UK cities becoming more expensive for expatriates

UK cities have climbed the rankings of the world’s most expensive cities for expatriates to live in, according to research by HR consulting, outsourcing and investment service Mercer.

Aberdeen (144th), Glasgow (148th), Birmingham (150th) and Belfast (178th) were all ranked higher this year than in Mercer’s 2010 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

London has been named the world’s 18th most expensive city in the world for expatriates to live in, and, despite falling one place since last year, is the highest ranking UK city.

Ten most expensive cities

1.   Luanda, Angola
2.   Tokyo, Japan
3.   N’Djamena, Chad
4.   Moscow, Russia
5.   Geneva, Switzerland
6.   Osaka, Japan
7.   Zurich, Switzerland
8.   Singapore, Singapore
9.   Hong Kong, Hong Kong
10. São Paulo, Brazil

The rankings, which take into account the price of expenses such as rent, basic food items and petrol, found that the most expensive city for expatriates was Luanda in Angola, followed by Tokyo in Japan and N’Djamena in Chad.

Nathalie Constantin-Métrak, senior researcher at Mercer, warned that global employers need to understand the effect that these costs can have on internationally relocated employees.

“Multinational companies have long understood the competitive advantage of a globally mobile workforce, though the enduring challenge is to balance the cost of their expatriate programmes.

“Currency fluctuations, inflation, political instability and natural disasters are all factors that influence the cost of living for expatriates. It is essential that employers understand their impact for cost-containment purposes but also to ensure they retain talented employees by offering competitive compensation packages.”

Employers that are responsible for workers outside the UK can find information on international employment law on XpertHR International.

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