A warm welcome to the January issue of PerchPeek’s UK 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
● 82% of companies that relocate their employees do it via outsourcing, not in-house, but 60% aren’t using tech for talent mobility, and other key findings from KPMG report
● Workers are calling for the government to align its tax policy with modern working practices like hybrid and overseas working - how you can support remote teams
● London rent prices have increased by 17% in the last year, and the average tenant needs to spend 35% of the income on rent - latest figures on the UK rental market
● Flat- or house-sharing in the UK - how it works and why it’s an attractive option for those on a more modest budget
● From the Canary Wharf Winter Light Festival to making the most of the short days on a Parkrun, here are PerchPeek’s top tips for helping employees banish the January blues!
Professional services network KPMG have published their 2022 ‘Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey’, and it’s super interesting reading for those in global mobility strategy.
Following the survey of 375 global mobility leaders across 25 countries, the findings shed light on how GM programmes are continually evolving, and identify these areas as top priorities:
● Compliance and global risk management
● Supporting business objectives
● Controlling programme costs
● Adaptability to changing business requirements
Selected key findings:
● In order to focus on talent experience, not transactions, 82% of survey participants make use of external relocation management services rather than manage it in-house, suggesting that this approach is an invaluable way to save time and resource in HR
● 40% have moved to talent tech, including most innovative companies, such as many of the leaders in the tech industry where the best talent is often attracted - suggesting that tech-driven solutions in this field are proving to be a valuable asset to People teams
As well as being a massively insightful snapshot of how global mobility strategy has developed in 2022, this report also identifies clear opportunities for future advancement. If you have any questions, or insights of your own to share, reach out to PerchPeek!
The rise of modern working practices, mainly hybrid and overseas working, has led to calls for the UK government to update its tax policy to bring it in line with today’s world of work.
The Office for Tax Simplification recently called for evidence around tax considerations from those doing hybrid work, or working abroad while employed by a UK company.
Following this appeal, a bunch of issues and suggestions have been raised, including:
● Updating tax and social security considerations to allow for overseas working
● Clarifying how commuting and business travel expenses should be taxed
● Introducing a general allowance to cover home working costs and travel to offices
The OTS is to be wound down shortly, so it’s reasonable to assume that it may be a while before the UK workforce sees any real changes to tax policy being implemented.
In the meantime, those supporting hybrid and overseas workers are advised to:
● Update internal policies around hybrid, remote and overseas working, to support employees to work in the best style for them (and it’ll also help attract the best talent!)
● Consider using tech-driven solutions like employer-of-record (EOR) software, which help HR teams avoid headaches around multi-country payroll and compliance!
To help People teams support relocating employees searching for rental properties, here’s a rundown of the latest figures around renting in the UK:
● Zoopla reports that on average across the UK, rents have increased by 12% in the last year, while in London it’s a whopping 17% (£273 per month). The average monthly rent in the UK has reached £1,078 per month, up by £117 YoY.
● This year-on-year increase is also in the teens for the UK’s other major cities, including Manchester (15%), Birmingham (12%), Glasgow (14%) and Bristol (13%)
● According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a quarter of tenants surveyed in December 2022 said their rent had increased in the last six months
● The issue of rental property demand severely outstripping supply continues on - the supply of homes for rent in November was down 38% versus the five-year average
To support home-hunting employees, here are some tips from PerchPeek:
● Hybrid or remote working policies let staff live further from the office, in cheaper areas
● Provide employees with a cheatsheet of low-cost areas to live
● Implement a car allowance, to open up the option of commuter areas to live
● Help staff link up to secure shared accommodation
Read on for more about how to support your staff who are relocating solo!
It’s important to be mindful of the extra challenge posed to those relocating solo. Rental prices remain high, especially in London, and it’s much harder when funded by one salary, not two!
House- or flat-sharing could be an attractive option for employees. Due to rising rents and living costs, more and more people are taking this option; in London, the number of people in shared housing has shot up by 400% in 10 years!
As well being a cheaper alternative to renting a whole property, having company at home might make it easier for newcomers to settle in. It’s invaluable to share the relocation experience with others in the same boat!
Help employees find a flat/house share by directing them to Spareroom.co.uk. Here they can filter their search for rooms matching their requirements, or buddy up and check out suitable shared homes. PerchPeek can also help coordinate this!
To support staff relocating solo (especially junior employees on a modest budget):
● Direct them to Spareroom, and advise them to exercise caution on other sites
● If possible, include Spareroom premium access in any relocation packages
● Help them buddy up for a flatshare!
This time of year can feel like a long old slog: the holidays have been and gone, the rain seems never-ending, and it feels like spring is but a distant spot on the horizon!
To help your employees battle through the January blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), here are PerchPeek’s top tips for boosting morale! They might be especially helpful for relocating staff from warmer, sunnier climes, finding the current short days a bit of a shock!
● Thought all of London’s festive, twinkly lights had been taken down? Think again! The popular Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival is running from 18th - 28th January.
● Parkruns (free, 5k community runs) are a great way for staff to meet new people and put a spring in their step! They take place in 1,200 parks nationwide on Saturday mornings.
● Other sports and social clubs include GoMammoth and Meetup. Consider offering a wellbeing allowance to fund this sort of activity!
● Getting outside and soaking up some Vitamin D will make a huge difference. Encourage employees to take time out in a green space - such as one of London’s 3,000 parks!
● The days are very short at the moment, so there isn’t a large window for getting out and about. Offer flexibility in working hours to help staff enjoy the daylight!
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!
We hope you found this update insightful! We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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