🦜 PerchPulse - The Ireland Market Update January 2023 🦜

A warm welcome to the January issue of PerchPeek’s Ireland Market Monthly update!

Here’s where you’ll find the hottest updates around employee relocation and international talent strategy, insights from our experts on housing and cost-of-living news affecting your staff, the latest trends in global mobility, and tips and tricks on ways to support your teams.

A fly-by summary

●     A new law giving employees the right to request remote working is being fast-tracked by the government - what this means for People teams

●     Prospective tenants in Dublin are only allowed to spend up to 40% of their net income on rent - what People teams need to know about this tough ratio

●     Dublin is the second best city in the world for working abroad but among the worst for quality of life, according to an expat survey - the factors behind this new data

●     From €2 public transport fares to exploring Dublin on city bikes, here are PerchPeek’s top tips for helping newcomers to navigate the city

●     House prices went up by 6% YoY in 2022 but demand now appears to be cooling off - how this could impact your employees looking to rent

Talent strategy: Right to Request Remote Working law being fast-tracked

The world of work has changed dramatically in the last few years, with the pandemic forcing employees to go fully remote and thereby proving their work can be done effectively from home.

Now remote or hybrid working is very much the norm across various industries worldwide, and in Ireland it’s no exception! According to the Central Statistics Office, 65% of workers in Ireland were working remotely some or all of the time as of November 2021.

In light of this practice, the government is fast-tracking a new Work Life Balance Bill, of which a key part will be a Right to Request Remote Working law. Employees would have the right to request to work remotely or flexibly, with the obligation on the employer to consider all parties’ needs when assessing.

Originally projected to come into law by the end of 2022, the process has been delayed but the Work Life Balance Bill is estimated to be coming into law in early 2023.

People teams should get up to speed now and update remote and flexible working policies. This way, you can be sure that future remote working requests are considered properly, and that remote employees are being fully supported.

Home-finding: What you need to know about Ireland’s tough income-to-rent ratio, to support relocating staff

A common stumbling block for home-hunters is understanding constraints around salary-to-rent ratios. Most Dublin landlords say renters can only spend up to 40% of their net salary on rent.

PerchPeek’s Ireland experts note that this ratio makes things difficult in a number of ways:

●     Basing the ratio on net salary rather than gross is more difficult for movers to grasp, as they won’t necessarily know their net income until they receive their first pay slip.

●     Employees from other countries may also have calculated this differently before, leading to confusion. For example, UK tenants are often advised to earn 2.5 times the rent.

●     It’s also a tough ratio for many workers to match up to. In other countries it’s based on gross salary, and so in comparison, a maximum 40% of net income is a tall order in a city where rental costs are soaring.

●     It’s of course particularly difficult for single-income households, such as people relocating solo, or families where just one parent is working.

To make things easier for staff, our advice is to manage expectations from the outset, and to share helpful figures on gross vs. net salary and how this translates into maximum rental costs.

Talent strategy: Dublin second best city in the world for working abroad, but one of worst for quality of life, say expats

According to the InterNations Expat Insider 2022 report, surveying 12,000 expats worldwide about their experiences of their adopted homes, Dublin is a city of contradictions!

The Irish capital ranked second out of 50 cities in the Working Abroad Index (beaten only by Copenhagen) but worst in the Quality of Life Index, averaging out at 37th place overall.

Positive points around Working Abroad:

●     Good personal career prospects and a strong local job market

●     Fair working hours and a good work-life balance

●     A business culture that encourages creativity and independence, and fosters flexibility

Negative points around Quality of Life:

●     Availability of healthcare, ease of accessing healthcare services and quality of care

●     Affordability and availability of public transportation

People leaders are advised to take these positive factors in Working Abroad and make sure they stay up to scratch, or are improved in order to stay competitive and attract the best talent!

There’s also an opportunity for People teams to improve employee support in areas identified as lacking for expats, such as:

●     Provide information on healthcare options, including any work benefits

●     Provide information on getting around (read on for more on this!)

●     Offer flexible working options to help vs. unreliable public transport

Support your talent: PerchPeek’s top tips for getting around Dublin, to share with newly arrived employees

As we’ve just mentioned, a recent survey shows that Dublin’s public transport options are a sore point among expats, who are less than thrilled with the affordability and availability of services.

In order to support relocating employees and help them navigate their new home efficiently (and cheaply!) here are some of our top tips and key information to share with them:

●     Leap Card - It’s recommended that residents get this travel card that covers journeys on Dublin Bus, the DART (rapid transit train) and commuter services, and the Luas (tram)

●     Travel costs - Fares were reduced by 20% on Transport for Ireland bus, train and tram services in 2022, and it’s been confirmed that this reduction will remain through 2023

●     90-minute fare - TFI has introduced a fare covering journeys in the Dublin area across all methods of transport, that costs just €2.00 per adult for a 90-minute period

●     Dublin Bikes - Users can pick up and drop off these city bikes at set locations, with payment options ranging from a 1-day pass to an annual subscription

●     Payback schemes - Help your team through the rising cost of living by implementing a scheme funding discounted annual travel passes (where employees pay back monthly)

Home-finding: House-buying demand cooling - possible impact on renters

The fluctuations of the Irish house-buying market can easily impact your staff, even those not looking to buy a place! House prices continued to rise in 2022 according to Daft.ie, but demand is now cooling following an “unprecedented couple of years” of high demand and low supply.

In 2022, asking prices rose by 6% YoY, but by less than previous years (8.1% in 2021 and 7.7% in 2020). In fact, the rate of asking price inflation fell marginally in Q4 2022. Rising interest rates mean the number of mortgage applications is declining, having a knock-on effect on prices.

It's worth noting the effects that potential stagnation in the buying market could have on renters. If fewer properties are being purchased, this adds to the pressure already being seen in the rental market, especially in Dublin where demand is massively outstripping supply.

Make allowances where possible, such as reviewing relocation packages to give employees the financial freedom to stay in temporary accommodation for longer. Plus, offering flexibility for viewings during work hours is super helpful - being first in the queue makes a big difference!

We hope you enjoyed this month’s update, and that your 2023 is off to a great start!

If you have any feedback, comments or questions about what's happening in your location, feel free to reach out via the form at the bottom of this page.

Thanks for reading, and see you next month!

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