January 5, 2016

How to Structure a Short-Term Relocation Policy

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How to Structure a Short-Term Relocation Policy

Short-term assignments are used by organizations to meet a wide variety of needs. Oftentimes, they are needed in order to meet a specific project or training need that can be completed within a shorter, more defined period of time. Though they can be a cost-effective alternative to long-term assignments, that’s only if they address the needs of the company. Because short-term assignments are often unaccompanied, they may allow the company to avoid family reluctance to relocate as well as the additional expenses associated with larger housing and education support that an assignee with an accompanying family may incur. There is also the possibility of avoiding one of the most significant expenditures of an assignment—tax equalization.

You need to be aware of specific elements and challenges when developing a short-term relocation policy. We will take a look at some recent trends as well as some of the most common challenges.

Trends in Developing a Short-Term Relocation Policy

Data from Cartus’ 2014 Global Mobility Policies & Practices survey highlighted the continued importance of short-term assignments. When asked which policy they were likely to develop or substantially modify over the next few years, 43% of respondents said short-term assignment policies, second only to long-term assignments, named by 44% of companies.

78% of respondents said that project-based assignments were the top reason for short-term assignments. Other highly rated drivers were transferring technical skills (at 61%) and employee training (45%).

Management Challenges for Short-Term Assignments

With short-term assignments being used more frequently by many companies, tax compliance continues to be a top challenge. In our 2014 Global Mobility Policies & Practices survey, companies named tax compliance as their biggest challenge for short-term assignments (57%), followed by immigration compliance (42%).

Cartus Consulting Solutions has developed a white paper that provides an overview of general practices and areas of consideration associated with short-term assignments. Please contact your Cartus representative, or email us at trustedguidance@cartus.com if you would like to view this white paper. You might also be interested in our localization, permanent relocation, long-term assignment, and extended business travel solution papers, which explore the various assignment benefits and how and why they may vary, depending on your company’s culture, assignment needs, and employee profile.

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Posted By

Cindy Madden

About Cindy

Cindy Madden is Director of the Cartus Consulting Solutions practice, which supports clients and prospects in the areas of Global Policy and Program Design, Group Moves, Destination Location Research, and the development of customized mobility websites. Cindy has more than 25 years’ experience in the relocation industry in a variety of roles, including account management and sales.

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