Global Mobility Matters: Compliance in an Automated World

Young professional male working at home office

The digital era is booming like never before. When the world was pushed into a digital workspace, the idea of at-home technology was quickly revolutionized to meet the needs of a remote workforce. Now, as businesses are starting to get back in the groove of normal procedures, there is one thing which has altered the way in which we all work: technology.

Across the globe, advances in technology are enabling the automation of compliance processes. This leads to greater efficiencies, but also poses challenges as digital tax requirements vary across the globe. In what ways can digital automation support assignees? How can policies reflect this? These are the questions mobility leaders are asking themselves.

What is Global Compliance Support?

Compliance refers to when a company is expected to meet all local and international tax obligations and commitments. For a global mobility company, this means compliance with non-domestic tax laws, financial reporting, product/employee safety, and data protection. There are two approaches to global compliance:

  • Local compliance in every location of the enterprise
  • Compliance with international laws, standards, and regulations

How your company complies with international or domestic regulations is entirely dependent on the assignment in question. However, there are a few basic items which relocation policies should account for when discussing a move either in-country, or out:

  • Tax compliance: what information on taxes is necessary to follow the tax laws of the country in question?
  • Financial Reporting and Accounting Standards: How are financial statements made to be prepared?
  • Employee Entitlements: What are the minimum/maximum number of entitlements given to employees?
  • Equal Employment Protections: What do we need to consider in our employee’s safety?

In order for any assignment to go smoothly, it is extremely important that the mobility process accounts for all possible changes in international standards. When compliance is not a factor in relocation policy, it can lead to disciplinary action against both the assignee and the business, and which can include: criminal sanctions, reputational damage, and civil fines/penalties.

For more information on how to ensure assignment success, take a look at what Liz Simmons, one of CapRelo’s Global Mobility Specialists, has to say about Duty of Care.

Taking Compliance Online

COVID-19 altered how people approach work. Right now, the world is seeing a measurable trend in the desire to remain working from home. Some companies are no longer renewing building leases, some companies are implementing innovative work-from-home policies, and some are even taking their operations completely digital. The rise of digitalized business has also had an impact on the way in which they approach compliance.

Companies are moving several processes online such as tax calculations, reporting/analytics, immigration compliance, and assignee communication and support. The automation of such processes has a direct effect on its ability to comply with international or domestic standards. As companies are shifting their resources and processes to their desktops, it is important that companies are updating their policies to reflect compliance standards even in a remote work environment.

CapRelo’s global mobility industry expertise protects employers from having to invest in the acquisition of talent with this knowledge. View our services to see how we can assist in your compliance and policy needs.

The Push for Data Protection

The push for automation means that data protection, privacy, and security are more important than ever. In the lens of compliance, it has shifted to the forefront of concern.

In May 2018, the European Union (EU) enacted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).The GDPR introduced high-cost compliance challenges, however, it has been effective in ensuring the safety and privacy of employer/employee data. There are currently over 100 examples of GDPR in different jurisdictions, and though each jurisdiction’s laws are different, here are the common themes among them:

  • Customer permission: The customer must give specific permission (opt-in) before data can be used or provided to 3rd parties
  • Data minimization: Companies can only collect data that is directly related to the app or service — and no more
  • Right to be forgotten: Customers have a right to have their data identified and deleted at a specified time upon request
  • Transparency: Consumers have a right to know what is being collected and how it is being used
  • Accuracy: Information must be kept up to date and accurate, according to strict standards
  • Data localization: Customer data, whether captured from within or outside the jurisdiction, must be stored and processed on in-country infrastructure
  • Security: Data must be kept at a defined standard of security, and customers are to be rapidly notified of breaches
  • Chief privacy officer: Some jurisdictions require a CPO to take responsibility for breaches and compliance

The most notable impact for this shift is the higher cost of ensuring data privacy and protection. Additionally, these complex processes and policies are time consuming, which can have an impact on the overall business function.

CapRelo is a leading partner in helping to manage your policies and compliances. For questions and enquiries on how we can help automate your compliance policies, both locally and internationally, take a look at our offered services.

About the Author

Mark Woelfel, CRP, GMS

Senior Vice President, Global Client Services

Mark’s superpower is integration – working closely to bring technology solutions, rigorous compliance, and a high-value supply chain to our clients and their employees for exemplary service. Charged with leading CapRelo’s global client engagements, Mar…