October 2017

BUILD / October 2017 7 NEWS , New analysis of the biggest commer- cial property sales completed in the UK capital since Brexit, published today by property and construction consultants McBains Cooper, shows international in- vestment remaining strong, with Asian buyers accounting for over 50% of the total value of sales. McBains Cooper, the firm behind the study, is a consulting and de- sign agency specialising in prop- erty, infrastructure and construc- tion. It has operations in the UK, Europe, the Mediterranean rim, USA and Latin America. The study analyzing the major deals worth £100m-plus com- pleted since the EU referendum shows that more than 40 per cent were by Asian buyers alone: 13 investors from Hong Kong, two from Singapore and two from Chi- na. The total of the 41 £100m-plus deals was £10.89bn. The 17 deals involving Asian buyers were worth £5.3bn of this total – almost 50 per cent of the total. The 41 transactions included two that broke the record for single building sales: £1.15bn for the Leadenhall Building (The Chee- segrater) in May 2017 and £1.3bn for 20 Fenchurch Street (The Walkie Talkie) in July 2017. And although these two re- cord-breaking transactions were completed in the last few months, nearly half of all the £100m-plus deals took place within six months of the referendum. Purchasers from Germany com- prised the next biggest group of overseas investors, with six deals accounting for a combined total of £1.9bn. Gareth Hird, Commercial Direc- tor, McBains Cooper, comment- ed on the findings and what they show about the UK’s post-Brexit housing market. “This is an important vote of con- fidence from International inves- tors in the UK property market as we approach EU withdrawal. “It shows that the UK is still an attractive proposition for commer- cial property – prime assets com- pare favorably with equivalents in Hong Kong and New York and the weakness of sterling makes the UK market more attractive.” Drawn up from mon- itoring more than 13 million days absence across more than 180,000 employees, this sector accounted for 8.79 Days Lost Per Employee (DLPE) over the past 12 months. This is more than double that of entertainment and finance and insurance and above the national average of 7.2. This is just one of the statistics revealed in a quarterly Index re- port, the “Absence Management Barometer” compiled by absence management specialists, First- Care. The report looks at data taken from the company’s nurse-led absence system, which is then used as a benchmarking tool for UK organisations to help them to reduce absenteeism and manage their corporate health costs. Industry breakdown And, in the first breakdown by industry sector, housing had the third highest absence rate behind the NHS in first place and then charities, out of 13 examined sec- tors. David Hope, CEO for FirstCare, said: “We saw mixed results across all industry sectors which demonstrates that when it comes to managing absence in the work- place there is no “one size fits all” solution. “For this 12-month period housing returned absence rates above the national average - but only just. We are aware that people work- ing in this sector are often un- der immense pressures but with the right absence management policies in place it can be turned around.” There is a clear variance in trends across all sectors. For example, people working in retail are likely to have greater interaction with members of the public and there- fore more susceptible to picking up illnesses passed on to them. London Housing Market Remains Strong Despite Brexit New analysis of London commercial property deals shows international real estate investment remaining strong, as Asian investment worth close to 50%of the £10.89bn total deals. Likewise the education sector where front-line staff have to potentially deal with hundreds of children – and hundreds of “bugs”, too – needs to be man- aged accordingly. Albeit only in short stints as, unsurprisingly, this sector sees a dramatic drop in ab- senteeism in the summer months when holidays are taken. Construction, engineering and manufacturing (grouped togeth- er) and the transport industry, on the other hand, are more prone to musculoskeletal strains and stresses. The former returning 8.47 DLPE over the 12 months, the latter is 8.08. Absenteeism up in summer months This is the second Index to be issued by FirstCare, and August saw a seven per cent rise in DLPE over May, which when nor- malised to the working population of 31 million, equates to an addi- tional 1.25 million people taking time off sick during the summer months. David Hope, CEO for FirstCare, said: “While we anticipate the winter months continually create challenges for employers and managers, summer surprisingly bring its own issues. “Rotas have to be reorganised as staff take holidays, while there is also the risk of employees taking time off for surgery caused by injuries as extra curricular activ- ities and excursions are more commonplace when the sun is shining. “Added to this, children being off school for a number of weeks can add strain and stress in the home – this should not be underestimat- ed or taken lightly.” This data exists to help organisa- tions recognise this and support them with their absent manage- ment policies. David added: “If employers can do just one thing here, it would be to recognise their occupational hazard.”