What Is a Relocation Package? (With Steps To Get One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employees are usually offered relocation packages to ease their transition into a new location. Getting a job relocation package that meets your needs is beneficial if you're moving for work, so it makes sense to take the time to think about what support you require. There is often considerable room for negotiation when it comes to job relocation assistance, so speak with your employer about their terms. In this article, we discuss what a relocation package is, explain how much they're worth and outline how to get one.

Related: Essential Job Relocation Tips To Help You Move Effectively

What do companies include in a relocation package?

A relocation package is an excellent way to ease the burden of moving location on your company's behalf, whether because of a company relocation or moving to a different branch. Every move is different, so it's important to review what's on offer, such as job relocation assistance or a relocation expenses list. This also gives you the opportunity to consider what's missing from your relocation package, which you can mention to your employer to negotiate an improved relocation expenses list.

Related: 7 Ways to Communicate Effectively at Work

How much are relocation expenses worth?

The value of relocation expenses varies greatly, as everyone has a unique living situation. Some people have to move with families, while others won't. As a result of this, relocation offers are often tweaked through negotiation to suit the specific needs of an employee.

Factors that are often considered when creating a relocation deal include:

  • How far is the employee moving? Is it to a different county or even a different country?

  • Do they currently own a home?

  • Do they have a family?

  • How many belongings do they want to take with them?

Companies are expected to provide sufficient resources and accommodations to ensure that an employee who is relocating can do so with minimal stress or hardship. Some of the things you can expect to see in a relocation deal include:

Professional packing services

If a company goes through with a staff relocation, they often provide a professional packing service to help with the boxing up and packaging of belongings. This usually includes organising, securely packing and moving the belongings ready for transport. It may also include unpacking services at the new location.

Moving services and insurance

Employers may also arrange for the removal and delivery of items going to the new location for staff. This may be part of the packing and unpacking service or handled separately. To make sure that all belongings are being protected, it's common to provide expenses for insurance on the belongings during delivery.

Help to sell the previous property

If a homeowner is relocating for your work, they may receive assistance from their employer to facilitate the sale of their home. This can either be by helping advertise the property for sale or offering financial reimbursement for any loss of profit that a speedy home sale creates. They may also offer to provide additional expenses, such as surveying and property valuations.

Help with house searching

A company may pay for expenses related to finding a house in a new location as part of a relocation package. This might include transportation fees and childcare if there are children in the family. It may also include additional expenses such as food and accommodation while house searching.

Temporary accommodation

If the new accommodation is unavailable until after the agreed-upon relocation date, the company can provide or pay for temporary accommodation for the employee and their family. This is usually temporary until more permanent housing can be found. Most relocation offers that include this stipulate that it can't exceed 30 days.

Travel expenses

When relocating to a new area for work, companies often cover travel costs in the relocation expenses. This can either reimburse the price of tickets for transport or the amount of mileage travelled by car. For car mileage, this usually accounts for both the cost of petrol and wear on the vehicle.

Additional relocation expenses

Relocation offers often include additional expenses depending on the employee's family situation. For example, things like a school relocation assistant to help children to settle into a new school or adding the cost of the temporary storage of household goods to the relocation expenses list. There may be other factors depending on an employees personal circumstances.

Different types of relocation payment

Relocation payments are available in a number of different formats depending on the company and the situation of the employee. Below we outline relocation payment examples and highlight their differences:

Lump-sum payment

A lump-sum payment or relocation fee offers an employee a single payment that covers all of the relocation expenses. Once they receive the payment, the employee uses that money to cover transportation, packing, moving and any additional expenses associated with relocation expenses.

Reimbursement

A relocation reimbursement package is a payment that is agreed upon after the relocation has taken place. The employee pays for all of the associated costs of the move and is fully reimbursed once the relocation is complete. This is a more flexible approach for some employees; provided they hold on to their receipts, they can claim back any expenses brought about from the relocation. Sometimes the company provides a relocation expenses list to act as a guide to the employee.

Third-party relocation

A third-party job relocation involves a professional relocation service that is brought in to facilitate the move. It includes all of the necessary services, such as transportation, packing, storage and moving. This type of relocation removes the employer from the situation entirely, as the third-party relocation service takes over.

Expatriation assistance

If the relocation involves moving to a different country, expatriation assistance can help with the various challenges involved. Along with covering expenses, expatriation assistance can help employees to obtain work visas and accommodation. In cases where the new country has a significantly different culture from the employee's home nation, courses and assistance with cultural integration are common.

Related: Guide on Migrating To Work in Australia

How to negotiate your relocation expenses

Relocation deals are often tailored for the employee that is relocating. This is normally achieved through a number of negotiations that can highlight the need for further assistance or for additional items to be added to the list of relocation expenses. It's important to consider all aspects of the relocation if you're moving for your company as they may be able to accommodate your needs.

Follow these steps to negotiate your relocation expenses:

1. Take your time reviewing the relocation expenses offered

It's important to inspect the relocation expenses on offer so that you can identify the areas that you want to modify. Make sure you know how you want to receive the payment. If the package doesn't meet your needs, then it's important that you identify where you want to improve it.

2. Think about what expenses you would like covered

If the relocation expenses don't include everything that you need to relocate, try to identify what items you would like to add to it. For example, if there are no childcare expenses but you have children, then having that included is important as it can help you when house-hunting. Make a list of the things you want in your relocation expenses to help you work out exactly how much you need.

3. Find competitor relocation deals for comparison

Once you're familiar with the relocation deal on offer by your employer, it's wise to compare it with those that competitors offer. This gives you a good indication of what the industry standard is for relocation packages. It can also give you insights into what might be missing from your current package.

Related: Negotiation Skills: Examples and Tips

4. Highlight your needs to your employer

Once you've identified the areas in the relocation offer that you want to address, it's time to speak with your employer. This is a negotiation, so it is important to go in prepared with all the resources and information that you need to make your case. Speak frankly about your needs while relocating and outline the areas in which you seek to improve the current package. It's equally important that your demands are realistic. It's highly unlikely that your employer is going to charter a private plane for your move, for example. Be reasonable about your needs, and your employer may be able to help.

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