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Relocating Your Workforce? Here’s What You Need To Know

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Global mobility is well underway, and there’s plenty of opportunities for businesses to maximise their output and close the skills gap.

Yet, a much more connected global workforce doesn’t come without its challenges, as companies juggle the varying elements involved in making the most of global mobility.

So, what must you be aware of to stay compliant and competitive when relocating contractors? Let’s take a look…

Employment and immigration laws

With employment and immigration laws varying from country to country, there can be a lot to digest – but it’s more than worth the effort.

Falling at the first hurdle can leave businesses and their workers in a messy legal situation.

Make sure you cover every base by looking into local employment laws to see if workers require a visa or a residence permit.

Income tax and social security obligations

Workers are likely to have income tax obligations in both their home and host nations.

As a result, employers should support their international teams to comply with relevant tax laws.

Businesses should also assess any social security guidelines, which can involve healthcare contributions.

Pensions and benefits

Pensions are seemingly the best long-term and tax-efficient method of saving for employees. 

That being said, there are undoubtedly variations across countries regarding pension contributions and other benefits, so it’s important to take note of these. 

Be mindful of whether your workers will have an ‘approved plan’ or not, and note any contribution limits.

In South Africa for example, tax-efficient pension contributions of up to27.5% of taxable income (or R350,000 if lower) can be made to a qualifying scheme. 

To complicate matters further, there are a number of things to consider with global mobility, because approved plans can add an extra layer of difficulty. 

This is in part due to two different plans not aligning with each other, for instance, a pension plan might be approved in one country but not in another.


Juggling payroll across borders has its challenges, like overseeing the combination of host and home currencies, plus varying fiscal requirements.

Accurately calculating foreign tax brings with it another issue, as it tends to require intelligent but costly third-party software.

Culture acclimatisation and global talent management

Global mobility brings much change for workers, as they adapt and bed in to local life. 

From language barriers to local business practices, employers face the responsibility of helping and supporting their employees to acclimatise to their new location. 

And once your talent has settled into their surroundings, it’s all about keeping them on board.

Good employers who value their workers will implement a career development programme, particularly to retain top talent.

Maximise global mobility opportunities

Sounds a lot, doesn’t it? Well, it’s no secret that global mobility requires extra effort to make it worth your while.

Each aspect takes more time and resources. Yet, it is possible to make it work to your advantage.

WRS is at the forefront of global mobility. We work with contractors and clients around the globe, enabling them to capitalise on the benefits and overcome hurdles. 

Our end-to-end workforce solutions cover payroll, income tax, immigration law, and even travel and accommodation support.

For help mobilising your global workforce, contact us today.