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We recently hosted our first in-person NEMF in the UK since March 2020.

After such a long time in the virtual event world due to the pandemic restrictions, it was so lovely to be able to see everyone again in-person. And holding it at St James’ Park, home to Newcastle United FC, made this one to remember.

About the forum

Set up in 2018, K2’s NEMF forms part of our worldwide series of global mobility hot topic update and networking events. We aim to provide a totally impartial opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing amongst global mobility and HR peers free of charge. If you’re based in the North East, and interested in joining this impartial event in the future, please contact

Summary of key points

This impartial event for global mobility managers in the North East region provided a variety hot topics and trending issues which were presented by our subject experts with opportunity for group discussion and interactive activities.

Led by K2’s Huw Thomas, UK Client Development Manager, and Richard Rutledge, Executive Business Director, with support from Bailey Johnson, Client Account Manager, and Luc Jones, Relocation Manager, attendees got to hear the latest updates, hot topics and trending issues in presentations from subject experts from Michael Joyce, Senior Director EMEA from AirInc, Katherine Robson, Global Mobility Partner at Sage, and Davyd Fisher, Director for Global Mobility Service from Grant Thornton.

Remote ‘working away’

Katherine Robson from Sage focused on remote ‘working away’.

Sage’s experience

  • Sage implemented their remote working away policy in May 2021 due to an increased appetite for flexibility driven by business talent need and to support recruitment and retention initiatives
  • Sage’s Work Away policy provides employees with the opportunity to work from another Sage approved location (outside of their home location where they are employed or based) or jurisdiction for a period of up to 10 calendar weeks in a rolling 12 month period.
  • Employees can work away from a list of approved locations that includes all locations Sage operates from, along with a selection of others. For colleagues based in North America, they are able to work in another state/jurisdiction.
  • All Sage colleagues are eligible to take advantage of the Work Away benefit, but must confirm they are able to perform their role safely, securely and effectively taking the following into account: nature of role, continue to perform highly and work core hours of home location; confirmation of satisfactory right to work and social security requirements; confirmation of appropriate travel insurances and reviewed security implications.

Breakout discussion topics 

What is your perfect work away process?

  • Implementation of a compliance checklist that is followed.
  • HR system to store the journey for compliance purposes.
  • Administration with HR/line manager.
  • Global mobility providing overview.

What are some internal blockers to flexible working and why?

  • Certain roles need to be in-country.
  • From a sustainability perspective, it could risk going against initiatives to reduce flights.

What are some examples of external blockers to flexible working?

  • Internal tax can take weeks to review.
  • Talent attraction vs potential reputational risk of compliance outage.


Michael Joyce from AirInc focused on sustainability in global mobility.

What can mobility do about sustainability?

  • Promote and create behavioural change — both personally as an organisation and through supply chains and partners to implement sustainability practices.
  • Use it as a competitive advantage — employees looking for flexible and sustainable employment solutions eg remote working so can from part of talent attraction and retention plans. Look to broaden the goals of an assignment to invest in local host community. Avoid greenwashing.
  • Responsibility to influence and drive change — usually assignees have large carbon footprints so there is an opportunity to guide and advise on the need to more closely assess the true need and value of an assignment.

What ways can sustainability be implemented?

  • Implementing reusable boxes to reduce materials.
  • Hiring an environmental expert as a sustainability policy champion with the aim to make travel more sustainable.
  • Only use sustainable providers for travel.
  • Sustainable office spaces.
  • Using a travel booking platform that asks whether you have the option to travel more sustainably or even work from home instead.


Davyd Fisher from Grant Thornton provided a UK tax update.

Health and Social Care Levy (HSCL)

  • National insurance uplift of 1.25% in April 2022 which will impact benefits tax and reduces take home salaries.
  • An increase in dividend tax rate by 1.25%.
  • Impact on company policies in terms of cost to the business.
  • Grant Thornton believe that rather than changing the NIC legislation, HMRC have added further tax.
  • Global mobility may need to think how this fits into policies when mobility programmes equalise tax.
  • You could make NIC payments ahead of April 2022 to get into the historic system.

EU social security

Posted Worker Rules (PWR)

Before Brexit

  • Remain insured in home country providing – expected duration should be less than 24 months and should not be sent to replace another posted worker.
  • An extension possible of up to five years if individual benefitted.
  • Certificate PDA1 issued.

After Brexit

  • Detached worker rules broadly follow PWR – duration should not exceed 24 months and should not be sent to replace another detached worker.
  • But no extensions possible beyond 24 months.
  • On return to UK, the individual must be on home-based payroll for at least two months to return to home social security.

Multi-State Worker Rules (MSW)

Before Brexit

Apply if more than 5% work duties in a member state – substantial (25%+ workday s in state of residence, pay where resident, less than 25% in state of residence pay where employer has registered office or place of business.

After Brexit

Rules are broadly unchanged.

Remote working considerations and statistics

  • COVID-19 pandemic has meant an increase in individuals working in jurisdictions where they are not employed, leading to increased discussion, consideration and review of remote working policies.
  • Need to think about — PE implications, corporate residence, indirect taxes, host country withholding obligations, income tax position and potential double taxation for individuals, residence issues, social security impact, additional expenses for individuals working from home.
  • 93% of global mobility workers are confident they know where their population is working.
  • 33% confirm they report all their days to HR.
  • 65% admit to knowing they have tax liability.

Plans are already afoot to run a spring/summer catch up in May/June 2022.

If you’re based in the North East and interested in joining this impartial event in the future please contact

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