Coronavirus (COVID-19), Talent

Global Mobility Hit Hard By Coronavirus

As the coronavirus crisis worsens, multitudes of industries are experiencing supply shortages, closures by state and federal governments, labor shortages, and many other challenges.


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Organizations that rely on worker mobility, such as expatriates or international assignments and sending employees abroad, will face significant challenges. As the federal government considers new guidelines, restrictions, and legislation to help mitigate the long-term financial impact, some organizations are imploring the government to consider those affected by the halt of global mobility.

We recently had a chance to discuss this issue with Ed Hannibal, Worldwide ERC Chairman.

HR Daily Advisor: While many specific industries are challenged with unique difficulties, the set of industries that rely on global mobility is vast. What are the industries you think will be hit the hardest if they do not get federal and state attention?

Hannibal: The mobility industry supports all industries. The businesses that support employees at the outset of a domestic or an international move will be the first to feel the impact.

HR Daily Advisor: Does the breadth of industries affected by borders getting shut down and limited travel make receiving assistance or federal consideration more challenging?

Hannibal: Although the impact is broad across suppliers from real estate, appraisers, immigration, travel firms, and larger HR consultancies, smaller businesses may need assistance quickly.

HR Daily Advisor: We understand that payroll tax holidays are considered something that can help. Can you explain them?

Hannibal: The measure is still fluid. The government has moved away from the payroll tax holiday. At the moment, nothing has been approved. The current proposal is to provide direct payments to citizens.

HR Daily Advisor: What about small business loans?

Hannibal: Smaller organizations across the mobility ecosystem could utilize loans to help them sustain the mobility stoppage created by the COVID-19 necessary protocols.

HR Daily Advisor: Can you explain what the AMSA and IAM are and what they have already been doing?

Hannibal: The AMSA is the American Moving and Storage Association, and the IAM is the International Association of Movers. These are two separate associations representing the shipping, moving, and storage sector, which serves both the domestic and the global mobility industry. They share members and collaborate on local and international member advocacy. On March 17, these organizations appealed to Congress for funding for the industry.

HR Daily Advisor: What else do you want our audience to know?

Hannibal: Worldwide ERC will continue to support our members, and our leadership is working to broaden the coalition with adjacent industries. We also strongly encourage our members to work with local and government leaders to amplify our organization’s voice.

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