While the vast majority of relocations are employer-initiated (meaning the employer asks the employee to relocate for business reasons/talent needs), we have seen a growing trend in situations in which the employee broaches the idea of a relocation with their employer. This trend started before the pandemic and has grown as employees seek to explore their options and fulfill their personal needs. More and more, employers are entertaining these employee-initiated relocations.

Aires’ recent Pulse Survey included participants from 82 organizations across all industry types and sizes to identify how they were handling requests for relocation from employees. Key findings of the survey include the following:

  • A company’s willingness to offer support to an employee requesting a relocation is often a reflection of the company’s talent and retention strategies.
  • Survey participants are more likely to offer support for international relocations.
  • Approximately half of survey participants note an increase in both domestic and international employee-initiated relocations since the start of the pandemic.
  • Retaining talent and controlling costs are the most common drivers for the types of support offered.
  • The majority of clients offering employee-initiated relocation support do so through a flexible package or handle on a case-by-case basis.
  • The most common support offered in domestic packages includes a lump sum payment, gross-up assistance, destination services, temporary housing, and automobile shipment.
  • The most common support offered in international packages includes immigration support, tax consultation/preparation, a lump sum payment, and gross-up assistance.

As the work landscape continues to change, we expect employee-requested relocations to persist. Employers are beginning to set more concrete standards for how to respond to them. As might be expected, Aires’ survey demonstrates that the companies who support and plan to continue to support these types of relocations will offer a lower level of benefits than they would for a standard employer-initiated relocation.

For a copy of the full Pulse Survey results, please contact your Aires representative.


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