What should an international relocation package include? - Part 2

Photo blog relocation package

Is your company relocating an employee overseas for the first time? If so, your company may not have a relocation policy in place, and perhaps not much knowledge of what relocation support you should offer your employee.

Read on to discover what points you could consider for inclusion in your relocation package or policy to ensure your employee is not left high and dry when it matters.

We have broken down the assignment cycle into three stages: pre-assignment, on assignment, and end of assignment. In part 2 of the international relocation package, we will consider some points for when the assignee is relocating.

 Part 2: Relocation

  1. Home country housing

What support will you offer the employee if they retain a property in the home location? Will you help them let it, sell it, or support vacant property management? Consider the assignment circumstances and whether the employee should be encouraged to keep their property.

If the assignee is renting in the home location, you may wish to consider covering costs incurred due to early lease termination.

2. Temporary accommodation

This could be short-term accommodation before the employee leaves the home country, and/or before they source rental accommodation in the host country. Do you offer both? Consider how long they should spend in temporary accommodation, bearing in mind serviced accommodation is of a high standard. If your employee gets too comfortable, they might want to stay there indefinitely.

3. Host country housing

Consider how your employee will find accommodation in the host location. Must the employee do it alone or will a relocation specialist be engaged? Take into account factors such as the employee’s time, the ability to source quality housing, and safety and security concerns.

Are you going to apply any rental caps? A relocation provider should be able to provide a range of appropriate allowances. Do not forget translation services if the tenancy agreement is not in your language. Whether the company or the employee is the named tenant on the lease depends on a number of factors. If the company is the named tenant, it is prudent to draw up an indemnity agreement between the employee and the company. This should prevent any unnecessary negative exposure to the company.

4. Utilities and taxes

Is the company paying or is the employee paying? If the employee is paying, take into account any difference between home and host utility charges and maybe compensate accordingly. Some countries will levy municipal taxes. In the interest of fairness, the employee should not be out of pocket for such expenses.

Photo blog relocation package

International relocation package - part 1

5. Moving and storage

Organisations commonly set a cap at a 40ft container. You might want to offer less for an unaccompanied assignee or if they take a furnished property. Do you wish to allow a little airfreight in addition to sea freight so that essentials can be transported quickly?

Also, think about what the company does not want to pay for, e.g. pet transfers, cars, boats, collections, items with an excessively high insurance value, etc.

6. Children and education

It is a given that if school-aged children accompany the assignee the company will provide assistance. You need to define this - will you consider nursery/kindergarten and university students? Ideally, you should aim to maintain curriculum continuity and the level of education that the children would enjoy in the home country. If the children do not speak the local language you may have to look at international schools and these can be costly.

Do not forget to include incidentals such as books, travel, canteen, uniform, and make it clear whether or not the company will pay for this.

7. Spousal support

This is often overlooked by many organizations; however, research has shown that a common reason why a relocation fails is that the spouse is unhappy. The spouse will have typically left their job and circle of friends to accompany their partner; the partner is at work and the children are in school so the spouse has no support or social networks. Specialist spousal services can include support such as job finding, CV building, interview preparation, right down to introducing them to local and expat clubs. Organizations provide either a capped financial amount or a time-restricted use of a service.

8. Vehicles (home country)

Your assignee may wish to ship their vehicle to the new location. Consider if the company wishes to absorb this cost. Will the assignee drive their vehicle to the host location? You may wish to reimburse them for mileage, import duties/fees and any necessary vehicle conversion costs. 

Getting your assignee on location is the first part of the relocating process, but there are several aspects that have to be taken into account once the assignee is relocated. In part 3 of the International relocation package we will discuss the factors that you will need to consider when the assignee is on location. Relocating an employee can be a challenging job for companies with no experience in this field. It is therefore important to work with a trusted partner with extensive knowledge in global mobility. 

Whether you’re moving your entire company or individual experts, your people need to feel at home and be up and running immediately at their new location. Brunel offers customisable, digital and flexible mobility services to ensure the smoothest transitions possible. From individually budgeted spending to full and extensive global mobility programs, Brunel offers the right solutions and supports your people every step of the way.