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What is workforce mobility?

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Workforce mobility refers to the shifts workers make in relation to job opportunities, whether in terms of new roles, industries, or locations. Workforce mobility doesn’t necessarily refer to employees leaving their companies for new jobs. In many cases, it can relate to factors like relocation to taking on new positions within the same organization.

In terms of payroll, workforce mobility adds a challenge when it comes to ensuring employees are still taxed and paid accurately.

There are two different types of workforce mobility: occupational and geographical. In the context of a worker’s labor mobility within the same company, the former may refer to changing positions, while the latter may have to do with moving locations – whether city or country.

Examples of factors affecting workforce mobility

  • Economic conditions
  • Age or stage of life
  • Personal factors
  • Geographical considerations
  • Skillset and education

How does workforce mobility influence global payroll?

Workforce mobility can influence global payroll in several ways, including:

  • Complying with labor laws: ensuring that labor laws are still followed, regardless of where the worker is based or what position they hold.
  • Navigating new time zones: making sure payments are still made to workers and relevant parties on time.
  • Adjusting to new social security and benefits requirements: a new role or new location can come with new requirements pertaining to social security and benefits.
  • Keeping reporting and documentation up to par: the above point also applies to documentation and reporting requirements.

What is the difference between workforce mobility and workforce migration?

While there is some overlap, these definitions differ.

Workforce mobility refers to a worker’s ability to move between different locations, jobs and industries – whether within a single company, in a different city, or a new country.

Workforce migration, however, refers to people changing geographical locations for the sake of finding new work. It’s often more permanent and is driven by economic factors.

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