Moving to another location for work can be expensive, but your employer may be able to help with a relocation package, whether you are moving to another city or another country. Before you accept a relocation package, you need to take time to communicate your wants and needs with your employer.
By spending time reviewing the contents of an offered relocation package, you can negotiate the terms of the package to fit your individual requirements. Here is a look at what employees can generally expect from their companies’ relocation packages.
You should expect your company to contribute to the financial costs of various moving expenses. Moving costs can include a packing service, in which your company enlists and pays for the services of a packing company, and the expenses of transporting your belongings to another location. Your employer should also provide adequate insurance for the transportation of your belongings, to cover any items that may become damaged during the moving process.
Home-selling Assistance and Temporary Accommodation
It can take time to sell your home and find another. It can be expensive too. So, your company should assist in selling your property. That could include paid advertising or reimbursement fees for any profits you lose via a quick sale. Typically, companies will also pay for house-hunting trip expenses, such as transportation, food expenses, and child care. Your company could also provide temporary housing in your place of relocation while you look for housing of your own. Generally, companies provide temporary housing for 30 days. Some companies also provide the cost of renting a storage unit for your belongings while you get settled.
A Tax Gross-up
A tax gross-up refers to your employer increasing your gross payment to take withheld taxes into account. That means you do not have to be out of pocket. Tax gross-ups are most common in the United States, due to relocation taxation changing after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which essentially removed tax exemptions and deductions for employment relocation.
Relocating for work brings about multiple types of change, not just for you, but also for your family. If you have a family, relocating can be more complex. In some cases, companies can help by providing assistance for your dependents to obtain employment and finding schools or childcare for your children.
Seeing as the cost of living varies from one region to another, some companies may provide commensurate pay adjustments or relocation bonuses to help you cover the difference in expenses. This added incentive is not offered by all companies, but if you are moving somewhere more costly, you should ask your company about the possibility of pay adjustments or relocation bonuses.
If you are relocating to another country, and that country’s people do not speak English as a first language, your employer may cover the cost of language classes as part of your relocation package. If you are planning an international move, you should definitely check whether your company provides this option.
Types of Relocation Packages
In addition to finding out whether your company will provide all or some of the above costs, it is important you know how your relocation package expenses will be paid before you decide to make the move. Typically, relocation costs are paid to employees in one of the following ways:
- Lump-sum. This involves you receiving a lump sum of money in advance. It is your responsibility to use the money for all of your relocation expenses.
- Reimbursement. This involves you paying for all of your relocation costs upfront and then getting reimbursed by your employer. If this is the option offered, make sure you keep all of your receipts.
- Third-party Relocation. This involves your company hiring an outside relocation service to help you with your various moving costs.
- Expatriation Assistance. This type of relocation package is specifically for employees who move abroad. Expatriation assistance goes beyond the costs for expenses like transportation. It often includes things like helping your spouse to obtain a work visa and providing paid trips to your new location to help you find accommodation prior to your move. It could also involve helping you with cultural assimilation once you have relocated.
Negotiating Your Relocation Package
Once you have received your relocation package from your company, you can scrutinize it to see which of the above elements it includes. Review the package carefully to determine whether it covers all or most of your needs. If it does not, you could negotiate your package with your company.
Begin by reviewing what is included in the relocation package. Know what is covered and how you will be reimbursed. Then identify potential areas that you feel your company is not adequately covering. For example, your company may provide a paid trip to search for housing in the area of relocation. But if childcare reimbursement is not offered, you may want to negotiate so that your company includes funds for someone watching over your children while you house hunt.
If your firm is not offering the relocation package that you want, you could consider looking at other packages from industry competitors. If you get an offer from another company, inform your current employer of the specifics the competing business is offering to see if you can get a better deal with your current company.
You could even swap one element of your relocation package for another. For instance, if you are able to cover the cost of a packing service yourself, you could negotiate childcare funds in place of the packing service reimbursement. Not all relocation packages are negotiable, but it is always worth finding out. When your company values your specific business skills, it should be pretty accommodating to your needs. Just make sure you communicate honestly and assertively. But why is assertive communication an effective strategy? Check out this informative article to find out more.
At the end of the day, if you negotiate confidently with reasonable requests, you could get the precise elements of a relocation package that you are looking for.
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