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Welcome to our Blog

Our blog lets us share with you current news and views from the world of HR and Global Mobility which we hope you will find interesting, informative and even entertaining. Along with our own thoughts and opinions we will bring you external articles and updates on items we think may matter to you.

We hope you enjoy reading our blog.

21
Dec
2016
Relocating? Discover The Most and Least Friendly Places in the World
A report published by the Independent has highlighted the most welcoming – and most unfriendly - places in the world.
07
Dec
2016
Ten Christmas Travel Tips
All too often, stressful journeys create a bad start to the holidays. Here are ten simple steps to help enjoy a smooth journey and arrive…
21
Nov
2016
We’d like you to meet…
Mark Sawyer is part of our expanding team based at Luton, Bedfordshire. He has a wealth of experience in removals and relocations. Here’s your introduction…
07
Nov
2016
Cities of Opportunity
The 7th edition of pwc’s benchmarks 30 leading cities. What makes these global business, finance and culture capitals successful?
07
Oct
2016
Relocating Overseas… With Your Pet
If you have pets, you’ll know that they are definitely part of your family. So what happens if your employer offers you an international relocation?
30
Sep
2016
8 Best Places to Work in Britain
New research from Glassdoor shows the best places to work in the UK – with one surprise…
20
Sep
2016
The Shape of International Relocations: 2016
A new Corporate Relocation Survey reveals how international relocations looked in 2016…
26
Aug
2016
Managing International Relocation: The HR Perspective
As the fallout of Brexit starts to become clearer, an increasing number of HR professionals are managing international relocations.
10
Aug
2016
Obstacles to Global Mobility
Mercer has released the results of its latest Worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies and Practices.
11
Jul
2016
International Relocation Post-Brexit
Last month’s shock EU Referendum result means that Britain will leave the European Union.
Relocating? Discover The Most and Least Friendly Places in the World

Relocating? Discover The Most and Least Friendly Places in the World

A report published by the Independent has highlighted the most welcoming – and most unfriendly - places in the world.
Those involved with global assignments will recognise that making friends in a new location is a fundamental part of settling and enjoying a new location and culture.

67 countries across the world were ranked by InterNations in its ‘Expat Insider 2016’ survey. More than 14,000 participants gave their thoughts about ‘ease of settling in’. Whilst crucial for assignees, the results are also important for global organisations; productivity and effectiveness are clearly linked to how quickly assignees feel ‘at home’ in their new locations.

The UK may not be as friendly as you think…

• ranking 42nd out of 67 places for ‘ease of settling in’
• appearing 43rd out of 67 countries for ‘finding friends’
• achieving 33rd position overall, out of 191 countries


The friendliest countries in the world to expats are:

• Taiwan
• Uganda
• Cost Rica
• Mexico
• Colombia

The least friendly locations for expats are:

• Kuwait
• Saudi Arabia
• Czech Republic
• Switzerland
• Norway

“Embarking on an international assignment is exciting and usually slightly daunting too,” says Suzanne Sells, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “Part of the support we provide ensures that assignees’ lifestyle and living needs are catered for, as well as the physical move involved.”

She adds: “Our role is to ensure that every relocation is completely smoothly and without stress.” To find out more contact Suzanne via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495495.
Ten Christmas Travel Tips

Ten Christmas Travel Tips

All too often, stressful journeys create a bad start to the holidays. Here are ten simple steps to help enjoy a smooth journey and arrive with your festive spirit in tact!
The festive season involves many traditions. For many people this includes travelling to see family and friends... or even an exotic holiday. Whatever your travel plans are this Christmas, bear in mind these helpful travel tips:

1. Avoid the peak travel dates – you’ll save money as well as avoid the crowds.

2. Check your baggage allowance along with your shopping list – taking your Christmas shopping on your flight can create extra fees if you exceed your weight allowance. In fact, the allowance often changes over the Christmas period. If you’re travelling to see relatives or friends, how about ordering online with your destination as the delivery address? (Remember to allow time to wrap presents when you get there!)

3. Avoid excesses before your flight. There is little tolerance of inebriated behaviour – at airports and on flights. Make sure that you are allowed on the aircraft!

4. Allow extra time for parking – this is a busy time… there will be even more fellow travellers around than usual. Even better – can a friend or a taxi give you a lift to the airport?

5. Allow some extra time for booking in.

6. Allow even more extra time – so that when something doesn't go to plan, you deal with it in your stride. Delays happen!

7. Do not wrap presents before your flight – security personnel will need access to all items.

8. If you’re driving, remember to check the car before travelling – we know it but we don’t always do it!

9. Stay connected – there are lots of travel apps that will keep you fully informed about everything from real-time updates on delays to the time you’ll spend in airport security, cheapest petrol prices to the cleanest toilets along your route.

10. Relax! This is the start of your holiday… get ready to enjoy Christmas!

Wishing you a happy festive season from everyone at BTR International.
We’d like you to meet…

We’d like you to meet…

Mark Sawyer is part of our expanding team based at Luton, Bedfordshire. He has a wealth of experience in removals and relocations. Here’s your introduction to Mark…
Mark is part of a team which looks after our major relocation accounts (with Brookfield and Cartus). He’s responsible for ensuring that corporate moves across the globe are completed smoothly. In particular, it’s Mark who talks to assignees to offer reassurance and information.

“Any move is can be stressful however when you, your family and your possessions are relocating to a different country there is a huge amount to consider,” says Mark. “My job is to ensure that the entire move is as stress-free as possible from start to finish.”
He adds: “There are three distinct areas that I’m involved with:

1. Organising the pre-move survey (with BTR International’s survey team)
2. Planning and quoting for the services needed at the move origin, for transportation such as shipping of furniture and other possessions, and at the move destination.
3. Liaising with the client who is moving, explaining every stage of their move and answering any queries."

He adds: “I’m always talking with people to ensure that everything runs smoothly and to check that they feel comfortable with the move process.”

Mark has worked within the industry for six years, gaining experience with general and niche removal companies. What does he particularly enjoy about working at BTR International?

“The BTR way of working is very customer-focussed and we are proud of our attention to detail. We are very thorough with every single move from the basic relocations to the complex ones. Helping assignees through the process and knowing that they appreciate my support is very rewarding.

“Plus, the BTR team has a brilliant way of working. We are fiercely professional about our jobs and we enjoy our work too. That makes the office a fun place to be whilst ensuring that we meet our customers’ wants and needs.
“No two moves are the same, so working at BTR is always interesting.”

Away from work, Mark enjoys travelling – something which working at BTR can often involve – and cricket, both playing and coaching (the latter for the youth section which he co-founded). “I enjoy exploring new areas and have been a keen cricketer since school. Both interests are very time consuming… it’s a case of fitting them in!”

If you would like to know more about how BTR International manages and supports global relocations, call Mark on +44 (0) 1582 495 495 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Cities of Opportunity

Cities of Opportunity

The 7th edition of pwc’s benchmarks 30 leading cities. What makes these global business, finance and culture capitals successful?
Ultimately, a balance between social and economic strengths is required. The results show that quality of life factors have the most impact, placing people before business.

The top cities must have balanced strengths in:
• Education
• Transit
• Health
• Economics
• Governance

Eight cities gained top three placings in at least two of these areas:
• London
• Singapore
• Paris
• Beijing
• Sydney
• Toronto
• Stockholm
• New York

The pwc report suggests that there are three ingredients to healthy city life:

1. Tools for changing world – cities must be physically and digitally connected in today’s knowledge-based world

2. Quality of life – this has a direct impact upon wellbeing and prosperity and starts with the daily conditions of life for the people who live in these cities

3. Economics – ease of doing business, cost indicators and economic clout are measured in the category. The most open and diverse results were achieved within this section.

So… which cities topped the 2016 results?

London, Singapore, Toronto and Paris.

The key to their success? Consistency.

“As we manage and implement global relocations, we often see ‘trends’ regarding which cities assignees are moving to,” says Suzanne Sells, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “Assessing the appeal of a city requires the same approach that we give to our relocations: it’s all about placing people first.”

She adds: ”For any global assignment to be successful, the needs of the individuals involved must be met alongside business requirements. BTR International’s approach ensures that relocations are smooth. Assignees settle into their new locations quickly, boosting productivity.”

If you would like to know more, contact Suzanne for an informal discussion. Email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0)1582 495 495.
Relocating Overseas… With Your Pet

Relocating Overseas… With Your Pet

If you have pets, you’ll know that they are definitely part of your family. So what happens if your employer offers you an international relocation?
In many cases, it is absolutely ok to take your pet with you. Different countries have their own requirements, however you should find that your pets could relocate with you.

4 Tips for Moving Abroad With Your Pets:

1. Check the requirements of your destination country before travelling

2. Your pet’s health

You will need to obtain a health certificate for your pet, approved up to ten days prior to travelling. Also, please consider the age, disposition and general health of your animal prior to deciding to ship him/her abroad. In addition, how will; the living conditions in your new destination compare to what your animal is used to?

3. Shipping your pet

To ensure that your pet endures minimal stress whilst travelling overseas you should:

• Buy a suitable carrier
• Get your per used to the carrier before travelling – from sleeping and feeding to taking them on short journeys. This ensures that the crate that they travel in is familiar and confortable to them.
• Access to water is essential, so fix a bottle securely to the crate and ensure that your pet is used to drinking from it before he/she travels.
• Provide adequate food (usual brand) and feeding instructions with the carrier. Plus, if you are transporting your dog, provide a collar and lead so that they can walked between flights or during delays prior to boarding.
• Mark your crate with your destination and contact details plus your pet’s name.

4. Returning home

Art the end of your internal assignment, you must meet UK border control requirements when return home with your pet. These include making sure that your pet:

• has been microchipped
• has a pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate
• has been vaccinated against rabies - it will also need a blood test if you’re travelling from an ‘unlisted country’
• has a tapeworm treatment, (dogs only).

Your pet may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months if you don’t follow these rules - or refused entry if you travelled by sea. You’re responsible for any fees or charges.

“Many assignees want to take their pets with them when they relocate overseas,” says Suzanne Sells, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “It’s important that every detail to taken care of to ensure that animals are looked after properly during transit and reunited with their owners safely.”

If you would like to know more about what is involved with taking your pet with you to your planned location, contact Suzanne for an informal discussion. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495495.



Image by Mister GC. at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

8 Best Places to Work in Britain

8 Best Places to Work in Britain

New research from Glassdoor shows the best places to work in the UK – with one surprise…
Towns and cities were assessed according to three factors:

• Hiring opportunity
• Cost of living
• Job satisfaction

Locations were allocated a score out of five and the results are in…

Here are the top eight places to work in Britain:

• =8 Manchester (score 3.6, hot jobs: Project Manager, Sales Manager, Business Development Manager)
• =8 Swindon (score 3.6, hot jobs: Sales Rep, Store Manager, Civil Engineer)
• =8 Northampton (score 3.6, hot jobs: Finance Manager, Recruitment Consultant, Bus Driver)
• =8 Bradford (score 3.6, hot jobs: Customer Services Advisor, Operations Manager, Technician)
• =5 Reading (score 3.7, hot jobs: Sales Associate, Sales Representative, Technical Support Engineer
• =5 Coventry (score 3.7, hot jobs: Maintenance Engineer, Sales Manager, Customer Service Advisor)
• =5 Peterborough (score 3.7, hot jobs: Product Manager, Store Manager, Bartender)
• 4 Leeds (score 3.8, hot jobs: Recruitment Consultant, Chef, Project Manager)
• =2 Nottingham (score 4, hot jobs: Sales Manager, Business Analyst, Software Engineer)
• =2 Milton Keynes (score 4, hot jobs: Store Manager, Management Consultant, Business Development Manager
• 1 Cambridge (score 4.1, hot jobs: Software Engineer, Chef, Sales Rep)

The surprise? London is not listed – at all. Why? Property prices and the cost of living. In fact, London was placed 17th in Mercer’s list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in.

“Whether assignees are relocating globally or within the UK, they need to be aware of the cost of living that will be involved in their new location,” explains Kevin Wieczorek, Sales and Marketing Director of BTR International.

He adds: “When we help to relocate employees globally, moving and living support is usually provided. Actually, this can be as important during domestic transfers too.”

If your employees are moving either globally or within the UK, why not have an informal chat with Kevin? Contact him via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call him on +44 (0) 1582 495495. We’ll make your moves as stress-free as possible.



Image by sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Shape of International Relocations: 2016

The Shape of International Relocations: 2016

A new Corporate Relocation Survey reveals how international relocations looked in 2016…
The findings issued by Atlas, show the current shape of global mobility plus how this compares to last year. 445 decision makers participated, with results based upon the first quarter of 2016.

This information is split into three key areas:

1. Duration
During 2016, the average length of an international assignment varied between:

• Less than one year – 25%
• One – three years – 48%
• Three years or longer – 27%

Shorter durations are becoming more popular, with only half the number of larger firms using this length of assignment compared with small and medium-sized firms.

Conversely, longer periods are far more popular with larger companies. 25% of moves during the survey period were permanent.

2. Destination
Most international relocations were to posts within:

• Canada - 34%
• Asia - 29%
• United States – 26%
• UK - 23%
• Western Europe - 22%
• Eastern Europe – 22%

3. Relocation Policy
It is encouraging to see that relocation support offered by smaller companies has reached its highest level yet, (this survey began in 1998).

In particular, increases have been noted in:

• Making allowances for children to attend certain schools
Cultural and language support
• Storage allowances
• Leave entitlement when relocating abroad

Medium and large sized companies are offering relocation at a similar level to previous years.

“Companies have seen that supporting assignees and their families during international relocations improves productivity and motivation,” explains Kevin Wieczorek, Sales and Marketing Director of BTR International. “In particular, it is great to see that many more smaller companies are developing practical, helpful relocation policies.”

If you would like to discuss your company’s relocation without obligation, contact Kevin. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call him on +44 (0) 1582 495495.



Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Managing International Relocation: The HR Perspective

Managing International Relocation: The HR Perspective

As the fallout of Brexit starts to become clearer, an increasing number of HR professionals are managing international relocations.
Working with an international move partner brings experience, proven expertise and a network of contacts to an organisation’s global mobility programme. However, there are still important issues for HR managers to consider beyond the physical relocation.

“As any HR professional knows, the essence of good employment relations is consultation, consultation, consultation. Even where the law does not require consultation it rarely does any harm,” employment barrister Jeffry Jupp told Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development. “This is particularly the case where an employer is considering relocating all or part of its business abroad.”

Jupp highlights the three key issues that HR managers should consider when all or part of a business relocates to a new country:

1. Contracts

Some employment contracts include an international mobility clause. In these cases, employers can legally enforce relocation provided that they are acting reasonably. This would include giving employees sufficient time to organize their affairs prior to relocating, for example. In addition, a reasonable compensation scheme and relocation package should be available to employees.

Jupp explains: “If employees refuse to relocate then their contracts can be terminated on notice and any claims for unfair dismissal defended on the grounds that the dismissals were for some other substantial reason. Provided the mobility clauses are enforceable and there has been proper consultation with the employees, such dismissals are likely to be held to be fair.”

2. Redundancy

If no international mobility clause exists and an employee refuses to relocate, then redundancy may be involved. This is the case when the location of an entire element of the business operation is changing or if the demand for particular work is reducing, for example. The consultation period involved will vary according to the number of employees affected by the redundancy situation.

3. TUPE

If the employer is to change – to a different subsidiary company, for example – then there will have to be a TUPE consideration. This applies when an enforceable international mobility clause exists. Jupp says: “Under TUPE, employees have the right to object to a transfer but if they do so they will not generally be treated as having been dismissed.”

He adds: “However, if the transfer involves a substantial change to the employees’ working conditions that is to their material detriment, they are entitled to resign and claim constructive dismissal. There is a real risk that relocation to a different country may, depending on the precise circumstances, amount to such a change to working conditions.”

Kevin Wieczorek, Sales and Marketing Director of BTR International says: “We manage and co-ordinate the physical moves, enabling HR managers to concentrate upon the contractual and business element of relocations. We support our clients to ensure that every move is as stress-free as possible.”

For a no-obligation discussion about your organisation’s relocation policy and plans, contact Kevin by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or calling him on +44 (0) 1582 495495.
Obstacles to Global Mobility

Obstacles to Global Mobility

Mercer has released the results of its latest Worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies and Practices.
This research analyses answers from 831 participants. It addresses the most critical policy and practice elements of international assignments. These include the reasons why global mobility sometimes fails.

The report compares the responses given in 2012 with the results from 2015. In all the results shown below, participants could give multiple answers.

Top obstacles to global mobility

2012 results:
1. Cost - 69%
2. Dual career/family-related issues – 64%
3. Career management issues – 45%
4. Lack of package attractiveness – 42%
5. Hardship/remoteness of locations – 41%

2015 scores:
1. Dual career/family-related issues – 37%
2. Cost - 35%
3. Hardship/remoteness of locations – 25%
4. Career management issues – 23%
5. Lack of package attractiveness – 18%

All the barriers reduced in significance in 2015 compared with 2012, with ‘cost’ no longer topping the table. This suggests that organisations have increased efficiencies in global relocation, from operational issues through to assignee support.

Why international assignments fail:

Reasons in 2012:

1. Difficulty adjusting to host country – 64%
2. Poor candidate selection – 58%
3. Spouse/partner unhappiness – 58%
4. Poor job performance – 52%

Causes in 2015:
1. Poor candidate selection – 44%
2. Difficulty adjusting to host country – 41%
3. Spouse/partner unhappiness – 41%
4. Poor job performance – 41%

Again, all reasons stated for the failure of international assignments have reduced in significance. In line with the results for global mobility obstacles, the support offered assignees’ partners/families has improved. As a result, this factor is less likely to prevent and/or fail international assignments.

“It is good to see that barriers to international assignments are becoming less significant,” says Kevin Wieczorek, Sales and Marketing Director of BTR International. “Successful global mobility depends upon a combination of effective relocation policies and thorough support packages for assignees and their families. The results show that more organisations are achieving this blend.”

If you would like to discuss your company’s relocation practises, contact Kevin for an informal discussion. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call him on +44 (0) 1582 495 495.


Image courtesy of rajcreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

International Relocation Post-Brexit

International Relocation Post-Brexit

Last month’s shock EU Referendum result means that Britain will leave the European Union.
The Independent reports that as many as one in five businesses surveyed by the Institute of Directors are considering moving some of their operations outside the UK. Many firms are looking for a ‘new London’ and weighing up whether they should stay in London… or move on.

In May this year, BTR International conducted a survey to discover how the outcome of the European referendum would affect talent mobility. The majority of companies involved stated that a Brexit vote would affect their relocation activities. Responses included:

“It will make it harder and decrease our preparedness to do so.”

“Presumably it will affect immigration both into the UK for EU nationals and into the EU for UK nationals which will have a big impact on businesses.”

As the dust is settling after the outcome, what are the main outcomes for international relocation?

1. Movement of Labour
This is one of the biggest areas affecting European assignments. Many global companies see assignments within Europe as ‘local’. If Britain withdraws from free movement of labour, extra legislation may be involved with creating new assignments.

But – it will take at least two years for Britain to leave the European Union – by which time many current assignments are scheduled to have finished. It is important to note that the recent Brexit decision is unlikely to affect most existing European projects.

2. Currency Markets
Since 24th June, the pound has dropped in value against most other currencies, significantly against the Euro and the Dollar. This will affect the ongoing cost of the assignment in Europe.

3. Reassurance
Concerns over residency and EU workers’ rights may be unsettling for UK workers who are currently on assignment abroad. Similarly, people working on assignments within the UK may have concerns over whether they are able to stay within their current location. Reassurance and support for employees and their families is important.

4. Business Relocation
The international relocation of entire operations rather than purely assignees is a distinct possibility. Many organisations are considering whether to remain UK-based. This is especially true within financial and technology sectors. HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Vodaphone are all actively investigating relocating thousands of staff out of Britain. However – this may change as a clear vision of future opportunities emerges.

5. Communicate!
The political situation and action for Brexit are emerging slowly. “Everyone involved in international relocation should be prepared to listen, consider options and make agile business decisions which look after the needs of the business and the assignees,” says Kevin Wieczorek, Sales and Marketing Director of BTR International.


Contact Kevin if you would like an informal chat about your relocation policy and practices in light of the Brexit vote. Email via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call him on +44 (0) 1582 495 495.