These days, as telecommuting becomes more and more commonplace, temporary relocations are also becoming increasingly common. But the definition goes far beyond working with a remote, distributed team. It can involve moving employees to a different location for a specific project, training, or to open a new branch. To ensure a smooth and successful experience for both the employee and the company, establishing a clear and comprehensive Temporary Relocation Policy is crucial.

What is a Temporary Relocation Policy?

A Temporary Relocation Policy is a formal document outlining the company’s guidelines and procedures for situations where an employee needs to relocate for a temporary period, typically ranging from a few weeks to several months. This policy clarifies the expectations for both the employer and the employee, addressing topics such as:

  • Eligibility for temporary relocation assistance.
  • Financial reimbursement for relocation expenses.
  • Support with finding temporary housing.
  • Duration of the temporary assignment.
  • Communication and reporting procedures.

Increasingly, it also addresses remote work and decentralized employment. And, depending on the size and scope of the company, it could be extensive enough to discuss relocations outside the country.

What Should be Included?

Regardless of where you’re sending employees or how long they’ll be displaced, it’s important to have a policy that answers as many questions as possible proactively. A well-defined Temporary Relocation Policy should address the following key areas:

  • Eligibility: This section specifies who qualifies for temporary relocation assistance under the policy. It typically includes employees assigned to projects in different locations for a predetermined period, exceeding a specific time frame (e.g., 30 days).
  • Notification and Communication: This outlines the company’s protocol for notifying employees of potential temporary relocation needs. It also defines communication channels and timelines for employees to express their interest or raise concerns.
  • Financial Support: This section details the financial assistance the company offers to employees during temporary relocation. This may include reimbursement of reasonable expenses like temporary housing, utilities, and moving costs. It’s crucial to specify eligibility criteria, maximum amounts, and the documentation required for claiming reimbursements.
  • Temporary Housing Options: The policy should outline the available temporary housing solutions, such as corporate apartments, extended-stay hotels, or relocation assistance services. It might also offer guidance on finding suitable housing within a set budget and proximity to the work location.
  • Duration of Assistance: This section clarifies the maximum duration for which temporary relocation assistance will be provided. This helps manage expectations and ensures fair treatment across different situations.
  • Tax Implications: The policy can briefly explain the tax implications associated with temporary relocation, encouraging employees to consult relevant professional sources for specific advice.
  • Return to Work Location: This section outlines the expectations and procedures for returning to the original work location once the temporary relocation period concludes.

While it’s still necessary to have formal discussions about temporary relocation, a Temporary Relocation Policy will outline the framework for what an employee can expect as they get ready to transition to a new location, wherever it may be.

Does my Company Need One?

While not every company requires one, it is highly recommended for organizations that:

  • Anticipate frequent or recurring instances of temporary relocation needs.
  • Have a diverse workforce, where employees might have need to relocate.
  • A decentralized workforce that’s constantly moving around to new locations.
  • Value transparency and clarity in company procedures.

Having a policy ensures consistent and fair treatment of employees facing temporary relocation, minimizing potential issues and fostering a positive work environment. Most importantly, it sets the standard for how to handle the process of relocation in a transparent, uniform way.

Create Your Own Temporary Relocation Policy

By creating a clear and well-communicated policy, you can ensure a smooth and positive experience for both your company and your employees during these temporary relocations. Create your own Temporary Relocation Policy or schedule a demo with SixFifty today and give your team the information they need to relocate with confidence.