Normally, this issue is addressed quite early (and with great specificity) when your company is hiring a new employee who currently lives far away from the city where s/he must start working for you. However, companies are often a bit less clear on the various new benefits they should consider offering to current employees they are asking to uproot themselves and move elsewhere.

Often, these types of negotiations can be quite sensitive, especially when the employee has several dependents. Always try to address each of the following topics early on to diminish later misunderstandings.

Benefits You May Need to Offer the Relocating Employee

  • An initial housing allowance. Even if you’re able to provide considerable advance notice, an employee may not be able to sell his/her home prior to moving to the new city. For this reason, your company should consider offering a generous housing allowance for six months (or much longer) to the employee;

  • A general salary subsidy as needed. Either provide a permanent increase in salary tied to the move (the most common approach) or indicate how long you might provide an income subsidy when asking someone to move to a much more (or even moderately more) expensive part of the country. Keep in mind that in addition to higher housing costs, the move may make it necessary for the employee to put dependent children into expensive private schools -- should the public ones turn out to be rather inadequate;

  • Basic moving expenses. This is a very common benefit you should normally provide to each relocating employee. Also, you should consider paying for the person's airfare to/from the city (once or twice) in advance of the move so that he/she can look for a place to live, locate schools and other necessities – as well as go and meet the new bosses and coworkers;

  • Consider offering additional loan money. You may want to provide a no-interest loan to the employee. After all, there are often many unexpected expenses tied to every move. Just be sure to carefully spell out all terms regarding the loan and its repayment;

  • Ask your human resource professionals to remain available for assistance. Hopefully, they've been involved in other recent relocations and will be prepared to offer detailed help to the new employee who is moving;

  • Be sure to capture all promises made in writing regarding relocation expenses. You should always ask the relocating employee to sign and date a relocation expenses contract so there won’t be any misunderstandings later. It’s also wise to state in the document that it contains all promises made and that there are no others that were orally made that have not been included in this contract (which the company must also sign, giving the employee a copy).

Remember, how you go about helping the relocating employee will probably play a key role in determining how long s/he will want to stay with your company – and whether or not s/he will ever be willing to relocate for your company again.

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact Shane Smith Law today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.

Shane Smith
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