Published on February 26, 2021

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The CapRelo Insider provides a glimpse at news, trends and happenings affecting the global mobility industry. Our experienced and tenured client services team provides updates and analysis direct to our clients, along with policy and program recommendations that are best for your company and employees. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today.

Policy & Program Pointers

During these extreme times, usual policy allowances and benefits might not be meeting employee needs. Below we outline items we are seeing in the field. Contact us if you’d like to discuss how we can help you adjust your policy or program to accommodate your employees.

Future Proofing Your Service Delivery

COVID nomads: Where employees have chosen to relocate or where they have been unable to return to their home locations during the pandemic period has created a unexpected employee group of COVID nomads. This group has been granted special status for tax and immigration purposes in some locations however as the restrictions are relaxed and lifted the need to document and potentially repatriate this population is becoming time critical. As previously reported, tax and immigration considerations are complex in relation to this population in addition to the logistical challenges of tracking and providing suitable duty of care. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provided Guidance at the beginning of the pandemic to help to support businesses and their employees in cross border situations with the complex application of tax treaties. This meant that in many locations, rules have been relaxed which would otherwise have meant that permanent establishments (PEs) would have been created and due to the inability to leave a country individual would have been inadvertently become tax residents. Updated guidance was recently issued which, although is mainly similar to the April 2020 information, does provide some additional clarity and advice for countries with regard to determining PE thresholds and residence.

Country Updates in the News

Countries are updating their tax and immigration regulations and reliefs on a near daily basis, we have collated some of these below:

United States:
Caprelo is wishing for safety and wellness to our clients, partners, and friends in the wake of the recent unprecedented weather experienced in Texas. We are here for you.

  • Texas: With the recent poor weather in Texas, inevitably moving services have been impacted with freight delays throughout the Southern Plains.
  • Rental Markets: In addition to changes in preferences for accommodation with a ‘zoom room’ and outside space, previously hot rental markets are seeing significant changes. Although many markets are seeing increased rent reflecting the increased demand for example a 5% increase from last year in Salt Lake City. In contract, some locations are experiencing a dramatic downward trend, for example Chicago where rents have declined 0.8% over the past month and are down sharply by 12.5% in comparison to the same time last year. For more insights and information click here.

Canada: Taking a positive and proactive approach to the attraction and retention of skilled immigrants to boost its economic recovery, unprecedented in scale [timescale] 27,332 qualifying individuals were invited by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to for permanent residence in Canada. Those contacted have 90 days to complete their applications. Canadian employers should ensure that they are ready to take advantage of these ambitious plans if current foreign employees are considering applying for permanent residence status.

Ireland: An intention to improve the immigration service in Ireland has been laid out and includes a roadmap for a committee led transition of all immigration services to online processes supported by a multilingual new website. A committee is expected to publish updates on the progress of the strategy in mid-2021 and again at the end of the year.

Russia: In welcome news for employers with Russia-bound workers, in two recent orders from the Russian government, individuals and their families who qualify as highly qualified specialists (HQS) are permitted unlimited entry to Russia. Citizens from the Eurasian Economic Union (Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan) are allowed entry under similar conditions; however, this concession is due to end on 1 March 2021.

Singapore: Employers should be aware that the foreign worker quota for S Pass workers in the manufacturing sector will be reduced in January 2022 from 20% to 18%, and subsequently in January 2023, to 15%. This reduction may impact both renewals and applications where quotas have already been exceeded.

United Kingdom: With a consistent downward trend in COVID-19 cases over the past weeks the UK government has recently outlined a strategy that could see many restrictions lifted by 21 June if strict conditions are met. Employers planning assignments or the return to office-based work will find this timeline a welcome announcement.

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