Industry Trends

CapRelo Insider April 2024

Team meeting around table

GSA Expands Reimbursements for Federal Relocations Amid Baltimore Bridge Collapse

On March 26, 2024, a large cargo ship struck the Baltimore‚Äôs Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing the span to collapse. Following this tragedy, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has allowed additional costs for federal relocation shipments affected by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore and its impact on the Port of Baltimore. The notice, issued on March 28, permits U.S. civilian federal agencies under GSA’s Centralized Household Goods Traffic Management Program (CHAMP) to approve extra expenses related to inbound, outbound, or stationary household goods and privately owned vehicle shipments around the Port of Baltimore since March 26. These costs, documented with prior agency approval, will be treated as pass-through charges. Transportation service providers (TSPs) must estimate additional expenses for rerouting and provide them to the relevant agency.

The Impact: The collapse of the bridge resulted in multiple fatalities and blocked most terminals at the Port of Baltimore, hindering cargo vessel movements. Efforts to clear debris and reopen shipping lanes are underway, but this process may take weeks. GSA’s notice will remain effective until canceled or superseded by the agency. CNN shares that the US Army Corps is currently removing debris and rebuilding the bridge but does not plan to reopen the bridge until the end of May 2024. Meanwhile, the accident continues to halt vessel traffic and shipment containers. CapRelo will continue to follow updates and report any known issues that may affect our existing clients.

AI’s Impact on Data Privacy Governance

In an April 1st article published by The Worldwide ERC, Walter Dannemiller, vice president of legal for Dwellworks LLC, explains the legal responses different regions have taken to address AI. Already, diverse approaches toward regulating AI technologies have arisen in Europe, North America and APAC.

In Europe, the proposed EU AI Act aims to restrict certain uses of AI tools and enforce penalties for violations. In contrast, the UK is using its existing privacy laws to oversee AI.
In North America, AI regulation continues to evolve, with various state and federal initiatives underway. The US government has introduced voluntary principles for AI use, while individual states like California have enacted their own laws. Canada is working on the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA) to place responsibility on businesses for the AI activities they develop or deploy.

In the APAC region, China has emerged as a leader in AI regulation, implementing regulations requiring companies to obtain licenses and conduct routine security assessments.

The Impact: Dannemiller emphasizes the importance of businesses understanding and complying with evolving AI regulations to thrive in this dynamic landscape. He suggests proactive engagement with regulatory authorities and transparency with clients and employees regarding the use of AI tools.

AI has the potential to help mobility teams improve accessibility, control costs, streamline policies, processes, and workflows. Mobility leaders like CapRelo continue to explore safe and secure ways to serve HR leaders and relocating employees through the integration of AI within our technology solutions.

Global Migration Management: Navigating a Complex Challenge

A recent post by Relocate Global Magazine explores the complex challenges of managing migration on a global scale. Policymakers worldwide face the difficult task of balancing economic needs, human rights considerations, and anti-immigration sentiments.
Relocate Global explains how countries are trying to deal with immigration issues while also thinking about their economies and the needs of different industries.

In the US, immigration is a major issue for some voters, especially with the upcoming presidential elections. But some proposals to reduce illegal immigration might also make it harder for legal immigrants. In the UK, the government is trying to reduce the number of people coming in, like raising the salary requirements for skilled workers and making it tougher for students to obtain visas.

The Impact: Immigration remains a complex and often challenging subject for companies moving talent globally. Stricter regulations may result in delays or denials of visa applications, affecting the mobility of key personnel and hindering business operations. We are committed to keeping a close watch on all immigration law adjustments and will continue to notify our clients with changes that may affect existing policies.

Global Mobility Radar

CapRelo’s Mobility Radar provides valuable insights into trends worth monitoring. This month, we have detected important global mobility updates in the Netherlands, China, and the UK.

  • The Dutch tax landscape faces significant adjustments with revised levy rebates and inflation-linked amendments. While the top marginal tax rate holds steady at 49.5%, social security contributions have shifted by income level. Expatriates face a revamped 30% ruling with capped exclusions, tapered percentages over 5 years, and full tax residency status. A transition period has been granted for existing beneficiaries before new rules take full effect in 2026.
  • In March, China experienced a continued decline in home sales, with the value of new home sales from the top 100 real estate companies dropping by approximately 46% compared to the previous year. This decline follows a 60% decrease observed in February, as reported by preliminary data from China Real Estate Information Corp.
  • Relocate Global shares that the UK gender pay gap has decreased to 9.1% in 2024, with record numbers of large employers reporting their gender pay gaps. Analysis of financial services companies shows some firms paying women 28.8% less than men on average. Legislative changes include new laws protecting women in the workplace, including flexible working rights from day one, aimed at creating more inclusive and diverse organizations.