Tightening your global mobility function
The diversity of social security, taxation and employment laws, rules and regulations around the world is staggering. Navigating these different systems is one of the key challenges of global mobility (GM) functions. These different business systems are highly dynamic and HR staff should have constant updating and training. Therefore, it is small wonder that a high percentage of the more specialised and legally sensitive work is outsourced. In addition, the tensions between risk management, the orientation to reduce organisational and individual exposure and the interests of the business can run high, resulting in GM professionals being in a charged force field.
Individuals often want to avoid or minimise legal or regulatory processes and may regard the GM work as bureaucratic. Line managers tend to see certain processes as time consuming ones which get in the way of other duties. Organisations are normally willing to comply with the contextual constraints but may not track certain international assignees. For instance, frequent business travellers sometimes enter countries on a tourist visa when they should in fact have a business visa, etc. In short, the ‘expert on due diligence’ role of GM can be highly taxing for HR professionals and may be little appreciated by senior managers and expatriates alike.