Relocation Assistance Procedure

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Intent


This procedure is designed to provide an overview of relocation assistance that may be offered as an incentive for new and existing staff members required to relocate their home to take up a position at James Cook University (JCU) Australia.

Scope


This procedure applies to new or existing staff members of JCU Australia. It does not apply to casual staff and short-term academic visitors or adjuncts.

Definitions

Dependent Child – a child who is less than 16 years of age who is normally resident with the staff member or, if over the age of 16 years, is a full-time student at a secondary school.
Spouse - another person who, although may not be married to the person, lives with the staff member on a bona fide domestic basis.

Procedure

1.    Relocation Assistance Possibilities

1.1.    JCU has predetermined possible relocation assistance, in consideration of taxation obligations and the cost versus benefit of the option, which may be offered to a staff member as prescribed in this clause.


1.1.1.    The manager is encouraged to seek advice from Human Resources in relation to electing any relocation assistance options for an appointee/staff member.
1.1.2.    The dollar value of any relocation assistance possibilities elected must be pre-approved by the manager.
1.1.3.    Payment for any expense against pre-approved relocation assistance must be paid directly to the supplier and/or reimbursed to the appointee/staff member in line Clause 3  relocation arrangement and clause 4 claims procedure.


1.1.3.1.    Any expressed value for relocation assistance is considered less than or equal to a prescribed value which may be expressed in the approval documentation.
1.1.3.2.    Where the actual cost of relocation assistance is less than any expressed value for relocation assistance approved, the balance will not reimbursed/paid in another form.
1.1.3.3.    Where any cost is greater than the approved amount of assistance, any outstanding cost will be incurred by the appointee/staff member.
1.1.3.4.    Payment of any relocation assistance is only exempt from income tax and fringe benefit tax (i.e. FBT) if the costs are paid directly by JCU or reimbursed for the relevant costs.

1.2.    Travel

1.2.1.    JCU may grant assistance towards the travel for the appointee/staff member, their spouse and dependent children to the city where the appointee/staff member will be located for their work.
1.2.2.    The normal maximum travel allocation is the cost of a one-way economy class airfare for the appointee/staff member, spouse and dependent children from the appointee/staff member’s usual city of residence to the city in which the appointee/staff member will be located.


1.2.2.1.    Where economy class airfares are not available, JCU may pay up to the amount equivalent to the economy class airfare towards another pre-approved mode of transport, such as rail/bus/ferries/self-drive/in-transit accommodation.
1.2.3.    Additional payments over the economy class airfare to cover accommodation, meals, excess baggage, in-flight entertainment, taxi fares, etc. en-route are not payable.
1.2.4.    Except in exceptional circumstances, the travel allocation in respect of an appointee/staff member‘s spouse and/or dependent children can be provided only where they accompany and reside with the appointee/staff member, or where their travel is undertaken within six months of the appointee/staff member taking up duty at JCU, to the city where the role is located.


1.3.    Removal of furniture and effects, including storage

1.3.1.    Removal of furniture and effects, including storage may be offered.
1.3.2.    The following table details the maximum threshold normally available for the removal of furniture and effects, including storage;

Removal From:

To Townsville

(+ $300 for Cairns)

 

Queensland

2,700

New South Wales

3,900

Victoria

4,100

ACT

4,200

Northern Territory

4,200

South Australia

4,400

Western Australia

4,500

Tasmania

5,500

Papua New Guinea

6,700

New Zealand

7,700

United Kingdom & Europe

11,800

North America

12,300

South Africa

11,000

South America

12,000

Central Asia

9,000

South East Asia

7,000

1.4.     Motor Vehicle

1.4.1.    If the appointee/staff member is relocating within Australia, JCU may grant assistance towards the removal of one motor vehicle or motor cycle (additional to removal of furniture and effects (section 1.2) to the appointee/staff member’s new location).
1.4.2.    The Motor Vehicle Reimbursement is up to a maximum of $800.00.

1.5.    Insurance

1.5.1.    Insurance for the removal of an appointee/staff member’s household effects (not motor vehicles) to the value of AU$200,000 may be provided by JCU’s insurer Vero Insurance Limited.
1.5.2.    The staff member should ensure the insurance coverage is adequate for their personal needs.
1.5.3.    Any other insurance coverage must be arranged and paid for by the appointee/staff member, at the expense of the appointee/staff member.

1.6.    Other Assistance

1.6.1.    Any other assistance, such as allocations or reimbursements greater than the above amounts, or payment for other expenses (e.g. removal of professional equipment), may be made at the discretion of the manager.


1.6.1.1.    Before committing to any other assistance, advice should be sought from Human Resources and Financial and Business Services to ensure any impacts of approval are fully considered, such as taxation obligations (particularly fringe benefit tax) and excessive administrative cost/burden compared to the assistance offered.
1.6.1.2.    JCU will not provide other assistance which would result in JCU incurring fringe benefit tax.


1.6.2.    Any other assistance, including the amount, will be stipulated in the written approval of relocation assistance provided by Human Resources, and must be approved in advance as per Policy requirements.

2.    Approval Procedure

2.1.    The manager will consider the likelihood of relocation assistance at the time of advertising for a position and seek in-principle approval as appropriate.
2.2.    In conjunction with the offer of employment, the manager may negotiate any offer for relocation assistance with the preferred candidate, in consideration of the clause 1 relocation assistance possibilities and having regard to the in-principle approval and/or relevant financial delegation.
2.3.    Human Resources will inform the appointee/staff member, in writing, any approval and the extent of any approval of relocation assistance, which will normally be provided to the appointee/staff member at the time of providing the employment offer.

3.    Relocation Arrangements and Payment

3.1.    Where the appointee/staff members contract is subject to a Visa, any relocation assistance approved (removals, flights, etc.) should not be committed to pay/paid for until the Visa granted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is confirmed.
3.2.    The appointee/staff member should make arrangements for, and make payment of, the relocation assistance approved, in consideration of the reference guide provided by Human Resources and in line with the written approval of your relocation assistance.


3.2.1.    Where the appointee/staff member is not in a position to make upfront payment of one and/or all of the elements of the relocation assistance approved, the appointee/staff member should seek approval for JCU to pay upfront.
3.2.2.    If removal of furniture and effects is to be paid by JCU, the invoice for removals must be issued in JCU’s name and provided to the manager for direct payment.


3.2.2.1.    In such circumstances where the invoice is greater than the value of relocation assistance approved, a request should be made to the supplier to create an invoice to JCU for the approved amount, and invoice/s to the appointee/staff member for the balance, and/or any additional/subsequent amounts incurred.


3.2.3.    If travel arrangements are to be paid by JCU, details must be provided to the manager and the flights must be booked by JCU using the Agency nominated by JCU.

4.    Claims Procedure

4.1.    Where the appointee/staff member has made payment directly to the supplier, the appointee/staff member, within 6 months of commencement of employment with JCU, must complete the prescribed form as amended from time to time, and in line with the relocation assistance approval.
4.2.    The application form must be accompanied by receipts showing payment is made for the expenditure incurred.
4.3.    An authorised financial delegate must approve the application, ensuring it aligns to the relocation assistance approval and includes evidence as prescribed.
4.4.    The manager must submit the application for payment on the prescribed form as amended from time to time (to the addressee as indicated on the form), attaching the receipts and the written relocation assistance approval.

5.    Termination of Employment

5.1.    Obligation to Repay

5.1.1.    The payment of any relocation assistance within this policy is made on the condition that if, for any reason other than medical evidence of ill health as approved by JCU, a staff member ceases employment with JCU for any reason, the staff member will repay a pro-rata proportion of the allocations to JCU.
5.1.2.    The repayment rate will be dependent on the employment status of the staff member as described below:


5.1.2.1.    Continuing Employees

  • Where a staff member appointed on a continuing basis ceases employment with JCU within three years of the commencement date, the repayment amount will be the amount of the combined allocations paid, less one thirty-sixth of the amount for each completed calendar month of service, elapsing after commencement of salary and before termination of service.

5.1.2.2.    Fixed Term Employees

  • Where a staff member appointed on a fixed term basis ceases employment with JCU within three years of the commencement date or, for appointments of less than three years, prior to the stipulated expiry date in the Contract of Employment, the repayment amount will be the amount of the combined allocations paid, less a proportion calculated on the basis of completed calendar months of service, to the number of total calendar months of the Contract of Employment.

5.2.    Repatriation Expenses – Recruited from Overseas

5.2.1.    Where JCU has nominated a staff member for a temporary visa, obligations may exist for JCU to repatriate those staff upon their cessation of employment and/or visa expiry.


5.2.1.1.    For example, staff members recruited from outside of Australia on a temporary visa, may be eligible for reasonable and necessary repatriation expenses equivalent to the cost of one-way economy airfares for the staff member, their spouse and dependents (who were included on the original Visa application and children born to the staff member since their commencement at JCU), from the city in which they are located to the country for which the staff member holds a valid passport.
5.2.1.2.    Staff members recruited from outside Australia who obtain a permanent residency visa during the period of employment with JCU, will not be eligible for repatriation expenses.

Related policy instruments


Related policy instruments include but are not limited to the following documents. Further related instruments can be found at the JCU Human Resources website.
Relocation Assistance Policy
JCU Enterprise Agreement 2013 – 2016
Code of Conduct
Salary Packaging Policy
Financial Delegations Register
Human Resources Delegations Policy

Schedules/Appendices


Payment Request Form

Administration

NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Version no

17-1

Date for next Major Review

18/12/2018

Revision History

NOTE: A minor amendment will not result in a change of the next major review date.

Approval date - the date the approval authority approved the establishment, minor or major amendment or disestablishment

Implementation Date - the date the policy was published in the Policy Library and is the date the policy takes effect

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

17-117/03/201718/03/2017Minor administrative amendment - Insurance amount at clause 1.5.1 amended in accordance with changes to JCU’s insurance limit. Deputy Director, Human Resources

15-1

18/12/2015

21/12/2015

  • Renaming from Guidelines for Relocation &   Removal, to Relocation Assistance Procedure.
  • Improved structure/flow of   procedure
  • Removal of complexity, ambiguity   and restrictions in deciding upon options for relocation assistance
  • Inclusion of Other Assistance   category
  • Inclusion of clauses to support   enacting the procedure:
    • Approval Procedure
    • Relocation Arrangements
    • Claims Procedure
  • Removal of obsolete/unnecessary   clauses

Deputy Director, Human Resources

Keywords

relocation, removal, relocation assistance