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The Risks Of Relocation Benefits: What Employers Should Consider

American organizations, as compared to organizations in other countries, are more likely to relocate their employees. A new survey shows, however, that the way employers transfer employees is changing, out of employees' desire for greater flexibility.

In the past, employers relocated employees permanently, "on sequential, multi-year moves from one place to another." Now, more and more employers are using short-term and temporary transfers. In fact, 75 percent said they used them for training, and 72 said they used them for specific projects.

Seventy-eight percent of survey participants said that "changing employee needs or expectations is driving the need for increased flexibility." Respondents said that creating "a positive experience for employees" is a priority. Chris Bosak "Survey: Companies face cost, flexibility challenges when relocating employees," www.newstimes.com (Aug. 29, 2017).  


Commentary

If you regularly relocate employees, it is a good idea to work with your employees to determine what type of relocation works best, not only for your bottom-line, but also for employee satisfaction. Doing so will help ensure that your best employees do not leave when they are asked to move.

Relocation is an “opportunity of employment” and presents a liability risk if not provided equally. If the relocation is for one class of employees (e.g., executive management) then you must provide it to all executive management members equally. For example, relocating male executives, but not female executives, would be considered gender discrimination.

If you provide an allowance, then you should base the amount of the allowance on an objective and equal formula (distance and size of move) and not based on subjective criteria such as perceived need.

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