Common Components of a Job Relocation Package: Relocating for a job can be that fresh start you were waiting for. After all, you will be in a new location, with new co-workers, and a lot of new things to discover.
On the other side, the idea of moving (especially if you have a family) is no one’s favorite pastime. Depending on your situation, it may involve selling your house or backing out of a lease agreement. It may also involve finding new schools for the kids and asking your partner to uproot their career and try their chances at the new location.
Luckily, employers are (or they should be) aware of the inconvenience. Therefore, if the situation arrives, you can negotiate a convenient relocation package, to sweeten the deal. However, it’s important to understand just what can be included in this package and how to negotiate your way towards a nice relocation deal, without raising suspicions of greed from your future employer.
Common Components of a Job Relocation Package
At first, it’s a good idea to let them know your real situation in order to get them to empathize with you. Next, ask about their standard relocation package and focus on your most pressing needs such as help with selling the house or help with the actual moving.
But, before you even open up the discussion, let’s have a look at the most common components of a job relocation package and what exactly they mean (in terms of benefits):
A Lump Sum Package
The easiest way for an employer to get rid of your relocation needs is to offer a lump sum relocation package. This comes as a non-refundable sum that should help cover the initial costs of moving and living in a new place.
While this may sound great, you also need to know about relocation tax. In short, the amount you receive for relocation is considered additional income by the authorities. Therefore, at the end of the year, you will be the one to pay the related taxes. If you understand this aspect and feel the package is generous enough to compensate for it, this can be a great deal for both parties.
Still, before you say yes, do a few calculations to make sure the amount covers things like:
- The first month of rent at the new location
- The type of relocation (moving to a neighboring city vs moving to a different country or even continent)
- Do you have to get rid of any property you own (house, car, terrains)?
- Are you going to take your family with you?
- How much stuff do you plan to take with you? Do you need professional movers’ assistance or you can cover it by yourself?
All these details will help you understand just how much the relocation will cost, which is important when getting a lump sum.
Typical Relocation Package with Benefits
If they don’t offer a lump sum, some companies will be happy to provide their relocation employees with benefits such as:
Assistance with the Moving
This part means you will receive assistance from a professional moving company, with services like packing and unpacking included. The offer should also include U-haul rentals and other moving-related expenses such as boxes, containers, tape, and so on.
Of course, this should also include the actual cost of transporting everything to the final destination. This may also include your road trip costs such as airfare, gas, or bus/train tickets.
It takes time to find a house you like in a new location. Therefore, the company should offer short-term housing (up to three months) on a property that’s close to the office and can help the family integrate into the new landscape.
Quick tip: most companies that practice relocating their employees have some type of corporate housing to accommodate newcomers.
Assistance with the Home Sale/Lease Breaking
If the relocation is unexpected, you may have to leave behind a home or a rented apartment. In both situations, you can request help in finding a realtor to help with the sale or a way to settle the deal with a landlord before the lease expiration date. So, if you are breaking the lease, ask the company to cover any associated fees.
However, this is not necessarily included in the typical relocation package, so make sure to specify you would like help with these aspects.
Orientation and House-Hunting Trips
Once the relocation is over, you will be extremely busy at the office, trying to accommodate the new work environment. This means you won’t have the time and energy to go house-hunting after work hours. If you move with a partner, they may have a bit more time, but it’s best to do these activities before the actual job starts.
So, ask for a few paid trips back and forth to the new location in order to get a chance to know the area and maybe browse a few housing options. This way, you may even get to move into your new house, to avoid another move, a few months after you’ve settled in.
Storage Unit Rental
It may be easier to place your bigger items (appliances, furniture, and others) into storage until you manage to find a new place to live. If this is the case, ask the company to cover the rent for the storage unit until you can move everything out (or at least for a few months).
Assistance for the Family
If you have the uproot the entire family for this relocation, try and get some assistance for your loved ones as well. For instance, some companies offer job search help for the spouse (they may even have some great tips from local partners) and assist the parents in finding a good school/kindergarten/high school for their children.
If this is the case, they may also help the spouse build a strong CV, that fits the requirements of most local businesses.
Relocation is not something to take lightly, even if the new employer promises a more developed location with access to modern amenities and organizations. So, before you agree with their terms, make sure your relocation costs and inconvenience are covered.