36% to review impact of Brexit-related currency devaluation on globally mobile staff


More than a third (36%) of employer respondents have either reviewed or plan to review the cost impact of currency devaluation following the Brexit vote on their globally mobile employees, according to research by Mercer.

Its Planning for Brexit: talent implications report, which surveyed senior HR, talent, and reward directors at 160 organisations, also found that 18% of respondents have allowed employees on long-term assignments abroad to split their pay or be paid in an alternate currency.

The research also found:

  • 33% of respondents say that employees assigned to work abroad for two years or more have expressed concern or requested additional compensation in light of the devaluation of the British pound (GBP) following the EU referendum outcome.
  • 51% do not expect employee morale to suffer following Brexit, and 48% believe staff morale will suffer.
  • 82% of respondents feel it is their duty to keep staff informed about the potential impact of Brexit, with 11% already openly communicating with staff.
  • 74% of respondents believe employees are at least somewhat concerned by the impact of the referendum vote.
  • 58% of respondents believe their workforce plans will change in the longer term as a result of the EU referendum vote.
  • 66% of respondents anticipate a stronger focus on developing and promoting talent from within the organisation.

Mark Quinn (pictured), head of UK talent at Mercer, said: “To counter a dip in morale and employee engagement while uncertainty around Brexit persists, employers should take a considered approach to communications. [Organisations] should be transparent around what Brexit means to them and communicate this and any expected impact on employees in a timely manner, to all employees.”

Kate Fitzpatrick, senior global mobility expert, added: “Following the referendum vote, immigration queries from from European nationals and currency protection concerns have been the most immediate challenges for those managing international mobility. The devaluation of the pound has negatively impacted the value of salary and allowances paid exclusively in GBP, leading to employee queries on currency protection mechanism and the payment and timing of cost of living adjustments in particular.”