Aims and purpose
The University will consider recompensing staff, 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 Interest-Free Loan Scheme for new and current staff to help with the costs associated with Home Office application fees and related legal advice.
Newly appointed staff may apply to receive assistance where they meet the following criteria:
- They are an employee on an open-ended or fixed-term contract of employment of 12 months or more (this criterion will apply from 6 April 2021)
- Their present home is more than 30 miles from their work location
- Their new home is within 30 miles of their work location
- It must be a reasonable expectation that they would have to move house in order to take up employment in their new post at the University of Bath
- The move of home is made
Actual expenses incurred in relocating from within the UK or from overseas will be reimbursed at the equivalent of one month’s gross salary of the newly appointed member of staff (at the time of taking up the appointment) or up to £1,500, whichever is the greater.
For newly appointed staff (who start employment at the University from 1 January 2021) who require permission to work in the UK and are relocating from either inside or outside of the UK, the equivalent of one month's gross salary (at the time of taking up the appointment) or up to £5,000, whichever is the greater, will be reimbursed towards the cost of their relocation expenses, including visa application fees.
Only expenses which fall within the HM Revenue and Customs guidelines below will be considered.
Only expenses incurred in the tax year that the member of staff joins the University and the one following will be considered. The UK tax year is 6 April to 5 April.
Where an individual is unclear as to whether an item may be claimed, then guidance should be sought from the Human Resources Recruitment Team, prior to expenditure being committed to.
The Head of Department should discuss exceptional cases with their Human Resources Manager.
Any proposed relocation to a new residence further than 30 miles from the employee’s work location must be agreed in advance by the Deputy Director of Human Resources or nominee.
A new member of staff will not be eligible to make a claim for assistance under the scheme if any other member of their household is claiming, or will be claiming, relocation expenses in connection with the move, either from the University or from any other source.
Marie Curie Fellow appointments which incorporate a mobility allowance as part of their contract.
Requirement to repay expenses*
In the event that a member of staff on an employment contract resigns or is dismissed from their employment, they 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.
Exemption from tax and National Insurance
HM Revenue and Customs allows tax and National Insurance exemption on relocation expenses within certain guidelines. Full information can be obtained from the HM Revenue and Customs website. A summary of Revenue rules are provided below for general guidance, but as the Revenue may alter these from time to time, members of staff are advised to check with the Revenue for the most up to date regulations. The University will not be responsible for any tax liabilities which may be incurred; these will be the responsibility of the individual.
A member of staff’s relocation allowance is exempt from tax (to a maximum of £8,000) and NI contributions as long as the following conditions are met:
- The member of staff has to move home to take up a new job
- The existing home is not within reasonable daily travelling distance
- The 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 the new job is started
A tax year runs from 6 April in one year to 5 April the next.
|Start date of new job||Must use exemption by|
|1 March 2011||5 April 2012|
|1 September 2011||5 April 2013|
If the member of staff does not relocate within the Revenue 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 of Human Resources or nominee will make a decision on any such cases. Any monies paid outside of the Revenue rules however are likely to be subject to tax and NI by the Revenue, 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 at the HMRC website.
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 Human Resources Recruitment Team
- Claims must be accompanied by receipts for payments made, in the name of the employee, 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 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 an individual has given notice of resignation
It will be a condition for receiving assistance that all the terms of this scheme are accepted by the applicant.
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.
|Cost of disposing of existing home||Legal/estate agent fees||Cost of re-directing mail|
|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|
|Kitchen equipment e.g. toaster, kettle etc.|
|Costs of moving possessions||Packing and unpacking|
|Insurance in transit|
|Costs associated with obtaining permission to work in the UK||New employee coming to the UK to work, where both the new employee and their dependants normally live outside of the UK:||These expenses are not exempt under HMRC guidelines, but where a new employee meets the eligibility criteria for relocation expenses; these expenses may be paid via Payroll and be subject to tax and NI deductions:|
|New visa costs||NHS surcharge costs for new employee and their dependants coming to the UK to work, where both the new employee and their dependants normally live outside of the UK|
|Associated visa costs e.g. police registration fees, translation services etc.||Visa extensions/switching/re-applications for continuing to work in the UK for new employee and their dependants|
|NHS surcharge costs related to visa extensions/switching/re-applications for continuing to work in the UK for new employee and their dependants|
*Requirement to repay expenses (applicable to staff who joined the University on or prior to 5 April 2021) - In the event that a member of staff on a permanent contract resigns or is dismissed from his/her employment within 2 years of taking up appointment, he/she will be required to repay on a pro-rata basis any relocation assistance received from the University. This amount will decrease by 1/24 for every month of service completed. Employees engaged on a fixed term appointment will be required to repay any relocation expenses on a pro rata basis if they resign or are dismissed before completing half the term of the contract.