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International HR Adviser The Leading Magazine For International HR Professionals Worldwide

Features Include: Consistency, Transparency And Flexibility In Today's Approach To Global Mobility Background Checking • Assignee Compensation Delivery - It's A Complex Business Well Managed Global Mobility Programmes Continue To Offer Real Value To Companies Auto-Enrolment - An International Perspective • Taxing Issues: Expatriate Myths • Immigration Advisory Panel for this issue:

Expatriate Adviser  Summer 

Autumn International HR Adviser


In This Issue Page 2

International HR Strategy: Asignee Compensation Delivery – It’s A Complex Business Nathan Male & David Mantell, Deloitte’s Global Compensation Management

Page 6

Global Pensions: Auto-Enrolment - An International Perspective Stewart Allanson, Zurich Corporate Life & Pensions

Page 8 Page 12 Page 14 Page 16 Page 18 Page 20 Page 22 Page 27 Page 30 Page 32 Page 34 Page 36 Page 39 Page 40 Page 42 Page 45

Immigration: HR Professionals: Beware Of Commons US Visa Myths Orlando Ortega, Ortega-Medina & Associates

Global Mobility: Consistency, Transparency And Flexibility In Today’s Approach To Global Mobility Tim Wells, Abbiss Cadres LLP Accompanying Partners: Transforming Risk To Asset: Empowering Accompanying Partners In The Relocation Process Evelyn Simpson & Louise Wiles, Thriving Abroad International HR Survey: Well Managed Mobility Programmes Continue To Offer Real Value To Companies Adrian Mossmann, KPMG’s Global Mobility Advisory Practice Insurance: International Household Goods Insurance – A Sea Of Change On The Horizon Paul Coleman, TERN Financial Group Inc. Relocation Policy: Where Are The Correct Limits For A Relocation Policy? Simon Johnston, Icon Relocation Compliance: Corporate Compliance And Your Relocation Suppliers Dominic Tidey, EuRA Legal Issues: Making The Link: Social Media And Competing Employees Matt Jenkin, Harrison Clark Rickerbys Ltd Recruitment: Background Checking Eamon Jubbawy, Onfido Education: Developing Ethical Global Leaders Of The Future Mark London, ACS International Schools Organisational Structures: Where Do The Dotted Lines Go? Juliet Carp, Speechly Bircham LLP Global Immigration Update Fragomen LLP Diary Dates

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Taxing Issues: Expatriates Myths Andrew Bailey, BDO LLP Global Taxation Update Andrew Bailey, BDO LLP Trends: Strategic Moves Conference – Move It Up A Gear Rob Hodkinson & Christine Theofilou, Deloitte LLP

International HR Adviser, PO Box 921, Sutton, SM1 2WB, United Kingdom Publisher • Helen Elliott +44 (0) 20 8661 0186 • Email: Publishing Director • Damian Porter +44 (0) 1737 551506 • Email: 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.

Cover Design by Chris Duggan

Winter  International HR Adviser



International HR Strategy

Assignee Compensation Delivery It’s A Complex Business In this article we explore the challenges associated with employees understanding their pay whilst on assignment and identify practical solutions that businesses can use to help clearly communicate expatriate compensation. In an ideal world an employee would never need to contact the payroll team as they would receive the correct compensation on time and to their chosen bank account. Should they need any additional information their payslip would likely yield the answers they require. For domestic employees this is frequently the case, with generally only limited scenarios requiring additional input from the business. The needs of expatriates are no different, but the make-up and way in which their compensation is delivered typically makes the situation considerably more complex.

Understanding the extent of the issue An assignee’s monthly compensation is likely to consist of multiple pay elements from assignment salary and housing to cost of living and hardship payments. Their host/expat payroll could be delivered on a different payday or even a different frequency. Overnight the number of payslips increase with both home and host locations providing a payslip (which is generally a local regulatory requirement). The pay items on each payslip multiply and even the language may not be that of the assignee’s home location. Overlay this with additional calculations for employees who are “tax equalised” and what used to be a very simple monthly statement of income becomes incredibly complex and difficult to understand. As detailed in figure 1, the volume of pay components which may need to be included on the assignee’s payslip can be significant. Taking all of these changes collectively, it is not uncommon for assignees during the entire length of their assignment to be unclear on whether the compensation they are receiving is correct. International HR Adviser  Winter

Figure 1: Illustration of pay component make up

What can global HR and mobility teams do to help? Global HR and mobility teams have a unique and critical role to play in helping assignees understand and ultimately be comfortable that the compensation they receive is in line with the assignment package that was agreed. Without this a significant amount of time that should be focussed on meeting the objectives of the assignment is at risk of being used by the assignee to validate their pay is correct and they are not out of pocket. Get it right and the role of the HR and mobility teams can be far more focussed on delivering strategic activity and value to the business. Get it wrong and it is not uncommon to find individuals or in some cases, entire teams, acting as a 24/7 helpdesk to try and demystify assignee compensation and payslip confusion. Of course, that is not to say there will be some instances where intervention from the business is still required for more complex scenarios, with potential input also required from local payroll teams. If assignees are not comfortable they are receiving the correct level of compensation,

the impact can be significant with a risk of reduced willingness to participate in future assignments. To address this challenge, organisations need to ensure they have a strategy in place for clearly communicating assignee compensation. Whilst the intensity of this communication strategy may need to be dialled up and down dependent upon the complexity and structure of the underlying assignee compensation programme, the basic principles remain the same.

Communicating assignee compensation In line with the concept of total reward statements for domestic employees, assignees require a single report that captures all of their compensation in one place. As with total reward statements, for some organisations it is sufficient to show this within a static report allowing the assignee to view a breakdown of their compensation items. For others, greater sophistication is required and with recent advances in Data Analytics this is now available through interactive assignee driven dashboards which allow the

International HR Strategy Figure 2: How complex is your expatriate compensation delivery?

individual to select the level of granularity they require (e.g. at a macro level they can view their total net compensation through to granular reporting at a pay component level per delivery location). Critically, whatever communication method is used it is key that this is delivered with appropriate explanatory notes, FAQs and supporting information to facilitate assignee interpretation of their compensation statement.

Obtaining the data

Figure 3: Examples of assignee compensation communication formats

Of course, the ability to report compensation data in this way is dependent upon it being available on a timely and regular basis. Unlike a domestic employee for whom the payslip produced from the payroll system generally provides all the information required, the need for consolidated reporting of disparate assignee compensation data requires a more centralised approach to data collation, storage and reporting. The question for many organisations is how can this data be collated and maintained centrally in a robust and timely manner? For many, the answer to this is a central database which local payrolls feed into post payroll processing. This database then needs to store the data by assignee and payroll location to allow the automated production of assignee compensation reports. In addition, businesses may use this data for other purposes (e.g. assignee tax return completion and as MI data in the business).

The next steps For many, the ability to implement such a structure is dependent upon developing a robust internal business case and clearly articulating the benefits of the proposed solution. In developing a business case, we recommend organisations review a number of factors to determine their ability to collate the necessary data. For some organisations, there may be some challenges that need to be overcome. To do so will require a structured methodology with agreement from key stakeholders such as HR, global mobility, payroll and IT system teams. This should be considered and documented as part of an initial feasibility study to analyse the design considerations, and capture any challenges the business needs to overcome and identify appropriate resolution and timescales to allow presentation of a robust business case. Winter  International HR Adviser



International HR Strategy

Figure 4: Compensation central storage database

Deloitte llp are hosting a FREE SEMINAR at

Figure 5: Example feasibility study considerations

The 2014 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition Monday 3rd February 2014 at Hotel Russell, London at 2.45pm

Unlocking Hidden Insights From Your Mobility Programme Through Data Analytics Measurement of success Ultimately measuring how successful any changes to the way in which assignee compensation is communicated will be based upon feedback received. Whether this is measured and tracked via a form of satisfaction survey or based on more anecdotal feedback such as whether the level of queries around assignee pay have reduced is a decision for each organisation. Finally, whilst the benefits of successfully communicating assignee compensation in a consolidated and globally consistent manner are clear due to the complexities involved, it is recommended that the process is reviewed and allowed to evolve on an ongoing basis. This will allow improvements to be made based on assignee feedback and as the cumulative volume of compensation data collated increases over time, there is also significant potential to use the data to support MI reporting and ultimately help inform business decisions related to assignee mobility programme design and the associated compensation costs. International HR Adviser  Winter

Nathan Male is a Director in Deloitte’s Global Compensation Management (GCM) practice. Nathan serves as a Client Account Director across a number of our GCM clients and has extensive experience of working with Deloitte’s largest clients, implementing and managing complex projects working with multiple client stakeholders. T: +44 20 7007 8364 Email: David Mantell is a Manager in Deloitte’s Global Compensation Management practice (GCM), based in London. Dave joined Deloitte in 2013 from JP Morgan where he was an Expatriate & EMEA Regional Payroll Manager. Utilising his extensive in-house global payroll expertise, Dave leads the GCM account delivery for a number of clients. T: +44 20 7303 2948 Email:

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:


Global Pensions

Auto-Enrolment - An International Perspective Those of you with a sizeable UK workforce will by now have gracefully worked your way through the challenge that was automatic enrolment. If your company employs less than 250 workers in the UK, your staging dates draw ever nearer and I’m sure that you are appropriately prepared. For most employees the question of whether or not they should be auto enrolled is fairly straightforward – namely if they are based in the UK, not already in a qualifying pension plan, aged over 22 and earning over GBP9,440 a year. However, those employees with an international aspect or nature to their role – such as non UK nationals, offshore workers, those with no UK address and existing members of overseas pensions or offshore ‘international pension plans’ – have raised some interesting questions for the international team at Zurich. So here I’d like to take a look at some of the main questions that we’ve been asked and what to look out for in respect of your international or mobile employees with a UK connection.

Working in the UK As you know, the first question to ask is whether or not the employee ordinarily works in the UK and therefore has to be either in a qualifying pension scheme or be auto enrolled. There’s quite a lot of advice available from consultants on this and most pension providers are helping their customers to assess their workforce using some type of software ‘utility’. There is also section 3 of the Pensions Regulator’s Guidance Notes ‘Assessing the workforce’ which sets out the position for most employees. By way of guidance, the kind of things to look out for are: • Where the worker begins and ends their day • Where their private residence is • Where the company HQ is • Do they pay UK National Insurance? • Are they paid in GBP? For most employees it’s going to be pretty clear whether or not they are working in the UK. If they have a house in the UK, are on the UK payroll, are paid in GBP and start and finish their day’s work in the UK, then they will be UK workers International HR Adviser  Winter

regardless of their nationality and future plans to return home. For many others though it’s not so clear-cut. Let’s take a look at some of these employees.

Overseas secondees and expatriates There are thousands of people working in the UK on secondment or as long-term expatriates. Many of these, particularly short termers from other EU states, will have remained in their employer’s home country pension plan and will have no UK-based pension. So do they need to be auto enrolled? Well, this depends on whether or not the employer is satisfied that their overseas pension scheme meets the criteria to be a qualifying overseas scheme as laid down by the UK’s Pension Regulator (TPR). If the criteria are met then you won’t need to enroll these people, otherwise you most probably will. In order for an overseas plan to be accepted as a qualifying pension, it must be an occupational or personal pension overseen by an appropriate regulatory body in the main country of its administration and, for defined contribution plans, the regulations in that country should provide that some or all of the benefits may be used to provide an income for life. In addition, members must receive tax relief on their contributions or, if no tax relief is available, the employer’s contribution must include an additional amount equivalent to the tax relief that would have applied under a UK registered plan. It should be noted that pensions based outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) that meet these criteria are only accepted as qualifying schemes for existing scheme members, whereas qualifying plans within the EEA can be used for new members.

Offshore workers and seafarers A regular question we are asked relates to workers on rigs in the UK territorial waters of the North Sea. Often on a UK contract and paid in GBP, these workers may never set foot on UK soil, nor intend to, but they are still likely to be treated as ordinarily working in the UK and are therefore subject to auto enrolment. Unless, of course, they are members of a

qualifying overseas plan as covered above. TPR guidance notes seem to be pretty clear on this point, but of course nothing is ever that simple and things can become interesting if the employee, or in some cases the actual rig, moves in and out of UK waters. How long is the person in UK waters and how long in, say, Norwegian waters? In these circumstances it’s important that you have a process around your decision to enroll or not enroll and that you retain evidence of the employee’s movements as an audit trail. Seafarers are another interesting group. If they are restricted to UK territorial waters then they are deemed to be UK workers, but if they are free to sail beyond UK boundaries then the waters start to muddy and once again you will need to maintain individual records and clear evidence of your auto enrolment process. TPR guidance notes on seafarers make reference to a similar issue under the Employment Rights Act 1996 and point out that case law has established that, “if the statutory conditions are not met, then the court may still reach the conclusion that the seafarer is ordinarily working in the UK, where the facts of the case show that the individual is based in the UK”. So that’s nice and clear then.

Members of International Pension Plans Many offshore workers and seafarers have traditionally been members of pension plans located in offshore locations such as the Isle Of Man and Channel Islands, usually referred to as ‘international pension plans’ (IPPs) or international retirement plans (IRPs). As a provider of such plans, we at Zurich have been asked whether the IPP is a suitable plan for auto enrolment or, if not, is it a qualifying overseas pension plan? The answer to the first point is definitely ‘no’, as the IPP is not tax registered in the UK and therefore fails one of the qualifying criteria. On the second point though, some IPPs may meet the definition of a non-UK occupational scheme – that is, “a pension scheme that has its main administration outside an EEA state, and meets the definition of an occupational pension scheme as set out in

Global Pensions section 1(1) of the Pension Schemes Act 1993”. At least this seems to be the case if, for example, the IPP is registered with the Insurance & Pensions Authority (IPA) in the Isle Of Man. With regard to the other qualifying criteria, IPPs do not attract tax relief on the member’s contributions, but may have contributions well in excess of the rates specified for auto enrolment and they may also provide an income for life. That said, as mentioned earlier, such a scheme would only be applicable to existing members and, to my knowledge, an IPP has yet to be tested with the Regulator, or in the courts, as a qualifying scheme for this purpose. Given, therefore, that this is grey area, you may prefer to auto enroll any members of your existing IPP, but bear in mind that if your IPP offers significant benefits over and above the auto enrolment scheme, such as much higher employer contributions, there is nothing to stop you from pointing this out to employees and they, of course, then have the right to opt out of the auto enrolment plan.

UK workers on secondment overseas So far we’ve focused on foreign workers in the UK and offshore workers where applying the rules is not so clear. But what of UK workers who have been auto enrolled and then seconded overseas? TPR guidance on this is clear. If the worker’s contract remains with the UK employer and the intention is for the employee to return home after the placement, the worker will be considered to be ordinarily working in the UK and must therefore remain enrolled. No doubt there are many other grey areas under the enrolment rules with regard to foreign nationals. Commuting in and out of the UK to work is not uncommon and in many cases employees remain on overseas payrolls and are paid in Euros not GBP. They may sometimes start and finish their day in the UK, but perhaps not all the time. Air crew and other globally mobile employees can be less than clear and employers will inevitably need to seek advice, both on

the definition of a UK worker and on whether existing overseas pensions meet the definition of a qualifying scheme.

Useful websites:

Stewart Allanson Zurich Corporate Life & Pensions is a leading provider of International Pension Plans. For more information, email or telephone on +44 (0) 1242 664443

Winter  International HR Adviser




HR Professionals: Beware Of Common US Visa Myths The law firm of Ortega-Medina & Associates often receives enquiries from HR Professionals regarding employees that have suffered United States immigration consequences due to their reliance on erroneous information found on the Internet. Whilst much information found on the Internet may be accurate, we are aware of an abundance of visa myths arising out of incorrect information that is perpetuated across the Internet on sites ranging from chat boards to government information pages. Unfortunately, these visa myths often lead to legal consequences of varying degrees, including the following: a.) A foreign employer may send one of its employees to the United States mistakenly believing the employee is authorised to carry out certain business activities that are, in fact, prohibited by law, leading to refusals of entry, visa denials, or worse; or b.) A business person may forego applying for a specific visa category that would otherwise allow her to establish a profitable business in the United States, due to a mistaken belief that she is ineligible for the category. The fact of the matter is that United States immigration law is rarely, if ever, straightforward - and it is important to distinguish between the reality and the myths. In this article, therefore, we address nine visa myths most commonly brought to our attention by our clients, in the hopes of helping HR professionals, and individuals engaged in cross-border business activities, to avoid costly missteps.

Myths Associated with ShortTerm Business Activities Myth 1: “We need to send one of our employees to the United States to do some work on our behalf. Our employee will not be paid by a United States company and will stay only for a short period of time. Therefore, he can travel on the Visa Waiver Program/ESTA.” The Reality: The Visa Waiver Program does not authorise productive work, regardless of where the business traveller’s employer is located, and regardless of International HR Adviser  Winter

whether or not the business traveller is paid for his work. This same rule also applies to individuals holding a standard B1 Business Visitor visa. The business activities allowed under the Visa Waiver Program and standard B1 Business Visitor visa include, but are not limited to, attendance at business meetings, conferences, seminars and exhibitions. However, conducting leadership and management training seminars, or other training events, is not authorised on the Visa Waiver Program. It is important to be entirely clear on whether your employee’s business activities are authorised under the Visa Waiver Program. If your employee performs unauthorised work in the United States, he may be removed from the United States or refused entry to the United States on a later trip. Your employee may thereafter be unable to travel to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program, even as a tourist, and may face problems in securing a B1 Business Visitor visa in the future. Such personal legal consequences could potentially lead to a claim by the employee against the employer that sent him to the United States, as the trip may have been made under pressure. Within the B1 visa regulations there are special subcategories of B1 visas that, when issued, allow different types of productive work. The most common of these subcategories is a Special Business Concession (also known as B1 in lieu of H1) that allows qualifying individuals to perform productive work in the United States on behalf of a foreign employer. Employers generally find applications for the Special Business Concession to be less onerous compared with more traditional visa categories, as the application is presented directly to the United States Embassy or Consulate abroad. However, the presented application must clearly demonstrate the employer’s need to send the applicant to the United States, as well as the applicant’s eligibility for the concession, and must be presented within the frequently changing procedural requirements of the US Department of State (“DOS”). We recommend that you consult with a US-qualified business immigration attorney if you

wish to pursue this option for one of your employees, given that a failed visa application, even through a simple misstep, may also permanently render the applicant ineligible to travel on the Visa Waiver Program.

Myths Associated with L1 Intracompany Transfers Myth 2: “Our company’s United States affiliate must be trading for at least one year before we can transfer one of our employees on an L1 visa.” The Reality: This is not the case under the special L1 “New Office” regulations. The “New Office” regulations allow an individual employed by an affiliated company abroad in a managerial, executive, or specialised knowledge capacity to be transferred to a brand new United States company to commence the operations of the company. The L1 visa under the “New Office” regulations will be issued for up to one year initially, and the sponsoring company must demonstrate in its petition that the transferee will be in a position to step away from any duties in the set-up of the company that are not strictly managerial, executive, or that do not require specialised knowledge, by the end of year one. A reverse version of this myth suggests that the transfer can occur even before the establishment of the United States affiliate. In actuality, whilst an L1 visa may be issued to a transferee prior to the actual commencement of operations, USCIS must be satisfied in reviewing the visa petition that there is an alreadyestablished United States entity prepared to receive the transferee in formal business premises. To facilitate the visa process and to avoid any unnecessary delays, business immigration law firms often assist foreign companies in this initial establishment of their United States business entities, simultaneous with the preparation of the target visa petition. Myth 3: “The candidate we would like to move to the United States is paid as an independent contractor, not as an employee. Hence, she is not eligible for an L1 transfer to our United States affiliate.”

immigration The Reality: The candidate may still be eligible. Contractors that work exclusively for the foreign company, but are paid as contractors simply for payroll reasons, may still be transferred to the affiliated United States company on an L1 visa, if otherwise eligible. During an employer’s initial consultation with its US business immigration lawyer, a frank and detailed discussion should take place regarding the candidate’s current and target roles to ensure that both of these qualify under the relevant laws and regulations. If the candidate does not meet the requirements for the L1 visa, there are often other visa options available.

Myths Associated with Company Registration under an E2 Treaty Myth 4: “Our company must invest at least $250,000 USD in the United States to be eligible for registration under the E2 Treaty category, in advance of any E2 Employee Transfers.” The Reality: Not necessarily. The US Department of State (“DOS”), the United States government agency that handles E2 company registrations does not set a minimum investment figure. Instead, the DOS simply states that the investment must be substantial. The dollar figure required for a substantial investment depends on the nature of the business to be started or purchased. Your company’s investment must represent a substantial proportion of the total value of the business to be purchased or it must be sufficient to start up a profitable new business. Our firm has handled successful E2 registration applications for companies investing as little as $50,000 USD, when this was the full amount that was required to start up the business to the point of operation. Following successful registration of the company with the DOS, E2 Employee transfers can be arranged quickly and at relatively low cost, as compared with categories such as L1 or H1B. Myth 5: "Our director may apply for an E2 visa to allow her to travel to the United States to invest in the creation of an affiliate or branch office." The Reality: This is not correct. Before one may legally apply for an E2 visa, the investment of money, goods or intellectual property must be completed, and commercially at risk. Certain regulations do allow travellers to visit the United States pursuant to the B1 category

for the purpose of making E2-qualifying investments. However, such matters must be handled carefully to ensure that the activities carried out by the investor are all authorised under the regulations. For example, the investor will not be eligible to actively manage the investment, or otherwise work in the US business, until the company has been granted E2 registration, and the corollary visa has been issued. The officer at the port of entry must be satisfied that the investor will only be engaged in authorised activities or she may be refused entry or administratively deported. US business immigration law firms customarily work with companies at this initial stage of their expansion to the United States. They will typically offer services to review the proposed investment activities in the United States and to provide documents for presentation at the port of entry in support of the investor’s proposed activities in the United States, in anticipation of a future E2 application.

Myths Associated with Arrests, Cautions and Convictions Myth 6: “Our employee has a criminal record. He is therefore required to apply for a visa before travelling to the United States.” The Reality: It depends on the record. This myth most commonly arises in relation to Question B on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”) required to travel to the United States. Question B asks: Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or have been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or have been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities? When one answers “yes” to Question B, US Customs and Border Protection reviews the application and determines whether travel will be authorised or whether the traveller must apply for a visa at the United States Embassy or Consulate abroad before travelling to the United States. The portion of the question that generally causes confusion is whether the arrest or conviction was for a crime involving moral turpitude (“CIMT”). Common law in the United States

defines moral turpitude ambiguously as “conduct which is inherently base, vile, or depraved, and contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed between persons or to society in general.” Furthermore, the punishment imposed does not shed any light as to the presence or absence of moral turpitude. For example, some crimes punishable by only a fine may be considered crimes involving moral turpitude, whilst other crimes generally considered by the general public to be serious are not. The determination as to whether a “foreign arrest or conviction” involves moral turpitude requires a comparison of the subject criminal record against both the equivalent United States federal or state criminal statutes and the relevant United States immigration laws. Our firm recommends that you consult with a US-qualified business immigration lawyer before instructing the subject employee to complete the ESTA questionnaire or contacting the United States Embassy or Consulate to schedule an appointment for a visa application. The United States Embassy or Consulate does not advise in advance as to whether it will consider a particular arrest or conviction to be a CIMT. Only a qualified business immigration lawyer with substantial experience dealing with issues of criminal inadmissibility will be able to provide insight into this in advance of the consular appointment, and will be able to assess the likelihood of success in such an application. It is quite common for an individual that legally could have answered “no” to Question B, to nevertheless book a visa interview, either because he is uncertain about the definition of CIMT, or because he directly consults with the DOS call centre and is instructed to do so. At the visa interview, even if the attending officer is unable to find that the arrest, caution or conviction is a CIMT, she may nevertheless deny the visa application on other grounds, such as “medical inadmissibility” in the case of a Drink-Drive arrest, or for the less comprehensible “insufficient ties outside of the United States.” A visa denial on these grounds will render the individual who would have otherwise received ESTA approval unable to travel on the Visa Waiver Program. Furthermore, the visa denial remains on one’s DOS record for life and is quite difficult to overcome in a future application, as embassy officials typically defer to the previous denial Winter  International HR Adviser



immigration unless there has been a material change of circumstances. Myth 7: “Our employee’s criminal conviction is now spent (or expunged) so he does not need to disclose it to the US immigration service or to the Embassy of the United States.” The Reality: The United States government does not recognise the concept of spent convictions. An arrest or conviction that falls under a category requiring disclosure must be revealed, regardless of how long ago it occurred and regardless of whether it has been removed from ones record.

Other General Immigration Myths Myth 8: “Once one has spent several years in the United States on a non-immigrant visa, one is automatically eligible to receive a “Green Card” (i.e., Legal Permanent Resident status). The Reality: Unlike many countries, an individual does not automatically become eligible for Legal Permanent Resident (“LPR”) status after living in the United States for a certain number of years. The United States grants LPR status following

International HR Adviser  Winter

approval of a sponsored petition or application process that is distinct from the non-immigrant visa. These sponsored petitions may be lodged by qualifying US employers, or by certain United States citizens or LPRs. A number of different categories exist to petition for LPR status and each category maintains its own requirements and time scales. These categories normally face higher scrutiny and more requirements by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service than non-immigrant petitions, and is it wise to consult with a US-qualified business immigration lawyer before commencing the process. Myth 9: “Our employee has remained in the United States for the full 90-days authorised by the Visa Waiver Program, but is not yet ready to come home. Hence, we will fly her out for the day so that she will be able to stay on for another 90 days when she re-enters the United States.” The Reality: Maybe. Each time one seeks to enter the United States, a US Customs and Border Protection officer determines one’s eligibility to enter the United States and, if admitted, how long one may stay. Lengthy stays of more than a few weeks and, particularly, stays for the entire ninety (90) days followed by a quick return to the United States, may arouse the suspicion of the US Customs and Border Protection officer. Re-entering the United States after a full ninety day stay and brief departure is not strictly prohibited, but a port officer may nevertheless deny one’s entry based on suspicions that the visitor will not leave by the expiration date recorded on her electronic I-94, that she will engage in unauthorised work while in the United States, or that she intends to permanently reside in the United States. One should always discuss one’s need to keep an employee

in the United States for more than ninety days with a US-qualified business immigration lawyer to determine if there is a visa that may help facilitate his or her travel to the United States throughout the year. It is also wise to consult with an accountant or tax advisor familiar with United States tax laws, as the individual may be subject to United States tax liability after remaining in the United States for more than 180 days in the aggregate in any given year – even on the Visa Waiver Program.

Conclusion These are just a handful of the visa and immigration myths that abound in the public domain, including on Internet forums and chat rooms. Reliance on these myths can lead to serious consequences, including unnecessary visa denials, invalidation of ones right to enter the United States on the Visa Waiver Program, loss of money and business opportunities and even removal or deportation from the United States. Even if you intend to handle your company’s visa or immigration matter on a DIY basis, it is best to consult with an experienced US immigration lawyer - if only to confirm your understanding of the relevant US immigration laws and regulations. Seeking professional advice will minimise the danger of misstepping as you attempt to navigate the US immigration minefield.

Orlando Ortega is the Senior Attorney for the US business immigration law firm of Ortega-Medina & Associates, headquartered in London, England (UK). The firm also maintains an Of Counsel relationship with associated firms in San Francisco, California and Miami, Florida. Attorney Ortega has particular expertise and insight into complex US business immigration cases, and is frequently called upon to troubleshoot consular-level visa denials.

Autumn  International HR Adviser


taxing issues

Taxing Issues: Expatriate Myths Many people believe in the existence of the Loch Ness monster, the yeti and mermaids. Similarly, international assignees and employers believe in a number of expatriate myths. These legends and tales are passed from person to person and the international aspect adds yet another element of mystery to them. This article provides an overview of some of the common myths that circulate – the tax ones!

General myths Over the numerous years that I have assisted employees and employers with international moves, I have heard of many common myths such as: • I am not resident anywhere and therefore not liable to tax anywhere • The assignee spent less than 183 days in the location and is therefore tax treaty exempt • I received payment before I arrived or after I left so I can ignore it • The assignee is not paid in the country and wage withholding does not therefore apply • My work permit did not come though so I do not have to file a return for this period. This article will focus on the above myths, primarily from a UK perspective but similar principles apply in most countries and with most cross border moves.

Myth - I am not resident anywhere and therefore not liable to tax anywhere It is feasible for an individual to be not resident in any country to which they are connected under that country’s domestic tax legislation. This may well be the case where an individual has a roving role or is engaged in project work and rarely spends a concentrated period in any one location. In such cases individuals often assume that they are not taxable anywhere. This assumption is likely to be incorrect, particularly where you are dealing with employees. Non-residence generally means lack of tax treaty protection and consequently each country in which that individual works may have a right to tax the related employment income. Most countries want to tax an individual if they work there and generally only exempt the International HR Adviser  Winter

related income if a tax treaty applies or the income is so insignificant as to be below any de-minimus limit set on grounds of practical expediency. Treaty exemption is explored in more detail below and assuming relevant conditions are not met, tax is probably due in the country in which the individual works and usually the taxable income is determined on a time apportioned basis. The nature of the duties can have a bearing on the tax liability. For example, the UK will in certain circumstances ignore return working visits for training purposes but will seek to tax return visits by a director to attend a board meeting. Additionally, where an individual is non-resident, the employer may well have withholding obligations in each and every country with filing obligations in all for the employee. Whilst this can be costly and time consuming, it can be even more costly for all if these obligations are overlooked and tax, penalties and interest are imposed. Most individuals who do not pay tax in such circumstances do so via non-reporting as opposed to tax planning! Do bear in mind that some countries look beyond mere physical presence when determining residence status for tax purposes. For example, in France and Belgium the continuing presence of property and family may well result in the individual remaining resident there for tax purposes despite minimal time spent in that country. The US taxes its citizens and green card holders on a worldwide basis so leaving the US does not mean that US filing obligations and tax liabilities cease on departure. Additionally, nonemployment income such as bank interest or rental income may well be taxable in the country of origin regardless of residence status.

Myth - The assignee spent less than 183 days in the location and is therefore exempt I have alluded to tax treaty exemption above. Firstly, do check that there is a tax treaty between the relevant countries and that the individual is covered by the treaty. Brazil for example, does not have a full tax treaty with the UK. Also bear in mind that many US states do not follow US Federal rules when it comes to application of a tax treaty.

Assuming there is a treaty, the article entitled ‘Dependent Personal Services’ usually covers employment income. In contrast, the article entitled ‘Independent Personal Services’ usually covers selfemployment income. This may include contractors, consultants and possibly partners. Directors may fall under a separate article as may certain professions/ roles such as doctors and teachers. Do remember this as many assume the “183 day rule”, which relates to employees only, applies to all. Looking specifically at the employment income article, a common myth is that an individual is only taxable in a country if they spend 183 days or more 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; and • The remuneration is not borne by a permanent establishment or fixed base, 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. 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 fail the test. Notwithstanding this, some countries (for example Australia), look beyond the legal employer and want to consider who exercises real control over the individual. In such circumstances the local employer may well be regarded as the ‘real’ employer and treaty relief could be denied, irrespective of any 183 day test.

taxing issues The last condition may appear straightforward, but again care needs to be exercised. Some treaties also include two little words ‘….as such’. In addition, some revenue authorities consider 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 by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as the economic employer. The Netherlands and Germany broadly follow HMRC’s thinking on this point. 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 does not mean that the income is also exempt in the home country and a tax liability may still arise there. Many countries have reduced filing obligations if treaty exemption is likely, although this should be reviewed depending on the circumstances.

Myth - I received payment before I arrived or after I left so I can ignore it On many occasions I have been told by employers and employees that assignment related payments made before the employee arrives on an assignment should be ignored for tax purposes. This is on the basis that it occurred before the assignment started and therefore any payment is irrelevant. Variations to this myth are touted such as; a different company paid it in a different currency so equally the payment can be discounted. If an individual receives money or benefits in relation to a forthcoming assignment then the country to which they are being assigned will generally want to tax the payment. For example, relocation payments paid overseas are taken into account when looking at eligible relocation expenses in the UK and the £8,000 qualifying limit Equally when an individual leaves a host country, it is often assumed that a payment received after departure is exempt from tax in the host country. You might also hear that it is exempt in the home country as it relates to the assignment period.

Sorry to shatter any illusions you may be harbouring but generally this is not true, although an element of truth may apply to the non-taxation of bonuses paid post departure in relation to Brazilian services. It is therefore necessary for individuals and employers to be able to identify, track and report as necessary, assignment related income and benefits to the host country. It is recognised that particular difficulties can arise in tracking bonuses and even more so items such as share options and stock awards/incentives as individuals may be assigned to several countries before the taxing event takes place. Notwithstanding this, where income clearly relates to the assignment country, pre or post departure, it should be reported as appropriate. It is increasingly feasible and likely that the assignment country will want its’ share of tax.

Myth - The assignee is not paid in the country and wage withholding does not therefore apply Another common myth is that where an individual is paid in a different country, sometimes by a different employer, then wage withholding does not apply. Some countries, for example the UK and the Netherlands, disregard such factors and may impose a withholding obligation on the company, which has the use of the assignee in the host country or alternatively, impose withholding on the assignee themselves. As employers you face added risks; if withholding is not operated then revenue authorities usually come after the employer and not the assignee. This can be particularly expensive for an employer where the assignee no longer works for the company or has no intention of making good any shortfall in withholding to the employer. To add to the expense the revenue authorities may also insist on a gross up calculation for the tax paid by the employer. An employer ignores withholding taxes at their peril.

Myth - My work permit did not come though so I do not have to file a return for this period How many times has an employer not obtained a work permit for an individual before an assignment commences and therefore sent the individual anyway to the host country on a ‘business trip’ as the ‘assignment’ has not yet started? In

such circumstances both employees and employers are often reluctant to file returns and acknowledge the existence of the individual at the host location. Two wrongs do not make a right. Failing to file a return and report income as appropriate is incorrect. Despite the permit or visa failing, the tax return should be filed correctly. Date of arrival for tax purposes usually means physical arrival not the date the work permit was issued.

Summary I have only briefly covered a few of the myths that circulate. I am sure you all know many more and please do let me know what they are. Most tax myths that you hear either started off as true stories that have been embellished along the way and are not quite right or, plain and simply, are incorrect. Whilst they are legendary they rarely have any real substance today unlike the Loch Ness Monster, the yeti and mermaids!

Future articles I would welcome suggestions for future articles on the subject of tax, social security and international assignments. As a general rule such articles seek to be of a generic nature, as opposed to country specific, and aim to be of interest and use to HR professionals. Constructive feedback is most welcome.

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

Winter  International HR Adviser



GLOBAL taxation

Global Taxation Update Germany Tax change for EU/ EEA citizens who work in Germany and have their residence in Switzerland Persons who are living abroad but who retain German source income are generally limited taxpayers, which means only their income from German sources is taxable in Germany. Under certain conditions these persons can choose to be treated as unlimited taxpayers in Germany. As such they would obtain some special tax benefits which a limited taxpayer does not have. For example, they would be allowed to deduct insurance premiums and exceptional costs (e.g. medical costs) but do remember that in return they would be subject to tax in Germany on their worldwide income. According to German income tax law citizens of EU or EEA member states who have their residence in an EU or EEA member state can have some additional advantages. If they are unlimited taxpayers the following can apply at their request: • joint assessment with splitting approach for spouses • special discounts can be doubled (deducted for both spouses) • payments to an ex-spouse can be deducted • special discount for single parents • special discount for parents with a disabled child. It is often advantageous for an unlimited taxpayer’s spouse who has no income of their own to choose unlimited tax liability in Germany. As Switzerland is not a member of the EU or EEA, persons being citizens of EU or EEA member states and having their residence in Switzerland are not allowed to use these tax advantages according to German domestic income tax law. In February 2013, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided that this restriction is contrary to the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between the EU and Switzerland. So citizens of an EU or EEA member state who have their residence in Switzerland but generate their income in Germany can be unlimited taxpayers upon request, too, and thus are allowed to benefit from the above mentioned advantages. In September 2013, the German Federal Ministry of Finance issued an announcement that the International HR Adviser  Winter

respective clause in the German income tax law has to be interpreted according to the ECJ’s judgment. This interpretation is applicable in all open cases. BDO comment Tax authorities need to consider the impact of EU laws as any infringement could lead to a successful taxpayer challenge to application of domestic rules.

Sweden Tax proposals in the budget bill for 2014 In September 2013, the Swedish Government presented a budget bill for 2014. Some of the tax proposals to come into force as from 1 January 2014 are summarised below: • The tax on income is reduced by increasing the earned income tax credit. For those who have an average rate of tax (municipal tax 31.73%) and are under 65 years of age, the tax relief represents a tax reduction of SEK 4,044 per annum • The tax on retirement income is reduced by an increased basic allowance for individuals over 65 years of age • The State income tax is proposed to be limited by a raised threshold. Today the State income tax is levied at 20% from a threshold of SEK 420,800 and it is proposed that this be raised to SEK 435,900. A further 5% State income tax will be, as in previous years, levied if the income amounts to more than SEK 591,600 • The special income tax for non-residents is proposed to be reduced from 25% to 20% • The Government proposes that the temporary reduction of the tax value for some environmentally friendly cars will be extended for an additional three years • A cut in employer contributions for employees working in research and development, is proposed through the introduction of a deduction for the contributions. The deduction is equal to 10% of the remuneration of staff working on research and development, with a cap of SEK 230,000 per month per group • Contributions for self-employed are proposed to be reduced by a further deduction from 2.5% to 7.5%. The maximum deduction is increased from

SEK 5,000 to SEK 15,000 • Changes proposed for the calculation of the tax on dividends for closely held companies by a change in the calculation of the rate-based space. Further suggestions are proposed to come into force as of 1 July 2014: • In regions or areas with the highest number of unemployed with low training and long-term maintenance support, a new system is proposed. This would entail that the employer under certain conditions would be able to deduct the employer’s contributions. The regional deductions are dependent on approval by the European Commission. This system would, upon approval, only be in effect for a limited period of time. An evaluation will be carried out before any possible extension • Employer contributions for employees aged less than 23 years are proposed to be reduced to 10.21%, i.e. the old age pension contribution. The reduction for those aged 25 or older will be discontinued. Contributions will remain at 15.91% for those over the age of 23. The Government also proposes the following reviews: • A review of the tax rules on options and other share-based incentives that companies give to key personnel. The purpose of the review is to improve tax regulations for incentives, particularly those offered by fast growing companies • An evaluation of the transfer pricing rules regarding documentation requirement. The current documentation requirements have been applied during more than six years and the Government is proposing that the functionality and potential for simplifications should be assessed. BDO comment Do consider the impact of the proposed changes announced and be aware of the impending review of stock incentives.

United Kingdom Pensions auto-enrolment for international workers The phased introduction of autoenrolment for pensions in the UK started in October 2012 for the very largest employers and will continue through until

global taxation early 2018 for small to micro employers. The indications are that 2014 is going to be a particularly busy year for autoenrolment with staging dates for employers who have anywhere between 500 and 51 employees, falling within the first half of the year, so it would therefore seem timely to consider the implications of autoenrolment for international workers. At first glance the position might appear to be fairly straight forward as the basic criteria for auto-enrolment is that an employee works, or ordinarily works, in the UK. However, the lack of clear definition of these terms in the legislation means that the eligibility assessment which employers will be required to carry out on their workforce may produce some unexpected results for employees who are internationally mobile. In recognition of how vague the position is with regard to internationally mobile employees the Pensions Regulator has issued guidance to help employers with the workforce assessment process. This guidance indicates that the employee’s contract will be of primary importance in assessing their eligibility status and gives particular consideration to peripatetic workers who regularly travel between countries in the course of their employment. It also sets out a number of factors which employers will need to consider as follows: • where the worker begins and ends their work • where their private residence is, or is intended to be • where the worker’s headquarters is • whether they pay National Insurance contributions in UK • what currency they are paid in. It is probably useful to consider a few examples as this stage to put the eligibility assessment into context. Orville is based at London Gatwick and flies long haul to destinations in the USA and Australasia. Whilst his employer has an office in the UK, their head office is in the Netherlands and Orville, who lives near Amsterdam, commutes to London Gatwick. He is paid in Euros and does not pay social security contributions in the UK. The Pensions Regulator has indicated that Orville may be regarded as not ordinarily working in the UK although he begins and ends work in the UK. Christopher is Spanish but has lived in Harwich for several years and works on large container ships for an Italian freight company that is registered and based in

Genoa, Italy. Christopher normally works out of the Port of Felixstowe and whilst his contract states he is based in the UK, he can be away from the UK for several weeks at a time as he works primarily on cargo routes with the Americas although his routes also now include Asia and Europe. The Pensions Regulator has indicated that there are sufficient factors present to indicate that Christopher will be regarded as ordinarily working in the UK. Turning to workers seconded to the UK, the responsibility for the eligibility assessment here lies in part with the overseas employer and therefore they will be need to have a working knowledge of the eligibility criteria for auto-enrolment in the UK. The key criteria will be whether or not the employee is still regarded as based outside the UK and whether they are expected to return to that overseas base at the end of their assignment. The guidance indicates that this will apply equally for short placements and for extended secondments of up to 3 to 4 years. In addition the guidance indicates that this may apply, in contrast to the peripatetic workers, regardless of the fact that the employee is paying both UK tax and social security contributions. BDO comment It is anticipated that in due course, case law will develop which will help to provide more clarity to the assessment process for internationally mobile employees. However, in the meantime it is important for both UK and overseas employers alike to consider their responsibilities under the auto-enrolment obligations for UK pensions. A shrinking world - further moves regarding exchange of information The American Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (better known as FATCA) was introduced as part of the US HIRE Act of 2010 and requires non US financial institutions to report on the holdings of US taxpayers to the Internal Revenue Service or face penalties. The US legislation is aimed at reducing tax evasion by US citizens. The law has provoked much controversy and complaint from governmental authorities and financial institutions around the world, who complain that the law compromises extra territoriality principles and violates banking confidentiality laws.

Despite such criticism, pace is gathering with agreements being discussed or signed with the US. Additionally, other countries are seeking to introduce rules mirroring the FACTA requirements and/ or to exchange information between tax authorities: Cayman Islands & Guernsey sign agreements Both The Cayman Islands and Guernsey have reportedly signed ‘FATCA-style’ agreements with the UK. Additionally, The Cayman Islands is expected to sign a similar agreement with the US. Agreements will enable the automatically sharing of financial information. Hong Kong seeks agreement with US News reports indicate that Hong Kong is currently in negotiations with the US over its FATCA law. Malta expected to sign US agreement News reports indicate that Malta will shortly be signing an agreement with the US, which will include some of the requirements and deadlines set out in FATCA. Switzerland says it will sign tax deal Latest reports indicate that Switzerland intends to sign an international deal drafted by the OECD/Council of Europe on exchanging tax information. The agreement on information concerns nonresidents with assets in Switzerland. South Africa joins pilot scheme for automatic information exchange South Africa is to join the pilot scheme for the greater exchange of tax information launched by the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, and based on the US FATCA. Mexico and Australia have already joined the scheme. Turks and Caicos Islands and the US agree to share tax information Turks and Caicos Islands have entered into a FACTA style agreement with the US. US and France sign agreement US and French officials have signed an agreement to progress FACTA implementation. BDO comment Authorities are increasingly sharing information and/or applying withholding taxes. International assignees need to be aware of and comply with their worldwide tax obligations. Prepared by BDO LLP. For further information please contact Andrew Bailey on 0207 893 2946 or at Winter  International HR Adviser




Strategic Moves Conference Move It Up A Gear Deloitte’s 6th Strategic Moves Conference took place on 14th November in Deloitte’s offices in London and brought together more than 100 Global Mobility and Talent Professionals from over 60 international organisations. The keynote speaker, Peter Cheese (Chief Executive, CIPD) opened the Conference by providing some thought provoking insights in Global Megatrends impacting the HR function and the role of mobility. Peter outlined the current volatile and unpredictable global economy, the focus on intangible values and flexible work patterns and the diverse and demanding workforce as the main factors that change the mobility landscape in the 21st century. Peter discussed how recent changes in demographics are having a significant impact on the way organisations perceive mobility today, suggesting that “It’s not the strongest or the most intelligent that survive … it’s the most adaptable”. With the unemployment rates increasing in developed markets (18% across Europe, particularly mothers, older and youth workers) and death rates in Europe growing, with 17 countries in Europe having recorded more deaths than births, including Germany, Italy, Russia and Sweden, the employment market is more complex than ever. Peter went on to discuss how the nature of talent within organisations is changing. “Talent” will not always equal “employee” and “work” will not always equate to location. Businesses are increasingly looking to rightsource, seeking to identify what their specific talent needs are, the need for flexibility and what are the best ways to source those needs. Peter explained how organisations are making imaginative use of crowd sourcing so that non employees can increasingly form an important part of the talent supply chain. The overall focus of the Conference was to help global multinationals navigate their way through the ever changing business environment, including a thought provoking session on the alignment of mobility and talent as HR International HR Adviser  Winter

disciplines. Professor Hae-Jung Hong Ph.D., from the NEOMA Business School, explained how empirical evidence had demonstrated that multicultural talent has a positive impact on business results. “Multi-culturals” (a term used to describe individuals who have been extensively exposed to culturally diverse environments) are more effective at adapting to the demands of an increasingly global market place. Professor Hong used case studies to show how multi-culturals have more cultural awareness and curiosity to other cultures, are more sensitive to understanding alien concepts and an ability to switch easier among cultural references and different communication styles. Their skills span the more effective identification of product opportunities to building stronger bonds with colleagues in different offices, suggesting global organisations are increasingly seeking to leverage multiculturals as a competitive advantage. Other sessions included speakers from a number of household names, including AstraZeneca, Novartis, Rio Tinto, Roche, Thomson Reuters, UniCredit and, Unilever. The topics ranged from regional mobility trends (APAC, Africa, Europe and LATAM), data analytics and its importance in managing mobility trends, open talent economy, mobility offshoring and the effective use of HR shared service centres on global mobility. The Conference closed with Axel Olesen a futurist from NextNordic painting a picture of mobility in the future. Findings from NextNordic’s “DephicCrowd” survey suggest that the future of mobility will be very different from today. Growth will be particularly apparent in Asia and Africa where GDP is expected to increase exponentially compared to Europe or the Americas. Axel suggested that the welfare systems in Europe will phase out, and the West will experience the elimination of moderate skillsets and a shift of focus on technology and IT. Findings also suggested that there will be an increase in “recycling” (often replacement) of top executives, middle managers will experience more pressure to meet their

objectives and achieve the anticipated results, whereas 70% of the survey respondents foresee the traditional banks to experience serious competition from new sources. On social media its importance is expected to decrease as approximately 75% of respondents expect companies to focus more on the development of their core business. Axel also presented detailed demographics on the expected rates of the aging population from 2015 – 2025, pointing out that the percentage of population between 95-99 years old is expected to be higher in Europe compared to the rest of the world. Most European countries like Italy, Spain and Germany are also expected to have more over 85 years old compared to the USA or the UK. As a result middle aged and older people in the West will be the main core of the working population and focus on talent at younger age groups will become a priority. What was clear from the conference, and as Peter Cheese suggested, in the rapidly changing world of Global Mobility, it is not the strongest or the most intelligent that survive, but the most adaptable. The next Strategic Moves Conference will take place on Thursday 13th November, 2014 in London. For more information, please contact: Rob Hodkinson or Christine Theofilou

Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition Monday 3rd February 2014

12.30pm - Taxation Issues Arising In Respect Of US Individuals Moving To The UK To reserve your FREE place please email

Autumn  International HR Adviser


Global Mobility

Consistency, Transparency And Flexibility In Today’s Approach To Global Mobility One question I am always keen to ask candidates in interviews is “why are you looking to join us?”. It’s a good test of what candidates know about the company and can help to identify what their expectations are about the experience they’ll have if they come on board. The response I receive most often, particularly when working for large multinationals, has been “to have the opportunity to travel and to further my career through new experiences across the company” or words to that effect. So it seems that global mobility has become a key attraction tool for organisations looking for the best talent, particularly with millennials joining the workforce and moving their way up through the ranks. I mention this generation of employees in particular as research has shown that, of this group, 93% expect to live and work abroad during their careers(1). It is becoming clear that many employees’ approach to working overseas is changing, with a much greater proportion looking to use this as an opportunity to develop new skills and further their careers. This has led to organisations starting to review and often change their approach to global mobility. The feedback from many large organisations is that they have experienced a continued increase in the number of employee relocations over the last few years, in spite of the difficult times many economies have experienced recently. This increase in relocation numbers is expected to continue to increase until 2020 and beyond(2). In addition, the number and variety of international destinations continues to expand as businesses grow and move in to new markets. This has added to the pressure to focus on how to structure and manage global mobility programmes to ensure they remain effective. Having a great relocation programme is about more than just offering benchmarked and competitive relocation provisions. How you deliver them is what makes an employer of choice stand out. In my experience consistency, transparency International HR Adviser  Winter

and flexibility are three key approaches that will offer your programme credibility, attract the best talent and keep expatriate engagement and motivation high. Expats talk to each other. Not just about work or what bar in their host location will be showing the football. They talk about their relocation experiences and often what elements of support they received as part of their relocation package. It’s a topic that the new expat and those more established expats in the host location have in common so it’s a natural starting point for a conversation. It will soon emerge if the relocation support has been inconsistent or significant exceptions granted. With the rise in use of social media and instant messaging, ensuring that your expats have a positive experience is more important than ever. Some companies with larger programmes have in-house expat forums enabling this information exchange. As a result, having a consistent approach to running a global mobility programme is key. All employees relocating with an organisation under the same policy type need to have a consistent and positive experience, whether it be in the pre-assignment preparations, the on-assignment ongoing support, or through to repatriation planning and coordination. This consistency will maintain positive engagement between the employee and the organisation throughout their relocation experience. It is vital to making the mobility programme credible and to encouraging employees to think globally about their careers. If they have a positive experience the first time around, they will be more willing to go through the process again should the organisation need them elsewhere. If the employees have a consistent and positive experience, they will act as advocate for the global mobility programme in the business and really help to raise the profile and strategic impact that a mobility team can have in the organisation. One of the things I like about being a global mobility specialist is that I get to support employees through a very personal and emotive experience. Flexing your style

and approach when working with a variety of employees of varying seniority and cultural background helps to build their trust in you as an expert adviser. So this raises a challenging question: how can I offer a consistent mobility programme but also tailor the programme to meet employee and location-specific requirements? The best solution I have seen to this quandary is to adopt a three-level structure for your global mobility programme. The first level is strategic: what are the principles we want to be guided by for all employee relocations across the organisation? This may include the aims of the programme, the organisation’s approach to mobility and its talent management strategy for example. No matter which locations employees are moving between, these principles should govern the process and the employee experience. This provides a consistent basis upon which employee relocation can be facilitated. The second level consists of high-level policy considerations. These outline the core provisions for each assignment type and the reasons why they are to be provided to employees. Again, these can be rolled out globally. The third and final level is a range of appendices on either a regional or country-specific basis which contain the detail on how the core policy provisions are delivered in specific locations to capture any local variations or compliance requirements. This ensures that the provisions remain relevant to the employee and offer them the appropriate support in each location. By building this three-level framework in to mobility programmes, organisations can ensure that a consistent approach is taken to global mobility (levels one and two) whilst reflecting location-specific variations (in level three). Whilst taking a consistent approach to mobility gives the employees confidence in the programme, there needs to be transparency too. With an increasing focus on compliance by many governmental authorities, transparent processes should result in more effective risk identification and management and therefore more compliant programmes.

Global mobility In terms of communications, transparency in how the relocation packages are presented to employees is key to obtaining their buy-in as well as increasing their engagement with their own relocation and the global mobility programme as a whole. Some of the concepts in expatriate policies and practices can be overwhelming if not delivered appropriately to the employee. It is important therefore that transparency around the package is provided through a pre-assignment briefing between global mobility and the employee as well as regular meetings or calls to provide ongoing support and clarity on the status of the relocation. Taking the time to do this means that employees can make informed decisions prior to relocating which, in turn, enables them to have more accurate expectations about what life in the host location is going to be like. All of the stakeholders in the relocation want the employee to turn up on day one in the host location excited and ready for the new phase they are undertaking in their career. If they turn up exhausted through the stress of the move and concerned about their financial security and their family settling in, then there is a much increased chance of early repatriation. Many organisations are providing expats with online access to their relocation documentation to increase the level of transparency further and this offers a central store for assignment-related information for all parties to work from throughout the assignment. Local transfer policies are being offered by some organisations and this type of relocation is often associated with millennials, as well as those more mobile employees who would typically require less support during and after the relocation process and employees who choose to relocate rather than being asked by the company. To facilitate these moves, an increasing number of organisations are offering lump sum relocation allowances meaning that the responsibility then falls to the employee to determine how this budget is spent on relocation support. Consistency in these programmes comes from the amount of the allowance offered to the employee and this is generally based on seniority and family size. There is however, a huge amount of flexibility for the employee, who can then tailor their relocation support to meet their own needs. Compliance-related support is often provided in addition to the lump sum allowance to ensure that

these processes are completed correctly. Tim Wells started This approach to providing relocation his career in global support massively decreases the number mobility in the oil and of exception requests as employees have gas industry 13 years full control over the selection of their ago and since then he relocation support. Recent research has has held a number of shown that millennials like this autonomy mobility roles, both in-house and as an when moving overseas(1) so this approach external consultant. This experience is particularly attractive to this generation has provided him with a wide range of of employees. perspectives on how different companies As organisations move in to emerging and industry sectors manage mobility. markets, the cultural diversity across He is now Head of Global Mobility mobility programmes is increasing and Consulting at Abbiss Cadres LLP (www. there needs to be an element of flexibility, a professional services to allow the programmes to adapt to firm providing a multi-disciplinary scope this. This is a good example of how the of operational and compliance services three-level framework discussed earlier is to domestic and international clients effective because local provisions aligned and their employees. Tim has spoken on a wide range of topics at global to cultural practices can be included in conferences, including attracting and the appendices, whilst the overarching retaining talent, the economic climate mobility principles and core policy and its impact on mobility trends and provisions can remain consistent. practices, and expatriate compensation With the cost of international travel and benefits. He is a member of becoming more affordable and accessible the judging panel for the Expatriate (through online travel websites for Management and Mobility Awards and example), people are generally more also for the Association of Relocation comfortable with travelling across borders. Professionals Awards. Therefore, when reviewing your global mobility programme, you need to consider more Pre-order Your Copies of than just the logistical The 2014 Expatriate’s Guide support and compliance risks. Whilst these to Living in the UK are obviously key to a For Your Employees Relocating to the UK successful programme, employees are now This annual Guide looking for a great is in its 12th year of relocation experience publication and is aligned with the new a handy source of expectations they have information for your about international reference, and also for relocation. Living and you to share with your working overseas has expatriate employees, as they relocate to the become an expected part UK, or prior to of many employees’ career their UK relocation. path now. By building The Guide offers a relocation framework invaluable to include consistency, information to all transparency and expatriates of all flexibility in to the global nationalities on mobility programme, important matters organisations can provide whilst moving to, a relocation experience or living in the UK. that will engage and develop your workforce One complimentary copy of the Guide will be included with the spring issue of International HR Adviser, but please for years to come. pre-order your extra copies for your employees now! References: (1) Move Guides, Gen Y and Global Orders can be emailed to Damian Porter on Mobility, Published 2012 or (2) PwC, Talent Mobility please telephone +(0)1737 551 506 with any questions. 2020, Published 2010 Winter  International HR Adviser




Transforming Risk To Asset: Empowering Accompanying Partners In The Relocation Process As globalisation expands amidst the context of demographic changes so the challenge faced in recruiting and retaining global talent will intensify. There is a growing consensus that in order to succeed, companies will need to integrate the global mobility function into a strategic talent management process. This approach to global mobility will demand a much more rigorous investment-based scrutiny of expatriate assignments, an approach being facilitated by the ground-breaking work of Drs Yvonne McNulty and Kerr Inkson. Using this approach, accompanying partners (AP), in particular dual-career APs, represent a risk factor in this investmentbased approach to relocation whether it be increasing the likelihood that an assignment is turned down, the increased risk of assignment failure, or the loss of assignee productivity when the AP is unhappy and disengaged in the relocation process. We conducted our Career Choice and the Accompanying Partner Survey in 2012 to understand the complexity of the career choices faced by APs when they support their partners in an overseas assignment. We found that while 80% of APs worked prior to moving, 50% of those full-time, only 44% worked while on assignment and only 16% worked full-time. However, 78% told us that they wanted to work. The reasons accompanying partners didn’t work were myriad, they listed practical obstacles such as lack of a work permit, language and professional equivalence; choice issues, frequently choosing to put their children’s well-being before their own needs and issues relating to lack of support from the sponsoring organisation as being inhibitors to working. Though 74% of APs felt that the sponsoring organisation should provide life or career support, only 17% actually received it. We also investigated the fulfilment of APs while on assignment and their overall life satisfaction. We found that whilst around 50% APs were fulfilled and satisfied with life there was a marked difference with those not working International HR Adviser  Winter

being considerably more likely to rate themselves in the lower categories of both fulfilment and life satisfaction. Most notably, of those who rated themselves as very unfulfilled, 79% were not working. Based on our research and our work with APs, we believe that the risk they pose to assignments can not only be mitigated but with the right support, APs can be a meaningful asset to the assignment when engaged positively in their new environment. There are 5 key challenges that support programmes must address in order to provide effective support. They are as follows: 1. Organisations must remember that they are relocating a family not just an assignee and that each member of the family will have different needs for support at different times and that their challenges will differ from those of the assignee. Effective support programmes engage the family members by acknowledging their role in the success of the assignment and by trying to understand and meet their individual needs for support. 2. O ne size doesn’t fit all when dealing with APs. Each AP comes to the relocation with their own set of choices, opportunities and constraints and location imposes its own set of challenges. Engagement in understanding the individual AP’s needs and objectives and then providing needs driven related support services is key in providing appropriate, valued and cost effective support. 3. Surprises in the relocation process are almost always bad news. A theme of our qualitative data was that APs often feel let down because they make decisions based on incorrect or incomplete information. As this quote demonstrates: "the support and assistance would ideally have come before we arrived, so I would have something ready or at least a realistic workseeking plan. However, such support/advice/ information was effectively non-existent". We recommend that support begins before the decision is made, so that APs make informed and therefore more

resilient decisions. 4. Choice doesn’t mean happiness. Our survey showed that some accompanying partners choose not to work while overseas so they can focus on supporting their families but that those APs may experience less fulfilling lives. Support should acknowledge the value of this supportive role and recognise that these partners also need help in understanding how they derive fulfilment. 5. Support shouldn’t always be about a job search. As discussed above, many AP’s choose not to work or can’t work. They often receive no additional support, as job search assistance is frequently the only additional support provided. However, these APs are often dealing with a greater dislocation. Companies should ensure that those APs are supported to find fulfilment outside of a work context. By creating support for expatriate families that addresses these 5 challenges, companies help APs to create fulfilling lives for themselves while they are overseas and by doing so the APs become assets to the company in supporting the overall objectives of the assignment.

Evelyn Simpson and Louise Wiles are the Directors of Simpson Wiles and Associates Ltd., authors of the Career Choice and the Accompanying Partner Survey Report (nominated for a 2012 Expatriate and Mobility Management Award) and creators of Thriving Abroad. Thriving Abroad assists timechallenged global mobility, HR and talent management professionals in motivating and retaining key global talent by adding value through its accompanying partner support system, DECIDE to THRIVE. Partner success is often overlooked.

Autumn  International HR Adviser



Well Managed Global Mobility Programmes Continue To Offer Real Value To Companies For an organisation either entering or looking for growth in new or strategic markets, having the right people on the ground is essential. Attracting talent in chosen markets is critical, but an organisation’s own experienced talent pool can also be one of the leading ways to help achieve growth ambitions. As the competition for international talent picks up steam, companies are increasingly looking to enhance their mobility policies to help attract and retain key global talent. A well-managed global mobility programme can give an organisation’s existing, talented employees the opportunity to live and work in a different country, broaden their experience, learn new skills and establish a personal global network. Internationally experienced employees can bring deep insights and demonstrate exceptional value to local clients and prospective clients - keys to successful business development. That ‘win-win’ profile is one reason that organisations all over the world are taking advantage of global mobility programmes, despite increasing regulatory and compliance challenges. Indeed, an analysis of over 600 Human Resources (HR) executives participating in KPMG International’s Global Assignment Policies and Practices (GAPP) Survey shows that corporations headquartered in Nordic countries and the Asia Pacific region are using international assignments more than ever. Furthermore, companies where global mobility has long been the norm (e.g., the US and UK-headquartered organisations), continue to expand and adapt their programmes to meet changing needs. See charts 1, 2 and 3. Global mobility programmes remain popular among employees, largely due to the flexibility and adaptability they offer through a variety of assignment types. Of the HR executives surveyed in the study, 81 percent reported that their companies offer short-term assignments, 96 percent offer long-term assignments and 47 percent offer permanent transfer or indefinitelength assignments. See chart 5. International HR Adviser  Winter

1. In which country is your organisation's headquarters located?

2. According to your best estimate, what is the total number of employees in your organisation worldwide?

3. According to your best estimate, what were your organisation's revenues for the most recent year (in millions of USD)?

INTERNATIONAL HR SURVEY 4. Which of the assignment types or policies listed below are employed by your organisation (select all that apply)?

5. Which of the following best describes the most important goal for your international assignment programme?

There are some relatively simple steps that companies can take to help determine ROI for international assignments. Leading companies establish cost projections that capture the entirety of assignment related costs. In addition, these companies establish a business case for the assignment that requires sign-off from senior leadership. This business case also includes reasons as to why an assignment – and not a local hire – is required to achieve the objectives. During the assignment, management can follow how the employee progresses against these objectives. And lastly, a key practice is to plan early for next steps after the assignment. This is typically done by assigning a home country coach/ mentor who supports the employee and a reporting system that includes a plan for repatriation as early as nine to 12 months before the repatriation date.

Adapting to Evolving Societal Changes

Demonstrating Value Surprisingly, given the current economic environment and a noted desire to support the business, only 12 percent of survey participants report that cost control and assurance of an acceptable return on investment (ROI) were of importance in evaluating their global mobility programmes. See chart 4. Having agreed-upon metrics to demonstrate ROI helps any mobility

programme demonstrate objectively its value to the broader organisation and can help secure continued programme funding. Yet a notable portion of survey participants struggle to track ROI information as it relates to international assignments - 27 percent do not know the percentage of assignees that leave the organisation within 12 months of repatriation, and 31 percent do not know why they leave. See chart 8.

6. What is the main reason assignees leave the organisation after returning from an international assignment?

Many organisations continue to exhibit inclusionary mindsets in relation to the definition of a “family” within their mobility policies. Fifty-five percent of survey respondents currently include unmarried domestic partners/ companions of the opposite gender and 49 percent include unmarried domestic partners/companions of the same gender for benefit purposes. These broader definitions are most evident in European and Asia Pacific-headquartered organisations, and also within the financial services and high technology industries, based upon the survey. See charts 6 and 7. As this trend increases, there could be growing implications for companies offering international assignments and their global mobility managers. For example, expanding the definition of family could help companies become more attractive for new employees and help with retention of existing staff. At the same time, organisations could likely see an increase in the cost of mobility per employee as more couples become eligible, thus requiring for example, an extension of spousal benefits such as work visa support and job search expense allowances. Obtaining visas for nonmarried domestic partners continues to be a significant challenge – especially in countries where domestic partnerships are not recognised as legal unions. In circumstances where organisations Winter  International HR Adviser



INTERNATIONAL HR SURVEY 7. In addition to legally married spouses and dependent children, does your organisation include any of the following in its definition of family for purposes of international assignment (select all that apply)?

may offer an incentive for assignees to accept international opportunities, many survey participants also take into consideration dual-career couples and their children. For instance 21 percent of survey respondents provide job search support in the host country, and 21 percent reimburse education expenses for the spouse/partner. Forty-one percent offer language training and 37 percent offer cross-cultural training to the assignee, spouse and their children.

Clearing Regulatory and Tax Compliance Hurdles

8. In addition to legally married spouses and dependent children, does your organisation include any of the following in its definition of family for purposes of international assignment (select all that apply)?

International HR Adviser  Winter

The global tax regulatory and compliance environment presents challenges for corporations’ international assignee programmes, but these challenges are not insurmountable. Companies that focus from the beginning of the assignment on creating and maintaining the required documentation and reporting protocols - increasingly through use of webbased technology platforms -- can help determine that employees are in compliance and the company itself has mitigated any related financial or reputational risks. Almost three quarters (73 percent) of the companies surveyed offer tax equalisation policies, meaning that their assignees pay no more or no less tax than they would have paid had they not accepted an international assignment and remained in their home jurisdiction. Interestingly, the practice is more prevalent in the Americas than in Asia Pacific or Europe. Europeanheadquartered organisations are least likely to fully tax equalise assignees – 13 percent hold assignees responsible for all their taxes and 12 percent require assignees to pay all taxes on base and incentive compensation while equalising only the assignment-related allowances and reimbursements. See chart 11. Although tax equalisation policies have remained relatively unchanged since 1999, the survey indicates significant changes in how they are being managed. For example, over the past 11 years, companies have become 50 percent more likely to expect assignees to pay any taxes that are due on share purchases. In looking at the taxability treatment of income from sources outside of the organisation the majority of survey respondents require that assignees be responsible for the related taxes. For

INTERNATIONAL HR SURVEY 9. Which one of the following statements best describes your approach when addressing the assignment tax costs in relation to the assignee's earnings?

their businesses and the larger society. Yet the value of the programmes and their purpose is clear and continues to be vital to overall international success. Achim Mossmann is a tax principal in KPMG’s Global Mobility Advisory Practice. This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG LLP. The information contained herein is of a general nature and based on authorities that are subject to change. Applicability of the information to specific situations should be determined through consultation with your tax adviser.

10. Do assignees take too much time and effort to administer?


11. How frequently will assignees be used 5 years from now?

The 2014 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition Monday 3rd February 2014 at Hotel Russell, London at 3.45pm

Latest Global Mobility News And Trends, And How To Increase Your Connectivity In The World Of Global Mobility those companies that do equalise some or all of these taxes, 78% tend to be US-headquartered. The survey results would seem to indicate that companies are taking a more strategic approach to calculating their tax equalisation payments to help achieve greater control and certainty over costs. At the same time, companies seem to be balancing out when it is appropriate for assignees to manage their own tax liabilities and when it is more cost-effective for the company to manage this role.

No Let Up in Global Mobility Overall, the use of international assignees

is predicted to remain the same or higher for 86 percent of survey participants. These results are even stronger for European-headquartered organisations and those in the energy industry (90 percent and 93 percent, respectively). However, international assignment programmes require a significant amount of attention from programme managers, with 51 percent of survey participants saying programmes take too much time and effort to administer. See charts 9 and 10. The managers of global mobility programmes face a number of challenges as they strive to develop programmes that respond to the changing needs of

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. For further information or to reserve your place, please email:

Winter  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 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 or telephone Helen Elliott on +44 (0)208 661 0186. We look forward to seeing you there.


International Household Goods Insurance - A Sea Of Change On The Horizon International Household Goods in Transit and Storage insurance coverage has, since the advent of the relocation industry, been the sole property and casualty insurance offering to thoroughly penetrate the relocation industry. It is without exception the insurance programme that to this point has engaged the most awareness and resources, and by extension drives the most revenue in the global mobility sector. Recently, a preponderance of persuasive facts and influential forces have emerged that will challenge the primacy of household goods insurance and all those involved in its deployment and distribution. The convergence of these socioeconomic factors will give rise to a momentous market shift, and signal the emergence of an entirely new spectrum of risk exposures and risk management solutions, stakeholders and participants, and workflows and procedures.

socialism, population density, cultural considerations and consumer preferences give rise to a real estate landscape largely bereft of standalone, single family dwellings in Asia and Latin America. Bearing this in mind, it is not surprising that Brookfield’s 2012 Global Relocation Trends Report identifies China, Brazil, India and Russia as the leading emerging and/or challenging locations for programme managers. The bottom line is that assignees bound for emerging markets from industrialised western nations must necessarily scale down their living space while on assignment. The destination location will be by default less able to absorb the household goods from their country of origin. Conversely, assignees from emerging markets with few if any household furnishings and no predilection for sprawling detached single family dwellings will not be filling overseas shipping containers with household goods pre-departure.

1) Globalisation of Business

2) Contracting Assignment Durations

The unabated expansion of global business means that increasing numbers of emerging market locations are registering on surveys and in reports at both assignment destinations and origins. In bygone years where northern hemisphere and western block capitalist industrialised economies dominated both categories, it would not be uncommon for an assignee's household to occupy a detached single family dwelling on both ends of the transfer. Accordingly, the concept of emptying the contents of one dwelling into another of comparable size was a reasonable proposition. As emerging markets play a larger role in a widening spectrum of global locations, programme managers have been compelled to rethink strategy as these assumptions are exposed to new realities. One enduring legacy of socialism in the Eastern block is a general absence of sprawling standalone single-family dwellings the likes of which are common in suburbanised North America and parts of Western Europe. Meanwhile,

Simply put, the shorter the assignment the less resources are being allotted to manage it, as evidenced by a 2006 report entitled Measuring the Value of International Assignments, in which PWC highlights the steeply sloped relationship between assignees length of stay and allowances. Recently, Mercer’s 2013 Worldwide International Assignments Policies and Practices Report reveals that the duration of long-term assignments is trending down. Where not so long ago long-term assignments neared the five-year mark, Mercer reports that the average duration of a long-term assignment now comes in at under three years. The time, energy and resources required to co-ordinate the logistics of transiting insured household goods around the globe are significant. When plotted against a two-year time horizon verses a five-year period, they may begin to look impractical if not prohibitive. Meanwhile, a PWC report in 2010 entitled Talent Mobility 2020 clearly

indicates a trend that short-term assignments are averaging thirteen months on a global basis, whilst the average age of short-term assignees tends to be younger.

3) Assignee Demographics The emerging assignee profile is one that doesn’t own a home, wants to work overseas and will likely occupy a multi-family property whether on assignment or not. As the Baby Boomers leave the workforce and Gen-X-ers and Millennials begin to comprise a material proportion of the ranks of internationally mobile employees, they introduce an entirely unique set of values and circumstances that will bear a measurable impact on the shipment and storage of transferees' personal property. From 2006 through 2011, in the USA, where homeownership is inseparable from the ‘national dream’ identity, US Census Bureau Data indicates that 25to 34-year-olds represented the largest decline in homeownership compared with any other age band. For households headed by the very same age bracket, renters increased by more than a million from 2006 to 2011, while the number who own fell nearly 1.4 million. This is the very generation that has been interchangeably and perhaps uncharitably branded the Boomerang and Peter Pan generation for their propensity to move back home and live in their parents’ basement post graduation as they embark on their early professional careers. Whether this phenomenon is a result of their complex Gen Y values, or they are victims of the economic environment, it’s not unreasonable to conclude that they will be far less inclined and disposed to be loading grandfather clocks, baby grand pianos and dining room buffets into containerised ocean-going shipments should they be dispatched on foreign assignment. And on assignment they will go; Brookfield’s Global Relocation Trends 2012 Survey Report, in its analysis of assignee demographics highlights an “important increase…. a marked jump in Winter  International HR Adviser



Insurance assignees aged 20-29 years-old“. Moreover, PWC’s aforementioned 2010 report indicates that 80% of millennials want to work abroad and a similar percentage seek to use a foreign language and believe they will work more internationally than their parents over the course of their careers. Poignantly, Graebel’s 2103 Special Report on Apartments and Emerging Markets signals an imminent spike in demand for multi-family properties, driven globally by emerging market consumers, as well as millennials who have accumulated sufficient wealth over recent years while sharing accommodations with parents or roommates.

4) Recession Economics and Fundamental Cost Analytics The modern relocation industry was born against the backdrop of fervent expansion into emerging markets fuelled by a soaring demand for oil, other lucrative natural resources, and inexpensive labour. Accordingly, HR mobility specialists, neither expected nor equipped to deftly wield financial metrics went about facilitating the global strategic objectives as dictated by the executive ranks. The recent contraction of the global economy however, meant that for the first time mobility programme managers were being called upon as never before to deploy financial analytics, embrace comprehensive procurement procedures and quantify ROI for the benefit of their corporate overseers. In the interim, these very economic factors spawned a niche corporate furnished housing and serviced apartments industry (see point 5) that presented a novel price point comparable to analyse and explore. From a household goods in transit and storage perspective, the upshot of these new options, and the increased scrutiny and enhanced operational discipline, meant simply that corporates needed to ask for the first time whether the cost of transit and insurance coverage for an assignee’s household goods approached or exceeded the additional marginal cost of rental furnishings in the host destination, plus the additional cost of storing all their household goods in the country of origin. In many cases, the results supported a revised treatment of the household goods challenge. International HR Adviser  Winter

5) Maturation of the Furnished Accommodation/ Serviced Apartment Market As corporates slashed conspicuous business travel budgets without mercy in response to the global economic downturn, hotels redeployed unused capacity into long-term executive suites offerings that evolved from a reactionary interim tactic to an influential permanent market offering. Meanwhile, the unprecedented and prolonged period of low interest rates during the aforementioned global economic contraction, among other things, fostered the recessiondefying condo boom. Innumerable and ubiquitous construction cranes pepper the skyline of every major urban centre around the globe. The competitive price pressure exerted by this overabundance of supply was cleverly exploited and capitalised on by a burgeoning corporate furnished executive housing sector. In its Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report 2013-14, The Apartment Service notes: “Demand for serviced apartments has grown dramatically in the last 10 years, fuelled by gradually improving product knowledge, understanding of the benefits of serviced apartments amongst corporates, improving standards of apartment and the arrival of major brands into the sector. The gradual easing of the impact of the worldwide recession is illustrated by improving occupancy figures – up year-on-year for 65% of operators during 2012 - 94% of operators report that demand for serviced apartments in their regions is increasing.” Bottom line: there is a new viable and attractive option that requires assignees to take with them only their toothbrush and personal effects.

Conclusion Traditional providers of insurance capacity in the relocation sector have already begun to make adjustments in anticipation of the market shift. Insurance brokerages that have until recently exclusively serviced the removals industry with traditional marine cargo offerings have begun the process of diversifying their books of business. Providers have initiated the process of shifting some attention and resources to the professional/commercial and even the expanding self-storage sector in efforts to harness the increased storage demands,

as well as the flipside potential of the demographic landscape: retiring, emptynest Boomers down-sizing their permanent living space and passing increasing amounts of time in warmer climates. Under an extended period of soft market conditions and fierce market competition, insurance carriers supported rates cut near to the bone as a means of protecting and growing market share. Now, where once deployed only rarely and exceptionally, for the first time the market has begun to see insurance carriers routinely bundling coverages previously sold on a standalone basis in efforts to generate additional revenue streams and engender continuity with assignees throughout an assignment and potentially through to repatriation or reassignment. For years the risk and insurance solutions presented to the fledgling global relocation market were ahead of the conceptual curve. In many instances solutions were being presented to clients who hadn’t yet appreciated they had an unsolved problem. With the passing of time, it is heartening for providers to observe the long-awaited emergence of a widespread and profound awareness with respect to risk management at both the corporate and assignee household level. Ironically, and in some cases tragically, the New Normal solutions sought by the consumer have leap-frogged the capabilities of providers, doggedly adhering to their early vision. On the buy side of the equation, the early years of corporate relocation practices with respect to household goods insurance were characterised by onerous administration, an endless loop of defining, deploying and revising comprehensive guidelines and procedures, alongside complex vendor management challenges. As the market matures and evolves, corporate sponsors have flocked to adopt simpler, more streamlined spending account responses to the management of household goods property risks. Moreover, the hard lessons learned, and bitter aftertastes left in the aftermath of the mass evacuations during the Japanese tsunami, the Fukushima nuclear crisis, and the Arab Spring uprising in North Africa in particular, will doubtless leave many questioning the sensibility and appeal of overseas household goods shipments. Even where policies responded as anticipated, third party administrators performed flawlessly, and goodwill among all parties abounded, the practical

Insurance applications of comprehensive programmes failed to align with conceptual designs. As is the case in any market, certain players will remain un-swayed in the face of new realities. Shortsighted financial services providers who merely dabble in mobility will stay inextricably wed to outmoded perceptions, processes and partners, and in doing so inconvenience or alienate their client base. An ever-narrowing band of elite assignees will demand that their entire inventory of personal belongings travel with them wherever they go, and in turn give rise to an ultra niche market sector. Forward-thinking innovators however, will emerge. Their refreshed perspective, focused approach and thorough understanding of the pivotal issues will give rise to newly defined offerings better suited to the New Normal. The new solutions will ideally reflect contemporary demographic values, integrate progress in parallel markets such as cloud computing, software as a service solutions and alternative risk finance mechanisms, and most importantly engage front-line providers, bona fide mobility experts in product and service definition. Paul Coleman, President and CEO, TERN Financial Group Inc. Paul has spent his entire career working within the global finance and insurance industry accumulating experience and expertise both from the perspective of service provider/ intermediary as well as that of client/ buyer. In 2002 he embarked on a innovative start-up project that grew into a multimillion dollar enterprise. As Executive Vice President he provided strategic and tactical guidance and direction for the organisation that included oversight and development of the Canadian, European and UK markets. TERN Financial Group Inc. has developed an array of novel solutions, innovative products and improved processes that respond to the unique needs of expatriates, relocation industry vendors and their corporate clients to the ultimate benefit of transferees and their dependents. Email

You are cordially invited to

The 2014

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 International HR Professionals and their expatriate assignees. 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 For further information on this event please call Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186

Winter  International HR Adviser




Where Are The Correct Limits For A Relocation Policy? Only recently a colleague called to advise that they were still waiting outside a building for the arrival of a major telecommunications company and perhaps there could be an indication as to when they would appear. Not perhaps the most interesting opening comment but the reason for waiting outside, rather than within the impressive, modern apartment was that the entry phone was connected to the landline allowing the visitor to the building to be 'buzzed' through to the apartment's phone or mobile; however this step forward in design idea wasn't going to work until the phone line was connected to the apartment; hence the waiting outside on a rather cold day whilst recalling no doubt, fond memories of the summer just past. The simple matter of installing a phone line was resulting in having to wait outside the building to meet the engineer, who was unavoidably, as it turned out, running late to this call out. If such a simple issue was causing problems, what other matters does the relocating assignee have to address that could fall on their shoulders to resolve and not be covered by their companies relocation policy? Also should more be offered to the assignee than is currently provided? There is little doubt that relocation policies have both matured and developed over the past decade with, on average more of the core requirements of a relocation being addressed or at least recognised than at any time previously. An increasing number of international policies will support such issues as Orientation, Home Search, Short-Term Accommodation, Education Support, Transportation and Settling In, via a wide range of formats and cost controlled processes, which leaves the question, what more could a strong relocation policy cover for the transferring assignee? Is there really that much that is left unaddressed, un-discussed or not supported in some capacity? Clearly, there are always going to be differences between companies, allowing for their culture and approach to relocation. Certainly in regard to what many may refer to as ‘fringe services’ but there will always remain a growing list of matters International HR Adviser  Winter

that the assignee will need to resolve that will remain outside their company’s relocation policy. As a result, a number of the subjects listed below may be offered by a relocation policy, but it is unlikely that most are offering this level of support; so therefore, should more companies cover the following issues to ensure that they support their assignees fully? The surprising answer is no, not really. However, a full awareness of these costs and issues to be addressed would allow a more balanced solution to be offered and support the assignee to settle into the new location both quickly and smoothly. This information can be provided through predeparture briefings prior to the relocation company’s involvement, or can be expanded upon in more detail during the initial conversation with the assignee and family when the relocation provided is introduced, with many of the practical issues being supporting through a Settling In Service. The method of how this information is presented to both HR and the assignee is of course a vital issue on its own but the focus here is to expand on the range of additional costs and requirements that the assignee will be expected to address. So what are the issues that may be faced by the assignee? The following is a light walk through the subjects most likely to be faced. The answers are not always difficult to present, but pre-knowledge of these matters will always result in a more successful and content assignee.

Potential Requirements Many will state that they offer support with opening a bank account for any expatriate. However, whilst many companies offers support, a substantial number will leave this to the assignee to arrange, albeit with clear details of a bank to contact. A number of UK banks offer strong solutions to this matter with the ability to open an account before they leave their home country. If the assignee is able to access this support early in the process, then not only will all concerned have their accounts details prior to the relocation taking place, they will also be able to transfer funds. For an increased percentage of relocations, the company may not be covering the rent

and deposit within their relocation policy, therefore it is vital that the assignee has suitable funds in place, in the right currency, available to cover at least the initial deposit and rental charges at an early stage of the relocation. All home search companies providing a home search service should ensure that the assignee has awareness of the amounts that may be required and support them in ensuring that they are able to cover these costs. However, where there may have been delays or difficulties in opening a bank account, this could have a serious knock on effect on their ability to have the funds ready to be transferred to the agent or landlord. Visas & work permits are almost always covered by the company, but for a limited number of countries, the assignee will need to register with the Police. This is perhaps not that common for many companies, but is vital to ensure their stay is not jeopardised, and often the arrangement and process for this is not fully understood or completed. Schooling support is often offered to international staff, but less frequently for domestic or returning expatriates. Support is often just as necessary for a returning assignee where their children may have entered into a different stage of their education, or the assignee may have not had children prior to departing for their asignment. Certainly school uniform isn’t traditionally covered, but for many expatriates, this unexpected cost can add up to a substantial amount and, both the process and cost of completing this can come as an unwelcome surprise. Properties can come in a number of different guises and as a result even furnished properties often need to add, what commonly is referred to as Kitchen and Bedding Packs. These will cover matters such as crockery, cutlery, cookware, duvet, sheets, pillows & covers. Many Landlords will supply these but this certainly will not happen with all relocations taking place. Therefore this may result in a further cost to the assignee as well as their need to understand how to obtain these items quickly and cost effectively. The same can be stated for the TV and most certainly any Broadband or Cable/Satellite packages. Understandably, these last costs would not be expected to be covered in many

RELOCATION POLICY relocation policies, but the cost of these; plus the minimum length of a standard contract; can come as a surprise to anyone not informed on the matter. No one needs to be advised on the increasing costs of utilities to a household’s budget. Both electricity and gas prices are increasing at an inflation busting rate. If we are potentially confused by identifying the most suitable rates, this can be even harder for the expatriate who also may not be aware, that it is even possible to change suppliers. Guidance on this topic is essential before and throughout the relocation process. Most tenants would be expected or at least recommended to take out a Contents Insurance Policy to cover not only their items that they move with them, but also their future purchases. This is straightforward to arrange and, pleasingly, rarely as expensive as might be expected, but will still need to be budgeted for by the assignee. For many, their electrical goods that are being transferred will have the support of the removal company ensuring that they will work in the new location or will, at least, have the plugs changed. If this hasn’t taken place a further issue and cost may have just appeared. Once in their new home, the assignee may be looking to purchase a car. This may be as a second family vehicle for their partner, or as their main car if no company car is applicable. However, this will raise a large number of issues from financing the purchase, ensuring they have a legitimate driving license, learning how to drive in the new country, purchasing road tax for their new pride & joy and of course, securing their insurance. For many assignees, this is both complex and expensive and should they be looking to live in a city location, then we need to add parking permits and maybe congestion charge onto their list. Pets are part of the family, as we all know, and their quarantine and transportation charges are often covered by the company, but the insurance and vet charges once settled into their new location rarely will be. How high these are compared to their home location will vary, but it’s unlikely that this will be seen as a low or good value amount and may not have been budgeted for by the family prior to their assignment. The family pet may now be covered, but the assignee or family will also need to ensure that they are registered with their local doctors. Most relocation

companies will help address this matter with them, but the initial medical with their new doctor can only by undertaken by themselves and often the doctors preferred times for this rarely match their own schedules. An awareness of this allows schedules to be managed efficiently at any early stage of the relocation. At no stage can this be taken as the definitive list or the final word on this matter and this is purely to highlight the type of issues that may be presented. It remains important for all employers and relocation companies to ensure that the assignee has been walked through these matters so that they have awareness as well as planned and budgeted for these requirements accordingly. Pre-planning for the relocation correctly focuses on the numerous and considerable issues that need to be considered prior to the relocation taking place. Development of this to cover these expected issues once they have settled into the new locality can only be considered vital to increase the success of all relocations. Awareness of these additional, somewhat smaller issues and costs once they have arrived will add considerably to the overall success and positive outcome of the relocation. As suggested earlier, many will quite rightly state that a strong Settling In Service will address many of these and certainly this will assist considerably. However, any assignment will always be more successful and well received when the assignee and their family understand the nature of what remains even after the formal home search and support has been completed. Simon Johnston GMS - CEO has been in the relocation industry since February 1988 originally working for one of the largest relocation company in the UK for 5 years, before becoming the Relocation Manager of Nestle UK for 8 years. In September 2001, Simon formed Icon Relocation Ltd with Icon Moving Services following in 2010 and Icon Cleaning Services in 2012. Simon is a member of ERC, EuRA, ERC and the FEM and holder of the GMS qualification. The company was awarded the ‘Runner-up’ award by FEM in the European Destinations Services Provider category in 2012 and ‘Highly Commended’ in 2013. Direct Line - +44(0)1892 600507 Mobile - +44(0)7736 777355


The 2014 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition Monday 3rd February 2014 at Hotel Russell, London at 11.15am

Dual CareerMaking 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.

For further information or to reserve your place, please email:

Winter  International HR Adviser




Corporate Compliance And Your Relocation Suppliers Corporate compliance has been a complex phenomenon for businesses since it first appeared back in the 1970’s. But does structuring policies to be compliant with customer needs have to keep us all awake at night, or are there simpler ways to understand and implement this confusing topic? Starting at the very beginning is often useful and in this case sheds much light on how and why the issue of compliance has become so important. In their most basic form, the goals of compliance are to prevent corruption and protect sensitive data. The anticorruption aspect dates back to 1977 when the USA signed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act into law to combat allegations of US multinationals of bribing foreign governments. The aerospace manufacturer Lockheed had been involved in some embarrassing business practices. It was revealed by one of their senior executives, that the company had paid $22 million to Japanese government officials in trying to secure a contract. This was particularly irksome for the US government as they had just bailed out Lockheed with a loan of $250 million and did want to be perceived as assisting a US company via the taxpayer, in perverting the course of free trade. As a result of this law however, it became clear that US companies were acting at a disadvantage as they were playing by the rules when other governments had no such equivalent legislation. As a result of lengthy discussions at a global level, the 34 members of the Organisation for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) enacted the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, which makes bribery of officials a crime. This legislation was a clear signal to the corporate world that corruption via bribery was now globally perceived as not just unethical, but unacceptable. However, the scope and breadth of compliance policies within corporations and how they apply to clients and suppliers is also governed (or not) by national legislation. Add to this a complex web of International HR Adviser  Winter

cultural and social business norms, and we are faced with some very interesting dilemmas. For example, a major mobility supplier operating in Germany will be aware that everyone is working to the same standards in terms of compliance, as EU and German domestic legislation is very clear on the legality of bribery and other areas key to implementing and working to, a strict compliance policy. Therefore no individual relocation company has an advantage over another. The same situation may not apply in West Africa for example, where many questions arise. Where national legislation doesn’t specifically address corporate bribery, where are the lines drawn and how does voluntary policing dictate what is and what isn’t considered an inducement? Where business norms dictate that gift giving and receiving between suppliers and clients is not only acceptable, but an integral part of the business relationship, how does a company deal with offending a client or supplier? If gift giving is a cultural business norm, how should a company react? The answer is of course, by acting according to their internal anticorruption policy. In discussions I’ve had while researching this article, the major mobility suppliers simply will not deal with a client who they feel is not acting according to the globally understood rules of anti-corruption, even if it means that they fail to win an important account. This is of course best practice and the whole reason why the area of corporate compliance exists in the first place. But nature abhors a vacuum and where one supplier will not accept a contract, another clearly will. Under the EuRA Global Quality Seal one of the requirements is for all certified companies is to work according to an anti corruption policy. The introduction makes the scope of the policy clear; “Our corporate conduct is based on our commitment to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity. Our company does not tolerate any form of bribery and corruption.” This is then defined within the policy,

and it’s here that the issue of compliance can become a grey area. Corporate gift giving is common in most regions of the world but where does a gift become a bribe? And how do companies interpret the rules under their policies around this? Our industry is inherently social. Clients and suppliers frequently form strong friendships and gift giving in these circumstances raises some hotly debated issues. While talking to EuRA members about this, I came across a wide divide between what is and is not acceptable. One member gave the example of one of their account managers being given a very thoughtful gift from a client on the birth of her first child. Unfortunately under the strictly interpreted policy this had to be put into the companies charitable auction fund. In other companies, any gifts are subject to a financial limit. I volunteer for a charity supporting adults with learning difficulties living in the community and we have a no-exceptions policy that gifts may not be accepted at all where the value is over £5. In EuRA, we cannot accept gifts that have a value over €25, but as we all know, there is a very fine line between implementing a policy like this and causing offence, as we work with cultures from across the globe all of whom have different norms surrounding gift giving. The other area of compliance that is affecting our members on a daily basis is data security and integrity and in 2013 we added a further policy to the EGQS to cover this area. In our discussions with both RMC’s and HR managers via our involvement with national HR mobility bodies, we have been told in no uncertain terms, that this is an area of great concern. Mobility providers hold enormous amounts of very sensitive data about transferees, from passport and identity numbers, to salary and bank account details. As technology moves forward and the incidences of hacking increase, we all need to be sure that our systems are secure and that everyone with access is working under a rigorously enforced confidentiality agreement. Passwords for accessing systems should not be shared, something which most offices have until recently,

compliance been very lax about. Portable data storage must be secure and staff working remotely via laptops, must ensure that access to centralised online data is available only to them. Again talking with colleagues and members, it is clear that this is an area of concern for clients as in the past it has not been taken seriously. But in the light of recent events, with major corporations such as Amazon and LinkedIn becoming prey to hacks which brought down their systems, having an IT specialist check for gaps in the integrity of your system is key. There is no doubt that the subject of compliance is here to stay and it’s a safe bet to assume that it will only grow and affect more and more of our working lives. Already companies are becoming nervous of their employees personal online profiles and it may not be long before we see compliance policies regulating the personal scope of their employees’ online social networking. How do you know if

your Facebook friend is really genuine or a corporate competitor looking for small nuggets of information? How will employers react to these kinds of new risk? The EuRA staff and council, for example, are asked not to post pictures of any meeting that may give away the location of a future conference! Our world is changing fast and the more cloud-based data becomes, the easier it may be for it to be accessed without our knowledge. As changing patterns of world trade alter the western notions of acceptable behaviour in terms of bribery and corruption, it remains to be seen whether strict adherence to the correct forms of doing business as laid down by the OECD, will be a barrier to the compliant and a godsend for the corrupt. But to me, the issue comes down to treating others’ as you would like to be treated yourself and if that’s what compliance means, it’s really quite simple.

Dominic Tidey is the Operations Manager for EuRA, the European Relocation Assocation, who have 4446 member companies in 56 countries offering professional relocation support to corporate clients. EuRA, PO Box 189, Diss, UK IP22 1PE P: +44 (0) 8700 726 727 F: +44 (0) 1379 641 940 M: +44 (0) 7764 575614 E: W:

Winter  International HR Adviser




Making The Link: Social Media And Competing Employees The exponential growth in the use of social media in the workplace has seen HR professionals increasingly being called upon to advise organisations on how to deal with employees' use – and, increasingly misuse – of social media. But what is the legal situation when a past employee uses his former employer’s LinkedIn contacts to benefit a competing organisation? It is now common for an organisation to have in place a social media policy setting out the code of conduct governing employees’ usage of social media, both in and out of the work environment. This can cover, amongst other matters, guidance about posting comments about the employer. However, an area of increasing importance is the use of social media, and LinkedIn in particular, by ex-employees to compete with their former employer – and the extent to which an employer can look to restrict this. For multi-national organisations this can be of particular importance, as social media does allow an employee to quickly reach clients in many countries rather than being constrained to their own immediate location.

How contacts can spread Taking LinkedIn as the example, there are a number of ways that an employee can quickly access his former employer’s clients and business contacts. This can include simply searching for a business client and inviting that person to become a LinkedIn connection, right through to adding connections through the wholesale importing of e-mail contacts from Outlook. As such during the course of their employment an employee can, and is often encouraged to, build up a large LinkedIn contact list containing detailed client information. When an employee then leaves to join a competitor organisation he has ready access to his former employer’s clients. It is then relatively straightforward for the employee to let those clients know that he has moved on. This can be as straightforward as updating the LinkedIn profile to include the new role. LinkedIn will then send all of their LinkedIn contacts a note asking them to International HR Adviser  Winter

congratulate that person on their new role. There are other, more circular ways in which an employee can make a client aware that they have moved. They could join a LinkedIn group that is common to both of them and post a comment on an article which can lead through to their newly updated profile. This then gives the employee and the client the opportunity to enter into a dialogue that may not have been available other than via LinkedIn.

Restricting the impact Many organisations will have in place specific restrictive covenants in the contract of employment that restrict ex-employees from competing following termination of employment. Typically they include a prohibition on soliciting clients and key employees. The starting point in dealing with employees using social media to compete is to look at these restrictions. Enforcing such restrictions can be difficult. HR professionals dealing with multi-national organisations face the

additional problem that each country, and in the case of the US, each State, tends to have its own approach to enforcing restrictions. As such a restriction enforceable in the UK is not necessarily enforceable in, say, Germany. This means that adopting a common set of restrictions is difficult and each country needs to be considered on a case by case basis. There is also the added complication that in some jurisdictions there is a requirement to pay the employee if the restrictions are to be enforceable. Italy is a case in point, with the amount of pay determined on a case by case basis depending on the salary of the employee and the scope of the restrictions.

What will the Courts say? Whilst there is a distinct lack of case law on this point, there is no reason why an argument that the use of social media following termination is contrary to such express contractual restrictions would not be successful. For example,

LEGAL ISSUES if there is a contractual ‘non-solicitation of clients’ clause, could you argue that merely updating their LinkedIn profile is solicitation? Typically solicitation involves an intention to obtain orders from clients, or do business with them. It will be interesting to see the extent to which courts are willing to accept that merely updating a profile can be considered solicitation. However, given that one of the purposes of LinkedIn is to act as a business network, Judges may be persuaded that the intention of updating the profile was to encourage former clients to make contact with a view to conducting business with them.

Employment contract restrictions One option to deal with this uncertainty would be to include within the contract of employment restrictions which deal specifically with the use of social media. We are seeing an emerging trend, particularly in organisations pushing the use of LinkedIn and social media amongst its workforce, to try and deal with this issue specifically. This can include restrictions on updating LinkedIn profiles for a period of time following termination of employment. This is very much an emerging trend and by no means a tried and tested solution. It will be interesting to see the approach of courts, especially those in jurisdictions that have a strict approach to restrictive covenants, as to how they will treat such attempts to limit the use of social media. Even with these uncertainties, it is clear that this is an issue that organisations will want to address. It will become vital to ensure that their strategy for dealing with ex-employees seeking to operate in competition includes adequate protection from the use of social media.

Matt Jenkin is a Partner and employment law specialist at leading solicitors’ firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys Ltd, which provides a complete spectrum of legal services to business and private clients across the UK and internationally. Matt advises employers on all aspects of employment law including restructuring and transfers, post-termination restrictions and senior executive disputes and terminations. Recognised as a leading practitioner with the respected legal directory, Chambers, Matt is a regular speaker at employment law seminars, and a frequent media commentator on employment law issues. For more information email Matt at or call +44 (0)1242 246458.

Winter  International HR Adviser




Background Checking: Where Does The Responsibility Lie? The recent story of Thomas O’Riordan, the top city lawyer who boasted a host of fabricated qualifications to gain highlevel positions, serves as a clear reminder of the need for rigorous background checking of employees. While it may seem like yet another dull administrative hoop to jump through, the importance to employers of verifying matters such whether a recruit has the right to work in a country or is suitably qualified for a role is obvious. An interesting question arises when one considers the position of recruitment agencies; clearly there is not quite the same incentive to screen candidates because the agency is not the ultimate employer and so it might be thought that the onus is on the employer to conduct adequate background checks. This seems to be the generally accepted position in respect of permanent placements and is a sensible conclusion given the length of the investment by the employer as compared with that of the recruiter. The picture becomes somewhat hazier, however, when a candidate is being placed in temporary or contract work.

A grey area for recruitment firms As a matter of industry practice, recruitment agencies generally take responsibility for ensuring that candidates are adequately screened in the case of temporary or contract work. Again, this is the only sensible outcome imagine you are a client looking for a temporary receptionist to fill in for four weeks. Which is more valuable to you: Recruitment Firm A which can offer you a candidate who seems suitable for the job but you will have to verify his identity and right to work status, as well as validate his references/qualifications; or Recruitment Firm B who will ensure that every candidate it places with you has been adequately checked? Due to the short nature of the contract, the client does not wish to concern itself with investigating such matters but just wants to have confidence that the person filling the vacancy is capable of performing the role (from both a competency and a legal perspective). International HR Adviser  Winter

Unfortunately for recruitment agencies, if they wish to take on this task it means adding a significant additional step of administrative duties, particularly if the checks are to be conducted sufficiently thoroughly. As a cofounder of Onfido Background Checks, I spend a huge amount of time helping employers by educating them about the importance of carrying out these checks. The statistics are shocking: one of our clients has carried out hundreds of identity checks on its applicants, and we’ve found that around 7% of them cannot be identified from the documents and information provided. Similarly, references and qualifications should not be taken at face value - from our own records, a staggering 31% of applicants have provided false information about a degree, provided false employers or fabricated non-existent jobs. If a recruitment agency fails to pick up on such matters, its clients will turn elsewhere to find temporary or contract workers.

The legal standpoint So clearly there is a great risk to business reputation, but where does the law stand in respect of recruitment agencies’ background checking obligations? As a matter of compliance, the most significant consideration is the legal obligation upon any employer to ensure that every worker has the right to work in the UK. The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, grants the UK Border Agency (UKBA) powers to fine employers £10,000 for each illegal migrant worker – a penalty which is potentially being doubled to £20,000 in the government’s latest Immigration Bill. You might now be asking how this can be relevant to recruitment agencies since the fine applies only to “employers”. However, the Act gives no formal definition of “employer”, nor does it make any reference to “agency workers”. Furthermore, there is no legal precedent which firmly determines the employment status of temporary workers and, consequently, the legal position is unclear. Under employment law, temporary or contract workers still on the books of a recruitment agency could well be regarded as an “employee” of the agency rather than the client. It

may come down to the precise nature of the contractual relationship between the agency, the worker and the client. What this means, however, is that recruitment agencies cannot view themselves as immune to UKBA penalties. A further consideration is that, irrespective of the employment status of the worker, an agency might incur contractual liability against a client if it turns out that a worker does not have the right to work in the UK and inadequate checks have been conducted. Of course, this will depend on the specific terms of the contract. What does this mean in terms of ensuring compliance? In order to protect itself, a responsible recruitment agency must take steps to verify that every candidate has the right to work in the UK –this should apply even if the agency is placing permanent workers since this eliminates any risk should the worker later be found to be an “employee” of the agency. Furthermore, discrimination rules dictate that checking candidates’ right to work status must be conducted regardless of country of origin. Taking these essential steps should be sufficient to protect the agency from UKBA and/or contractual liabilities, safeguarding both the agency’s financial and reputational interests.

Understand the industries In addition to right to work checks, there is of course a wide range of other checks that can be carried out on a candidate. Right to work checks are crucial because not only do they affect every UK employer, but are also a legal obligation. Some forms of background check are legally required depending on the industry, whilst others are not legal requirements but are strongly recommended. For many generalist recruitment firms, the fact that they place candidates into a variety of roles in a range of sectors means that it is important to have at least a basic knowledge of these recommendations. These checks can be classified into 3 basic categories: employers and recruiters have the ability to verify a candidate’s identity, history and suitability for a job role. Checking a candidate’s identity is the most fundamental form of check. This involves simply verifying that a candidate is who

RECRUITMENT they say are; in other words, making sure that they are not using fake documentation to commit identity fraud. Identity checks, along with right to work checks, are crucial no matter what industry the candidate is applying to work in. For those candidates applying to work in high-trust roles, checking an applicant’s history is important. For example, criminal history is required for anyone hiring an applicant to work with children or vulnerable adults, such as those who work in hospitals, schools and care homes. There is a legal obligation to carry out enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks, formerly known as CRB or criminal record checks, on the applicant in these cases. Employers and recruiters may also wish to carry out checks on an applicant’s financial history, for example, to find out if they have any previous CCJs or bankruptcies. Surveys have shown that many employers believe that people with previous financial problems and bankruptcies are more likely to steal and commit fraud, which is an issue for high-trust roles like cleaning, where employees are left alone to work in

residential or commercial property. Finally, an employer or recruiter may want to carry out checks on an applicant’s suitability for the role. This includes checking that they have not embellished details about their education and qualifications, or provided fake references in order to try and boost their application. This is more important in high-skill roles where qualifications and references are crucial to the application process. The risk of not carrying out these suitability checks at the top level are huge, as was shown in May 2012, when Yahoo fired their CEO Scott Thompson after finding out that he had lied on his CV by claiming to have a computer science degree which was completely fake.

How to ensure best practice and legal compliance Taking everything into account, it’s clear that the legal issues surrounding employment background checking are a grey area (with the exception of right to work checks), but that the reputational and business risks are well-defined. Generally speaking, the onus is on recruitment firms to carry out the

required checks when placing candidates into temporary positions. However, it is crucial that the terms of recruitment are distinct and well understood in the contract between the recruiter and employer, as the uncertainty surrounding the legislation in this area means that legal cases will often boil down to the contractual agreement between the two parties. Eamon Jubbawy is a cofounder of Onfido, an employment screening firm offering a data driven platform to help employers make fast, informed decisions on who they can trust. Onfido’s online background checking software is used extensively by recruitment firms to ensure their clients can have complete confidence in the staff they hire. Onfido also produce and distribute free training and educational material for recruiters and employers to ensure best-in-class legal compliance. To get in touch, email info@onfido. or call 020 8133 3628.

Winter  International HR Adviser


Expatriate Adviser  Summer 

Autumn International HR Adviser


Developing Ethical Global Leaders Of The Future 2013 research by Cone Communications and Echo Research, carried out amongst over 10,000 citizens in ten of the largest countries by GDP, revealed high expectations when it comes to companies ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR) policies. Ninetyone per cent of respondents believed that companies must go beyond the minimum standards required by law to operate responsibly, whilst many consider CSR when deciding where to work (81 per cent), where to shop or what to buy (87 per cent) and which product and services to recommend to others (85 per cent). As CSR is no longer viewed as an option but an imperative (‘think global, act local’), multi-national corporations of all sizes must look for employees who will have the ethical and cultural awareness to thrive in an international marketplace. Before university and work experience, schools play a formative role in helping students see the world through others’ eyes, and in preparing them for careers that could take them to all corners of the globe. Indeed, a 2012 survey of UK Business leaders by the British Council and global education charity, Think Global, found that employers place greater emphasis on knowledge and awareness of the wider world than a candidate’s degree classification or A level results. It highlights the importance of a well-rounded education in preparing students for the world of work at an international level. One curriculum that puts global awareness at the heart of its programme is the International Baccalaureate (IB). Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968, the IB approaches all subjects with an emphasis on pursuing cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary links, beliefs and traditions, equipping students with a broad appreciation of foreign cultures and citizenship. The IB Learner Profile provides the qualification with an overarching concept of how to develop international mindedness, encouraging students to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, openminded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective, all of which are qualities

that encourage students to accept and understand other cultures. As a programme that spans ages 3 – 18, split into the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), the new IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) and the most well-known Diploma programme (IBDP) at post-16 level, a full IB student is encouraged to consider different cultures and ideas to an extent that few other qualifications can match. Moreover, compulsory elements of the IBDP such as Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) encourage students to put their awareness of local and global issues into practice, helping them develop teamwork and time management skills, and gain experience of social responsibility. Spending several hours a week in CAS related activities, on top of their academic studies, students are expected to volunteer at extra-curricular school events and take part in external activities, ranging from physical environment projects to community outreach. IB students at ACS International Schools, for example, have used their CAS hours to perform at open days and other local community events, fundraise and plant trees in the local area, as well as engage in international projects. These wider projects include expeditions to Kenya, Namibia and Bulgaria, where students have assisted in renovating school buildings, and broadened their understanding of different cultures and global issues such as poverty and malnutrition. Other projects that have allowed CAS students to develop skills in niche industries include an annual week long placement on board the ORBIS flying eye hospital. Shadowing specialist eye surgeons, doctors and nurses, students have the opportunity to gain an awareness of the difference in living conditions and access to medical care available worldwide, developing compassion for others, openmindedness, and the ability to reflect on the impact of actions on others. Combined with the broad IB DP curriculum, which requires all students to study six subjects, choosing from the arts, sciences, maths, humanities and languages, CAS gives students the chance

to develop a broader range of skills than more specialised programmes. As one alumni in our recent survey on how they found the experience of studying the IB commented: "I am studying medicine and I appreciate the non-scientific knowledge I was able to gain, as it helps me to understand people's perspectives, cultures and beliefs better. " Other elements of CAS, such as participating in Model United Nations (MUN) events, encourage IB students to develop as principled global thinkers and communicators in a real life, international situation. Another compulsory element of the IB that helps students compete internationally is their foreign language skills, with students learning an additional language from age seven in the IB PYP, continuing right through to IB Diploma level. Spanish and Chinese have long overtaken English as the most-widely spoken languages worldwide, and with the emergence of new markets in South America and Asia, more and more companies need multilingual employees, who can demonstrate good language skills as well as an understanding of different cultures and global issues. Encouraging students to broaden their horizons, be articulate and principled thinkers, and appreciate different cultures, the IB helps develop job applicants with the skills to compete in a global workforce. And in an increasingly globalised, CSR conscious world, these skills are only going to become more sought after.

Mark London Marketing Manager at ACS International Schools.

Winter  International HR Adviser




Organisational Structures: Where Do The Dotted Lines Go? Organisational structures within multinationals take a huge variety of different forms, some carefully planned, some accidental. Juliet Carp, Employment Partner at Speechly Bircham LLP takes a look at some related technical issues. It used to be quite normal to talk about the “law of master and servant”. Most workers knew exactly who “the boss” was and most bosses knew exactly who was “under” them. Now, of course, reporting lines are crossed and blurred and there is a strong emphasis on “working together” in a more informal way. Most of us would see this as a positive development but it is not always easy now to work out who manages who. Often an individual will have more than one person to report to and the picture is even more complex within multinationals. If I were to ask a UK HR Manager who she reported to she might, for example, say: “My line manager is the UK Managing Director and this is confirmed in my employment contract. But I have a functional dotted line to the International HR Director at our parent in New York, and I also cover our Paris office because they don’t have enough people to have their own HR team. I normally report to the European Area Manager when I do Paris work….”. The modern World is complicated and structures reflect this. Does this really matter? The short answer is “yes it can”. That does not mean that everything should change or that every reporting arrangement needs to be approved by a lawyer, just that we should be aware of the way the preferred structure is likely to interact with other things - particularly things that cost money like tax. This helps us to assess risk better, ask the right people for guidance and make sure any necessary practical changes are made quickly. At a very basic level, reporting lines are a strong indicator of the identity of an individual’s employer. If Jane Bloggs is employed by Tiny Ltd, I would expect her line manager to also be an employee of Tiny Ltd. If Jane’s line manager is an employee of Big Plc that may be an indicator either that Jane is really an International HR Adviser  Winter

employee of Big Plc or that her line manager has a role in Tiny Ltd. In an ordinary UK domestic employment law context this probably will not make much difference. For example, if Jane and Tiny Ltd fall out, Jane might make a legal claim. An Employment Tribunal might decide she is employed by Big Plc but getting her employer wrong may not make much difference to the group’s bottom line. Does it make a significant difference to group profits whether Tiny Ltd or Big Plc has to make a compensation payment to Jane? The English taxman probably has the money he is expecting anyway. In an international context getting the identity of the employer wrong can have much more serious consequences. Here are some examples of areas where this might make a difference. • Internationally mobile employees: The identity of the employer could make a significant difference to the individual’s tax or social security bill, for example where tax relief is available on housing for assigned employees but not local hires. If the employee’s remuneration is tax equalised it may be the business that picks up the extra costs. • Intellectual property: Typically, the employer owns intellectual property created by its employee. If the creator is not employed by the “right” group company intellectual property may be created in the wrong place. Fixing this could potentially lead to a big tax bill. • Benefits and insurance arrangements: Usually these arrangements apply to employees of specific companies. Getting the employer wrong could, for example, lead to insurance being invalid, the employee not being eligible to participate in a plan or additional tax or funding costs. • Corporation tax, VAT and other taxes: Most multinationals take a great deal of care over their corporate structures. Getting individual arrangements wrong could, for example, undermine transfer pricing compliance, lead to VAT being due on intercompany payments, create a permanent establishment for corporation tax purposes in the wrong place or

mean that a corporation tax deduction is not available. Of course, reporting lines are not the only determinant of an individual’s employer and it is possible to structure a role so that there is one clear “line manager” who takes key “employer” decisions, while keeping other channels open for more informal business-related discussion. It would be sensible though, if reporting lines are a bit muddy, to make absolutely sure that other facts are consistent with correct employer status, for example, that the right company’s representative signs the employment contract, the right headed paper is used to communicate a pay rise, the right company makes salary payments, business cards are appropriate etc. These issues should be considered before an offer of employment is made and also later on if things change. For example, an individual may take on extra duties when a colleague is absent or markets change. If there is any doubt about the position of an employee within an organisation and whether reporting lines are consistent it may be sensible to start by talking with internal tax specialists. “Dotted lines” may look good on paper but we do need to understand what they mean practically. There is a big difference between a parent’s IT, HR or legal function overseeing group activity/liaising with specialists in other group companies and working across the World as one seamless business. It is so easy to forget that multinationals are usually structured as a group of separate legal entities for good reasons. In HR, for example, it is common for a parent company’s HR specialist to take the lead in managing the hire or dismissal of an employee based at an overseas subsidiary. This raises some quite complex issues, for example: • personal data about the employee will be flowing across borders and the business will need to ensure that it has complied with applicable privacy laws • legal privilege may not apply to related advice (some countries for example do not recognise privilege for advice given by an in house lawyer) • there may be a temptation for the

LEGAL “wrong” people to make decisions which may prejudice defence of legal claims and in some situations lead to a “void” dismissal • if litigation does arise there may additional jurisdictional issues to deal with and additional claims may be available to the employee • compliance with disclosure obligations could be complicated • people from the parent company and the parent company itself may be unnecessarily drawn into litigation; • it may be appropriate to document the inter company arrangements and charge a fee for services provided by the parent to the subsidiary. Clearly, this does not mean that HR issues should never be managed from another country but if they are this should be done with “eyes open”. A relatively relaxed approach might be taken to dealing with a simple disciplinary matter, whilst allegations of fraud might be treated with more care. It is worth keeping an eye on dotted line reporting and functional overlap. This is not just a line manager or HR issue but a whole business concern. Juliet Carp, Speechly Bircham LLP,

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provoke thought not provide advice and is no substitute for up to date, fact specific advice from specialists from relevant jurisdictions.

Juliet Carp Partner, Speechly Bircham LLP. Juliet specialises in UK and international employment law and advises on all aspects of UK employment law. +44 (0)20 7427 6412

WE ARE DELIGHTED TO OFFER YOU COMPLIMENTARY COPIES OF THE MAGAZINE FOR YOUR AMERICAN EMPLOYEES If you have American employees moving to, or living in the UK, and would like to take advantage of the this free employee benefit, please email to order copies of the magazine. Please provide your address and the quantity required every quarter.

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Winter  International HR Adviser



Global Immigration Update

Global Immigration Update Australia Subclass 457 Labour Market Testing Requirement Takes Effect November 23 (November 19, 2013) The labour market testing requirement for the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa programme, which was approved earlier this year, took effect on November 23, 2013, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) recently confirmed. The New Labour Market Testing Requirements Subclass 457 sponsors will be required to demonstrate that they made efforts to find suitably qualified and experienced Australian workers for nominated positions at any time in the twelve months before the submission of nomination applications and must submit evidence of local recruitment efforts, unless they are exempt. For purposes of the new requirement, Australian workers will include Australian citizens and permanent residents, as well as temporary visa holders in the working holiday or work and holiday programmes who are working for the sponsoring employer in the agricultural sector. When labour market testing is required, sponsors must provide information about all advertising or other recruitment efforts taken in relation to the nominated occupation in the preceding twelve months. Sponsors must include the following details: where the advertising or other recruitment activities took place; the dates recruitment activities occurred; the geographic target audience; and the outcome of the recruitment, including the number of applications received, number of applicants hired and the general reasons why other candidates were not selected. If a sponsor or an associated entity has laid off Australian workers in the same or a similar occupation to the one nominated, the sponsor must show that its recruitment attempts post-date the layoffs. Occupations Requiring Labour Market Testing DIBP has released a list of occupations that will be subject to the labour market testing requirements. Although not officially confirmed by DIBP, occupations International HR Adviser  Winter

that do not appear on this list will most likely be exempt if they require a diploma, bachelor’s degree or higher qualification, or equivalent experience. Applications will also be exempt if the labour market testing requirements would be inconsistent with Australia’s international trade obligations or for visa applicants who would assist with relief and recovery efforts after a major disaster. What Employers Should Do in Anticipation of the Upcoming Requirements Employers are urged to consider in advance the potential impact of the labour market testing criteria on their business and to contact their immigration service provider to plan for the changes. For occupations that will require labour market testing, employers should start gathering information on their recruitment efforts in the past twelve months for the positions they intend to nominate after November 23. Employers should prepare for application backlogs and longer government processing times in the coming weeks, as many sponsors will likely try to file applications before the labour market test requirements took effect on November 23. After November 23, processing may slow down as adjudicators become familiar with the new requirements.

United States New Employer Compliance Obligations Take Effect in Virginia and California (November 21, 2013) In California and Virginia, employers are subject to new immigration-related obligations that take effect in the near future. State E-Verify Provisions Take Effect in Virginia Beginning December 1, 2013, employers in the Commonwealth of Virginia with more than an average of fifty employees in a twelve-month period must register and participate in the federal E-Verify program if entering into a contract worth at least $50,000 with any agency of the Commonwealth. Pursuant to House Bill 1859, affected employers must use E-Verify to check the identity and work

authorisation of newly hired employees performing work pursuant to a qualifying contract. Failure to comply with the new law may result in debarment from contracting with any agency of the Commonwealth for a period of up to one year. The debarment will cease when the employer registers and participates in E-Verify. Virginia joins sixteen other states that already require employers and at least some state contractors doing business in the state to participate in E-Verify, including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. California Broadens Anti-Retaliation Protections for Foreign Workers Beginning January 1, 2014, employers in California will be subject to several new laws that limit adverse employment actions against foreign workers who change their personal information, engage in whistleblower activity or attempt to exercise a right under California’s labour laws. New Assembly Bill (AB) 263 prohibits employers from terminating or taking other adverse action against an employee for updating his or her personal information, unless the change relates to a skill, qualification or knowledge required for the job. This provision may limit the ability of an employer to terminate the employment of a foreign worker who provided false documents during the Form I-9 employment verification process and later offers new documentation of his or her authorisation to work. After January, companies are encouraged to consult with their attorney and employment law counsel before terminating a California employee in this circumstance. AB 263 and Senate Bill (SB) 666 prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees who attempt to exercise a right under California’s labour laws. AB 263 penalises employers who engage in unfair immigration-related employment practices, such as requiring more or different documentation during the Form I-9 employment verification process or improperly using E-Verify to check an employee’s work eligibility, in retaliation for the exercise of workplace

Global Immigration Update right. SB 666 penalises employers who report or threaten to report the immigration status of an employee or an employee’s family member to government authorities in retaliation for the employee’s exercise of a right under state or local labour laws. Performing Form I-9 obligations or taking action at the direction or request of a federal agency are exempted. Penalties for violations of SB 666 include fines and suspension or revocation of a business license.

United Kingdom Home Office Expands Expedited Processing and Customer Service Options (November 22, 2013) The UK Home Office recently announced several initiatives aimed at improving customer service for visa applicants. The Home Office will pilot the Great Club, an invitation-only and personalised visa service programme for high-level executives. Participants in the program will be offered their own immigration account manager who will help them through the immigration process. Pilot Great Club participants will remain subject to all standard requirements and processes. The Home Office also aims to increase the number of countries in which priority visa processing is offered, from 67 to 90 by April 2014. Under these programmes, the details of which can differ depending on the country, eligible applicants can pay an additional fee to have their applications moved to the front of processing queues. Applicants cannot use the priority visa service if they have an adverse immigration record. This month, for example, priority visa processing became available in Nepal. In India, the Home Office will introduce the VIP mobile visa service. Users of the service do not have to visit a UK diplomatic post. Instead, UK visa teams go to applicants to collect their completed forms and biometric data. This process reportedly takes less than five minutes. And in southern India, a new Passport Pass-Back programme will be piloted, allowing visa applicants to have their passports returned to them within seven to ten days of submitting their applications.

European Union Nine Countries to Remove Work Restrictions for Bulgarians, Romanians on January 1

(November 22, 2013) Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will soon be able to work freely throughout the European Union (EU) after work restrictions for these nationals expire in nine countries on January 1, 2014. Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom will allow Bulgarian and Romanian nationals to work in their countries as other EU nationals do, without having to obtain work authorisation. Spain currently imposes work restrictions only on Romanian local hires and not on Bulgarian nationals. When Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union in 2007, established EU member countries could elect to maintain work restrictions for nationals of both countries until January 1, 2012. Member countries had the option to renew the restrictions until 2014, if lifting them would have adversely affected the domestic labour market. All other EU members by now offer Bulgarians and Romanians unrestricted access of the right to work in their countries. Switzerland, which is not an EU member, will continue to subject Bulgarian and Romanian nationals to work permit quotas separate from those for third-country nationals. Croatia is the newest EU member state after joining on July 1, 2013. As was the case with Bulgaria and Romania, some EU states have chosen to treat Croatians as they treat nationals of existing EU states, while others have opted to impose temporary work restrictions, which they can do for up to seven years, provided that certain conditions are met.

Israel Government Stops Issuing Birth Certificates to Children of Foreign Nationals (December 2, 2013) Israel has ceased providing governmentissued birth certificates to children of foreign nationals. A child born in Israel to foreign parents currently receives a hospital-issued, hand-written birth notice only. These birth notices document only the family name of a child’s mother. Adding a child’s father’s name may require a court order, based on DNA proof of paternity. The new policy will likely make obtaining passports and other identity documents difficult for foreign residents of Israel.

Canada Immigration Compliance Reviews and Inspections to Increase in 2014 (December 2, 2013) Employers should be prepared for increased scrutiny in 2014, as part of the Canadian government’s overall review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The government is expected to publish new regulations before the end of the year that will greatly expand the powers of the compliance wing of Employment and Social Development Canada over employer compliance reviews and inspections. Once the new regulations take effect, employer compliance reviews and worksite inspections are anticipated to rise in frequency as 2014 progresses.

France Immigration Fraud Scam Targets Foreign Nationals (December 3, 2013) Foreign nationals in France should be on guard against an ongoing immigration fraud scheme. Individuals posing as officers from the French migration office (OFII) reportedly telephone foreign nationals, falsely claiming that victims have not yet completed all immigration formalities. The perpetrators then pressure the victims to pay a fee to complete the necessary formalities or face deportation. The perpetrators may already possess personal information about the victim, such as date of birth and arrival date in France. The OFII is aware of the scam and has filed complaints with the appropriate police agencies. Take precautions if you receive a suspicious call from someone claiming that there is a problem with your immigration records or demanding payment of fees. You should also contact your immigration service provider, who can forward the information to the OFII.

United States The Upcoming H-1B Cap Season: Planning Ahead Is Key (December 4, 2013) The FY 2015 cap season will begin on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Though the opening day of the filing period is still several months away, it is not too early for employers to begin assessing their H-1B needs and filing labour condition applications (LCAs) with the Labor Department. Winter  International HR Adviser



Global Immigration Update Advance LCA preparation is particularly critical this cap season. There is expected to be a heavy volume of LCA filings in the first quarter of 2014, which could cause processing slowdowns at the Labor Department. In addition, another federal government shutdown could occur in mid-January, which would suspend LCA processing during the height of the busy cap preparation period. Obtaining LCAs early will help your organisation avoid delays and ensure readiness to file H-1B cap cases when the season opens. Early filing can also help your organisation meet its non-cap H-1B needs, including location changes for current H-1B employees. Pros and Cons of Early LCA Filing Employers should be aware that filing LCAs well before April 1, 2014, will result in a shorter initial period of employment for new H-1B beneficiaries and will require earlier extension filings. However, these administrative burdens are outweighed by the advantage of having an LCA in hand well before the cap filing season and in the event of another federal shutdown. Although the maximum validity period is three years for both H-1B petitions and LCAs, the H-1B petition must be covered by an LCA that is valid for the entire period of employment. Because LCAs may not be filed more than six months before the requested employment start date, the H-1B validity period will be truncated when the LCA is filed early. For example, an LCA filed on December 31, 2013, can request an employment start date no later than May 31, 2014. If certified, the LCA will be valid through May 30, 2017. An FY 2015 H-1B cap petition supported by the LCA will be filed on April 1, 2014, with an employment start date of October 1, 2014. The employer can request a petition validity period only through May 30, 2017, the expiration date of the supporting LCA. This would result in an initial period of stay of two years and eight months – four months less than the three-year maximum initial period of stay permitted under the regulations. Multislot LCAs If your organisation anticipates a genuine need for more than one H-1B worker in an occupation at a specific worksite, consider filing a multislot LCA. A single LCA can be sought to cover International HR Adviser  Winter

multiple employees in an occupation. These multislot LCAs give employers greater flexibility to respond to timesensitive H-1B needs, such as the relocation of H-1B employees to new worksites and the onboarding of new hires porting from H-1B employment with another organisation. Seeking multislot LCAs now can also help your organisation avoid H-1B delays in the event of another federal shutdown early next year.

Mexico Immigration Agency Simplifies International Travel Authorisation for Minors (December 5, 2013) The Mexican immigration authority announced that minors traveling outside of Mexico without their parents or legal guardians will soon be able to present a standardised, simplified form upon exiting the country. The form is not yet available, but the National Immigration Institute (INM) is expected to release it soon. All individuals under 18, whether Mexican or foreign nationals, require authorisation to travel outside of Mexico without both parents or legal guardians. Previously, parents or legal guardians were required to grant consent for each international trip by signing a document, which was subsequently notarised and presented to immigration officers when the minor exited the country. Parents living abroad were required to legalise the document for use in Mexico — a lengthy process in some countries.

China Government Restricts Entry of Short-Term Interns and Trainees (December 5, 2013) According to recent reports, foreign nationals intending to enter China as trainees or interns for less than three months are experiencing increased difficulty in obtaining business visas, though there has been no official announcement of a change in policy from the Chinese government. Currently, Foreign Affairs Offices in several cities in China, including Shanghai, are no longer issuing business visa invitation letters for this group of travelers. Certain Chinese consulates, including those in the United States, are no longer issuing a business visa even if the trainee or intern can show a visa invitation letter. Public Security Bureaus in Shanghai

have discontinued extensions for visas for interns and trainees in certain cases. It is not clear at this time whether the Chinese authorities will make these changes official or whether they will eventually ease restrictions. Under the circumstances, there may still be visa options for those seeking to enter China for short-term assignments on a case-bycase basis, depending upon their proposed activities and eligibility. Employers should contact their immigration service provider for assessment and assistance. Student (X1 and X2) visa holders studying at Chinese universities continue to be eligible for in-country training and internships, provided they obtain permission to change status from their local Public Security Bureau. 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) Fragomen has 35 offices in 15 countries. For further information, please contact the Global Knowledge Team.


The 2014 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition Monday 3rd February 2014 at Hotel Russell, London at 1.45pm


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. Hosted by Ferguson Snell.

For further information or to reserve your place, please email:

diary dates JANUARY 2014 The Forum for Expatriate Management
Corporate Membership Meeting 
 20 January, 2014
London Become a Corporate Member with the Forum for Expatriate Management and be invited to attend quarterly meetings in the UK, plus additional meetings in the US throughout 2014. All meetings are for corporate attendees only, giving the chance to meet and network with a core audience of global mobility professionals. Our next meeting is on 20th January 2014. It would be great if you could join us. For more information, please contact Iyla MacIntyre on +44(0) 20 7943 8027 or email Find out more and register your interest in Corporate Membership: http://

FEBRUARY The Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition 3rd February 2014 Hotel Russell, Russell Square, London 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 2013 Conference & Exhibition saw over 700 visitors attend this not-to-be-missed event, so be sure to book to attend the following seminars. 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 or call Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186.

The Forum for Expatriate Management
London Chapter Meetings
 First Thursday of every month, 2014
 Currently, FEM chapter meetings are held quarterly in over 30 locations worldwide – but as a result of immense popularity, FEM are pleased to announce that London chapters will now be held on the first Thursday of every month throughout most of 2014. Chapter meetings are a great opportunity to meet your peers, keep up to date with industry developments and to discuss current issues in global mobility with expert industry representatives. In-House Corporate HR Professionals attend free.
For more information, please contact Myrianthe Ewington on +44(0) 20 7970 4570 or email To learn more about upcoming chapters and to register your attendance, please visit:

Worldwide ERC: Global Workforce Summit - Talent Mobility in EMEA February 11-12, 2014 Lancaster London Hotel, London W2 2TY, UK Your leadership in talent mobility issues will make the difference in how successful your company can be throughout 2014 and into the future. You’re innovative and experienced… and now you can multiply your creativity and knowledge by connecting with other professionals at the Worldwide ERC® 2014 Global Workforce Summit: Talent Mobility in EMEA! The Summit is filled with opportunities to network with thought leaders, hear from mobility experts, and learn about leading practices. Join in the discussions on immigration, talent sourcing and retention, compensation, cost- and time-

saving measures, and a range of other mobility trends… and collect a wealth of ideas and initiatives you can implement immediately in your work! Complimentary registration for first-time corporate HR attendees. Learn more and register at conference-home.aspx

The Houston Totally Expat Show February 27, 2014 Hyatt Regency, Houston, Texas Make your international assignees experiences the best they can be and attend our 2014 Houston Totally Expat Show. Hundreds of global mobility professionals from across the South West will gather for this one day conference and exhibition, benefitting from a cutting edge conference programme featuring top global mobility experts. For more information, please contact Iyla MacIntyre on +44(0) 20 7943 8027 or email In-House/HR Global Mobility Professionals attend free – book your place at:


The New York Totally Expat Show March 25, 2014 Metropolitan Pavilion, New York Staying up to date is key to ensuring a productive and successful experience for your assignees. For the first time, the New York Totally Expat Show will be associated with ‘Employee Benefits Connect’, with a dual audience of Global Mobility and Employee Benefits HR Professionals, this one day conference and exhibition is the perfect opportunity to learn from a huge range of leading industry experts and a series of panels, plus the chance to engage with key suppliers and vendors to keep up to date with the latest advances out there. For more information, please contact Iyla MacIntyre on +44(0) 20 7943 8027 or email In-House Corporate HR Professionals attend free – book your place at:

Worldwide ERC: Global Workforce Summit – Talent Mobility in APAC March 26-27, 2014 Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai, China Join us for two incredible days of outstanding educational programming, great networking and excellent benchmarking opportunities. The programme will bring together highly respected HR and talent mobility thought leaders from global and multinational companies with successful endeavours in the APAC region. The schedule of events will offer highly relevant and timely sessions that will help you solve your unique mobility challenges. If you are a corporate HR or talent mobility professional we invite you to attend as our guest! Learn more and register at


The Chicago Totally Expat Show April 28, 2014 Marriott Oak Brook, Chicago, Illinois The Chicago Totally Expat Show will be the last in the US Series for 2014. Totally Expat Shows are an excellent forum, designed to unite global mobility professionals, providers, consultants and industry experts, giving them the opportunity to network, discuss and discover new opportunities in the constantly evolving world of expatriate management. For more information, please contact Iyla MacIntyre on +44(0) 20 7943 8027 or email In-House/HR Global Mobility Professionals attend free – book your place at:

If you would like to advertise a conference or exhibition on our Diary Dates and on please email Winter  International HR Adviser







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To apply for your free subscription please either complete the enclosed subscription card or visit our website and complete the online registration International HR Adviser is the leading, quarterly magazine for International HR professionals globally. It has been publishing for 13 years and covers topics such as International HR Strategy, Benefits, Tax, Global Tax, Technology, Compensation, Trends in International Assignments, Healthcare, Insurance, Surveys, Country Profiles, Immigration, Moving & Relocation, Spousal Support, Education, Property, Cross-Cultural Issues, Case Studies, and more. For further information please call Helen Elliott on +44 (0) 208 661 0186 Email: Website:

DIRECTORY Assignment Management Services

programme with our J-1 Visa Programme Administrator.

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: Website: 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.


BANKING 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: Website: 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: Website: BritishAmerican Business’s J-1 visa programme 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

ASSOCIATION OF RELOCATION PROFESSIONALS (ARP) PO Box 189, Diss, IP22 1PE, UK Contact: Tad Zurlinden Telephone: 08700 737475 Fax: 01379 641940 Email: Website: 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: Website: 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.

IMMIGRATION 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: Website: 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: Website: 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.

INTERNATIONAL MOVING 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: Website: 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.

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: Website: Twitter: @relochatter LinkedIn: 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. Winter  International HR Adviser



DIRECTORY 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: Website: 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, Settlingin Assistance, Tenancy Management, Household Goods Moving, Intercultural & Language Training, Relocation Expense Management, Moving & Relocation Insurance and other services available – please ask.

SCHOOLS 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: Email: 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: International HR Adviser  Winter

Email: 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: Website: 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: Website: 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.

TAXATION BDO LLP 55 Baker Street, London, W1U 7EU Contact: Andrew Bailey Telephone: 020 7893 2946 Fax: 020 7893 2418 E-mail: Website: 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.

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Thank you to all the readers and clients who sent me best wishes for our wedding in September. With love, Helen x

International HR Adviser Winter 2013  

The winter 2013 issue of International HR Adviser includes Assignee Compensation Delivery - It’s A Complex Business by Deloitte; Auto-Enrolm...