Aims and purpose

The University will consider recompensing employees, at least in part, for the financial cost incurred by an individual required to relocate their permanent residence to within daily travelling distance of their University of Bath work location as a result of taking up a post.

This procedure describes the eligibility for assistance, details of the allowances which are covered and the procedure to follow for claiming relocation assistance.

The University also operates a separate Visa Reimbursement Scheme (effective from 1 August 2022) and Interest-Free Loan Scheme for new and existing employees to help with the costs associated with Home Office application fees and related legal advice. These schemes are separate to the Relocation Procedure and you will be able to apply for either scheme once you have started employment at the University.

Eligibility

You will be able to apply to receive assistance where you meet the following criteria:

  • you are a new employee on an open-ended or fixed-term contract of employment of 12 months or more
  • your present home is more than 30 miles from your work location
  • your new home is within 30 miles of your work location
  • It must be a reasonable expectation that you would have to move house in order to take up employment in your new post at the University of Bath
  • The move of home is made

Allowances

Actual expenses incurred in relocating from within the UK or from overseas will be reimbursed at the equivalent of 7.5% of your annual gross salary at the time of taking up your appointment at the University (applicable to new joiners from 1 August 2022*).

Only expenses which fall within the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) guidelines below will be considered.

Only expenses incurred in the tax year that you join the University and the one following will be considered.

If you are unclear as to whether an item may be claimed then guidance should be sought from the HR Recruitment Team, prior to expenditure being committed to.

Any proposed relocation to a new residence further than 30 miles from your work location must be agreed in advance by the Deputy Director (HR Services) or nominee.

A business case will need to be submitted and approval sought from the relevant Dean or Head of Professional Service area where departments wish to exceptionally reimburse employees beyond the standard relocation allowance or HMRC tax threshold.

Exclusions

You will not be eligible to make a claim for assistance under the scheme if:

  • any other member of your household is claiming, or will be claiming, relocation expenses in connection with the move, either from the University or from any other source; and/or

  • you hold a Marie Curie Fellow appointment or similar contract which incorporates a mobility allowance as part of your contract.

Exemption from tax and National Insurance

HMRC allows tax and National Insurance (NI) exemption on relocation expenses within certain guidelines. Full information can be obtained from the HMRC website. A summary of Revenue rules are provided below for general guidance, but as HMRC may alter these from time to time, you are advised to check directly with HMRC as the University will not be responsible for any tax liabilities which may be incurred.

Your relocation allowance will be exempt from tax (to a maximum of £8,000) and NI contributions as long as the following conditions are met:

  • You have to move home to take up a new job
  • Your existing home is not within reasonable daily travelling distance
  • Your new home is within reasonable daily travelling distance
  • Expenses must be incurred, or the benefits provided, before the end of the tax year following the tax year in which your new job is started

The UK tax year runs from 6 April in one year to 5 April the next.

Examples

Start date of new job Expenses must be incurred by
1 March 2020 5 April 2021
1 September 2020 5 April 2022

If you do not relocate within the HMRC timescales, in exceptional circumstances, the University may still consider the payment of relocation expenses, so long as there is a genuine intention to move. The Deputy Director (HR Services) or nominee will make a decision on any such case. Any monies paid for relocation expenses incurred outside of the HMRC timescales however are likely to be subject to tax and NI by HMRC, unless the tax office agrees to extend the time limit. Further information on the circumstances when the time limit may be extended can be found on the HMRC website.

On the Relocation Expenses Claim Form you will be asked to self-declare whether you are or have been a resident in the UK. The Payroll Team will use this self-declaration to determine whether a tax exemption is applicable for expenses that fall outside of the HMRC threshold.

Applying for relocation expenses

The following guidelines should be applied when making applications:

  • Applications must be made on a Relocation Expenses Claim Form
  • Applications should be submitted to the HR Recruitment Team
  • Claims must be accompanied by receipts for payments made, in your name, which show the company number/VAT number, but consideration will also be given to miscellaneous expenses where it is not possible to provide receipts. Such claims should give details of each item and the expenditure claimed
  • Claims cannot be made in advance of the date on which the appointment is taken up, and no advances will be made.
  • Separate forms should be used where different currencies are involved in the claim
  • No payments will be made for claims submitted after you have given notice of resignation or are dismissed from the University

Acceptance

It will be a condition for receiving assistance that you accept all the terms of this scheme.

Examples of expenses which can be claimed

Here are the most common types of expenses which may be claimed, however this is not an exhaustive list.

Costs Allowable Not allowable
Cost of disposing of existing home Legal/estate agent fees Cost of re-directing mail
Advertising Cleaning costs
Disconnecting gas, water etc.
Travel and subsistence Mileage (from old home to new home/work location) Costs of food and drink (except breakfast where Bed & Breakfast is booked)
Second class rail fare only (from old home to new home/work location) Daily travel costs to University
Immediate family visits to new location – maximum 2 visits Bonds required for rent/rent deposits
Commuting costs to old home (or point of exit from the UK) from hotel/bed and breakfast accommodation within the UK for 2 months Rent payments once the employee has no property commitments at the previous location
Temporary rented accommodation for a maximum of 6 months in permitted circumstances. See HMRC guidance
Costs of acquiring new home Legal fees and services Stamp duty
Loan arrangement costs Utility bills
Surveys and valuations Council tax
Land Registry fees
Relocation management administration fees
Connecting gas, water etc.
Replacement of domestic goods which cannot be relocated from the previous property Carpets, curtains etc. if old ones are unsuitable for new house (in excess of funds received from selling of unsuitable goods) Items for second homes
White domestic goods if previously fitted Decorating materials
Gardening materials
Kitchen equipment e.g. toaster, kettle etc.
Linen/bedding items
Furniture
Costs of moving possessions Packing and unpacking
Temporary storage
Transportation costs
Insurance in transit

If you leave the University

If you resign or are dismissed from your employment contract, you will be required to repay on a pro-rata basis any relocation assistance received from the University as follows:

  • Less than one year from start of employment – 100% of relocation claim
  • More than one year but less than 2 years from start of employment – 50% of relocation claim
  • More than 2 years but less than 3 years from start of employment – 25% of relocation claim

If an expense is incurred and the move of residence does not occur the expense will have to be recovered over the same period it was paid.

Procedure updates*

The Relocation Procedure is reviewed periodically to take into account changing legislative and organisational requirements. You are therefore advised to check which version of the procedure is applicable to you when making a claim for expenses. Previous versions of the procedure (pre-1 August 2022) can be found here.