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Gerson and CBA Global Mobility Event gets great feedback

Managing Mobility between the UK and Australia

On Wednesday morning, 20 June 2018, Gerson Relocation and Commonwealth Bank of Australia hosted an event for managing global mobility between the UK and Australia.

There is a strong global relationship between these two countries and is a key route covered by Gerson Relocation who regularly help moving families and professionals to Australia and relocating them into the UK.  For global businesses such Rio Tinto, WorleyParsons, KPMG, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the companies represented by the other delegates in the room, this is a strategic centre for global mobility and one which presents a set of unique challenges.

Speakers from Rio Tinto, WorleyParsons, KPMG and CBA at the Gerson Relocation Australia Global Mobility event


Key Challenges for Assignments to and from Australia

The discussion panel covered a great deal in the time provided.  The session started with an overview of the programmes being operated by the speakers, covering policy, structuring and resourcing models.  The conversation then moved on to challenges faced from a programme level and assignment perspective.

Unsurprisingly, time zones and distance factors became a topic of discussion and there were multiple strategies presented to address this fundamental issue, although lack of sleep was generally accepted as a result of managing programmes across two such extreme time zones.

Policies was an interesting area, with a view that simplification was best for managing global mobility programmes, but recognising that the need of business will often counter that approach and demand more flexibility – the trick is in getting that balance right.

It was noted that for the companies in the room, Australia is the most expensive source of talent in the world.

  • The TSS visa was referenced multiple times throughout the session as a barrier to mobility and assignments, in some cases assignments that had previously taken place were not possible at all.
  • Technology was a relatively small conversation, but it was acknowledged that a dedicated technology system would be a key cost ticket for many in the room. It was useful for bridging some of the communication issues and useful apps such as Slack and Yammer were considered to be a convenient and easy option for many.  The emphasis was that technology for assignment management was not considered to be a silver bullet and that it should be employed where it makes sense but ultimately you still need expertise and knowledge.
  • Housing and education options for assignments were covered as well as quarantine considerations in relation to HHG moving.
  • Setting up an assignee in their new destination was covered too, with CBA providing guidance on the best way of ensuring assignees arriving on both sides of the world can be set up and financially enabled very simply – today you only need to ask 11 questions to open an account between the UK and Australia.
  • Managing pensions was an area that was raised, specifically how to manage pensions administration.  The answer is of course, down to your company policy.  In relation to DC pensions, some of the companies responded that they localise and others said that they leave the responsibility to the employee to manage their pension affairs. DB pensions with a historical record presented an additional level of complexity.


Findings Report from the session 

A copy of the session notes are available for download as of 11 July 2018 .  These provide an overview of the key findings from the day, with additional information useful for any HR, Global Mobility and Employers with assignments to and from Australia.


Some Key Stats

Attendance: 54
Audience: Global Mobility, HRD and Comp & Ben
Key contributors:
Alex Wayne, @Selina Jones-May, @Benaisha Banaji, @Larissa Dale, @Anita Blanchett, Andreas Geronimos, @Andy Elson:
Companies presenting:
Rio Tinto, WorleyParsons, KPMG, Commonwealth Bank, Newland Chase, Gerson Relocation
Topics: Program management, #Assignment types, #Immigration, Expat #Tax, #pensions, Financial and banking, #Relocation, #Technology, #Lumpsum, #Housing, #HHG Customs, #Settlingin
Feedback score: 4.6/5 stars #globalmobility


Upcoming events

  • Japan Assignments
  • UK rental market update for Global Mobility
  • Moving senior executives – an insider’s guide to selecting a provider
  • Graduate moves – making it a success
  • Global mobility technology – which works best?
  • Managed lump sum moves
  • Assignment management programmes for small to mid-size plans
  • Managing education in global mobility policies


Register for the next event here:


Some photos from the event

The first non stop commercial flight between the UK and Australia was the inspiration for the event.

The delegates are responsible for managing assignments between the UK and Australia

Time to network and talk through some of the points

The panel taking questions and sharing their experience

Global Mobility and HRDs networking


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