COVID-19 Global Mobility: Respond, Recover and Thrive. - Tax and Legal blog

Header blog where next for global mobility

In this blog, highlighting the areas of income tax, social security, permanent establishment, immigration, and employer duty of care, we discuss the various challenges that COVID-19 has created for Swiss-based Global Mobility functions.

We also describe how many organisations with large-scale mobility programmes are responding, and make recommendations on next steps.

COVID-19 - the potential challenges

Many employees, such as assignees, foreign local hires and cross-border commuters, are now living in a country other than the one in which their employment contract is held and/or where they consider their ’home’ to be. For most multinational organisations, the numbers can run into the thousands. Organisations need to identify the issues that arise from this, for both the employer and the employee, what actions to take and how to prioritise them. The main areas for consideration, and how globally mobile employees may be affected, are explained below.

The primary areas for consideration are:


Read here for more details.

How are other businesses responding

As a general rule, organisations have been responding to the immediate challenges of COVID-19 in three ways: ensuring the safety of employees; assisting individuals with the issues listed above (in particular ensuring immigration compliance); and managing business continuity. The approach taken by organisations beyond the immediate term has varied according to their specific needs and circumstances, but we list below a number of initiatives that are categorised into three broad areas: Operations, Compliance and HR.


Response to COVID-19

We suggest that the first steps in any response to the COVID-19 crisis should be to:

  • Identify those groups and individuals likely to be the most affected.
  • Focus efforts on the following three priorities: ensuring employee safety; supporting staff most affected by the issues listed above (in particular ensuring immigration compliance); and managing business continuity.
  • Decide on the role of Global Mobility and HR in any COVID-19 response efforts, and ensure that resources are available to support the agreed actions.

If you would like to discuss any of these issues further, please get in touch with any of our key contacts below.

Explore our collection of Swiss COVID - Tax & Legal impact designed to help companies in Switzerland navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

Key contacts

Richard Goodwin_110x110.2

Richard Goodwin - Partner, Global Employer Services 

Richard is a Partner within the Global Employer Services team of Deloitte in Switzerland. He is based in Geneva and specialised in Global Mobility. Richard has 20 years of experience in expatriate tax consulting with Deloitte across 5 countries. In addition he has a solid experience in leading an in-house major global mobility change project for a leading company from the Technology, Media & Telecommunications industry, including the review and implementation of the process, systems and technology required for a world class global mobility operation.


Jacob Higgitt_110x110_2

Jake Higgitt - Director, Global Employer Services

Jake has 13 years' experience in Global Mobility having advised clients in various industries on the full spectrum of issues impacting large scale mobility programmes. During that time he has worked in the UK, Australia and Switzerland currently leads Deloitte’s global service provision to some of the largest Swiss headquartered multinationals. He also leads Deloitte’s Business Travel Services team across Switzerland, assisting clients of all sizes with the challenges associated with global business travel populations.


Ross Hamilton110x110

Ross Hamilton - Director, Global Employer Services

Ross has over 20 years of experience with a wealth of knowledge in dealing with human resource and taxation issues that face corporate organisations, specialised in expatriate taxation, global mobility, reward, global payroll and benefits. For the last 5 years, Ross worked for a leading global pharmaceutical company as Head of Mobility Taxation and Global Employment Company lead, responsible for driving significant change within the mobility function.



Timo Heck - Director, Immigration

Timo is an Immigration Director at Deloitte in Switzerland. He advises both domestic and international, listed and private companies on all aspects of Swiss immigration and has deep experience in implementing client-tailored complex immigration processes as well as advising on best-practices to accommodate the specific needs of his clients.



Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.