Published on November 06, 2020

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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 – see our previous blog for insights.

Shipping: Despite the introduction of additional lockdowns in many European locations there has been limited impact to shipping. October saw a positive trend with an increase in international business. Air freight continues to be expensive due to the limited supply with additional delays due to lack of capacity in many locations.

  • EU: The challenge dominating the EU is the fast-approaching Brexit. It is likely that there will be significant delays once Brexit takes effect and additional administration and checks become mandatory.
  • Trans-Pacific: Capacity challenges continue globally and specifically for the trans-pacific shipping to the United States may result in delays.
Policy Check: As assignment start dates are once again impacted by the reimposition of lockdown in many countries, consider reviewing repayment agreement wording to ensure that appropriate support is in place for those employees who may find themselves and their families self-isolating in an assignment country.

Future Proofing Your Service Delivery

Duty of Care Europe: With recent natural disasters in the Americas, unusual terror related attacks reported in both France and Austria in addition to national lockdown announcements, ensure sufficient resources are in place to support impacted employees. In addition review existing business continuity plans to minimise any interruption to productivity.

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:

  • FY 2022 Diversity Visa Lottery: Natives of countries that have historically low rates of immigration to the United States have until 10 November 2020 to register online at the State Department’s official diversity visa lottery website.

China: Although some relaxation and expansion of travel to China has commenced, procedures relating to those countries consider higher risk are being introduced. Starting on 6 November, 2020 additional double COVID-19 testing for individuals travelling from approximately 60 countries is being introduced.

Czech Republic: Although subject to strict quarantine measures, business travel continues to be possible and visa continue to be processed. However, any travel considered non-essential is barred.

Denmark: Posted worker legislation impacting working conditions has now been implemented with retrospective effect from 30 July, 2020.

France: In addition to expanding the requirement for travellers to carry a medical certificate confirming a negative COVID-19 test result within the previous 72 hours prior to travel, there has been a reimposition of a national lockdown. This will last for at least one month for all leisure facilities however schools will remain open.

Germany: Acting early, Germany has acted and closed many leisure facilities including restaurants, bars, gyms, theatres and more for several weeks.

India: Showing signs of reopening, India is now processing non-tourist visas for all nationalities which permits business travellers and new employees to enter. However, available flights continue to remain limited.

Ireland: Increase in national COVID-19 restriction level to the highest possible level resulting in the closure of facilities including the Dublin registration office. Visa applications continue to be processed however significant delays are expected which may impact those wishing to travel over the Christmas period.

Japan: A mandatory online app tracking health status updates has been introduced. This is only available in Japanese which will inevitably require support non-Japanese speakers.

Malaysia: Entry Permission of Approval for Expatriates who are permitted to enter the country must apply for via the MYEntry system.

Slovakia: Slovakia went into Lockdown on 24 October 2020 with restricted movement until at least 8 November 2020. Nationwide testing has commenced and is required for all citizens and foreign nationals staying in Slovakia. Those with negative tests are able to visit various public institutions.

Thailand: Business travel remains limited however a tourist specific visa has been introduced allowing entry for a minimum stay of 30 days and a maximum of 270 days.

United Kingdom: Following a higher than anticipated increase in infections, England and Wales have moved into strict ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown measures in an attempt to curtail infections in advance of Christmas. Unlike the initial lockdown in March, schools and universities will remain open.

  • England: The England lockdown commenced on 5 November 2020 and is due to end on 3 December 2020
  • Wales: The two-week restrictions in Wales are due to end on 9 November 2020 and travel to England is restricted in line with English lockdown measures
  • Scotland: The three-tier system is in place in Scotland with no national lockdown announcements
  • Northern Ireland: Strict restrictions were introduced on 16 October and are expected to be in place for 4 weeks however no national lockdown has been announced