How We Have Adapted to GDPR

With the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation laws now in place, we thought we’d share what we’ve done over the past while in order to ensure we are compliant as a South African business. Much of what the GDPR has identified in terms of Data Protection were things that, over the past 25 years, we have already implemented, to ensure that we are a quality provider. Nonetheless, our Compliance Committee took the opportunity to review the requirements and ensure that we continue to meet global compliance requirements. Some of the areas we have worked on are:

  • Divisional Data Audits have taken place, providing us with an overview of how each business sector handles their data.
  • Our Data Protection Policy, that governs data protection for the entire business, was reviewed to ensure its compliance with GDPR requirements.
  • GDPR training systems have been implemented, containing guidelines to comply with the new regulations. The training can be updated as needed.
  • A revised Data Privacy Policy has been added to our website.
  • Our email disclaimers have been amended.
  • We have taken the step of introducing a few new processes in terms of authorizing our Ground Consultants to deliver services, as well as closing off files, to ensure higher levels of data protection.
  • Our IT systems have been reviewed to ensure all data is secure while in transit, and when stored.

Going forward, we will be actively monitoring the legislation’s roll-out, to keep ahead of any possible changes. If you would like more information about our GDPR compliance, feel free to reach out to us. We implore all businesses, even those based outside the EU, to ensure that they have strict data protection policies in place – even those that extend further than the new GDPR requirements. The protection of personal information is becoming increasingly important in a time when more information can be sourced and disseminated online.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1]. Image sources: rawpixel on Unsplash [1].

Our Key Takeaways From EuRA’s 2018 Conference in Croatia

Last month, we attended EuRA’s 2018 Conference in Dubrovnik, and beyond having a great opportunity to connect with those in the industry, we attended a number of talks and workshops. Below, we have summarized our key takeaways.

Eura Conference – Croatia 2018 – by René Stegmann

Attending the EuRA conference in such a picturesque location, with the sunshine all day everyday, made for a pleasant business experience. On our way to Dubrovnik, Croatia, we managed a slight detour to experience some culture and wine in Kotor, Montenegro. Learning some of the history and meeting the locals, sampling their food and wine all made for a good start to the conference. We were guided by a local guide to get the full picture of their more recent history.

The conference venue was a resort outside Dubrovnik itself. We arrived early to represent Relocation Africa at the TIRA Day, which was an opportunity for all the TIRA members to benchmark, share knowledge, and ensure we are leaders of best practices in our businesses. It was a great day, and ended with a beautiful boat trip and dinner in Dubrovnik itself.


The next day was filled with Supplier – or as I prefer to refer to them, partner – meetings of which there were many, all with their unique delivery of sharing what each of their businesses are seeing as trends, and how their businesses are adapting.
There are a number of trends which are similar across all partners, and generally in certain locations, volumes are lower, however, in other locations, volumes are good. There seems to be a fair amount of consolidation in the industry as Lexicon has acquired Sterling, Weichert has acquired The MI Group, Madison Dearborn Partners has acquired Sirva, and K2 Mobility has acquired Harbour HR.

There were big talks on GDPR and the impact on our businesses, with the new regulations having just been implemented as at 25th May 2018. As a South African/African business that operates Globally, it is important to ensure we are compliant, in order not to contravene the new legislation.

It seems the discussion between the DSPs (Destination Services Providers) and the RMCs (Relocation Management Companies) has been managed in a palatable fashion. However, there was a feeling that some of the questions were not answered fully. I am sure this will be taken up by those that need to, as it is an opportunity to raise concerns, however, the view is that you don’t want to be offering opinions that will possibly impact your business – even if it is for the improvement of the industry as a whole. During this session, questions were also asked as to why RMCs are now requesting commission from their partners, as traditionally RMCs request a management fee from their clients to cover these fees. There was a feeling that, should these be disclosed and as a DSP we are able to account for them in our fees, it would be appropriate. But note that this is a deviation from the norm of business over the past 25 years Relocation Africa has been in business.

The continuation of driving costs down and improving service delivery is on the top of each RMC’s mind’ and we as a consolidated group need to review how we can do this.

Essentially both the RMC and the DSP need to collaborate better to build partnerships with their clients, and have a direct impact on cost efficiencies and value creation. However, I noted that we as a DSP in Africa, and all the others are often referred to as suppliers. Without us as partners, the RMC could not service the client, and we should therefore never be referred to as suppliers, but only as partners. As you can tell I am pretty passionate about this particular point, but I believe when we are treated as partners, the value creation and cost efficiencies will ultimately be identified to the benefit of the client.

We had many meetings with RMCs, DSP partners, and others who were attending the conference, which allowed our business to appropriately benchmark and remain current in the industry.

We also attended a farewell to Beverly Mayhew, who has been a leader in our industry, carving a groove for many of us to follow. She recently sold her business, and although she has officially retired, she wants to remain involved in the industry.

The next EuRA conference we will attend will take place in Munich, Germany, from 30 April to 3rd May 2019. To learn more, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1]. Image sources: Dominic Tidey [1], [2]; Sorin Cicos on Unsplash [3].

GDPR: How Europe’s New Internet Rules Affect You

On May 25, Europe’s new set of Internet privacy rules, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will go into effect – reshaping the way our online world works.

From that date, if your personal data is being used by any company in the European Union, then you have rights that didn’t exist before. This has a global impact because so many internet companies have employees or users somewhere in Europe.

GDPR does have good intentions, however, some of the law itself really breaks the internet.

Jason Bier, Engine Media Group

Data is a billion-dollar industry and the new law applies to all global Internet companies processing user data in the EU. They include everything from credit card details to photos and even biometric data.

This is in response to protect internet users in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving their illegal harvesting of data to craft ads supporting Donald Trump’s election campaign and the Brexit campaign.

Under the new rules, companies must clearly ask for consumer’s consent to harvest data, so they have to actively “opt-in” and be informed how their data is being used and for what purpose.

Those in breach of GDPR can be fined up to four percent of annual global turnover. And users who no longer want their personal data processed have the right to be forgotten and have their data deleted.

Potential pros and cons of GDPR

Jason Bier of Engine Media Group believes that “GDPR does have good intentions, however, some of the law itself really breaks the internet.”

“There’s a lot of confusion in how … personal data will be interpreted by the data protection authorities in each member state,” says Bier.

“There has been the addition of an IP address, which is considered personal data, that if it’s processed before consent is given by the user that would be a violation of the GDPR. And as we all know the IP address is an essential building block of the Internet. Every communication that’s sent between a device and the webpage exchanges that simple data.”

“So it’s really a question of, what is consumer data, what is personal data? And that definition has been broadened dramatically.”

Bier thinks Google and Facebook will be empowered by GDPR, because “they’re very familiar to people, their services are widely used … so they’re going to get opt-in consent. That’s really the issue here. Small businesses can’t get opt-in consent because they don’t collect personally identifiable information like Google and Facebook do … They’re going to collect more, not less, data on individuals and associate that to personally identifiable information.”

Diego Naranjo, a senior policy adviser at European Digital Rights, doesn’t agree with Bier that the new privacy rules will benefit big companies like Google or Facebook.

“The new regulation brings a lot of strength and mechanisms, it brings potential big sanctions, so I don’t think they will be able to directly benefit from it. If they follow the rules, they will be able to do their business as anybody else. Of course, they’re big, so they’ll be able to adapt quickly but I’m not sure this will reinforce these two companies – but rather the opposite,” says Naranjo.

He admits that not enough has really been done to educate and inform people about GDPR and its implications.

“We’ve been telling the European Commission that such a change needs a proper campaign to tell people how their rights are going to be reinforced. We’ve seen a lot of misinformation by private companies who see their business model potentially affected by this regulation,” says Naranjo.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Source: Al Jazeera [1]. Image source: [1].

Survival Tips for the 5 Most Expensive Cities for South African Business Travelers

Taking the average cost for four-star hotel accommodation, meals, drinks, laundry, transport, other essentials as well as general demand, Corporate Traveller has named the five most expensive cities for South African business travelers.

Says Oz Desai, Corporate Traveller South Africa GM: “When we travel for business, our choice of destination has little to do with how expensive it is to visit that city. Rather, we travel to cities where we have business interests even if it costs a great deal to fly there, stay in a hotel and buy a meal.

“The bulk of the daily spend will usually be the cost of a hotel room, but other business expenses like taxis, food and drink and even the cost of Wi-Fi quickly add up when you’re travelling for business.”

Here’s a list of handy rand-savers in five popular South African business haunts.

1. New York

Number one at R10,375 a day.

Accommodation prices in New York are subject to extreme fluctuations depending on the season and whether there’s a large-scale event in town. Plan your business travel so that it takes place at off-peak times. Rule of thumb is that from mid-January to mid-March is a good time to visit New York for business even though it’s winter. Also look for hotels uptown or downtown instead of staying midtown. Public transport is excellent in New York so provided you’ve clustered your meetings smartly you will have no issue getting down to business speedily.

2. Hong Kong

Number one in Asia at R6,065 a day.

Hong Kong is the most expensive location for business travelers, overtaking Tokyo which drops to second in the rankings. If you want to eat cheap in Hong Kong, consider taking a foodie tour after hours where you’ll be introduced to some of the lively local hot spots and indulge in dim sum, noodle soups and barbecued meat. If you don’t have time to go on a foodie tour, take a trip to Hong Kong Island and find Dim Sum Square, or be adventurous and visit one of the night markets which always serves up an array of delectable street food.

3 and 4. Switzerland – Zurich and Geneva

Number one and two in Europe at R9,408 and R8,728 respectively.

An easy way to save money in Geneva is to grab a free transport pass when you arrive at the airport. The pass is good for 80 minutes and covers trains, buses and trams for Zone 10, which is pretty much anywhere in Geneva you’d want to go. Throughout Geneva, there’s free Wi-Fi. Simply look out for a network called “((o)) Ville de Geneve.” Unfortunately, affordable eateries are difficult to find in Geneva but don’t despair. Just hop on the 12 tram to the end of the line and walk across the border to the French town of Gaillard for some great restaurants.

For Zurich, it’s a good idea to purchase a city card, which will offer free public transportation as well as discounts or free admission to local attractions. If you like to eat out, it might be worth considering the Easy Dining app. It costs 95 francs (R1,210) per year but the app claims to cut your bill by half with its discounts at restaurants across the canton.

5. Luanda

Number one in Africa.

As Angola’s largest city, Luanda takes the No. 4 spot on the global list – in part because of security factors. Travelling executives end up staying in pricey tourist areas, rather than more competitively-priced business areas.

Although it’s tempting to explore the upper-end restaurants on Ilha do Cabo, if budget is a concern, rather head to Luanda’s central neighborhoods with their backyard restaurants (quintais) where you’ll be able to eat fantastic local specialties at a fraction of the price.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: Bizcommunity [1]. Image sources: Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash [1].

Temporary Visas Available to South Africans in 2018: Categories and Prices

Over the years, countries around the world have changed their visa policies and rates, in accordance with many factors, such as global and local economies, political preferences, migrant crises, and tourism sector performance.

Below you can find the costs for applying for a visa in 2018 in a number of countries that are popular among temporary workers, travelers, students, and business visitors.

The below prices do not include delivery fees and other fees as part of each country’s application process.

United Kingdom (info)

The United Kingdom offers visas in a number of different categories, including Standard Visitor visas (granting entry for between 6 months and 10 years), a number of Business Visas, and a variety of Special Visitor Visas.

United States (info)

A popular class for US visas is Class B, which may grant an applicant entry into the country for up to 10 years. A variety of other temporary visas are available, each with their own periods of validity. Other classes for the US include Transit, Study, and Work.

New Zealand (info)

Outside of its temporary visa class, which may grant an individual entry for up to 9 months, New Zealand has a Limited Visa class. With a Limited Visa, you can visit New Zealand temporarily, to achieve an express purpose. Once you’ve achieved your purpose, you must leave New Zealand. You can’t usually apply for other visas while in New Zealand on a Limited Visa, although you may be granted another Limited Visa in keeping with a need to spend more time in the country for the express purpose that the initial visa was granted for.

Australia (info)

Australia offers temporary visas across a number of categories. These include Tourist and Business Visitors, Working Holidays, Medical Treatment, Transit, Student, Training, and Temporary Work Sponsorship. Online applications are available through the government’s ImmiAccount system.

Approved Destination Status (ADS) is an arrangement between the Chinese Government and another country, that lets Chinese holiday travellers visit a country in a tour group.

The eVisitor program allows those with a passport in certain countries to obtain a Visit Visa for free. The list of eligible countries can be found here.

An Australian Study Visa is for those who wish to study full-time in a recognised education institution. A Training Visa is for those who wish to take part in workplace-based training to enhance their skills in their current occupation, area of tertiary study, field of expertise; or participate in a professional development training program.

A Temporary Activities Visa allows entry for specific activities, each with their own assigned duration. A list of such activities can be found here.

A Bridging Visa can be granted for someone who has applied for an associated substantive visa through ImmiAccount, for which a decision has not yet been made.

United Arab Emirates (info)

The visit visa or entry permit into the UAE requires sponsorship from a citizen, resident or investor. Nationals and residents in the UAE can apply online and acquire 90-day /30-day UAE entry permits or visit visas for their families, friends and relatives through the Ministry’s website- eServices section and the UAE-MOI app on smartphones.

If you have relatives or friends residing in the UAE, they can sponsor your non-electronic UAE visa. They can apply for your entry permit at the office of and the relevant General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) under Ministry of Interior. Its office is located in each emirate. Links to the local GDRFA offices can be found here.

Tourist visa is a special category of visa under visit visa, which could be obtained for eligible individual tourists around the world. The visa permits the holder to stay for duration of 30 days. The visa requires sponsorship of UAE airlines, hotels and tour operators who bring in visitors. The renewal and visa processing fee of tourist visas depends on travel agency that covers for you. Information about Emirates visa services can be found here, and information about Etihad visa services can be found here.

The Service Visa applies to the following categories and their families accompanying them: company manager’s representatives, sales managers, account auditors, company or establishment delegations required to carry out a commercial activity in the UAE, consultants requested by companies operating in the UAE that are required to carry out an urgent task.

Finally, the UAE’s airlines handle 4-day transit visas, valid for 14 days from the date of issue.

Shengen (info)

A Shengen visa covers members of the European Union (except the United Kingdom) and a number of other countries. Member states are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Liechtenstein. Countries including Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Ireland are soon to be part of the agreement.

Some tips when applying for visas include:

  • Checking whether there are multiple ways to apply, with different fees, such as is the case in the UAE.
  • Making sure you have all the required documents ready (check the number of copies needed).
  • Taking along multiple forms of ID, just in case.
  • Ensuring that the website you are using to apply through is legitimate. Scam sites are an unfortunate reality.
  • Scheduling any appointments on a day when you have some extra time, in case things take longer than expected.
  • Noting the duration that the visa you are applying for allows you to stay in the country you are visiting, and how long it is valid for.

Happy travelling!

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Image sources: Igor Ovsyannykov (via Unsplash) [1].