British workers moving abroad are as likely to be moved outside Europe as within it, reflecting the changing patterns of globalisation on trade and investment, the report said.
Manufacturers tend to relocate to Europe and financial services firms relocate to North America. Inside the UK, the South East is the most likely relocation destination and Northern Ireland the least likely.
Men are nearly twice as likely as women to move for promotion (54% as opposed to 31%), for staff development (29% versus 15%) or to answer a skills shortage (28% versus 16%).
The cost of relocation varied, from £10,000 for 66% of the respondents to £18,000 for 11%. However, organisations still have some way to go in helping guarantee house prices and mortgage redemption charges.
Human resources departments typically organise 78% of relocations, using outside help for removals or valuations. The reliance on HR is explained by the fact that 72% of organisations have not trained their managers in organising relocations.
"While the financial costs are naturally important, the real issues are about people," said Nick Isles, deputy director of advocacy at the Work Foundation.
"Relocation is a significant event for those involved, particularly if a family has to move abroad.
"Our research clearly showed that more and more organisations appreciate this and treat their employees as individuals. The sensitivities of those involved must be carefully balanced against the financial implications for the company.
"Employee relocation closely reflects the trends we see in business every day - for example, globalisation and the desire for the work/life balance, but also the predominance of men in senior management."
This was first published in October 2003