Aston University recognises that some newly appointed staff will require relocation assistance when taking up their post. To qualify for the reimbursement of relocation expenses, new appointees are required to establish their homes to a location within 45 miles of the University within two years of taking up their first post with the University. The following sets out the terms under which the costs, incurred by newly-appointed staff in moving their homes to the Birmingham area to take up a new job with the University, may be reimbursed.
Where posts relate to a project or initiative which has no reasonably foreseeable prospect of being renewed or extended, the University will not reimburse the relocation costs of staff employed on contracts of 12 months or less, and will only reimburse costs up to 50% of the full allowance for staff employed on contracts of two years or less.
The University will contribute towards the costs of relocation from within the UK to the Birmingham area in the form of a relocation grant normally up to a maximum of £4,000. Any grant above this must be approved by the Chief Operating Officer at the time the appointment offer is being made.
The University will contribute towards the costs of relocation from outside the UK to the Birmingham area in the form of a relocation grant normally up to a maximum of £5,000. Any grant above this must be approved by the Chief Operating Officer at the time the appointment offer is being made.
The regulations set out in section 3 below for claimable and non-claimable expenses will apply with the additional provision of:
(a) One return economy air fare to the UK with partner to find a property. In addition, we will reimburse up to three night’s accommodation at a reasonably priced hotel. This is based on the current cost of a Standard Room - Room Only at Conference Aston.
(b) A single economy air fare to the UK with family (partner and dependants) to move to the UK.
All claims under any of the above provisions must be presented within two years of joining the University. However, certain tax exemptions apply to claims made within defined time limits. Please refer to appendix 1.
Claims will only be settled on the production of written quotations and official receipts for all expenditure. For expenditure made in anything other than sterling, the exchange rate will be that being used by our Finance department on the day the claim is processed.
Where relocation claims are being made by two partners who are moving to the same address, a principal claim should be made by one employee and the additional claim will be reduced by half.
Newly appointed staff of the University, who are required by the terms of their appointment, to work elsewhere in the United Kingdom may be eligible for reimbursement/grant under the provisions of this scheme, provided that they establish their home within reasonable daily travelling distance of the place of work, as defined by the University. In such circumstances, the reimbursement/grant should be agreed in advance with the HR Advisor.
Expenses that can be claimed up to the maximum relocation grant:
Legal Fees (buying and selling property)
Estate agents fees
Mortgage arrangement fees
Removal of household effects (including insurance)*
The cost of a single standard rail fare, or mileage rate of 40p per mile, for member of staff and family (partner plus dependants) to move to the area
Travel costs for the purpose of finding a property by reimbursement of standard return rail ticket or mileage claim of 40p per mile for member and family (partner plus dependants). Up to two return visits are reclaimable
Removal costs of personal office effects (e.g. books)
Storage costs (for a period of up to six months)**
Lodging allowance of £70 per week for a maximum period of ten weeks. (Lodgings are a temporary form of accommodation to be used before a more permanent solution can be found such as the purchase of a property or the signing of a tenancy agreement.)
Employees claiming lodging allowance are eligible to claim one weekly return journey home by car or standard return rail ticket once per week up to the maximum of ten weeks
*This payment will be made on the basis of the lowest of three written quotations.
**Payment of storage costs will be paid upon moving into the purchased property.
Expenses that cannot be claimed are:
Newly-appointed members of staff who voluntarily resign:
(a) Within one year of receiving relocation expenses, will be required to repay the amount in full;
(b) Within two years of receiving relocation expenses, will be required to repay half of the total amount.
INCOME TAX AND RELOCATION PACKAGES
If an employer helps new employees to move house, any payments received, or any goods or services provided, are part of taxable earnings.
If an individual relocates for job purposes, the first £8,000 of any help received is exempt from tax so long as certain conditions are met. These conditions are that you have to move home
to take up a new job with a new employer, or
to take up a new job with your existing employer, or
to continue your current job at a new location, and
your existing home is not within reasonable daily travelling distance of your new workplace, and
the home you move to is within reasonable daily travelling distance of your new workplace.
There is, however, a qualifying time limit to qualify for this tax exemption, as follows:
Expenses must be incurred or the benefits provided before the end of the tax year following the tax year in which you start your new job (a tax year runs from 6 April one year to 5 April the next).
So if you start your new job on 18 March this year you have until 5 April next year to use your exemption.
If you start your new job on 2 September this year, you have until 5 April the year after next to use your exemption.
Any claims that fall outside of the time restraints indicated above will be taxable through PAYE.
MOVING TO THE BIRMINGHAM AREA
The following information may be of assistance to newly appointed staff in considering where in the Birmingham area they may wish to establish their homes.
The University is situated near the City Centre and is easily reached from most parts of the city by public transport. It has easy access to the motorway system which makes certain areas further afield more accessible.