How the homes of the super-rich boost the UK economy

Whilst it might be easy to envy the ultra-rich, they contribute more to the UK…

Whilst it might be easy to envy the ultra-rich, they contribute more to the UK economy than might be perceived. Greycoat Lumleys, a London-based international recruitment agency
specialising in staffing for private households and estates, has reported a huge upsurge in the number of jobs being offered within private households.

The Sunday Times’ Rich List recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Interestingly, the backgrounds of individuals now peaking the charts has changed dramatically. Robert Watts, the name behind the survey, states, ‘In 1989, our inaugural guide to wealth was dominated by the landed gentry. Three decades on and it’s the self-made at the top of the tree’*.

A high-net worth family will typically employ four to five members of staff (including a housekeeper, one or two nannies, depending on the number of children), whilst an ultra-high-net worth Individual’s household could employ up to 30 members of staff.

Of course, every household and family is unique and these are general statistics based on a very broad spectrum. What is clear however, is the high level of employment which these households offer. Although based in the family home rather than an office block, the professional principles and work ethos are similar, with the added dimension that confidentiality and discretion are qualities that remain supreme.

Debbie Salter, Managing Director of Greycoat Lumleys states,

“Within the past two years, we’ve seen our nanny and housekeeping staff section grow from two employees to ten. This is purely to keep up with the demand we are seeing from clients.”

Whilst wage growth within Britain in 2017 was 2.6%, rising to 3.1% in 2018*, Greycoat Lumleys’ 2018 salary survey highlights a significantly higher percentage increase within the private household staffing sector in London. Live-in butlers’ salaries increased by 8.2% within two years, starting at £38,000 per annum whilst live-out butlers almost doubled that by 14.2%, at a rate of between £40,000 to £50,000. The increasingly popular housekeeper-nanny role has proven its high demand by the salary increase: a live-out role increased in two years by 15.3% to between £30,000 to £41,000 whilst the live-in roles soared to 36.36%* at £30,000 to £33,500.

Debbie Salter adds,

“It’s undeniable that the affluent families make a contribution to the economy that is too often ignored. These families offer stable employment where career paths are varied, and employees have the ability to blossom and progress. Furthermore, they allow individuals to adapt and hone their skills and expertise within an industry which celebrates diversity. We’ve seen a growth in demand for male nannies and female close protection officers, for example. What’s heartening is that we’re seeing an increasing number of candidates who are looking at private household positions as a long-term career choice, with career development and suitably rewarding salaries of up to £50,000 per annum for PAs and £45,000 per year for estate managers.”


Image courtesy of Greycoat Lumleys