Public Policy Roundup: Harmful H-2B Provisions Defeated, House Hearing, International Organisation of Employers Report on Labour

Here’s what you need to know about public policies currently impacting the workforce mobility industry.

The role that employers and employer organizations play in strengthening global economies and assisting post-pandemic recovery continues to be of utmost importance. Demonstrating this are recent efforts by Worldwide ERC® and other stakeholders to defeat harmful H-2B seasonal worker visa legislation. There’s also been a hearing on attracting talent to North America, and a new International Organisation of Employer (IOE) report on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conference that supports the global business community in economic recovery. Read on to find out more:

Worldwide ERC® joins workforce coalition to defeat harmful H-2B Visa legislation

On 14 July, Worldwide ERC® signed onto a letter sent to House Appropriations Committee leaders requesting the removal of harmful H-2B provisions from the Fiscal 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee appropriations bill. The language in these sections would have categorically restricted numerous industries from participating in the H-2B program, including those hardest hit by the pandemic. Without access to the H-2B program, seasonal businesses and their American workers would suffer, especially as employers nationwide continue to struggle with recruiting labor, let alone temporary seasonal labor. On 15 July, Representative Andy Harris (R-MD) offered an amendment during Committee markup that passed and that removed these harmful H-2B provisions from the Subcommittee’s appropriations bill.

House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship holds hearing on Outdated U.S. Policies

The House of Representatives Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship held a virtual hearing on 13 July titled “Oh, Canada! How Outdated U.S. Immigration Policies Push Top Talent to Other Countries.” The objective was to understand how Canada's immigration laws and procedures are helping to attract top talent to Canada, and to start a dialogue on how the U.S. system could be reformed to do the same. Stuart Anderson, executive director of National Foundation for American Policy, testified before the subcommittee to point to how current processes to gain H-1B status and gain permanent residence in the U.S. are outdated and difficult.

Recommendations for reform from those who testified  included doubling the annual number of employment-based green cards, eliminating the per-country limit, and creating a startup visa for immigrant entrepreneurs, as well as including proposals from the Immigration and Nationality Act that would help clear the green card backlogs in the U.S. This hearing comes as Worldwide ERC® continues to boost the importance of the U.S., Canada and Europe working together to create policy infrastructures that recognize the importance of talent deployment in economic recovery.

IOE releases report on ILO International Labour Conference and Governing Body Session

The International Organisation of Employers (IOE) recently released its Report on the 109th Session of the ILO International Labour Conference which took place from 3-19 June, and its Governing Body Session, which took place 25 June. The Conference featured the adoption of the Resolution concerning a global call to action for a human-centered recovery from the COVID-19 crisis that is inclusive, sustainable, and resilient.

Provisions that were of particular importance to the Employers Group were the need to support business continuity; an enabling environment for innovation, productivity growth and sustainable enterprises; boosting productivity through diversification and innovation; promoting skills development opportunities that are responsive to labor market needs; and the importance of strengthening the capacity of employer and worker organizations so they can effectively engage in national recovery strategies and support their members in the recovery.

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How This Impacts Mobility

The importance of the H-2B program in enabling seasonal and small businesses to fully recover from the pandemic is of utmost importance especially to the relocation industry during this peak season. Worldwide ERC® will continue to defend the program from harmful provisions as the appropriations process moves forward. Further, as the U.S. continues to find ways to improve its immigration system to attract top talent, regional coalitions between employer organizations such as that created through the WECAN declaration will be critical. Finally, the findings from the IOE report that support the business community, particularly in strengthening employer organizations such as Worldwide ERC®, are key steps to engaging in economic recovery.

Should any member have questions regarding these updates, please reach out to our Vice President of Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.

Join Our 5 August Webinar!

Join Worldwide ERC® Public Policy Leaders virtually on 5 August, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. ET as we discuss what to expect in the coming months and how you can play a part in our advocacy efforts in the webinar “Will the U.S. Business Tax Rate Change – and Will It Affect You?”

As we emerge from the global pandemic, we find ourselves already half-way through the first year of the Biden Administration and the 117th Congress. Will federal policymakers be able to reach agreement on top issues of concern to the global mobility and relocation industry – and what might the implications be on U.S. businesses? Will the business tax rate change? What is the current state of all-things real estate and mortgage? What other public policy surprises could be on the way?

Sign up today for the 5 August Worldwide ERC® webinar and gain valuable insight into where public policy is going and how you can help shape it. The following Worldwide ERC® public policy leaders and staff will be a part of the conversation:

  • Real Estate and Mortgage Forum Chair Jay Hershman, Baillie & Hershman
  • Tax Forum Vice Chair, Jen Stein, GTN
  • Regulatory and Compliance Vice Chair Jeff Margolis, SIRVA
  • Rebecca Peters, Worldwide ERC® Vice President of Member Engagement and Public Policy (moderator)