If you’re relocating any number of employees, you’re going to need a well-thought-out and fair policy. So, what is a policy? Well, essentially a policy outlines the parameters and benefits that your relocating employees can expect.
At a very simple level, the policy will spell out the assistance your employees will receive when you relocate them to another country or city. Of course, Cornerstone can help you with all of these services. Not only that, but we can also help you to build a policy for your relocating employees. More on that later though.
So why have a policy?
So why is having a policy essential? Well, partly, it’s about fairness and making sure that everybody is treated equally. It’s also about making sure that a company’s resources are spent where they are most needed. For example, if a company were to allow their employees to have temporary accommodation, determining the correct length of stay is very important. If it takes 30 days on average to find and move into a long-term property, then it’s probably not a good idea to only give your employees a week. By the same token., giving them too much time in accommodation is a bad thing too. Those are resources that could either be saved or put towards other services that might make your employees’ transition to their work location go more smoothly. Instead of, for example, giving them 90 days in temporary accommodation when they only need 30, why not use the money to give them language or cultural training instead?
What might be included in a policy?
A good standard policy should be designed to cover the main needs of relocating employees. Of course, a standard policy can’t cover every requirement of every individual, but it should certainly cover the most common ones. Here are a few things that most policies could include. Of course, they won’t be applicable to all of your relocating employees.
- Accommodation (Short Term)
- Accommodation (LongTerm)
- Education Support
- Language training
- Household Goods Shipping
- Cultural Training
- Pet Transport
- Immigration Support
- Tax Support
- Spousal Support
- Miscellaneous allowances or a relocation budget to cover costs
A policy isn’t just about determining which services your employees get though; it’s also about setting limits as to how much they get of everything. How long do they get to stay in temporary accommodation, what’s the weight limit for their household goods, how many language lessons do they get? All of this has to be determined.
Different policies for different people
It’s not necessarily a one size fits all situation. A more senior employee might, for example, get more support than one who’s just joined the company. Assignees moving with their family are going to need more and different support from somebody who is moving by themselves. That’s why it’s important to have several different policies depending on your employee’s circumstances.
With any policy, there always have to be exceptions. After all, not everybody’s needs are identical and situations can arise where extra support is needed. There are a couple of ways of dealing with exceptions. Pre-approved exceptions, where, within certain bounds, a relocation management company would not have to go back to the company’s mobility team can ultimately save time and money. For example, if we were to be looking for a temporary serviced apartment for your employee, and the budget is £150, if there’s nothing available for less than £160 a night, we know we can book it for them as the exception is pre-approved. However, without a preapproved exception, we’d have to get approval from you, which may not be instant; your employees do have other tasks to perform and may need to go to a higher authority for approval. During the course of the delay, the apartments that were available for £160 have now gone and the next cheapest one is £175! Multiply this by several nights, and several employees, and it all adds up to some quite significant costs.
Core Flex Policies
In the last few years, more and more companies are choosing to go with Core Flex policies. What’s that, you might ask? Well, core flex policies, as the name suggests, have a set number of core services given to the employee. They can then have the flexibility to choose other services, usually up to a set value, that would be of specific benefit to them. For example, John is moving with his family. He speaks the native language of the country to which they are moving but his wife doesn’t, so she’d need language lessons. John can therefore buy lessons for his wife from the flex part of the policy. Another relocating employee, Jill speaks the country’s native language, and so does her partner Jane. However, they both feel like they could benefit from cultural training so Jane can spend her flex allowance on that.
Building a Policy that’s Right for Your Employees
Cornerstone can help you to build a policy for your relocating employees. We’ll work with you to access their needs and put a policy together that works both for you and them. Having the right relocation package can mean the difference between the success or failure of an assignment or a permanent move, so having the help of experts, with a vast amount of experience in working with policies. We know what works for your employees and understand their needs. If you need help putting together a policy, please reach out to us.