Industry Trends

CapRelo Insider – November 18, 2021

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

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

Something Just for You

  • The shift to remote work over the past two years has many wondering how to balance flexibility with organizational growth and upskilling. We will be addressing this topic in our upcoming webinar with HR.com, where we will be discussing the results of our research report: Creating Flexibility in Talent Mobility Programs and Policies, as well as real-life examples of the results from our panel of key opinion leaders. Register today to save your spot on December 8 at 11am ET!
  • We all know steps for maximizing productivity like taking regular breaks and focusing on one task at a time. But do you know the two-minute rule or the Pomodoro strategy? As the holidays approach and ‘extra’ time gets thinner, check out these quick and easy strategies to be more productive at work.

Industry Updates

Flemish and Brussels Authorities Set New 2022 Minimum Salary Criteria

Minimum salary requirements have increased for certain employees working in Belgium for whom no prior labor market investigation is required. These adjustments occur annually and vary depending on the type of employee.

How does this affect me/my program? Employers need to monitor and ensure they meet minimum salary requirements to avoid penalties for noncompliance. Read more on posted worker compliance here.

Ireland Begins Gradual Return to Office with Revised Restrictions

A new health policy ending the countrywide work-from-home directive went into effect in Ireland on September 20. The new policy promotes remote work but allows a gradual return to the office. Upon returning to the office, employers will need to adhere to a set of minimum public health measures and provide health and safety training for all workers.

How does this affect me/my program? Employers in Ireland should understand and carefully comply with requirements including the development of a COVID-19 response plan, establishing an isolation area for employees who display symptoms, and appointing a health and safety compliance lead. If possible, companies should formalize telework policies to ensure clarity.

American Airlines Raises Holiday Pay for Flight Attendants

In response to recent mass flight cancellations, American Airlines is offering flight attendants and reserve cabin crew members up to triple pay to work over the holidays. From November 23-29 and from December 22 to January 2, attendants will receive time-and-a-half pay. Perfect attendance between November 15 and January 2 will earn attendants an additional 150% pay.

How does this affect me/my program? The hope is that these incentives will help American Airlines avoid further mass cancellations and help travelers reach their destinations. Southwest Airlines has also announced incentives for working over the holidays, and it is possible that other airlines will follow suit. It is recommended that companies work with both their travel provider and employees to book work-related travel off-peak and in advance when possible.

Australia Begins Easing Border Restrictions for Permanent Residents and Citizens

On November 1, Australia lifted its border restrictions for permanent residents and citizens for the first time in over 18 months. Those that are fully vaccinated will no longer have to pay to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks. Also, Australians are now able to travel overseas without exemption, and there will be no limit on the number of returning fully vaccinated Australians.

How does this affect me/my program? Australians that have been unable to return home for the past 18 months will now be able to without quarantining. Currently, fully vaccinated international travelers still need exemptions to enter the country. When borders do reopen to international travelers, companies will need to verify that assignment candidates are fully vaccinated with a recognized vaccine.

Austria Locks Down the Unvaccinated

Starting Monday, November 15, unvaccinated Austrians are ordered to stay home except for a few reasons. Officers will be performing checks on those who are out and about. Around 65% of the Austrian population is fully vaccinated, a low rate for the EU, and the stay-at-home order has been implemented in response to 30% of intensive-care beds being occupied by COVID-19 patients.

How does this affect me/my program? Global mobility managers should be aware of their transferees’ vaccination status and be prepared for unvaccinated employees to work remotely. Even fully vaccinated transferees may need to carry proof of vaccination in case of checks. Companies may also need to take into consideration and/or encourage their assignees to consider the vaccination status of their accompanying family as well.

Thailand No Longer Requiring Quarantine for Certain Foreign Nationals

Thailand announced on November 1 that it will no longer require fully vaccinated foreign nationals from a list of 63 countries to quarantine for seven days after arriving by air travel. Travelers will still be required to produce a pre-flight negative COVID-19 test and stay in a hotel for one night until they can produce a negative RT-PCR test.

How does this affect me/my program? To qualify, travelers to Thailand will need to be fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) or the World Health Organization (WHO). Companies will need to not only be aware of their business travelers’ vaccination status, but also whether their vaccines are approved by one of these two organizations. This change could lead to savings for companies as they will no longer need to pay for extended quarantines. Relocating employees will be able to start the home-finding process almost as soon as they land, which could save companies costs on extended storage.

Single-Family Rents Soar in Tight US Housing Market

Rent costs for single-family homes are climbing rapidly, spurred on by the effects of the pandemic. Inventory for single-family rentals has been depleted in many popular destinations, and rates are expected to continue increasing as eviction moratoriums expire.

How does this affect me/my program? This furthers cost of living challenges in hot markets and low supply also increases overhead cost for temporary housing. Companies are leaning into and enhancing rental assistance benefits to support employees in these tight rental markets.

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