this recent Supreme Court decision – and eligibility for benefits must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, please do not treat the contents of this article as legal advice. Jonathan Davis Solicitor and US Attorney, Fragomen LLP Jonathan is a Solicitor (qualified in both England/Wales and the Republic of Ireland) and U.S. Attorney at law in our London office. Prior to joining Fragomen, he worked as an Associate at a New York-based niche immigration firm. As a member of Fragomen’s Foreign Consular Practice (FCP) team, Jonathan assists with U.S. and foreign consularbased applications and immigration into Ireland. Jonathan also has experience with substantive employment- and family-based U.S. immigration casework, including O-1 and EB-1 applications for individuals with extraordinary ability, PERM applications, and adjustment of status applications. Fragomen LLP 4th Floor, Holborn Gate 326 - 330 High Holborn London, WC1V 7PP United Kingdom T +44 (0) 203 077 5256 email@example.com www.fragomen.com Researched by Sharon Muir. Autumn International HR Adviser
Focus on the Pipeline report
Securing The Female Talent Pipeline Talent is the backbone of any business, ensuring there is a strong pipeline of talent coming up through the ranks of an organisation is key to achieving growth. Despite many advances in workplace equality, women are still not making it to the top in large numbers. While non-executive appointments have increased board-level diversity, many companies continue to report shortages of female senior managers. As most senior management positions are filled by internal candidates, this indicates that the internal talent pipeline is not effectively delivering gender diversity. Boosting this female talent pipeline is one of the major challenges facing HR directors today; tackling this means raising awareness of the business case as to why having more gender diversity is beneficial to an organisation and pushing it up the corporate agenda. It’s been two years since the Lord Davies UK report ‘Women on Boards’ recommended a target of 20 per cent female representation by 2015. While the signs are encouraging, change remains slow. A number of countries have pressed ahead and imposed quotas on organisations including India, Malaysia, Belgium, Italy, France and Spain. Debate in Europe is on-going around introducing a 40 per cent quota across all EU states for women on boards. With the potential for the government to mandate compulsory targets, the challenge of how to increase gender diversity at senior management level and beyond has never been more pressing. However, focusing only on boards is just one part of the equation, clearly a successful approach must encompass the whole business – focusing on creating a strong female talent pipeline from bottom to top. Together with Alexander Mann Solutions we have explored the challenges and solutions around securing the female talent pipeline particularly at middle management level in detail via a report called ‘The Pipeline Report’. As middle management is the key drop out point for women, where the numbers of women in management position decreases dramatically from 40 to 15 per cent, this is where we focused our attention. Despite the mounting evidence, just 40 per cent of HR leaders consider improved International HR Adviser Autumn
business performance to be a benefit of increasing the number of women in senior roles. This is a barrier to the career progression of the many thousands of talented female middle managers in the UK, leaving some dissatisfied with their jobs, concerned about career progression, or even tempted to resign, leaving organisations and the corporate world altogether. This is why clarifying the business case for boosting the female talent pipeline is vital to enabling more female middle managers to attain senior positions. In the UK alone there are more than two million women working in managerial positions, unlocking this potential talent could be worth up to £5billion. That’s just in the UK; imagine what the figure would be globally! Indeed the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has described women’s contribution to the Norwegian economy as worth more then the nation’s oil reserves. Ensuring that female professionals’ capabilities are harnessed more effectively could significantly enhance company productivity, providing a real boost to national economies. To achieve this boost, HR leader’s and female middle manager’s perception and ambition need to align. There is a considerable gap between the views of HR leaders and the concerns of female middle managers. The Pipeline Report showed 63 per cent of HR leaders want to see women driving their own advancement. However, many female middle managers expect their employers to take much – if not all – of the responsibility for career path clarity and opportunities for progression. Female middle managers need to take responsibility for developing their careers. Women, when compared to male colleagues, are less likely to push for promotion, instead adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude. This leads to a perceived lack of confidence in female managers. Women should be encouraged to be ambitious for their careers and not shy away from taking on responsibility. One way to resolve this issue is to involve female middle managers in success planning. Participation in succession planning, training and development programmes is an essential component of improving the talent pipeline. HR leaders
need to ask are women fully accessing the programmes on offer to place them on the senior management track, and if not, why not? These programmes need to be continually reviewed and regularly updated to ensure they are addressing the issues around female middle managers progression. Both HR leaders and female middle managers agree role models are central to progression yet only 51 per cent of female middle managers identify female role models from senior executive management. This clearly shows that there is a challenge for some companies to ensure that the few female role models they do have are highly visible. Companies can also take practical day to day steps to improve the talent pipeline. Extending flexible working options would be a great help to women in reaching more senior roles, but organisations much ensure flexibility is a real option at all levels and not just theoretically available. Can female middle managers talk about flexibility without fear of prejudicing their chances? While 74 per cent of female middle managers are satisfied with the level of flexibility in their current jobs, they agree that lifestyle choices are a major obstacle to career progression. In some cases, women with children who can’t achieve the work-life balance they desire may drop out of the pipeline altogether. Recognising that gender diversity has a positive impact on company performance is vital to unlocking the full potential of female staff. Female middle managers should be a particular focus in understanding diversity issues in the talent pipeline. Not only do they play a vital role in operational performance, but they are also a source of future leadership and in fact themselves role models for women in their early careers. Having gender diversity is within the power of every organisation, no matter how large or small. By working collaboratively with the female workforce, businesses will be able to increase the engagement of the female middle managers with benefits for both the bottom line and employees. Karen Gill, Founder of everywoman firstname.lastname@example.org
Autumnâ€‚ International HR Adviser
The 2014 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition
Monday 3rd February, Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE
FREE SEMINAR PROGRAMME 10.15am — Third Culture Kids
In September 2013, the Daily Telegraph reported on a British Council survey that found over half of young Britains aged 18-24 wished they had at some point studied or worked overseas. The experience of living in a new country can be a tremendous advantage for children who are given the skills to adapt successfully to new languages and cultures. This session for parents, educators, and other professionals who are working with internationally-mobile families with children of all ages will address some of the challenges and benefits of a childhood abroad and how, properly managed, the experience can enhance their future educational and career opportunities. Hosted by Mary Langford, Langford International Education Consultancy.
11.15am — Dual Career- Making It Possible
Dual career can have a significant impact on an international assignment From the decision to accept an assignment to finding a career in the UK many factors can influence this process. Join Geraldine McKenrick, FOCUS career consultant, for a discussion on the challenges and opportunities that accompanying spouses face when seeking employment in the UK. Hosted by FOCUS.
12.30pm — Taxation Issues Arising In Respect Of US Individuals Moving To The UK This will cover both employee/employer assignee situations and US individuals coming to the UK. Hosted by Andrew Bailey & Scott Wickham, BDO LLP.
1.45pm — Immigration
This seminar will be a practical session providing advice on the latest Immigration developments and the implications for businesses and will cover: Immigration Policies Updates, Global Immigration Management, Compliance and Risk Management, and United Kingdom Sponsor Licencing and Management. If you have an immigration enquiry that you would like our consultants to cover on the day please email your enquiry in advance to email@example.com. Hosted by Ferguson Snell.
2.45pm — Unlocking Hidden Insights From Your Mobility Programme Through Data Analytics
This seminar will explore how to deploy data analytics techniques through a range of live demonstrations to more effectively manage your mobility programme, deliver insight to management and contribute to wider workforce planning. Hosted by Robin Brown, Senior Manager, Global Employer Services Analytics, Deloitte LLP.
3.45pm — Latest Global Mobility News And Trends, And How To Increase Your Connectivity In The World Of Global Mobility This interactive session will inspire International HR professionals to connect with others to keep up to date and competitive. Don’t miss this seminar if you are interested in the latest global mobility news and trends, or want to find out more about increasing your connectivity in the world of Global Mobility. Hosted by Expat Academy.
Places at these seminars are free, but visitors must pre-register as there is limited availability. To register your place for any or all of these seminars, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Helen Elliott on +44 (0)208 661 0186. We look forward to seeing you there.
special risk insurance
Special & High Risk Insurance Many organisations are operating in high-risk regions around the world where there are heightened risks for terrorism, civil strife and war. Regular travel, life and medical insurance will not be sufficient for severely dangerous conditions such as these. Most insurance plans will not cover you in conflict zones such as Afghanistan or Iraq. This can include areas where there is civil strife or a high risk of terrorism, especially if there are travel warnings. Special risk insurance is crucial and International HR professionals should make sure that the company fully comprehends the coverage and limitations of an expatriate or travel medical plan. You can opt for insurance that covers disability, death or dismemberment as well as complete medical and conflict injuries. Special risk insurance is more costly because it offers more protection and the potential hazards can be extreme. A raise in price rates could mean avoiding a declined claim if the worst happens. More importantly, it may even save lives in a dire scenario as the insurer may have special services in place for employees in high risk zones. One such scenario actually played out when a security client of ours was simply visiting a grocery store in Kabul a few years ago. A Taliban infiltrated the store and opened fire on the people in the store, tossed a grenade and then blew himself up. We received a call from the employer late at night stating what had happened. We immediately advised them and their employee who was seeking medical treatment to contact the assistance provider that was supplied by Lloyds of London. We also provided additional support to make sure the claim was handled and assistance was provided. The claim was paid, the employee recovered and client was relieved. This was a classic case where passive war or terrorism risk coverage was required. Special risk plans for employers who send employees to high risk zones such as Afghanistan will require a plan which covers passive war and terrorism. The word passive with respect to insurance basically means the person was not an active participant in the event and was an innocent bystander.
If your employee is going to a high risk zone, then it is important to obtain a quote from a reputable broker with extensive experience in covering people for war and terrorism risks. It is also important to obtain the necessary information for the underwriters to rate the risks and assign a premium. An underwriter will typically need the employee(s) dates of birth, gender, occupation, duties, annual income, citizenship, number of days spent in each country, location, any aviation or transportation information, where employees will reside when not at work and security arrangements when in country. It is critical that you obtain this information before obtaining quotes. Note that besides war and terrorism, other risks will most likely be covered â€“ such as civil strife and riots. Chemical or biological attacks will not be covered. Once the risk profile is created, the broker will then send the information to several insurers which have the capabilities and coverage available to underwrite the risk and include war and terrorism coverage in the plan. There are some group expatriate benefit plans which do not exclude war or terrorism claims in their plans, but most simply exclude. A typical quote will generally be submitted to a Lloyds of London underwriting firm. The Lloyds insurance market operates with several insurance syndicates and the underwriter typically takes the risk to these underwriters and then returns to the broker with the best possible quote. Note that premiums can change based on the market and global risk environment. Once a premium and policy period is locked in, that premium will be guaranteed for the entire time period. (A group plan underwriting several employees is generally going to provide better premiums than an individual plan and any medical underwriting may be waived because the risk is spread across several persons). It is a good idea to check the countries your employees will be travelling to or posted in before sending them abroad and securing insurance to see if war and terrorism coverage is necessary. It is also important to consult with a security company which can evaluate the risk
there as well. At the end of the day, one hopes you never have to use the war risk coverage that is obtained, but necessary to consider putting in place.
David Tompkins President, TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd. Tel 1-604-628-0426 Fax 1-604-259-0642 email@example.com www.tfgglobal.com www.expatfinancial.com
Have you renewed your FREE annual subscription to International HR Adviser? To ensure you continue to receive your complimentary copy please email your name, job title and address to firstname.lastname@example.org or please complete and return the enclosed subscription card. This is currently being sponsored by International School of London Group
Autumnâ€‚ International HR Adviser
International HR Strategy
Data Analytics - The Data Revolution In International Mobility Management Scott McCormick and Robin Brown of Deloitte LLP explore trends in data analytics technology for mobility and discuss how this technology is bringing fresh insight and innovation to mobility strategy, cost control and compliance. There is a change underway in the way that organisations approach their data. Increasingly, data is being seen not only as an operational necessity, but as an asset in itself. The use of data analytics within organisations is growing, rapidly. Initially the use of this data has been confined to core business functions. For example, major supermarkets use the data collected through loyalty cards to give customers personalised special offers, or even predict the impact of placing certain products together on promotion. As the cost and availability of the technology comes down, similar techniques are now available for HR and mobility leaders to deal with the complex, challenging questions their programmes face.
Trends in Technology, Data Analytics and Mobility Firstly, let’s consider some of the contributing factors to the growing availability of analytics capability in both the HR and mobility functions. • Consolidated global data systems – More organisations are investing heavily in making their transactional HR systems more globally consolidated, nimble and integrated with business operations. The driving influence is threefold; moving towards consistent global HR processes, leveraging cost efficiencies and, criticially, aiming for global workforce planning. To the data analytics practitioner, these organisational and system changes allow access to a gold mine of data which can provide insight into organisations’ key business problems • Availability and user experience of technology – The past 5 years has seen the emergence of smartphones and tablet computers that have revolutionised how people experience and interact with technology. Accordingly there has been an upsurge in the user expectation that information will be readily available and presented in an elegant user experience. International HR Adviser Autumn
With the emergence of cloud computing, information and data is now mobile, accessible from anywhere • Computing power – The cost of cloud computing power has reduced significantly as more organisations have reaped the benefits of cloud-based services • Data volumes & types – Demand for data storage is growing exponentially. The explosion in data volume is related to the similar explosion of data “moments” which are now recorded by individuals and organisations; from social media interactions to customer loyalty cards to phone records • Data transparency – Organisations are customers too and there is an increasing expectation of service providers that data on service levels will be open, transparent and capable of audit. This means that service providers must open up their data to clients which was previously only used for internal tracking purposes: this is a threat and an opportunity for those vendors • Gaining a competitive edge – Organisations seeking the extra edge are using data analytics to drive improved operational performance and enable better decision making. Data analytics is becoming a more familiar concept to business professionals who use data driven insight to make key decisions.
Building analytics capability So what is a typical path for building analytics capability within a mobility function? The technology hardware, software and skills required are no longer out of reach to mobility practitioners but there is a clear decision emerging for organisations to either build capability internally or outsource to specific mobility analytics specialists to gain the benefit of lower technology costs and wider mobility expertise. Regardless of the delivery platform chosen, there are several key stages to an analytics implementation which we would advise as best practice in this area: i. Identify your business need, key questions or hypotheses Before jumping into data analysis, it is important to identify the key questions
or problems in which the business wishes to gain insight. One approach is to set hypotheses such as “our mobility programme is aligned to our strategic growth areas”: the objective of the analytics practitioner is to seek to prove or disprove this hypothesis with data. Does the business already have an opinion of the answer to the question? What is driving the need for analysis? What impact can it have? ii. Know your data You have identified the key questions to answer. The next step is to identify your “data eco-system” you will draw down from in making your analysis. You should at this stage cast your net widely and build an overall picture of your possible sources of data without at this point worrying about access to those data systems and whether the data within is of a sufficient quality. Once you have an overall understanding of your data sources, which may range from ERP systems, to payroll to outsourced vendor systems, you can begin the analysis of which systems offer the most reliable sources of data for your chosen analytics project. The hard task of integrating those data sets into one coherent, reliable data set now begins and many organisations choose at this point to involve a third party vendor to ensure the structure chosen is robust and suitable for analytics. A key part of this stage is to decide how frequently to update your data – is overnight required, or would management only typically access analytics reporting every week or month? The answer is different for every organisation and depends on how business critical your analysis is. One area within mobility where data has become more readily available for analysis is in relation to outsourced Global Compensation Management or payroll solutions which have in recent years been a more common feature of the vendor toolkit of large mobility programmes. The ability to pull data from such a solution clearly enables one of the critical data flows into the “ecosystem” for analysis and drives the ability to accurately report on the total cost of the mobility programme.
International HR Strategy iii. Data insight and visualisation Dashboards The use of dashboards as a means to make data available to key stakeholders is growing within the HR and mobility community, following from earlier implementations in Supply Chain, Operations and Finance functions. These typically deliver user-relevant data and analytics on a real-time basis, allowing monitoring of keys trends, identification of risks, opportunity or to enable a particular business decision. Well-designed dashboards allow the user to understand both the macro- and micro-views needed for decision making and enable drill down to individual data records where useful. This is all part of a trend in analytics towards “data democracy” which has two key aspects: 1. Opening up data on demand to users who have a need and a right to that data 2. Securing data and reporting via dashboard delivery reduces the risk of data loss through manual creation and dissemination of, for example, Excel spreadsheets.
iv. Predictive Analytics Moving beyond pure dashboard-style reporting, the upper performing tier of organisations will migrate to predictive analytics. For a mobility function, this will allow value to be unlocked for the business through identification and management of best in practice: • Talent management, assignee selection and retention strategies • Proactive cost management and modelling/forecasting • Intelligent vendor management • Calculation of mobility return on investment • Mobility function operations and workflow
Mobility Analytics at Deloitte We have invested in the only full-time dedicated Mobility Analytics team within the big 4 which provides a range of standard and bespoke solutions to clients which support the entire mobility lifecycle from selection through on-going operations management through to return on investment and strategic change.
Although each of our client projects is unique, we outline below some of the key projects and solutions we are finding particular demand for in the market: i. Business Travel Analysis Identifying and tracking short-term business visitors is a long-standing problem for organisations and one which often falls between Finance, HR and Mobility with often the traveller bearing the brunt of the administration of reporting their travel. Our approach is to remove the traveller from the equation by sourcing, cleaning and importing data from clients’ and their vendors’ systems. As a primary compliance objective, this allows automatic identification of taxable travellers using our proprietary global tax engine. When thinking beyond income tax risk there are a wide number of potential use cases for this data which can drive significant value to the organisation, for example: • Identification of corporate tax permanent establishment risk • Establishing personal and corporate
Autumn International HR Adviser
International HR Strategy immigration risk • Managing overall travel spend and travel vendors, including extracting maximum cost synergies on airline route spend • Identifying expense policy compliance • Strategic management of the business case for travel. Our solution takes away the burden of gathering the data necessary to track travellers and presents back the data in an understandable format to the business, identifying risks and cost reduction opportunities. Multiple stakeholders within the business can then take the appropriate actions based on their role, now with the benefit of insight from the underlying data. ii. Total programme analytics Most mobility and reward programme leaders lack the insight into data to help them make better and richer decisions, whether operational or strategic. Our Total Programme Analytics approach allows our clients laser focus on all programme data, trends, demographics, compensation and policy modelling and tracking costs against budgets. Our focus is on centralising all data in one interactive, secure environment and constantly searching for insight into how our clients can make their programmes more effective and enhance return on investment. We develop bespoke return on investment calculators which allow our clients to assess the direction of travel of their programme and how to communicate this up the management chain and to enhance the conversations with business unit leaders. iii. Assignment selection For many organisations, the ability to rapidly respond to resourcing and relocation requests underpins successful execution of key business strategies. For instance, an organisation may be bidding for a contract in a particular location recurring mass concurrent relocations. It is necessary for the mobility team to support the business in quickly identifying if and how a particular project can be fulfilled in order to successfully win the contract. An analytics deployment combining HR and assignment data can identify individuals available with the skills required at an individual or team level. Are there sufficient people in the organisation? Are contractors required? What is the estimated workforce cost? International HR Adviser Autumn
Can a competitive bid be submitted? Which is the best individual for the assignment based on all economic and non-economic factors? We have developed a smart assignee selection tool that enables mobility functions to engage with business units to plan forward for headcount and resourcing capability and to match the best individuals in your organisation with assignment opportunities. iv. Assignee attrition risk It is well known that international assignees typically carry a greater attrition risk (i.e. risk of leaving the organisation) than domestic employees, especially in the 12-24 month period after repatriation. We have developed a proprietary algorithm specific to mobility which analyses the data in a mobility programme and can predict heightened attrition risk. This is presented to our clients as a radar view of employees at risk, allowing intervention and proactive strategies to be used by HR and business unit managers. Analysing attrition risk by cause allows for wider business engagement on changes to working practices, policies and behaviours. Reducing attrition for high performing employees is critical to demonstrating return on investment in your programme.
The Data Revolution is here The tools, techniques and methods outlined here are not out of reach of HR and Mobility – the technology exists today for those organisations wishing to enhance their operational effectiveness and strategic direction using the power of analytics. We recently concluded a large analytics project with one of the world’s largest mobility programmes. The driving motivation behind the project was twofold; firstly to accurately and consistently report on the total cost of the programme on an on-going basis (and to provide a rich user experience in being able to interrogate and understand that data in more detail), and secondly to be able to confidently pass analysis up the management chain. This resulted in much greater ability of the mobility function to monitor policy and compensation trends, predict resourcing roadblocks within the mobility operations team and to get laser insight into individual assignee data to support assignment and career conversations. The next phase of the project will be to utilise this vast
repository of data to better plan and execute international assignments whilst contributing to the organisation-wide debate on a key business problem: what is the return on investment of our mobility programme? What are your key business problems? The chances are that your data has the answer and we can unlock it for you. Scott McCormick & Robin Brown work in Deloitte LLP’s Global Employer Services practice with a specific focus on helping organisations to manage, and gain insights into, the data in their international mobility and reward programmes. International Mobility is just one strand of Deloitte’s wider approach to Workforce Analytics, itself part of Deloitte’s global focus on Data Analytics across all business functions & industries. If you would like to understand how Deloitte’s approach to Mobility Analytics could unlock value in your international mobility programme, please contact scmccormick@deloitte. co.uk or email@example.com.
FREE SEMINAR at The 2014 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition Monday 3rd February 2014 at Hotel Russell, London 2.45pm
Unlocking Hidden Insights From Your Mobility Programme Through Data Analytics This seminar will explore how to deploy data analytics techniques through a range of live demonstrations to more effectively manage your mobility programme, deliver insight to management and contribute to wider workforce planning. Hosted by Robin Brown, Senior Manager, Global Employer Services Analytics, Deloitte LLP For further information or to reserve your place, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Global Taxation Update Andorra Personal tax to be introduced Andorra is to introduce a tax on personal income for the first time. There is currently no income tax for individuals. EU finance ministers have also agreed to start talks with Andorra regarding exchange of bank account information. The Prime Minister unveiled details of the Government's bill proposing the introduction of a tax on individual income in Andorra (IRPF). The Government has sought to ensure that all citizens in Andorra contribute, the system is simple and that new tax system has low rates of taxation. The bill therefore provides for an annual tax-free allowance of €24,000. Annual income between €24,000 and €40,000 will be taxed at a rate of 5%, while income in excess of €40,000 will be subject to a 10% rate of tax. Tax exemptions and deductions will be available. Investment income will also be taxable, although a tax exemption of €3,000 will apply to interest income. It is envisaged that withholding taxes will apply to employment income thus reducing the need to file an annual tax return for many new taxpayers. BDO comment Andorra has long been considered a tax haven. The introduction of income tax and plans to exchange bank information are likely to be warmly welcomed in particular by adjoining countries.
Austria Level of voluntary tax disclosures increases The number of voluntary disclosures to the Austrian tax authorities by Austrian taxpayers with undeclared bank accounts held in Switzerland has risen dramatically in 2013. Austrian taxpayers had until the end of May to either pay a one-off withholding tax payment on deposits held in Switzerland and preserve anonymity, or to disclose their banking information to the Austrian tax authorities. Further disclosures are expected in 2013 and beyond as the Austrian tax authority looks to reduce tax evasion not just involving Switzerland but also other ‘tax havens’. BDO comment International HR Adviser Autumn
Tax authorities around the world are increasingly looking to introduce measures to ensure that they are aware of a taxpayer’s assets and that any taxes due are collected. Do expect similar measures in other countries.
With regard to the operation of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) the new measures have increased the 0% threshold for PAYE from MK 15,000 to MK 20,000 and the next MK 5,000 will be taxed at 15 % whilst the excess will be taxed at 30%.
Share options – employment income or investment income? Brazilian tax authorities have recently determined in two instances that social security is due in relation to income arising from share option plans as the income represents employment as opposed to investment income. In Brazil the tax treatment depends on the exact nature of each stock plan and therefore each individual plan does need to be reviewed in detail considering risks, costs and uncertainty perspectives in order to determine whether the plan would be regarded as employment or investment related.
New levy to apply to payrolls Namibia is to introduce a new payroll levy with effect from 1 September 2013. The levy is payable on or before the 20th day of the month following the deduction. The levy must be paid to the National Training Authority - NTA National Training Fund Account. The rate of the levy is 1.5% of the payroll. Employers with an annual payroll of N$350 000 or more must pay the levy. There have been many questions and concerns raised about this new training levy but no response has been forthcoming from the tax authority. Employers who offer approved training programmes will benefit from this Fund.
BDO comment Whilst the decision arising may be appealed, companies should review existing stock option plans to identify the potential impact of the decision.
Croatia Croatia joins the European Union (EU) Croatia joined the EU with effect from 1 July 2013. As a result EU social security rules will apply. Individuals assigned to or from Croatia within the EU should review the social security position with immediate effect. Employer social security liabilities typically follow that of the employee and will also be affected by any changes.
Malawi New 2013/14 tax rates and PAYE thresholds The Malawi Revenue Authority has announced tax rates for 2013/14. These became effective on 1 July 2013. The new personal income tax table is as follows: AMOUNT (MWK) up to 240,000 240,000 – 300,000 over 300,000
RATE (%) 0 15 30
New Zealand Foreign pension fund tax changes New Zealand has traditionally taxed pension funds accumulated by individuals working overseas on their move or return to New Zealand. Such funds are considered an interest in a foreign investment fund (FIF). Under New Zealand’s FIF rules, tax is levied at a rate of 5% of the value of the taxpayer’s interest in the pension fund. No further taxes are then due on subsequent payments from the pension fund. Changes have now been proposed which would in future seek to tax the income from the foreign pension fund when it is received as a pension or a lump sum; a complete turnaround from the current approach, although many individuals have not followed the current FIF tax rules and reported the tax position correctly in any event. New rules are to be introduced from April 2014 coupled with a partial amnesty in respect of unreported taxable amounts accumulating since January 2000. Individuals moving to New Zealand from other countries have a four-year tax exemption on overseas income which includes private pensions. If the pension fund is transferred to New Zealand within
global taxation the four-year exemption period, then no tax is payable on the transfer. Once the funds are invested in a New Zealand scheme, the scheme will pay tax on its investment returns. On retirement and pension fund withdrawals no further tax is due. If the four year exemption period has already passed but funds have yet to be transferred, then the individual can either choose to transfer their pension fund to New Zealand and pay tax at a rate of 15% of the amount transferred, or alternatively, leave the pension fund in the home country and pay tax on their future pension benefits. In other cases where the individual is living in New Zealand and has transferred the funds after the four-year exemption but not paid the correct FIF tax, the partial amnesty will apply and there will be an option up until April 2014 to pay tax on 15 per cent of the amount transferred. From 1 April 2014 existing FIF rules will no longer apply and individuals with a foreign pension fund will only pay New Zealand tax when they start to draw a regular pension or receive a lump sum from the fund. Tax payable on any lump sum varies according to the period of New Zealand tax residence. BDO comment Individuals emigrating to or returning from an overseas assignment back to New Zealand with a foreign pension fund should review previous filings and take action before the end of March 2014.
United Kingdom Tax consultation on UK LLPs HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) published a consultation document in May focusing on certain aspects of the taxation of partnerships and in particular limited liability partnerships (LLPs). Many firms established as LLPs will be affected by the proposed changes, which would have effect from 6 April 2014 if introduced. HMRC believes that many members of UK LLP’s are really ‘employees’ as opposed to self employed individuals/ partners. There is no employer National Insurance charge (13.8%) for the latter class of individuals whereas there is for employees. The UK tax rules/regime is also slightly more favourable for selfemployed individuals compared with employees.
Under the proposals an individual member of an LLP will be regarded as a ‘salaried member’ if they are regarded as ‘employed’ under the employment tests set out in HMRC’s Employment Status Manual. Even if the individual is not considered to be ‘employed’ under the employment tests, they will still be classed as a ‘salaried member’ if they receive a fixed salary, do not bear any real economic risk and are not entitled to a share in the profits and surplus assets of the LLP on a winding-up. BDO comment The consultation period has now ended. Changes to the current tax rules are expected to be implemented and all LLPs should be reviewing their existing profit arrangements and structure. Transfer of UK pension funds overseas Tax relief is generally available on payments made by individuals into a UK approved pension scheme (in contrast to New Zealand above) with tax being due on regular payments subsequently received from the pension fund on retirement. Naturally individuals who have contributed to a UK pension fund may leave the UK permanently on emigration or may return to their home country following an assignment. In such instances they often look to transfer existing funds accumulated in their UK pension scheme to a non UK pension scheme. HMRC permits this providing the receiving pension scheme is broadly similar to a UK pension scheme. The concept of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) therefore arises, these being non UK schemes that have similar features to a UK pension scheme. The transfer of UK pension funds into another jurisdiction’s QROPS can occur without a UK tax charge arising. HMRC has recently published a new list of registered QROPS, in which nearly all of the Hong Kongbased QROPS previously listed have been removed from the latest list. BDO comment Do note that HMRC’s QROPS list identifies those foreign pension schemes which have submitted to HMRC a claim that they meet the relevant QROPS requirements. The list does not necessarily mean that HMRC has reviewed or officially approved any of the submissions.
HMRC’s delisting of Hong Kong schemes may indicate closer scrutiny by HMRC into transfers to offshore pension schemes in general. HMRC remittance letters HMRC is to send letters to all nondomiciled UK taxpayers who claim the remittance basis of taxation in the UK. The letter will provide examples of when remittances may occur. Non UK domiciled individuals claiming the remittance basis are only taxed on their earnings for non-UK duties if the relevant employment income is remitted to the UK. In addition, non-UK sources of investment income and gains are only taxed in the UK if remitted. HMRC believes that many taxpayers do not understand what a remittance is. BDO comment The question of what constitutes a remittance is extremely complex. HMRC’s own guidance manual (RDRM) comprises several hundred pages. Professional guidance should be sought if non-domiciled individuals receive such a letter from HMRC. Vietnam & New Zealand sign a Double Tax Agreement Vietnam and New Zealand have signed a double taxation treaty agreement. Trade between the two countries has increased substantially in recent years and this increase is expected to continue.
West Africa Single currency to begin in 2015 The member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) being Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo are planning to introduce a single currency with effect from January 2015. Prepared by BDO LLP. For further information please contact Andrew Bailey on 0207 893 2946 or at andrew. bailey@bdo. co.uk
Autumn International HR Adviser
Expatriate Adviser Summer
Autumn International HR Adviser
Hong Kong: Expat Life In The Pearl Of The Orient Perched right on China’s doorstep, Hong Kong invariably attracts expats looking to take advantage of its unique status as a capitalist hot zone within a communist country. The city is enduringly popular – it is ranked eighth in the world for places that global professionals want to go to, and comes second among destinations where working expats want to stay longer. Hong Kong is a city like no other, and embarking on a new adventure there is an exciting move to make. But expats should be prepared for the health risks they face. Companies usually assist employees with the housing process, along with the relatively straightforward work visa procedure. But they also have a role to play in making employees aware of the health risks in Hong Kong, before they begin their new lives in the city.
Hong Kong: where east meets west Hong Kong has a long established identity as an expat region, with its history as a British colony and regular outlet for Chinese trade. Western influences are most evident in the city centre, a hub for expat accommodation and business. Western architecture is easily identifiable, and the majority of the population speak English. Yet for all its modernity and western influences, Hong Kong remains distinctly Chinese, with deep traditions set between its towering skyscrapers and bright neon lights. The Outlying Islands and New Territories add a historical dimension to the exciting and fast-paced city. Living in Kowloon and the New Territories offers a more culturally Chinese lifestyle than on Hong Kong Island, yet expats are advised to respect the Chinese traditions evident in even the most western aspects of Hong Kong. Parts of the Outlying Islands and New Territories retain strong links to traditional Chinese ways of life. Expats in Hong Kong find the city easy to live in, with a modern infrastructure and western amenities. Healthcare, schooling and business make for seamless transitions from western countries. Accommodation in Hong Kong can be difficult to find, however – sky-high
apartment complexes brimming with tenants and rocketing property prices have both seen to that.
A healthy lifestyle in Hong Kong While no vaccinations are required to go to Hong Kong, soon-to-be expats should still consult their doctor about their health before departure, as they may recommend particular vaccinations or preventive medicines, particularly if there are plans to visit other countries in the region. You should also ask relocating employees to check that their boosters or routine vaccinations are up to date. This may include the combined DTP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis – also known as whooping cough), measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and polio. Doctors’ appointments should be made at least four to six weeks before emigrating to make sure that there is time for any vaccinations to take effect. Malaria is not found in Hong Kong, so no preventive medication is necessary. One of the biggest causes of poor health to be aware of in Hong Kong is air pollution. Smoke-belching factories, ceaseless construction and large numbers of diesel vehicles have made for dangerous levels of pollutants. Cases of asthma and bronchial infections have soared in recent years. Congested vehicle traffic and mainland factories pump out ozone, sulphur, and nitrogen oxides, leading to a visible haze in the atmosphere on most days of the year. Average roadside pollution levels exceed World Health Organization guidelines by 200 per cent and continue to deteriorate, creating health risks for those with allergies, asthma, or cardiac problems. Outbreaks of scarlet fever and dengue fever have also been reported in Hong Kong. Scarlet fever is a bacterial infection that mainly affects children. There is no vaccine or medicine to prevent it, so it is important to take strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions. Dengue fever is a viral illness transmitted by mosquito bites. Again, there are no vaccines or medicines for it, so expats should take measures to prevent mosquito bites, including using insect repellent on exposed skin, wearing long
sleeves and trousers, and ensuring there are secure screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out. Life as an expat – in Hong Kong or elsewhere – can also have a profound effect on mental, as well as physical wellbeing. Moving away from family and friends, the pressures of a new job, and adapting to a new way of life and culture should not be underestimated. ‘Relocation Depression’ is a shared health concern for all expats, regardless of nationality or country of residency, and something that should be taken seriously when posting your employees to a new country. Relocating abroad is not like being a tourist, although it may feel like it at first. Once the excitement of new surroundings has worn off, expats may be left feeling unsettled and anxious. For some people this can even develop into a form of depression, and it is well documented that expats tend to report alcohol playing a more significant role in their life than before. Many expats have also reported feeling generally less healthy after they relocate: access to familiar foods, pressure from work and access to exercise facilities are just a few factors that contribute to this.
Healthcare: access and availability While no one wants to suffer poor health while abroad, expats can feel confident that Hong Kong offers a good standard of healthcare, whether they suffer from one of the conditions above or something entirely unrelated to their relocation. The city’s high life expectancy and low levels of infant mortality are a good indication of the quality of its healthcare. While the healthcare system is far from perfect, it is uncommon for Hong Kong residents to venture elsewhere for medical treatment. Hong Kong operates a public health service which is open to all residents and is mainly funded by the government through general taxation revenues. Most hospital treatment is provided by the publicly funded Hospital Authority (HA). Medical standards in HA hospitals are said to be high but because of funding difficulties and staff shortages, hospital accommodation is overcrowded and Autumn International HR Adviser
waiting lists are regarded as unacceptably long. Non-residents are allowed to use HA services but are charged higher fees. The government is looking to reduce the demand for public hospital services by encouraging more people to take out private medical insurance. They are proposing that insurers devise a low limit standardised PMI product, promising to selectively subsidise the premiums through the health reform fund. Employers and wealthier individuals will be able to improve standard cover with voluntary top up policies. Because around 90 per cent of the government healthcare budget is directed to the HA, primary and preventative healthcare is relatively neglected. Hong Kong is also currently debating how to meet and finance the healthcare needs of an ageing population. Through the encouragement of health insurance take-up, the government hopes to free-up public hospital resources for the vulnerable, the elderly and the chronically sick. There is a strong private healthcare sector, represented by 13 private hospitals and the majority of GPs and dentists. It is estimated that 85 per cent of the population use private GPs over public health service clinics, but this is more for convenience than for any appreciable difference in medical standards. Around 40 per cent have some form of medical insurance which allows them to enjoy the greater speed, comfort and convenience afforded by private healthcare providers. All charges in Hong Kong’s private hospitals are related to the number of beds in the patient’s room. One of the reasons is the shortage of private hospital beds: International HR Adviser Autumn
fewer than 15 per cent of hospital beds in Hong Kong are private, compared to around a quarter in Singapore and a third in Australia. This is mainly because land costs are so high that it is not economical to build new hospitals. An important element in the private sector is traditional Chinese medical practitioners. There are around 8,900 officially listed practitioners (compared to around 12,400 doctors of Western medicine). Consultation fees and the cost of herbal remedies are on par with Western medicine.
Medical insurance – an attractive option? Healthcare costs in Hong Kong are very high compared to other countries around the world. Insurance is not mandatory for expats, but many employers provide it for their employees while they are abroad, so you can expect queries about it from any employees you do relocate. It is an attractive recruitment and retention tool, and ensures that staff spend less time off sick. Expats without private medical insurance will have to self-pay if they use public or private healthcare services. International private medical insurance (IPMI) is attractive for many expats, as it often grants them access to treatment wherever they need it. While they may not need to leave Hong Kong for treatment if they fall ill there, IPMI gives the freedom to choose – receiving a high standard of treatment if they return to their home country, for example. An IPMI policy also offers access to a global network of doctors and healthcare professionals, offering consistently
high standards of treatment. Providers are also more likely to be familiar with the languages and cultures in countries around the world where medical assistance is required. Many providers offer to manage all the practical matters when members are undergoing treatment too, so they can focus on getting better. Co-ordinating treatment in a foreign country with an unfamiliar healthcare system can be daunting, so it is reassuring to know that many providers will worry about that on their members' behalf, and settle any bills directly. Overall, while the state healthcare system in Hong Kong is good, it is overburdened and waiting times are long. Having the right medical insurance speeds up access to healthcare, keeping up with the fast-paced lifestyle that many expats lead in Hong Kong. Dr Mark Simpson, Medical Director, Bupa International For further information about Bupa International and its business healthcare plans, call +44(0)1273718308 from 8am-6pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturday, or visit us online at www.bupa-intl.com/for-business.
Autumnâ€‚ International HR Adviser
Talent Beyond Borders
A Complex Landscape The world today is a complex place to do business. Markets are volatile, unpredictable and increasingly reactive to the economic conditions around them. Even those that are stable are still challenging environments in which to operate. Organisations are scrambling to redefine their business model and structure their operations to do what they can to safeguard their future. Businesses everywhere are adjusting to suit the turbulent world all around them. Agility and innovation have become business by-words. Globalisation remains an inescapable backdrop to the boardroom agenda and colours every Executive Committee’s decision making. As organisations and businesses seek to unlock new and emerging markets, adapt to the changing needs of existing markets and react to new competitor threats and regulations, the internationalisation of business is a relentless march that cannot be halted. But it can be embraced. To survive and thrive organisations are increasingly working across borders and in new territories. While arguably there are very few truly “global” organisations, the rise of multinational corporations stems not just from traditional markets like Europe, Japan and the US, but increasingly from emerging economies such as India, Korea, Brazil and China. To take one example, Wall Street listed and Dublin headquartered management consulting firm Accenture, estimated 35% of its workforce are currently working from India. More and more organisations are operating beyond the locality of their foundation in some sort of stateless virtual world. In business it’s an exciting time. But despite the turbulence, many core factors remain. Factors that define an organisation’s ability to grow, to survive and to be successful. Primary of these is the talent an organisation is able to deploy. Be under no misconception, the much-debated war for talent has never abated. People remain the competitive differentiator for almost all businesses, and skills shortages are for many the biggest hindrance to growth. Despite rising unemployment in some regions, many organisations are still unable to find enough people with the right skill and experience to achieve their strategic International HR Adviser Autumn
goals or business plan. According to long range forecasts from leading research organisation IBISWorld, the global HR and recruitment services industry will see a strong rebound of hiring. From 2012-16, the global HR and recruitment services industry will achieve an annual growth rate of 3.5% and hit $610.3bn in five years. Furthermore, as the DDI Global Leadership Forecast 2011 uncovered, not only is there a shortfall of talented executive leaders, the success rate of these leaders in role remains a concern. Not only is the dynamic business world we read so much about demanding more of our business leaders, the skills they need to be successful are changing. The stark fact is that without leaders and people able to be successful in their jobs, organisations have no chance at all of achieving their goals. Organisations understand this is a complex situation and that global talent management programmes are a challenge to design and implement, but talent management professionals also know that the potential benefits are huge.
Global talent management: Myths, misconceptions and half-truths Regardless of where organisations are on the continuum, our work with talent management professionals and senior leadership teams around the world to implement global and multi-regional talent strategies means we regularly come across a series of common misconceptions, myths and half-truths. These are often the points where a well-intentioned nascent global talent management strategy can go awry. Employing the maxim “prevention is better than cure” will help deliver success more quickly and avoid unnecessary roadblocks: • “Ah, but we’re different.” When it comes to developing rigorous people and talent processes, there is a temptation for every organisation, business unit or region to think “but we’re different from every other organisation”. This is partly true; there is no single, off-theshelf approach that will meet all the requirements of a particular business. Nevertheless there are some universal
truths that remain, and organisations would do well to learn from the common assumptions and mistakes that can hold back even the best of global talent management intentions. It is impossible to enter the global talent management journey without an optimistic belief in a positive outcome. But there is little room for naivety. A healthy dose of realism in areas including scale, speed, the support required, visibility of results and local resistance from the outset will deliver the best chances of success. • “Global talent management will be easy.” It won’t be. A typical first step is to replicate what’s working well in one country in another region. This is often the most simple and straightforward approach, but can lead to a host of complex problems. It can ignore the legal, cultural demographic and technology issues we have already looked at. It is also reductive of the complexities of the business and the experience that exists outside the corporate centre. Just because everyone is on the same payroll, it doesn’t mean they are moving in the same direction. Different parts of the business will have different perceived priorities, and a different understanding of the business strategy. What’s more, the levels of enthusiasm by which different divisions of the business take up the global talent management gauntlet will vary enormously. The global talent management strategy needs to be flexible to encompass multiple perspectives and starting points. The challenge is not to mandate consistency, but to manage the differences within the overall global talent management framework. Success takes time, effort and commitment. • “Global talent management is too complicated to bother with.” Absolutely not. Some organisations may be put off taking the global talent management road because it seems like an endless, complex and thankless task. The fact is that every journey starts somewhere and the goal is achievable for any organisation's commitment to the outcome. Chances are, if your organisation is operating across borders or in different regions there will be some pull toward globalisation of the
Talent Beyond Borders organisation's talent anyway. Some, perhaps informal, activities will already be happening and already achieving good results. These areas of good practice at a local and regional level are the ones to build on. Knowing where to begin is often a challenge, and starting with simpler initiatives is no bad thing. And there is another factor at play. As we look at business today, the march towards increasing globalisation is inevitable. Increasingly global businesses need to be supported by an increasingly global talent strategy. • “We can get this done quickly.” No, you can’t. All the benefits that could possibly be achieved in a joined-up and truly global talent management strategy simply won’t happen overnight. It takes time, first to identify where the organisation as a whole is now, then to design and implement a sensible number of new innovations and talent initiatives and, finally, to see the fruits of this labour. You will likely require people to change what they do and how they work – never an easy ask. Typically this roll out will be measured in years, not months. So how long before organisations can measure real success? It might be heartening to know it won’t take a decade to see change; we typically look at a three to five year horizon to see significant strategic business benefit. However, this does not mean that there will not be some quick wins and more immediate benefits that can be achieved early in the process. Even the act of taking a step back and considering the talent of the global business as a whole will likely reveal some easily fixed problems and gaps. • “Talent can be easily moved across the globe and into different markets.” This can be true, but more commonly it’s a stumbling block both on an organisational and individual level. Despite a vocal willingness on the part of the individual or executive to relocate in principle, when it comes down to it the reality may be different. Personal factors always come into play, even if the individual has had a supportive training programme to help prepare them for the new role elsewhere. What if they have just moved house, or settled into a new relationship? This underlines the importance of having a pool of possible candidates for each new role or position; relying on one person will not be enough. Secondly, what makes
an individual a success in one market will not necessarily translate easily to another; a change of context can make all the difference in the world. A robust global talent management strategy will identify those who are not just willing, but will also assess how well their skills, readiness and experience fit into a new role elsewhere. • “Distance is just kilometres, and we’re all virtual now anyway.” If the company is structured around a single corporate centre, it is often further away from other parts of the organisation than can be measured in mere kilometres. What do we mean by this? In terms of information flow, communication, understanding of practical and cultural barriers and available support there is often an enormous gulf. Often those at the corporate centre assume that because something happens there, it should cascade out to every part of the business and be successful. This is naïve in the extreme. Even if the mandated programme does transpire – there will be vast variance in how it is received and implemented around the world. Organisational culture can vary widely within the same business, and senior executives can be guilty, to a surprisingly high degree, of corporate blindness to parts of the business. If the objective is for a successful programme, a much more effective approach is to develop initiatives and tools in conjunction with representatives from the parts of the organisation that will implement them. This maximises relevance, value, understanding and buy-in. Somewhat comfortingly, despite the wonders of modern communications technology, the only way to really understand a different part of the business located in a different country, together with all and the issues at play, is to spend a significant amount of time on the ground there. There is no substitute for the talent management professional charged with creating and implementing a global programme. • “Strategy and culture live in isolation.” They do not, and if there is conflict, culture will win every time. Even with the strongest business case and a well thought-out and practical talent programme designed to grow the business, the strategy won’t be realised if it runs contrary to the culture of the organisation. If the senior team at Google suddenly decided the
organisation needed to be risk and innovation-averse, it just wouldn’t happen. If a century-old Chinese stateowned enterprise suddenly decided to have its leaders in their twenties lead a group of senior executives in restructuring the organisation, it likewise probably wouldn’t happen. The talent management team need to understand the organisation they are working within, and design initiatives in line with organisational culture – even if the organisation is on a journey towards a different type of cultural environment! In some cases, the reality is that successful implementation of a global talent management strategy might require a shift in organisational mind-set and culture. • “So everything must start away from the HQ.” Also not true. While involvement and participation of teams and divisions in other geographies and markets is absolutely crucial to a global talent management process - especially when it comes to developing some of the tools, processes and initiatives that will be used in the field - that does not mean that the centre is not the logical place to start. It has a key role in understanding the local talent situation, translating business strategy into talent strategy and defining the processes, tools and systems that the organisation will have access to. But the centre’s role has to be informed by the global locations. For example, not all the knowledge and experience to put together consistent success profiles will emanate from the corporate HQ, but it is the natural place to bring people together from other parts of the business to explore what defines success in that location. In the end an integrated global talent management programme will balance consistency and difference around the world. • “This is a job for HR, and not the Executive Committee.” Half-truth. Successful talent management, like many other parts of the HR function is most fruitful when it is an embedded part of the business and with tangible connections to delivering the business plan. Thus performance management must be perceived by the whole organisation as a business process, not an HR one. The Executive Committee must be able to understand and actively support the role of the talent management department in linking its work to the delivery of the business Autumn International HR Adviser
Talent Beyond Borders goals. Beyond that, it’s the role of the managers and team leaders in the wider business to deliver the talent strategy and without clear understanding of the benefits to be gained, the process will not receive the necessary buy-in. At the same time the HR and talent departments need to provide the systems, create the communications, give the business access to the necessary tools, equip leaders with the right skills, and report on the results. It’s a bit like saying the finance department is responsible for organisational profitability. It’s not, but it has a huge role to play. • “Content is more important than implementation.” When things go wrong the tendency is to blame the process or the content. Great content designed for leadership development initiatives or assessment programmes should not be mistaken for a good overall strategy. There may be many great elements in the programme, but these are wasted if no one is able (or wants) to use them. Implementation and content go hand in hand, but for a successful programme the balance of effort should be on implementation rather than content. Good great content and excellent tools should be a given. • “We have a process – that means we have a strategy.” No, it doesn’t. Many valuable individual initiatives and processes are fine, but unless they tie into an overall strategy, which has defined and measured goals and helps the business achieve its aims, activities are likely to be sub-optimised or potentially even wasted. Processes are informed by the strategy not viceversa. Organisations should be asking themselves whether their processes and systems need to change when the business strategy does. For example, an organisation’s talent pool often stays the same in make-up, size and process, despite the succession needs of the business radically altering. Simon Mitchell, UK General Manager & European Marketing Director, DDI UK +44 1753 616000 or email: Simon. Mitchell@ ddiworld.com
International HR Adviser Autumn
You are cordially invited to
Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition on
Monday 3rd February 2014 10.00am - 5.00pm at
Hotel Russell, 1-8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE
This event is FREE TO ATTEND
Come along and meet our exhibitors who have products and services that support expatriates and their families. There are also free seminars running throughout the day. You will need to pre-register for the seminars as places are limited so please email email@example.com For further information on this event please call Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186
Global Immigration Update
Global Immigration Update Australia Authorisation To Be Required for Offshore Work (July 30, 2013) Australia recently enacted legislation that will require all foreign offshore workers to hold a visa granting work authorisation. A new offshore worker visa will be created to accommodate the new requirement. The legislation is expected to take effect in early 2014. Currently, foreign nationals are not required to hold a visa to work on rigs, platforms or vessels not connected to the Australian seabed, or to work on vessels involved in pipe-laying activities. Such work is considered outside of Australia’s Migration Zone – the area in which the country’s standard immigration rules apply. The legislation will expand the Migration Zone to encompass most offshore work and, as a result, foreign workers on a seismic or pipe-lying vessel operating in Australian waters will require work authorisation, even if the vessel is not connected to the seabed. This will apply to geophysicists conducting a seismic survey and to support staff on the vessel, such as on-board cooks, cleaners and so forth. The legislation was enacted in response to a May 2012 Federal Court decision that held certain vessels installing offshore pipelines to be outside the country's Migration Zone. The visa created by the legislation will be the only category available to foreign nationals seeking to work on Australian resource installations, such as oilrigs currently included in the Migration Zone, or on seismic or pipe-laying vessels. The government is expected to release details about this visa at a later date. A grace period is expected to allow employers and current foreign offshore workers to obtain the offshore worker visa once it is available. The new legislation will also allow the Department of Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship and Fair Work Australia inspectors to enforce compliance with labour and immigration laws at offshore facilities, which is not possible under current law when the offshore work is conducted outside of Australia’s Migration Zone.
Philippines Initial Visa-free Stays Extended to 30 Days for Most Foreign Nationals (July 31, 2013) From August 1, nationals of 151 countries can enter the Philippines and be granted an initial stay of 30 days, up from 21 days currently, following a joint announcement by the Bureau of Immigration, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and several other agencies. Nationals of Brazil and Israel will continue to receive an initial stay of 59 days in line with existing bilateral agreements with the Philippines. All visa-exempt nationals must present an onward ticket and a passport which is valid for at least six months beyond the contemplated stay in order to avail of the exemption. The initial 30-day stay can be extended while in the country.
Czech Republic Fast-Track Visa and Work Permit Programme Is Expanded (July 31, 2013) A pilot programme that fast-tracks visa and work permit applications has been expanded to include visa-exempt nationals on local payroll, including intracompany transferees and local hires operating in a management or specialist capacity. Previously, the fast-track process was only available to intracompany transferees and secondees who remained on foreign payroll. The programme offers eased document requirements for all applicants, including a sworn declaration from the sponsoring company attesting to the applicant’s educational and professional qualifications in lieu of a legalised educational certificate. Fast-track processing times are ten business days for work permits and 30 calendar days for long-term work visas. Standard processing times are typically 70 days for work permits and 60 to 90 days for work visas. Czech sponsoring employers must receive permission from the Ministry of Industry and Trade to benefit from the fast-track programme on behalf of foreign workers who will be placed on local payroll. The Czech sponsoring employer must show proof it has met tax, health insurance
and social security obligations and must have employed at least 50 workers for the previous three years (with a minimum of 20 for the previous three years for start-up IT companies). Companies in the manufacturing sector are required to show a minimum of CZK 50 million in long-term tangible assets. Companies in the business support services, IT, software and research and development fields will have to show a minimum of CZK 35 million paid out in salaries to workers over the past two years. The Ministry of Trade has yet to confirm whether fast-track processing will be available for assignments under three months or for dependent applications.
Colombia Government Introduces Further Changes to Visa Regime (July 31, 2013) The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a new law that has introduced further changes following the restructuring of the country’s visa regime in June. Highlights of the new law include electronic filings for all visas and additional requirements for work visas, change of status applications, a minimum passport validity for all visa applicants and a maximum age for dependents. All changes take effect immediately. Change of status permitted for all visas. Foreign nationals may now enter Colombia in tourist status and apply for business, residence or work visas in-country. Previously, all foreign nationals were required to obtain visas in these categories directly from a Colombian consulate prior to travelling to Colombia. Approval from professional entities no longer required for visa applications. Certain professionals (such as attorneys, businesspeople, engineers and scientists) have typically required an approval from the Colombian entity that regulates that profession in order to obtain work authorisation. This approval will still be required to work in Colombia, but it will no longer have to be presented as part of the visa application. Additional financial requirements for work visas. Colombian sponsoring employers will have two additional financial requirements for temporary work visas under the TP-4 visa category. Autumn International HR Adviser
Global Immigration Update Companies will now need to present the previous year’s tax return and the previous six months’ bank statements with a minimum average balance of approximately USD 32,000. This amount represents 100 times the monthly minimum wage established by Colombian law. The MFA may waive this requirement or require fewer bank statements for newly-established companies. Maximum age for dependents established Foreign nationals can sponsor dependent family members up to 25 years old, and over the age of 25 when the dependent is disabled and financially dependent on the principal visa holder. There was no previous rule regarding the age of dependents. Electronic filings implemented The government has implemented streamlined electronic procedures for all visa and renewal applications submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Bogotá or to a Colombian consular post. The former procedure required visa applications to be sent by mail to a Colombian consular post or filed in person by the applicant or third-party representative. Renewal applications were also filed in person at the MFA office in Bogotá by the applicant or third-party representative. The MFA will have up to four days to approve or deny an application following the electronic submission. MFA officials in Bogotá and consular officials abroad will, however, have increased discretion to request that the applicant appear for an interview. Applicants for renewals who require same-day processing can apply in person at the MFA in Bogotá. Thirty-day period to amend visa. Applicants will have up to 30 days to request the amendment of a visa issued with errors. If errors are not corrected within this time frame, the applicant will have to request a new visa. Minimum remaining passport validity established. All visa applicants will be required to hold a passport with a minimum remaining validity of six months. There was no previous requirement for remaining passport validity, though, in practice, most immigration officials required a minimum remaining validity of three months. Study allowed under certain visa types. Holders of the following visas will be authorised to study in addition to the International HR Adviser Autumn
activities authorised by their respective visa type: NE-2 (business related to the Pacific Alliance trade bloc), NE-3 (representatives of foreign government institutions), TP-1 (miscellaneous – family members of diplomats, crews of cinematography projects), TP-4 (temporary work), TP-5 (religious) and TP-7 (self-employed individuals, retirees and property owners). Previously, visa holders had to apply for a student visa to study in Colombia. MERCOSUR residence permit issued for longer validity. The MERCOSUR residence permit, introduced in March 2013, can now be issued for up to three years, up from two years. The residence permit is available to Argentine, Bolivian, Brazilian and Peruvian nationals.
China Government Issues Finalised Regulations to Implement New Immigration Law (July 31, 2013) The Chinese government has released finalised regulations implementing the new Exit and Entry Administrative Law that will take effect September 1, 2013. The regulations differ in a number of ways from the proposed regulations that were released in May. The new regulations do not answer all of the outstanding questions about the new law, but additional guidance is expected within the next few months. Illegal residency will be defined as situations where: 1) foreign nationals remain in China beyond the period of time allowed on a visa, residence or stay permit; 2) visa-exempt nationals exceed their period of authorised stay and do not secure appropriate residency documents; 3) foreign nationals stay or reside in an area other than that approved by their documentation; and 4) “other illegal residency circumstances,” which have yet to be defined. There will be new visa categories for highly skilled individuals whose expertise is in demand in China (R visa), commercial trading (M visa), family reunion (Q visa), and dependents (S visa). In total, China will feature twelve visa categories, up from the current eight. The F visa currently used by business visitors will be used for exchange, visits, research and other relevant activities, while the new M visa will be used for commercial trading visits. The S visa will be used by dependents of individuals
who reside in China because of study and work. Eligible dependents will include the principal’s spouse, parents, children under the age of 18, and his or her spouse’s parents. The Z work visa will not be divided into long-term or short-term categories, as was proposed in May. Under the finalised regulations, extensions of stay obtained in China will no longer affect the period for which a visa is valid for travel or the total number of entries permitted by the visa. Additionally, the cumulative maximum length of all possible in-country extensions of stay will be equal to the number of days the visa is granted per entry. Fragomen anticipates that additional changes will be announced over the coming months and that supplementary guidance may be issued to help reconcile some of the differences between the draft and final versions of the regulations. Advance planning during this transition period is crucial to help avoid delays in application processing resulting from sudden policy changes.
Canada New Changes to the Labour Market Opinion Process Take Effect Today (July 31, 2013) The Canadian government today announced that effective immediately, Labor Market Opinion (LMO) applications within the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme (TFWP) are subject to additional recruitment requirements and restrictions on using foreign language skills as a job requirement. There is also a new $275 processing fee for LMOs, which applies to each position requested. The changes apply to applications submitted on or after July 31, 2013. Employers are now expected to more clearly demonstrate via the LMO process that job vacancies they intend to fill with foreign workers cannot be filled with Canadians. Employers are required to advertise positions offered to proposed foreign workers for at least four weeks before applying for an LMO. Previously, employers were required to advertise positions for two weeks. In addition to advertising on the national Job Bank website or the equivalent provincial or territorial websites, employers must now advertise positions using at least two other recruitment methods that are consistent with the advertising practices for the
Global Immigration Update occupation. If hiring for a highly skilled occupation, one of these methods must be national in scope. If the employer is hiring for a low-skilled occupation, the employer must show that it has made efforts to target under-represented groups in the labour force. There are new limits on using foreign language skills as a job requirement. Unless an employer can demonstrate that a foreign language is essential for a position, English and French are the only languages that employers can identify as a job requirement, both in the LMO application and in their recruitment efforts. Four questions pertaining to an employer’s outsourcing practices have been added to the LMO application form. It is unclear at this time what impact these new questions will have on LMO adjudications.
Schengen Area Regulation Changes How Short-Term Stay Limits Are Calculated (August 7, 2013) A European regulation taking effect October 18, 2013 will change how the maximum cumulative stay period is calculated for short-term non-EEA visitors to the Schengen Area – an issue that had been subject to varying interpretations and inconsistent application across Schengen countries and ports of entry. Foreign nationals making short-term visits to Schengen countries, whether with a visa or visa-exempt, are generally limited to a maximum possible stay of 90 days within a 180-day period. After the regulation takes effect, border officials will calculate the 180-day period by counting backwards from the date the traveller enters a Schengen country. The length of the traveller’s proposed stay plus the duration of all prior stays within that 180-day period must equal 90 days or less. Days spent in the Schengen Area under a residence permit or long-stay visa will not count against the 90-day maximum. (Visa nationals may be granted a stay period shorter than 90 days, as immigration officials have the discretion to grant a shorter duration of stay that is consistent with the purpose of their trip.) Under European case law a traveller’s maximum stay is currently calculated by counting 180 days forward from the date of his or her first entry to the Schengen Area or from every new entry after the expiration of 180 days from an earlier date
of first entry. When inspecting frequent travellers, border officials face difficulties in determining the date of first entry and the number of days already spent in the Schengen Area. As a result, travellers are sometimes unexpectedly denied entry by Schengen countries for exceeding the 90 days within a 180 days limit. The greater clarity provided by the new regulation would become increasingly important if the European Union adopts a proposed electronic entry and exit tracking system. Passport Requirements for Non-EU Nationals The regulation also formalises passport requirements for non-EU nationals travelling to the Schengen Area. Travellers must present a passport issued within the previous 10 years and that is valid for at least three months after a traveller's intended departure date. The regulation should not have a significant impact on travellers, because similar requirements are already in place in most, if not all, Schengen countries.
Belgium More Stringent Permanent Residence Rules for EU Citizens and Families; Antwerp Proposes Fast-Track Registration Programme (August 7, 2013) Tighter Permanent Residence Rules for EU Citizens and Families EU nationals and family members of Belgian or EU nationals must now reside in Belgium for five uninterrupted years before they can qualify for unconditional permanent residence, in the form of an E+ or F+ Card. Previously, three uninterrupted years of residence was required. The extended residence requirements took effect July 11 and apply to all EU nationals and family members of Belgian or EU nationals living in Belgium who had not obtained permanent residence as of that date. There are no transitional measures for current foreign residents. Fast-Track Registration Programme in Antwerp The commune of Antwerp is proposing a fast-track registration procedure for nonBelgian nationals. For an additional fee of approximately EUR 277.50, the “Speedy Pass” would provide an expedited and less cumbersome registration process. Additional details of the programme are not yet available, but it would primarily aim to benefit non-Belgian workers.
Australia Employers Begin to See Impact of Subclass 457 Changes (August 9, 2013) On July 1, 2013, Australia implemented several changes to its Temporary Work (Skilled)(Subclass 457) visa programme, including tougher visa criteria and increased compliance monitoring for the programme. Since July 1, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has issued additional guidance on the changes, and employers have begun to see their effect. Perhaps most notably, processing times for 457 applications are currently averaging around four to six weeks, far longer than the previous average processing time of one to two weeks. Transitional Measures for 457 Applications Submitted Before July 1 When they took effect, the new subclass 457 rules applied retroactively to cases submitted but not decided by July 1. However, DIAC has since announced that certain prior rules will remain in effect for applications that were pending on July 1. Applications filed before July 1 can still benefit from an exemption from the 457 programme’s English language requirements based on their occupation. The English language proficiency exemptions were curtailed by the July 1 changes following concerns of potential misuse of the English language salary exemption. The exemptions were cut back also to ensure that the subclass 457 programme’s language requirements are consistent with last year’s changes to employment-based permanent residence programmes. In practice, these changes are expected to result in more 457 visa applicants having to sit for language proficiency tests. Similarly, new rules that mandate a skills assessment for foreign nationals nominated in programme and project administrator and specialist manager occupations apply only to applications that were submitted on or after July 1. Tougher Standards, New Integrity Measures for Subclass 457 Cases The new genuineness test for subclass 457 nomination applications – designed to ensure that an employer’s nominated occupation relates to a position that will address skill shortages in Australia – is having the greatest impact on employers who have had workforce reductions in the past. Autumn International HR Adviser
Global Immigration Update Under the new test, DIAC assesses whether a position genuinely fits within the nominated occupation, the scope of the position’s activities, the scale of the employer’s business, and whether the salary level is consistent with that paid to other workers in the occupation. Using the new standard, DIAC will consider whether an employer who has laid off workers has a genuine need to fill the positions related to their nominated occupations. New employment contract requirements – which were designed to reinforce new restrictions on placing 457 visa holders at the worksites of unrelated businesses – are adding to the time necessary to prepare Subclass 457 cases. Market salary evidence is now required for positions with salaries under AU$250,000 (previously AU$180,000), which means cases for more highly paid workers will take longer than they had in the past. The 457 programme’s Temporary Skilled Migration Skilled Income Threshold (TSMIT) increased to AU$53,900, from AU$51,400. Subclass 457 visa holders are now subject to a condition that requires them to begin work within 90 days of arrival in Australia and to obtain and maintain any compulsory licenses or registrations within 28 days of their visa grant. Caps for New Subclass 457 Sponsors Employers who have been approved to sponsor subclass 457 visas since July 1, including those who applied before that date, are required to state and justify the number of nominations they intend to request during their sponsorship period. DIAC may accept fewer nomination applications than requested if it deems a sponsor’s request unreasonable. The new cap is similar to subclass 457 sponsorship limits that were in place prior to 2009. The long-term impact of the new caps on employers is still unclear. DIAC policy guidelines about the July 1 changes have not provided many details about the caps, though they note that in most cases an employer’s request will be considered reasonable unless the number appears questionable based on the employer’s size, its personnel turnover, or its history of workforce reductions. Other July 1 Changes As previously reported, the visa application charge for subclass 457 visa applications nearly doubled on July 1 and will increase again on September 1, 2013 to AU$1035, from AU$900. The nomination fee also International HR Adviser Autumn
increased to AU$330, from AU$85. All standard applications for business sponsorship, nominations and subclass 457 visas (including from overseas businesses) are now required to be filed electronically, except in emergencies where there is a risk that the visa applicant will lose status.
European Union Member States to Implement Combined Work and Residence Permits for Local Hires (August 22, 2013) European Union member states are required by an EU directive to adopt a single combined work and residence permit system for locally hired thirdcountry national workers by December 25, 2013. Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom are not required to implement the directive. Affected countries must adopt a single permit system with a unified application process, which may mean significant procedural reforms in many EU states. Though they are free to do so, EU states are not required by the directive to implement a single permit system for intracompany transferees, workers staying for less than six months, long-term residents, seasonal workers or au pairs. However, the EU is currently considering a similar proposed directive that would apply to intracompany transferees. The directive gives member states some latitude to determine how the programme will be incorporated into their domestic immigration systems. As a result, requirements and application procedures may differ across member states. Fragomen is following the directive’s implementation across the European Union. What follows is a general summary of the single permit directive’s requirements. A Single Application Process The directive requires member states to implement a single application procedure for initial, amended and renewal permit applications. Member states must designate a competent authority to accept and adjudicate applications for the single permit. The adjudication of applications must constitute a single administrative act. Member states will remain free to require separate labour market testing requirements. Applications must be adjudicated within four months of a complete submission, though this time limit may be extended in exceptional circumstances based on the
complexity of an application. EU states will be free to determine the consequences of untimely adjudications, however, and can automatically deny applications not adjudicated in four months. EU states are free to determine whether applications for their single permit will be submitted directly by third-country nationals or through their employers. EU states are free to determine whether applications will be submitted from abroad or in country. EU states are allowed to retain separate visa application procedures for the initial entry of third-country nationals. A Single Permit The single permit must operate as both residence and work authorisation. The permit must be in a card format and contain a variety of security and biometric features, such as the holder’s fingerprints and a digital photograph. The permits may include additional information related to the holder’s employment relationship, such as the employer’s name and address, place and type of work, working hours, and/or remuneration. Other than the single permit, member states may not require any additional permits as proof of work authorisation. Holders of single permits will be entitled to freely access and reside in any part of the EU state that issued their permit, though they will only be allowed to work at the location and for the employer specified in their permit. Single permit holders will generally be entitled to the same rights as EU nationals with regard to working conditions, labour organisation, education and vocational training, recognition of diplomas and degrees, and tax benefits. Impact on Employers The single permit directive was designed to simplify and harmonise the rules currently applicable in EU states, and create a more efficient procedure both for third-country nationals and their employers. The content herein is provided for information purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact Fragomen Global Immigration. Fragomen Global, LLP +1 (212) 688 8555 (direct) firstname.lastname@example.org www.fragomen.com Fragomen has 35 offices in 15 countries. For further information, please contact the Global Knowledge Team.
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diary dates OCTOBER 2013 Global Mobility Summit – The Americas October 3-4, 2013 JW Marriott Las Vegas, United States of America Staying up to date is key to ensuring a productive and successful experience for your international assignees. The annual Americas Global Mobility Summit is where global mobility professionals from across the entire US join to benefit from a top-level conference featuring expert speakers and a series of panels, plus a networking exhibition to assess leading suppliers and learn about the latest advances in global mobility. For more information please contact Iyla MacIntyre on +44(0) 20 7943 8027 or email firstname.lastname@example.org In-house global mobility/HR professionals – book your free place at: www.totallyexpat.com/summits2013
Expatriate Management and Mobility Awards (EMMAs) – The Americas October 3-4, 2013 JW Marriott Las Vegas, United States of America Dedicated to celebrating excellence in global mobility worldwide, the 2013 series of EMMAs will take place in three glamorous international settings to recognise and reward the determination and successes of those at the forefront of our industry – Singapore, Las Vegas and London. Winners of the Americas EMMAs will be announced on October 3 at the glamorous JW Marriot Las Vegas Resort & Spa. Consisting of a dazzling drinks reception, gala dinner and ball, enjoy this momentous occasion at a fabulous waterfront location! Find out more and book your table at www.totallyexpat.com/emmas2013 or contact Iyla MacIntyre on +44(0) 20 7943 8027 or email email@example.com
Lloyds Banking Global Mobility Seminar October 17, 2013 – 9am-12pm 33 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HZ A seminar for HR professionals, multinationals and relocation agents responsible for sending employees on overseas assignment. This bespoke workshop is designed to ensure that international assignees have a smooth transition to living, working and travelling worldwide. They will cover a wide range of global-mobility-related topics, including taxation, immigration, education, banking and cultural awareness. HR directors, global-mobility managers and relocation agents can register their interest in attending a free seminar by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Worldwide ERC – Global Workforce Symposium 2013 October 23-25, 2013 Hilton Anatole Hotel, Dallas, Texas, United States of America First-time Corporate HR Attendee? Come as our guest. Learn more and register at www.WorldwideERC.org/Pages/ GlobalSymposium2013.aspx
NOVEMBER 2013 Global Mobility Summit – Europe November 8, 2013 Lancaster Hotel, London, United Kingdom Staying up to date is key to ensuring a productive and successful experience for your international assignees! The annual European Global Mobility Summit is where global mobility professionals across Europe join to benefit from a top-level conference featuring expert speakers and a series of panels, plus a networking exhibition to assess leading suppliers and learn about the latest advances in global mobility. For more information please contact Iyla MacIntyre on +44(0) 20 7943 International HR Adviser Autumn
8027 or email email@example.com In-house global mobility/HR professionals – book your free place at: www.totallyexpat.com/summits2013
Expatriate Management and Mobility Awards (EMMAs) Europe November 8, 2013 Lancaster Hotel, London, United Kingdom Dedicated to celebrating excellence in global mobility worldwide, the 2013 series of EMMAs will take place in three glamorous international settings to recognise and reward the determination and successes of those at the forefront of our industry – Singapore, Las Vegas and London. Winners will be announced at the Lancaster Hotel in London on November 8. This prestigious gala dinner and ball promises a delectable dinner, comedy, casinos and dancing. Make sure you don’t miss out by booking your table now! Find out more and book your table at www.totallyexpat.com/ emmas2013 or contact Iyla MacIntyre on +44(0) 20 7943 8027 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lloyds Banking Global Mobility Seminar November 14, 2013 – 9am-12pm 33 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HZ A seminar for HR professionals, multinationals and relocation agents responsible for sending employees on overseas assignment. This bespoke workshop is designed to ensure that international assignees have a smooth transition to living, working and travelling worldwide. They will cover a wide range of global-mobility-related topics, including taxation, immigration, education, banking and cultural awareness. HR directors, global-mobility managers and relocation agents can register their interest in attending a free seminar by emailing email@example.com
SAVE THE DATE FEBRUARY 2014 The Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition 3rd February 2013 Hotel Russell, Russell Square, London www.internationalhradviser.com There are seminars dedicated to educating and up-dating International HR professionals on key developments and current leanings relevant to the industry, running throughout the day. The seminar programme will be announced very soon. The 2013 Conference & Exhibition saw over 700 visitors attend this notto-be-missed event, so be sure to put the 2014 event in your diary today! Seminar Programme is as follows: 10.15am - Third Culture Kids 11.15am - Dual Career- Making It Possible 12.30pm - Taxation Issues Arising In Respect Of US Individuals Moving To The UK 1.45pm - Immigration 2.45pm - Unlocking Hidden Insights From Your Mobility Programme Through Data Analytics 3.45pm - Latest Global Mobility News And Trends, And How To Increase Your Connectivity In The World Of Global Mobility These seminars are FREE to attend. To reserve your place in any or all of these seminars or for further information on attending or exhibiting please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to advertise a conference or exhibition on our Diary Dates and on www.internationalhradviser.com please email email@example.com
DIRECTORY Assignment Management Services
Total Reward Group Chart House, 10 Western Road, Borough Green, Kent, TN15 8AG Contact: Simon Richardson Telephone: +44 (0) 1732 780777 Fax: +44 (0) 1732 668284 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.totalrewardgroup.com Total Reward Group is a ‘boutique’ employee owned reward practice, providing consultancy, search, interim managers and professional training for analysts. The Global Mobility division of TRG provides both advisory services on policy development, as well as fully outsourced assignment management services, which provides a ‘virtual’ in house Global Mobility HR service.
LLOYDS BANK PREMIER BANKING Address: Lloyds Bank International Limited. PO Box 111, Peveril Buildings, Peveril Square, Douglas, Isle of Man IM99 1JJ Contact: Cliff Govender Telephone: +44 (0)1624 657762 Email: email@example.com Website: www.international.lloydsbank.com/ employee-banking Lloyds Bank Global Mobility Banking offers HR professionals and Relocation organisations access to specialist advice and a suite of integrated products for their globally mobile employees. With our English speaking customer service teams available 24-7, we’ll make sure it feels as easy and straightforward as possible. And along with our easy account opening and dedicated relationship managers we are well placed to meet the financial needs of international employees and customers. As expatriate banking specialists we understand that a new life abroad comes with a host of different opportunities and challenges. Our international banking expertise will ensure that employees and customers have what they need to make the most of this exciting time in their life. NatWest Global Employee Banking Address: Eastwood House, Glebe Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1RS Contact: Neil Barsby, Head of NatWest Global Employee Banking Telephone: +44 (0)1245 355628 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.natwestglobal.com NatWest Global Employee Banking is a specialised department within NatWest who work with Company HR functions/ Relocation Agencies to offer a streamlined account opening service for relocating employees. One of the main benefits of the service is that employees can apply for their account before they arrive in the UK so their account is ready when they arrive. This may also help if they want to transfer funds to their new account in preparation for relocation.
BUSINESS ASSOCIATION J-1 VISA PROGRAMME
BRITISHAMERICAN BUSINESS (BAB) 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, 20th Floor New York, NY 10017, USA Contact: Tamra Eker Telephone: +212 661 4060 Fax: +212 661 4074 Email: email@example.com Website: www.babinc.org BritishAmerican Business’s J-1 visa program assists companies in offering US training and work experience to qualified employees of any nationality and from anywhere in the world, for a time period of up to 18 months. Sectors covered by our J-1 Visa designation include management, business, commerce, finance, law, industry, sciences, engineering, architecture, information media & communications. Using the J-1 Visa helps companies overcome cross-cultural differences and improve communication between US and overseas offices; enhance employee recruitment/retention efforts by offering US assignments; and meet global mobility challenges. Please call to discuss the program with our J-1 Visa Program Administrator.
ASSOCIATION OF RELOCATION PROFESSIONALS (ARP) PO Box 189, Diss, IP22 1PE, UK Contact: Tad Zurlinden Telephone: 08700 737475 Fax: 01379 641940 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.arp-relocation.com The ARP is the professional association for the relocation industry in the UK. The ARP’s activities include seminars throughout the year, an annual conference, the publication of an annual Directory of Members and a website, which is updated regularly. THE EUROPEAN RELOCATION ASSOCATION (EURA) PO Box 189, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 1PE Telephone +44(0)8700 726 727 Fax: +44(0)1379 641 940 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.eura-relocation.com EuRA is an industry body for Relocation Professionals in both Europe and Worldwide. EuRa have launched The EuRA Quality Seal, the world’s first accreditation programme for relocation providers. This pioneering initiative provides a straight forward, cost effective audit to reflect your company’s excellence in providing relocation services.
FRAGOMEN 4th Floor, Holborn Gate, 326-330 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7PP Contact: Caron Pope, Partner William Foster, Partner David Crawford, Partner Telephone: +44 (0)20 3077 5000
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.fragomen.com As the world's leading provider of immigration legal services and advice, Fragomen has served the immigration needs of clients ranging from individuals to the world’s leading multinational corporations for 60 years. With 42 offices in 17 countries worldwide, Fragomen has the resources and the reach to provide strategic and effective immigration solutions for over 140 countries around the globe.
INTERNATIONAL HR CONSULTANTS
DELOITTE LLP Stonecutter Court, 1 Stonecutter Street, London, EC4A 4TR Contact: Robert Hodkinson, Partner Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7007 1832 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7007 1060 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.deloitte.co.uk Whether you are creating your first international mobility programme for employees or addressing fundamental changes to an existing programme, our International Human Resources team can help. Deloitte provides consulting support that has an appreciation for each company’s size, background and unique cultural environment, aligning your international programme goals with corporate business strategies. Our consultants have developed deep expertise in many fields based on first hand experience with many of the world’s leading organisations: international assignment policy and process design, benchmarking, service delivery modelling, improving vendor management and helping our clients become more compliant and their administration more cost-effective.
DT MOVING LTD 49 Wates Way, Mitcham, Greater London, CR4 4HR Contact: Tim Daniells Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7622 4393 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7720 3897 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.dtmoving.com DT Moving is a world leading international moving company. Founded in 1870, we serve corporate customers all over the globe with an award-winning* move management and destination service programme. Through our London and Paris headquarters and worldwide network of global partners, we help clients achieve their workforce mobility goals. Every employee we relocate receives a dedicated DT Moving team member as a central point of coordination, support and advice to ensure every part of their relocation runs smoothly. Our goal is your complete satisfaction, and with a 96% customer rating for 2012, we offer unrivalled quality at competitive rates. *Awarded six global relocation awards since 2010.
Autumn International HR Adviser
RED GROUP OF COMPANIES The Bower, Langford Hall, Witham Road, Maldon, Essex, CM9 4ST Contact: Caroline Frostick-Seear and Amie Cutts Telephone: +44 (0)1621 840600 Fax: 01621 856062 Email: email@example.com Website: www.redrecruit.com Red Recruit was founded in 2002 and specialises in the Relocation and mobility industry. We are a very professional, friendly and reputable company who have extensive knowledge within the industry. We have access to a large volume of potential candidates all seeking work in your industry all over the UK, we will be able to find you a suitable candidate to enhance your business. We personally understand the importance of finding the right calibre of staff for an organisation. By using our service we will take the pressure off you of finding a suitable candidate for your company, saving you time, money and effort, giving you the best attention at all times.
RELOCATION HCR Relocation UK Head office - Belvedere House Basing View, Basingstoke, RG21 4HG, UK Contact: Sally Kelly - HCR Business Development Manager, EMEA. Telephone: +44(0)1256 313780 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hcr.co.uk Twitter: @relochatter LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/ company/hcr-group-limited We look after people, your people. We have a dedicated, high performing and professional team to deliver our award winning relocation service. Our knowledge, experience and empathy ensures that each of your relocating employees and their families are carefully managed and that their specific needs are considered. HCR has a true ‘one point of contact’ philosophy; One dedicated, cross trained Account Manager and Lead Relocation Consultant who will manage, co-ordinate, deliver and provide comprehensive support for every relocation case. INTERDEAN RELOCATION SERVICES Central Way, Park Royal, London, NW10 7XW Contact: Barrie Gilmour Telephone: +44 (0)208 961 4141 Fax: +44 (0)208 965 4484 Email: London@interdean.com Website: www.interdean.com Thinking Relocation? Think Interdean. Whether looking to expand into new territories or to leverage your human capital in core international markets, Interdean has the relocation service to support the needs of your business and your relocating employees. Interdean provides the full range of relocation services to support businesses with international interests. We make it easy. Our Services: Relocation Management, Visa & Immigration, Area Orientation, Temporary Housing, Home Finding, School Search, International HR Adviser Autumn
Settlingin Assistance, Tenancy Management, Household Goods Moving, Intercultural & Language Training, Relocation Expense Management, Moving & Relocation Insurance and other services available – please ask.
International Community School 21 Star Street, London, W2 1QB Contact: Matthew Cook, Director of Marketing and Secondary Admissions Tel: +44 (0) 20 7402 0416 Web: www.icschool.co.uk Email: email@example.com Twitter: @icslondon Youtube: ICSLondon An international school located in the centre of London. We offer all three International Baccalaurate Programmes (PYP, MYP, and Diploma) to children aged 3-18yrs. ICS has a diverse community with 45 different nationalities, and boasts a strong tradition of working with students who need support with learning English and also Special Educational Needs. Students at ICS benefit from a wide ranging activity programme during term time and also during school holidays. We have outdoor education centres at Chorleywood and Bawdsey, Suffolk and an extensive Travel and Learn programme that has taken students as far afield as Brazil, South Africa and the Galapagos Islands. ISL Group of Schools ISL Surrey Old Woking Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 8HY Contact: Claudine Hakim Telephone: +44 (0)1483 750 409 ISL London 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG Contact: Yoel Gordon Telephone: +44 (0)20 8992 5823 ISL Qatar PO Box 18511, North Duhail, Qatar Contact: Nivin El Aawar Telephone: +974 4433 8600 Website: www.islschools.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012, the International School of London (ISL) Group has schools in London, Surrey, and Qatar. The internationally recognised primary and secondary curricula have embedded language programmes (mother tongue, English as an Additional Language, and second language) which continue throughout the student’s stay in the school. A team of experienced and qualified teachers and administrators provides every student with the opportunity to grow and learn in an environment that respects diversity and promotes identity, understanding, and a passion for learning. MARYMOUNT INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL LONDON Address: George Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 7PE
Contact: Mrs Cheryl Eysele Telephone: +44 (0)20 8949 0571 Email: email@example.com Website: www.marymountlondon.com With an outstanding record teaching the respected International Baccalaureate for over 30 years, Marymount offers day and boarding to girls aged 11-18 who gain places at the world’s best universities. Consistently ranked within the top 5% globally, Marymount also offers the pre-IB Middle Years Programme; this stretches students without the need for incessant testing. The nurturing, supportive Catholic Community welcomes all faiths and achieves a shared purpose for girls of more than 40 nationalities. TASIS THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ENGLAND Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Surrey, TW20 8TE Contact: Karen House Telephone: +44 (0)1932 582316 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.tasisengland.org TASIS England offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma, an American college preparatory curriculum, and AP courses to its diverse community of coed day (3-18) and boarding (14-18) students from 50 nations. The excellent academic programme, including ESL, is taught in small classes, allowing the individualised attention needed to encourage every student to reach their potential. Outstanding opportunities in art, drama, music, and athletics provide a balanced education. Extensive summer opportunities are also offered. Located close to London on a beautiful and historic 46-acre estate.
BDO LLP 55 Baker Street, London, W1U 7EU Contact: Andrew Bailey Telephone: 020 7893 2946 Fax: 020 7893 2418 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.bdo.co.uk BDO LLP is the award-winning, UK Member Firm of BDO International, the world's fifth largest accountancy network with more than 600 offices in 100 countries. We have a partner-led approach, which delivers the highest quality of service by using short, functional chains of communication to aid decision-making. Clients benefit from our fresh thinking, constructive challenge and practical understanding of the issues they face. Developing strong, personal relationships with our clients is at the forefront of our service approach. Tax advice is just one of our award-winning services and our expatriate team give practical and direct advice, delivering solutions which suit your needs.
Entries in this Directory cost £175 per issue or £700 per annum. For further details email firstname.lastname@example.org