Currently, the corporate climate is such that between mergers, acquisitions, and buy-outs, many employees find themselves being asked to relocate. In fact, 40% of moves performed each year are job-related. If you find yourself in the position of being asked to relocate for your job, it is important that you are proactive in negotiating the terms of your relocation package up front. The optimal time to discuss moving expenses is before accepting a new job. Addressing relocation details ahead of time helps you to avoid any surprises when it comes time to move.
Companies typically handle direct moving expenses in one of three ways. Some companies give their employees a lump-sum payment to cover all move-related expenses (the moving company, hotels, meals, and mileage.) Other companies opt to pay for all move related expenses up to a certain amount, based on the receipts you submit upon the completion of your move. Finally, some companies have a moving services provider who is responsible for coordinating all moves within the company and covering the related expenses.
Typically, bigger companies provide a more standardized relocation package than smaller companies. No matter what the size of the company though, the following expenses are typically covered in a corporate relocation:
-Temporary lodging costs.Try to negotiate these terms so that they are as flexible as possible. Because it is often difficult to determine how long it will take to find and move into a new home, it is always a good idea to negotiate an option where temporary living arrangements for 30, 60, or 90 days is possible if needed.
-Travel costs. If you end up having to move prior to your family, due to school or other reasons, find out if costs for commuting between your new and old home are covered.
–Looking for a home. Almost half of all companies cover at least one house-hunting trip to the new location. Check and see if this also covers expenses for your spouse to accompany you on the trip.
-Packing and moving costs. Many companies team with moving companies that specialize in corporate relocation (such as Sorensen Mayflower!) During negotiations, make sure that you are clear on what all is covered. Most companies cover the cost of hiring a moving company and all packing and transportation fees.
Contingent upon your new position and the size of the company for which you will be working, there are also other moving related perks that you might want to consider asking about. These include:
-Help selling your current home. Some companies will take on the monthly payments, taxes, and insurance of your current home while it is on the market and until it is sold. They may also offer you a price guarantee on your home, which means that if you sell your house yourself, the company will pay the difference between the net selling price and a price on which you agree. Other companies may offer you an alternative price guarantee. This means that if you cannot sell your home within a certain amount of time, the company will buy it at a price that you agree upon. Many companies will also offer to pay commission fees and other costs related to the sale of your home.
-Paid time off for house hunting.
-Shipment of your vehicle.
-Closing costs. Some companies will pay the closing costs on your new home, or will buy a percentage point off your interest rate.
-One-time payment for move-related incidentals. This might include fees for installing appliances, setting up utilities, registering your vehicle, and having your home cleaned.
-Job placement for a spouse. About 50% or companies will offer to help the spouse of the employee find a new job, usually through a referral to a recruiter or a job placement agency.
After discussing all of these options with your employer and agreeing on a relocation package, it is always a good idea to get it in writing. This way, all parties have clear expectations of what will take place during the process of the relocation.