Thought Leadership

Brexit, immigration, tax & GDPR: Report reveals biggest headaches for global mobility professionals

The 2018 Managing the Global Mobility Function benchmarking study co-sponsored by Alliott Group reveals impact of geopolitical changes on mobility programmes.

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Alliott Group's Global Mobility Services Group ('Alliott Group/Global Mobility') is one of the co-sponsors of the recently published '2018 Managing the Global Mobility Function' benchmarking study published by the Forum for Expatriate Management. In this series of short blog posts, we share some of the highlights of this thought leadership report. 

The study, in its third year, provides a barometer of current sentiment within the global mobility community and analyses the views of 168 global/regional heads of mobility programmes and HR directors in the Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America, Africa & Middle East and South America regions.

Respondents are from a wide range of sectors and well-known organisations such as: American Express, BAE Systems, Chevron, Cisco, E.ON, Ford Motor Company, Fujitsu, Hasbro, Heinken, Johnson & Johnson, Melexis, Nestlé, Otis, Philips Lighting, Skyscanner, Tesco, TomTom, Toyota North America, Vodafone and Volkswagen. 

This first blog post explains which geopolitical changes in the macro environment are keeping GM professionals awake at night. 

Impact of geopolitical change on assignments in last 12 months

A total of 53.2% of respondents commented that geopolitical changes had impacted their organisation ‘to a great extent’ or ‘to some extent’ in the last 12 months.

There are no great surprises in terms of which changes have caused the most disruption: Immigration (particularly into the US, but also in other countries); Brexit; Tax changes; EU GDPR; and Currency fluctuations. Global mobility professionals are clearly having to deal with many moving parts in their everyday jobs. 

Report editor Claire Tennant-Scull comments in the report: "Dealing with shifts in immigration, tax and trading regulations are all problems cited in terms of the impact of geopolitical changes. With the consequences of Brexit on the horizon and what seems an increasing move towards protectionism in all regions of the world, these issues are unlikely to go away anytime soon." 

Read the views and frustrations of global mobility professionals

“US immigration practices have significantly impacted the types of assignments we can support into the US. Our US inbound numbers are down noticeably. Brexit, however, has not had a significant impact on UK mobility activity yet.”

Other comments from the report include:

  • “Immigration requirements in many countries are changing (tighter) and it takes longer to obtain visas/work permits. We’ve also had visas denied for cases that normally would have not been denied”

  • “Changes in immigration and tax have impacted our ability to sponsor people in certain jurisdictions and have made relocations more expensive”

  • “Significant focus on moves into continental Europe due to Brexit. New relocation policies introduced based on Brexit-related moves”

  • “Brexit has caused a significant review of our business as a whole and whilst it might not have greatly affected our ability to recruit right now, it will significantly do so at a later stage”

  • “We are experiencing a challenging/protectionist global immigration environment”

  • “Changing US policies and the implementation of EU GDPR have influenced our work.”

It is clear from the above that having to deal with increasingly complex and restrictive immigration regulations is adversely impacting the workload of GM professionals, a topic we will cover in our next blog post!  

Need help managing the global mobility function?

For information on how we can help with global mobility compliance and strategy, visit our Global Mobility services website or contact Giles Brake.  

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