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To help keep you informed and up to date with Brexit, Covid-19, international travel and everything in between- K2 have launched a new webinar series. Every 2 weeks a live panel of in house experts will address the current landscape of global mobility, and discuss the latest updates and expectations regarding covid-19, Brexit, and international travel.

The summary of session 1 can be read here.
Session 2 summary

The webinar gave updates from global immigration, with Jesper Albrekt, Global Immigration Manager based in Singapore, UK Immigration with Simon Higson, UK Immigration Manager, Destination Services with Bernie Hillewaert, Client Services Consultant, Shipping/Household Goods with Ken McCully, Group Commercial Manager and also Advisory Services with Taryn Whitfield, Global Mobility and HR Advisor.

The session was facilitated by Huw Thomas, UK Business Development Manager, who welcomed the attendees and gave an update from K2 and introduced the panellists.

To begin, Jesper Albrekt gave an update on global immigration, and noted that there is a lot going on! Firstly, Jesper touched upon the US election and travel bans that were implemented by the Trump administration- highlighting that at this point, we need to wait and see what happens over the next few weeks, but we don’t anticipate huge changes. Jesper then spoke to the audience about Brexit and the future for British nationals, reminding everyone that UK nationals will no longer be EU citizens from 1st January 2021, however advised that EU countries will likely implement ‘Settlement Schemes’ in the coming months. Due to covid-19, Jesper highlighted how many countries (especially in Asia Pacific (APAC)), have increased testing, and many countries (such as Singapore) require travellers to provide evidence of a negative covid-19 test before travel. Jesper finally noted that APAC is opening up, but much slower than the rest of the world- there are still very strict rules in place, and there has been throughout the past 8 months. Global travel is happening but must be considered on a case by case basis.

The webinar then heard from Simon Higson, who gave an update on UK Immigration. After talking to the group about the key updates with regards to Brexit (Sponsorship Licence, New Points Based System and more), Simon also discussed the intricacies of covid-19 concessions. Simon highlighted that a number of immigration rules have been relaxed owing to covid-19 yet warned the group of the significant delays in application processes and the potential consequences of these delays. Simon also reminded the group of the key dates to be wary of as we get closer towards the finalisation of Brexit.

For more information on Brexit and how K2 can assist you, please visit our Brexit page.

In addition to Immigration (both global and UK), the webinar then heard from Bernie Hillewaert who provided an insightful update on what we are seeing and experiencing in Destination Services. Bernie gave an update from within the UK however Bernie normally heads up K2 Paris, and therefore was able to give the attendees an insight into the general DSP updates from both a UK and European perspective. Bernie highlighted the rapidity of change that we are seeing, both across Europe, and within individual countries too. A key takeaway is that services are still going ahead, although we are having to rethink the way these services are being delivered, to make sure they are safe, and compliant. Different countries within Europe are having to put in place different arrangements, but fundamentally- services are being delivered, and in many places it’s as close to business as usual as possible.

Next, the audience heard from Ken McCully, who gave an update on shipping and household goods. After giving an update on the likely implications of Brexit, and Covid-19 (including the implications of customs clearances, possible delays, new lock down implications, working restrictions, PPE requirements, and more), Ken focussed on updating the audience on expected congestions. Interestingly, Ken alluded to a recent BBC news article about the potential delays and likely congestion at Felixstowe, which has concerned many who work within global mobility. Ken’s message to the audience was reassuring, and confirmed to everyone that within the shipping industry, we have been aware of such delays for weeks, and we know how to deal with them and work around them- there is no need to be alarmed.

The session then heard from Taryn Whitfield, who shared some key highlights that we are hearing from clients, and what we are focussing on during these unprecedented times. Taryn began by addressing that due to an increased reliance upon global mobility teams over the past year, teams are actually being viewed differently internally within organisations.

When considering the impacts to global travel and international assignments, Taryn explained that it is important to understand the employer, and employee appetite for global assignments. Are moves still happening and are people still wanting to move? The answer is yes! Therefore, reviewing policies and the support that you provide,  for mobility internally will be a key focus over the next 6-9 months, especially in terms of well being and duty of care.

Taryn then touched upon remote working, and highlighted how organisations have learnt a lot over the past months- especially about the areas that need to be managed to enable and sustain remote working in the long term! International moves are being altered to include remote working, whether that be to start the assignment remotely, or have remote working as part of the initial assignment arrangement. Taryn then highlighted how organisations may want to use remote working as part of their plans beyond the context of this global pandemic, as there are real opportunities to be had.

Watch a recording of this webinar.

We are here to help in any way we can

Should you need any additional information, consultation, or guidance on any of the above, please do contact us as we would be delighted to assist you.

Additionally, if you would like to have a virtual coffee with any of our experts, please contact us we would be happy to arrange this.

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