Negotiate Relocation Assistance

When a company asks an employee to travel as part of his or her job description, there's often a set standard for covering the costs of temporary roving. But when that employer asks someone to permanently move to another area for the job, many believe that the company has specific obligations to meet in order to balance out the hardship of random relocation. In a relocation scenario, employees may need to leave family, sell real estate and put up with unanticipated changes in order to stay involved with the company. In these kinds of situations, employees often end up negotiating with the company about the costs involved in moving. A few basic guidelines help workers negotiate relocation assistance with an employer.


  1. Get the timing right. One of the major aspects of negotiating a good relocation package is to time the process appropriately. Jumping the gun on nailing down details before the deal nears completion can backfire when management changes their mind midway through the process.
  2. Consider the existing company policy. A company or employer might have relocation assistance standards written into their policy and procedures guidelines. It's critical to include these considerations in relocation assistance to make sure that the agreement that you get matches up with the company's standard procedure.
  3. Prove relocation costs. Present the employer with a budget or other formal presentation of cost.
    • Try to control moving costs. Employers are more likely to fully fund a relocation plan if they can see that the employee put time and effort into controlling some of the cost factors. On the other hand, relocation assistance requests involving pricey, full-service moving companies and other extras are more likely to be shot down or only partially funded by management.
  4. Discuss the vital aspect of relocation. When negotiating relocation assistance, talk with management about how the job move would benefit the company. When the top brass can see the immediate benefit, they are often more likely to go along with additional compensation for the relocation.
  5. Look at relocation within a total benefits package. Part of the negotiation is probably going to involve what other benefits an employee already receives. Just like the basic equation of wage scales plus company-covered health benefits, relocation falls into that greater picture of what the employer provides to each worker. Overlooking how relocation fits into a greater benefits plan can be harmful to a successful negotiating outcome when an employee wants to fund the big move.


  • Make your decision first. Basing the entire decision on the relocation assistance can end up making things tense and stressful. It's best for the employee who is considering a relocation to make the key decisions first within his own mind, although it helps in negotiation not to inform the employer until the relocation negotiations are finished.