It’s been a busy week for the Expat Academy team as, like so many, we’ve got used to collaborating virtually with each other, our members and technical experts.
One thing that is unaffected by the changing work pattern has been the online benchmarking. Although, perhaps unsurprisingly, we have seen a number of questions relating to the impact of COVID-19. Thank you to all our members that have collaborated this week. Please do continue to collaborate and share your thoughts and knowledge via the benchmarking. Even more so than ever, it is definitely a case of #strongertogether.
This week we had our first virtual meetings with the Global Heads, the Network Sponsors and the Training Partners. It was soon clear that so many organisations are currently dealing with the immediate fall out of the different governmental decisions to place their countries in lock down and shut borders. Whether it be assignees returning home and letting Global Mobility know only once they are home or it be different elements of the business deciding to provide different support and insisting their assignees come home, Global Mobility have had to react accordingly and prove to the business once again their amazing level of resilience, ingenuity and professionalism. All whilst juggling their own personal issues and setting up new working from home arrangements for them and their families. It was interesting to note one comment that, even on unrelated matters, many assignees are turning to Global Mobility as a point of contact as they know that Global Mobility are good in a crisis!
Some organisations were grappling with the speed at which the situation had changed and, where previous communications had confirmed assignees were happy to stay in country, the rapid change in governmental restrictions around the world had caused assignees to panic and decide they wanted to return home.
One of the biggest concerns that emerged was the issue of permanent establishment for those assignees or employees that are now working in locations where the business does not have an entity. We put together a virtual tax clinic with Andy Kelly from BDO, which was fully booked in less than ten minutes of marketing to our members! Thankfully we were able to run a second session on Thursday and will continue to dip into this topic in the upcoming weeks as governments provide clearer guidance and advice to organisations.
We also launched a page on the website (here) to provide a central place for our members to find updates and webinars from our technical experts on COVID-19. At the moment it is updating daily so please do regularly check back. If you’ve missed one it’s worth taking a look a day or two later as we are trying to add the webinar recordings where we can.
One of the positive things from this week has been the extended compassion and kindness that so many people have shown whilst adjusting to this new way or working. We have had children and partners in the back of video calls and dogs taking a nose at the voices they can suddenly hear.
The Expat Academy team are putting together more virtual events over the upcoming weeks and bringing forward some of the training courses where we believe they would greatly help Global Mobility right now. The events page on our site here has all the details and once again, do check back regularly as we will be adding more and more virtual events as we work with our members and technical partners to bring you the information you are asking for and the collaboration we know you are so used to enjoying at our live events.
In addition all MyGMPD members can find an Expat Academy white paper on all the latest technical updates on the MyGMPD website.
The Expat Academy team hope you have a restful weekend and a chance to recharge and share some time (even if it be virtually) with family and friends. There’s no doubt that businesses face a period of uncertainty. But it’s important to remember that this period will pass. If there is anything at all that you can think of that we can help you with during this stressful period, please do let us know.