Published on January 29, 2014

You can develop a well-crafted relocation policy that reflects your corporate financial goals and complies with Federal tax regulations. It can promote successful relocations and assure a quick return to productivity for your transferee. Whatever the fine points of your corporate relocation policy, you also need to address the issues involved in relocating an entire family versus a single employee.

The costs you incur in relocating a family are often much greater than those required for a single transferee. Likewise, adequately supporting a family in their new location – especially if it is an international destination – incurs even greater costs. To avoid failed relocations and the loss of funds you've dedicated to the process, take a close look at your corporate policy with these suggestions in mind.

Issues to Consider in Family Relocations

To update an old expression: “A happy spouse makes a happy house.” When the transferee's spouse or partner or children find it difficult to adjust to their new environs and have trouble aligning with a new community or lifestyle – productivity suffers and the likelihood of success plummets.

A two-income family enjoying a particular standard of living at their old location often expects to continue with two incomes that support their established lifestyle at the new one. Yet even domestic relocations can pose employment challenges, especially when the relocation takes your transferee to a smaller community. While your transferee arrives at the new location with a job and a sense of purpose, the spouse may find him or herself feeling isolated and without meaningful employment to fill each week.

Your policy may want to consider spousal support services to prevent those situations. By including provisions in your policy for career coaching you can help a spouse or partner make educated decisions about job opportunities in the new location. These could include an assessment of career opportunities, data on local salary scales, networking strategies and similar help.

For transferees with children, it is the parents' role to help them accommodate to a new school and new environment. However your relocation policy can aid your transferee and spouse by making certain basic services available. These could be as simple as providing information on schools, neighborhoods and community services, including help with determining the availability of in-state tuition for college-bound children. Your policy could provide an area tour of the destination with an operator serving the relocation industry.


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By helping your transferee and family deal with questions and concerns, your corporate relocation policy can reduce the possibility of a failed relocation and assure a quick and permanent return to full productivity.