Published on September 17, 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.

To meet (and exceed) client needs, we recommend continuous review and evaluation of policy allowances and benefits. Below we outline new challenges and rising needs we observe in the field. Contact us if you would like to discuss how we can help you adjust your policy or program.  

Shipping Logistical Challenges Remain

Demand for containerized shipping remains at unprecedented levels, leaving space on ships limited and putting pressure on the supply chain. Demand for shipments to and from the UK is so high that for every available space on a shipping line, there are at least 2 containers waiting to fill it (British Association of Removers).

How does this affect me/my program? While capacity constraints are beginning to loosen, these logistical challenges make accurately estimating relocation costs and timelines challenging both in the US and worldwide.

Return to Canadian Worksites Proving a Challenge

As Canada begins the process of returning to in-person work, many employees have expressed reluctance to go back to the office full time. A study from the Angus Reid Institute showed that 29% of Canadians who worked from home during the pandemic want to continue working remotely indefinitely, and 44% would prefer a hybrid policy. Only 27% prefer to return to the worksite full time.

How does this affect me/my program? Global mobility managers have expertise managing distributed workforces. Additionally, working with your HR and talent management teams on a strategy to retain and support remote talent to grow the business can prove daunting. Brush up on the benefits of virtual assignments here.

Housing Market Update

August’s 9% increase in pending home sales was the slowest growth since June 2020, according to Colonial Mortgage:

  • The median home-sale price increased 15% year-over-year to $359,983.
  • Asking prices of newly listed homes were up 10% from the same time a year ago to a median of $354,665, the lowest level since late April. This was down 1.8% from the all-time high set during the four-week period ending June 27.
  • Pending home sales were up 9% year-over-year, but down 8% from their 2021 peak hit during the four-week period ending May 30.

How does this affect me/my program? With a slowing of the housing market, relocated employees who have been reluctant to buy homes in their new locations may find the prospect of buying more appealing.

 

FMCSA Extends Pandemic-Related HOS Waiver through November

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended its emergency declaration to expand hours of service for pandemic-related trucking by three months. This regulatory relief applies to essential services but includes a broad exemption for “supplies to assist individuals impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

How does this affect me/my program? Expanded hours for pandemic relief will continue to provide a small offset to ongoing capacity shortages in the broader shipping industry.

European Union Calls on 24 Countries to Comply with Rules on Posted Workers

The European Commission sent letters of formal notice to 24 EU member states on 15 July 2021, requesting that they enforce the rules in the EU Directive for posting of workers.

How does this affect me/my program? While the implementation of posted worker rules varies from country to country, we can expect that EU member states will begin to crack down on enforcement. Please note that the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) has no impact on the Posted Worker Directive (PWD) requirements. This means that allowable activities on business status in the TCA between the UK and the EU member states do not exempt companies from the PWN or other Posted Worker requirements.

European Union – COVID-19 Certificates from Non-EU Countries

The European Union (EU) COVID-19 digital certificate proves individuals’ vaccination status. Eligibility for the certificate applies to all EU nationals, but not most travelers from countries outside of the EU.

How does this affect me/my program? Without an EU COVID-19 digital certificate, travelers remain subject to the requirements set by each EU member state, such as mandatory quarantine and testing. Companies should ensure their business travelers understand and comply with all requirements in advance of any trips.

Increased Pet Ownership Puts Additional Strain on Supply Chains

Shortages in supply chain are not limited to household goods and temporary housing. There has been a pet boom” as many families have taken in four-legged friends for comfort and companionship during the pandemic.

How does this affect me/my program? If your policy doesn’t include pet relocation, you may need to reconsider. It may be more challenging for relocating employees to find temporary housing that allows pets. Additionally, with moves come pet vaccinations and associated needs, which may require additional time for appointments.

Czech Immigration Legislation Now Aligned with EU

After a year of anticipation, an amendment to Czech Immigration legislation took effect in August. Czech legislation now aligns with EU regulations on the security of identity cards and residence documents.

How does this affect me/my program? Documents for all third-country nationals, including family members of EU nationals, will now include biometric elements.

Recommencing Visa Issuance and Certificates of Entry in Certain Cases

Thai Embassies and Consulates in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan have resumed accepting applications for visas and Certificates of Entry for special cases.

How does this affect me/my program? While the situation continues to change rapidly, eased restrictions may provide relief to employees temporarily stranded in the affected countries. Companies should stay abreast of evolving travel restrictions to ensure the safety of their business travellers.

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