We asked over 300 business leaders across 37 countries, including 16 in Belgium, to weigh in on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on global mobility.
of Belgian companies are postponing international moves due to COVID-19
believe they'll return to business as usual with the same number of international moves
think this crisis will have a fundamental impact on workforce mobility
Around the world, governments have been responding to the rapid spread of COVID-19 by closing borders and restricting travel, impacting international mobility and causing challenges in managing different payroll, tax and social security laws across the globe.
The COVID-19 outbreak has almost no effect on the number of employees currently working for companies abroad, as most can continue to work from home (63%). Like most other companies worldwide, however, global mobility leaders in Belgium are generally postponing new international assignments (81%). Belgian organisations are more open to assignees starting international assignments from home compared to other companies worldwide, at 69% compared to a global average of 42%.
Of the Belgian companies we surveyed, 69% are allowing current mobile employees to temporarily return to their home countries, in line with what other international organisations are doing (63%). Like their global counterparts, Belgian firms are currently less likely to move to a third country or to extend assignments (6%). The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a shift in strategic mobility priorities, with a new focus on managing day-to-day operations, employee queries and assessing which projects should continue in the future.
As an immediate response, Belgian companies are focusing on pinpointing who their mobile employees are and where they’re located (56%), reviewing plans for upcoming international moves (31%) and working on communications and planning (38%). The implications of regulatory changes are also a top priority for many (31%).
When asked how COVID-19 will affect international mobility, over half of Belgian respondents believe that business will return to normal with the same number of international moves (56%). Before the crisis hit, 66% of Belgian CEOs acknowledged that globalisation has helped improve the ease of moving capital, people, goods and information (PwC CEO survey 2018).
Partner, PwC Belgium
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