On April 20, 2017, the Province of Ontario enacted a 15 per cent non-resident speculation tax (NRST) on the purchase or acquisition of properties in Metropolitan Toronto and its surrounding areas, referred to as the “Greater Golden Horseshoe” (GGH).
The GGH incorporates the greater Toronto area, including Toronto itself as well as Brant, Dufferin, Durham, Haldimand, Halton, Hamilton, Kawartha Lakes, Niagara, Northumberland, Peel, Peterborough, Simcoe, Waterloo, Wellington and York.
Similar to the 15% NRST tax imposed for greater Vancouver area in British Columbia in August 2016, the Ontario NRST, which went into effect on April 21, 2017, is intended to hamper the bid-up by foreign buyers/corporations in the metropolitan Toronto residential housing markets. The announcement was included as part of the 16-point proposal introduced in the Ontario government’s Fair Housing Plan, which aims to bring stability to Ontario’s real estate market.
While research shows a growing number of millennials choosing to purchase homes, the majority of this demographic still prefer to rent, especially in metropolitan areas, which are far more attractive to skilled employees looking for work/life opportunities in vibrant cities.
Of course, as the experts say, living in these locations ain’t cheap. Especially in New York City, where the median rent for a two bedroom apartment is $1,638 in the metro area and $3,895 in Manhattan. Groceries in NYC cost 28-39% more than the national average and public transportation is about 75% higher than the average city.
Companies certainly feel that this can be a deterrent to mobile employees, which is why cost-of-living allowances are on the rise. According to Worldwide ERC’s recent Relocation Assistance, U.S. Domestic Moves survey, 39 percent of companies reported using such allowances in 2016 versus 32 percent in 2012. Among companies reporting difficulty in transferring employees to high-cost areas, the most frequently cited reason (by 80 percent of respondents) was “very high housing costs.” Continue Reading →
The Right to Rent scheme, which requires landlords or agents in England and Wales to check immigration status of all prospective adult renters, came into force in May 2014. This scheme was put in place to tackle illegal immigration and protect public services and access to the private rented sector for lawful residents.
Earlier this month, the Home Office announced that as of 1 December 2016, Right to Rent checks are now mandatory and failure to conduct them will be a criminal, rather than a civil, offence.
That means that after the first of December, landlords could be charged with a criminal offence if they know, or have reasonable cause to believe, that they are letting to an illegal migrant. Moreover, landlords will be able to obtain a notice from the Home Office to end tenancies for occupants with no Right to Rent. Continue Reading →
The unfortunate certainties of life are death, taxes and, in the case of corporate mobility managers, the never-ending pressure to reduce costs. I am constantly asked by clients to help them achieve that delicate balance between maintaining benefits levels that keep employees engaged and productive while avoiding cost spiral.
Beyond the policy provisions themselves that account for 98% of all costs, clients should examine the processes they use to administer mobility. Every program I review is ripe with opportunities to improve their operational efficiencies. This can be difficult for mobility managers comfortable and familiar with their current processes to acknowledge or see, but often our “outside” perspective can shed light on improvements.
What follows are a number of time tested ideas that might lead to efficiencies and/or cost savings for you: Continue Reading →
The rock band Van Halen will forever be remembered for spandex, teased hair and changing lead singers more often than most people change socks. But there’s another side to VH that you likely never suspected: the band that launched such hit songs as “Hot for Teacher” and “Jamie’s Cryin” pioneered a unique methodology for spotting red flags that can be valuable to today’s corporate mobility managers.
Yes, you read that correctly.
It all starts with M&Ms. Brown M&Ms, to be precise.
As one of the world’s leading workforce mobility companies, we are committed to protecting the private data of the mobile employees we move and the organizations that deploy them. Our technology framework has been built to meet or exceed the international standards for data security, privacy and compliance, and we remain vigilant to ever-evolving advances and updates.
In accordance with this commitment, we were happy to learn that Weichert Workforce Mobility has been certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce as compliant with the new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Shield Framework.
This Framework was developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission to provide companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a standard for upholding European Union data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the EU to the U.S. in support of transatlantic commerce.
With this certification, Weichert Workforce Mobility gives its clients the confidence that the personal data of their mobile employees is being managed within the strictest protection methods and processes, and that Weichert is employing safeguards that meet European legislation guidelines for the processing of personal data being transferred to non-EU countries.
With talent shortages well documented and voluntary turnover largely caused by a lack of career development opportunities, your global workforce mobility program can be a strategic tool for supporting diversity and inclusion. What follows are some best practices to consider as you secure meetings with HR/Talent Management to align your 2016 goals:
Unfortunately, women are still in the minority among the expatriate community, as stereotypes often prevent managers from asking females to consider an assignment. For example, assuming a young female executive would rather settle down and have children than advance her career through an assignment. Some ways that companies can increase the number of women considered for international assignments include: Continue Reading →
Last month, I partnered with Mark Frederick of IOR to present a webinar on the alignment of workforce mobility and talent management. As a follow-up to that session, Mark has written a guest post for our blog that expounds upon some of the concepts raised during the webinar. Specifically, the critical but often overlooked practice of assignment candidate selection.
The hallmark of a savvy Talent Mobility professional and department is behaving both strategically and proactively. One of the more neglected areas of Global Mobility support is on the front end of international assignments. Too often, candidates are chosen quickly without adequate decision making and then whisked away into support services before they leave the country.
A stronger, more strategic approach is to build talent pools of employees who would be ideal candidates for a global assignment. This type of process is all about identifying talent proactively, and the best place to start is with the business unit leaders. Mobility professionals are often “invisible” to the business units, so reaching out to them proactively will not only let them know who you are, but also brand you as a strategic business partner within the organization. Ask the business unit leaders to identify the talent they have that they think would be both interested and qualified for an international assignment and capture that group in a database. Continue Reading →
As companies face tighter competition for the best available talent, internships provide an opportunity to fuel their talent pipeline and present themselves as an employer of choice. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the intern conversion rate in 2015 was 51.7 percent, making internships a healthy recruiting solution. Even more importantly, this report indicated that employees who completed an internship (or co-op program) with their employer are more likely to still be with the company at both the one-year and five-year retention benchmarks. Continue Reading →
Normally around this time of year, we start having internal discussions about why the real estate market activity has been sluggish or why transfer volumes are not as anticipated. For the past two years this was a short discussion and the convenient scapegoat has been “the weather” and the “slow winter season.”
This year, however, I would be hard pressed to call the market sluggish and I could not possibly in good conscience blame the weather. With employment steady and home sale activity strong (up 11% from a year ago) the spring market looks like a favorable one for most mobility programs, provided that companies are still implementing our best practices, which include requiring employees to list aggressively at the onset of the marketing period. With a sellers’ market prevailing in most regions, employees can expect robust showing activity which should translate into faster employee sales, provided they are realistic in their asking price.
January, as it turns out, gave up late holiday returns according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), as sales of existing homes unexpectedly rose to a six-month high—the latest sign that the economy remains on firmer ground despite slowing global growth. Continue Reading →