How the supply chain crisis is affecting global workforce mobility

Delays and higher costs are straining employers and employees

Oct 16, 2022

Key takeaways

Businesses have had to increase mobility budgets due to housing shortages and shipping delays. 

Organizations must support their global mobility managers to implement employee transfers.

Companies are relying heavily on technology to help employees secure housing in new locations.

International tax
Labor and workforce Business tax Supply chain Global services

Moving employees across the globe has been a challenge, as factors disrupting the global supply chain also have hindered global mobility. However, with the availability of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines and the lifting of travel restrictions, multinational organizations have resumed sending employees on international assignments to address talent shortages and strengthen their workforce in key host locations.

Many organizations that are solving their supply chain challenges through diversification to new foreign jurisdictions have determined the success of their strategy will also depend on their agility in quickly deploying qualified cross-border professionals to these new locations.

Businesses relocating employees have been forced to increase their budgets and extend the start date of the employees’ transfer because of housing shortages and delays in the shipping of household goods. Meanwhile, employees’ challenge in finding a new home is forcing companies to optimize the use of technology (e.g., virtual tours) to explore preferred neighborhoods, in addition to requesting that employees make a quick decision on active listings to secure a home.

International shipment of household goods has been challenging due to labor shortages, the reduced number of port departures, and stricter shipping rules in certain countries because of COVID-19 concerns. As a result, corporations are increasing their global mobility program budgets to account for added freight and air costs, and supplementary costs in temporary housing and furniture rental.

Given the increased demand for an international workforce and additional global mobility costs, organizations will need to ensure that their global mobility managers receive the required support to efficiently implement employee transfers to new locations while ensuring employer and employee compliance in such areas as immigration, social, tax, employment, travel, and health. 

Companies will need to continue updating their internal policies and processes to address their international talent strategy and deliver tax-effective compensation packages that remain competitive when expanding across borders.

RSM contributors

  • Dominique Wadhwa
    Senior Director

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