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Human Resource Manual

1214 - Relocation Expenses on Initial Appointment and Subsequent Moves as an Employee

Contents

Introduction

  1. The Government reimburses employees for reasonable expenses for moving themselves and eligible dependants on initial hire or between places of duty with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT).

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Application

  1. These guidelines and procedures apply to all employees except substitute teachers and employees of the Northwest Territories (NWT) Power Corporation.

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Definitions

  1. Dependant:
    1. For employees in the Union of Northern Workers (UNW) bargaining unit, the excluded group and senior managers, dependant means:
      1. an employee's spouse (including common-law) who is residing with the employee;
      2. any child, step child, adopted child, or foster child of the employee who:
        1. is attending school or is a student at some other institution, and is under 21 years;
        2. is under 21 and is dependent on the employee for support; or
        3. is 21 years or older and is dependent because of a physical or mental infirmity.
      3. Any other person who is permanently residing with the employee and:
        1. is under 21 years of age and is dependent upon him/her for support; or
        2. is 21 years of age or more and dependent upon the employee by reason of mental or physical infirmity.
    2. For employees in the NWT Teachers’ Association (NWTTA) bargaining unit, dependant means:
      1. an employee's spouse (including common-law) who is residing with the employee;
      2. any child of the employee who is attending school or is a student at some other institution, and is under 21 years; or
      3. a child who is under 21 years and dependent upon the employee for support; or
      4. a child who is over 21 and is a dependant because of a physical or mental illness; or
      5. any other relative of the employee who is a member of the employee’s household and is totally dependent on the employee for support because of a physical or mental illness.
  2. Reside with means to live in the same dwelling.  Normally this will be the place where the person receives mail, keeps personal property and spends a majority of the time.
  3. Spouse means a person, regardless of gender, who:
    1. is married to an employee, or
    2. has lived together in a conjugal relationship outside of marriage with an employee and the employee represents that person as his or her spouse.
  4. Effects include the furniture, household goods and equipment and personal effects of an employee and his/her dependants at the time of his/her move but does not include automobiles, boats, motorcycles, snowmobiles, trailers, animals, or foodstuffs. 

When a continuing employee is moved from one community to another within the Northwest Territories (NWT), he/she may include in his/her effects all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and foodstuffs.

The NWT Teachers' Association (NWTTA) Collective Agreement uses the term household effects and does not contain a provision for continuing employees moving within the NWT.

  1. Removal Administrator is the Government officer in the Department of Human Resources who is designated to co-ordinate and administer removals. Mobile home is a
  2. permanent residence on its own wheeled under-carriage that is designed for highway travel.  It includes equipment and furnishings installed by the manufacturer.  It does not include transportable or sectionalized homes or other quasi-permanent accommodation. 

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Guidelines

  1. Employees will conduct the relocation process in a manner than enables them to be available for work on the start date agreed to in the job offer.
  2. Employees will work with the Removal Administrator.  There will be no reimbursement for any removal made without prior approval.
  3. Payment is limited to the approved costs of a move carried out in the most practical and economical manner supported by receipts.
  4. The maximum reimbursement for kilometers, meals and accommodation enroute cannot exceed the total cost of the trip had it been made by the most economical airfare.
  5. In exceptional circumstances, additional expenses may be approved where the expenses for meals, accommodations or other items cannot be kept within the limits.  The circumstances must be explained.
  6. An employee already living in the community where the new job is located is not entitled to any removal assistance.  There is an exception if the previous employer provides the employee’s residence and the employee must vacate it.
  7. Distances will be the generally accepted most direct route.  For travel within the Northwest Territories, the distance is outlined on the Department of Transportation Distance in Kilometers Between Northwest Territories Communities chart.

Distance in Kilometres Between the Northwest Territories Communities

Time in Transit - UNW, Excluded and Management Employees

  1. Employees in the Union of Northern Workers, Excluded and Manager groups are considered on duty travel while in transit from their point of hire to their place of employment.
  2. An employee will receive compensation at regular salary to a maximum of three days.
  3. An employee’s start date will be adjusted to include the appropriate number of travel days.  The start date for the employee becomes the day he/she is to physically be at his/her new job minus the appropriate amount of travel days.  For example, if a person were moving from Vancouver to Inuvik they would be eligible for the maximum 3 days of travel time.  If they are to be at work on the 14th and since they are eligible for the maximum 3 days travel time, their start date would be three working days before the 14th.  The job offer would indicate this and state the employee is required to report to duty on the 14th.
  4. Travel time for an employee driving to their point of destination is allowed up to one-day travel for each 644 kilometres.
  5. Travel days for employees transferring between places of duty within the Government can be considered as duty travel days.  These days must be upon mutual agreement with the employee and the Employer in consultation with the Department of Human Resources.  The employee’s start date will be adjusted to include these days.
  6. Other expenses during transit will be reimbursed accordingly as duty travel with reference to Article 45 of the UNW Collective Agreement, Excluded Employees’ Handbook or Senior Managers’ Handbook. 
  7. This transit period does not include any period exceeding the arrival at destination.  Other expenses may apply.

Allowable Expenses - Transportation

  1. Transportation may be the most economical airfare or vehicle not owned by the GNWT.
  2. Employees choosing to fly are eligible for a one-way economy airfare for themselves and eligible dependants as well as accommodations and meals while traveling to their place of employment required by airline schedules.
  3. Employees choosing to drive a vehicle not owned by the GNWT are eligible for driving expenses at the individual private car per kilometer rate established by the GNWT duty travel rates.  Eligible driving expenses do not include gasoline expenses, vehicle repair, insurances, meals, accommodation, etc.
  4. Employees choosing to use a u-haul are eligible for expenses equivalent to the cost of an economy airfare.  The employee is not eligible for any additional mileage, meals, accommodations or other expenses.
  5. The GNWT shall be in no way responsible for any liability including any charges, costs or unforeseen expenses that an employee may incur as a result of using a rental vehicle.

Allowable Expenses - Accommodation

  1. At point of hire, accommodation at commercial lodgings is paid at a reasonable rate for a maximum of three days.
  2. If driving to destination, accommodation costs are covered for up to one day for each 644 kilometers.
  3. At destination, lodgings while awaiting furniture or accommodation are paid, for up to ten days if the employee is alone, or 21 days if the employee has dependants.
  4. Accommodation in a private home is paid at $11 per day for the employee and $3 per day for each dependant.

Allowable Expenses – Meals and Incidentals

  1. For employees in the UNW, Excluded and Manager groups, the cost of meals and incidental expenses will be reimbursed as per Article 45.05 Duty Travel for the employee and his/her spouse, plus an amount equal to one half of that rate for each other dependent at the start of the journey for a maximum of three days.
  2. For members of the NWTTA bargaining unit, the actual cost of meals and incidental expenses up to a maximum of $15 a day for the employee and each dependant six years and over.  The limit is $10 a day for each dependant under six years.
  3. An employee driving to the destination is allowed meal costs for up to one day for each 644 kilometers.
  4. At destination while awaiting furniture or accommodation, for up to ten days if the employee is alone, or 21 days if the employee has dependants.
  5. In exceptional circumstances, such as lack of accommodation at the destination, an employee will receive additional reimbursement in reduced amounts to a maximum of $7.50 per day per person and $5 per day for each child under six years of age.

Allowable Expenses – Household and Personal Effects

  1. Excess baggage to a maximum of six pieces plus two pieces for each dependant may be covered. This applies if effects are moved separately by a slower method of transportation or if no other expenses are reimbursed for moving effects.  Each piece of excess baggage is limited to 32 kg (70 lbs).  Excess baggage weight is considered to be part of the employee's total weight entitlement for movement of personal effects. See #38, 39 or 40.
  2. Telephone calls and faxes necessary to facilitate shipment of effects are covered.
  3. The following maximum weight entitlements apply to the movement and storage of effects including excess baggage where furnished Government accommodation is not provided at destination and/or where the location is serviced by an all-weather road or rail line:
    1. For all employees and teachers hired on or before September 30, 1990:
      1. 1,814 kg (4000 lbs) if no dependants reside with the employee; and
      2. 6,804 kg (15,000 lbs) if any dependants reside with the employee.
    2. For teachers hired on or after October 1, 1990:
    3. 3,175 kgs (7,000 lbs) if no dependants reside with the employee;
    4. 4,082 kgs (9,000 lbs) if one dependant resides with the employee;
    5. 4,990 kgs (11,000 lbs) if two dependants reside with the employee;
    6. 5,897 kgs (13,000 lbs) if three dependants reside with the employee; and
    7. 6,804 kgs (15,000 lbs) if four or more dependants reside with the employee.
  4. The following maximum weight entitlements apply to the movement and storage of effects including excess baggage where furnished Government accommodation is provided at locations not serviced by an all-weather road or rail line:
    1. For all employees and teachers hired on or before September 30, 1990:
      1. 680 kgs (1,500 lbs) if no dependants reside with the employee; and
      2. 1,814 kgs (4,000 lbs) if any dependants reside with the employee.
    A teacher on strength on or before September 30, 1990 is entitled to the greater of the weight entitlement listed above or below.
    1. For teachers hired on or after October 1, 1990:
      1. 907 kgs (2,000 lbs) if no dependants reside with the employee;
      2. 1,361 kgs (3,000 lbs) if one dependant resides with the employee;
      3. 1,588 kgs (3,500 lbs) if two dependants reside with the employee; and
      4. 1,814 kgs (4,000 lbs) if three or more dependants reside with the employee.
  5. For principals who are not indeterminate employees and who are hired for a term of less than two years and term teachers movement of household effects not exceeding:
    1. 453 kg if no dependants reside with the employee;
    2. 680 kg if one dependant resides with the employee;
    3. 794 kg if two dependants reside with the employee; and
    4. 907 kg if three or more dependants reside with the employee.
  6. The balance of any unused total weight allowance cannot be claimed later.  An exception is made if transportation problems prevent transporting the total weight allowance in one shipment.
  7. Packing, crating, unpacking, uncrating, transportation and in-transit insurance costs are paid.  If professional movers are not available in the community, payment may be authorized for the cost of packing materials purchased from local stores and the cost of making crates by local residents. 
  8. Temporary storage pending availability of permanent accommodation, if authorized by the Employer, may be paid.
  9. Long-term storage costs at the nearest commercial facility is paid for a maximum of three years when it is not in the interest of the Government to move the effects.  See also Section 1216 - Long Term Storage Guidelines.
  10. Employees are reimbursed for incidental expenses incurred in the move.  The maximum reimbursement for employees in the UNW, Excluded and Manager groups is $250.  For members of the NWTTA bargaining unit the maximum reimbursement is $200.  
  11. During a move, an employee may be eligible for either the excess baggage (#36) or incidental expenses incurred (#45), but not both.

Allowable Expenses – Mobile Homes

(Does not apply to NWTTA members.)

  1. Reasonable expenses may be reimbursed to move a mobile home if it is the employee's principal residence.
  2. Expenses that may be claimed for mobile homes include the following:
    1. preparation of the installed equipment and furnishings of the home for the move;
    2. disconnection of domestic services;
    3. in-transit insurance for the home and contents up to a maximum coverage of $30,000;
    4. in-transit ferry and bridge tolls, taxes, etc;
    5. preparation of the installed equipment and furnishings of the home for occupancy after the move; and
    6. connection of domestic services to existing on-site terminals. 
  3. No other expenses are reimbursed for moving effects. 
  4. In exceptional cases, the total expenses to move the mobile home may exceed the maximum expenses that would have been allowed to move the effects.

Allowable Expenses – Real Estate and Other Fees

  1. Employees who are transferred may be reimbursed actual real estate, legal and notarial fees for the sale of their principal residence.  The residence must be a single family dwelling.  It must be sold and/or purchased within one year of the date of the employee was authorized to transfer.
  2. This does not apply on initial hire to the Government.
  3. All claims must be authorized and paid receipts provided.
  4. Duplicate housing costs for a maximum period of three months from the date of initial hire are reimbursed.  Reimbursement is the lesser of the following:
    1. the monthly mortgage payment (principal and interest) on the old residence; or
    2. the monthly rental payment on the new residence.
  5. All claims must be authorized and paid receipts provided.
  6. Employees, both on initial hire and on transfer, are reimbursed for the cost of breaking a lease at the former place of duty.  The maximum payment is for three months rent at the former residence.

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Procedures

  1. The Human Resource representative provides the employee information on removal entitlements, terms, conditions and procedures during the verbal job offer and by an information sheet enclosed with the letter of offer.
  2. Upon the employee's acceptance of the job offer, the Human Resource representative sends the Removal Administrator copies of the letter of offer and acceptance and a job action form for the employee.
  3. The Removal Administrator contacts the employee to discuss the removal.  This includes discussion of the following:
    1. the number and ages of dependants moving with the employee;
    2. the current address and telephone numbers of the employee;
    3. entitlements - including weight restrictions, items that are not shipped by the Government, etc;
    4. tentative packing, loading and delivery dates;
    5. the employee's personal mode of travel for the move;
    6. the employee responsibility for purchasing additional insurance coverage on effects;
    7. the employee responsibility for remaining within the maximum weight entitlement which includes any excess baggage;
    8. storage requirements and entitlements if the employee is going into furnished Government accommodation (the employee is informed that the Government does not pay for insurance coverage for effects in storage);
    9. the name and telephone number of contact person at destination; and
    10. the employee's responsibility for being at destination to take delivery of effects (the effects may be placed in storage at the employee's expense).
  4. The Removal Administrator makes all arrangements for movement of personal effects through moving companies including contacting major moving companies with affiliations throughout Canada for price quotes.  All costs associated are to be billed directly to the Government.
  5. The employee makes all arrangements for movement of personal effects using a u-haul.  Receipts will be provided to the Removal Administrator.
  6. The Removal Administrator completes Section I of the Removal Estimate & Authorization form and submits it to the selected moving contractor.  This must include information on any goods going into storage at Government expense.
  7. If long-term storage is authorized, the employee and the storage firm are advised that the Government will not be responsible for the cost of storage beyond three years nor does the Government pay insurance costs for effects in long-term storage.
  8. The contractor, within seven working days, will complete Section II of the Removal Estimate & Authorization form and send it back with a breakdown of the estimated costs of the services requested and a detailed listing of the items identified for shipment by the employee.
  9. The Removal Administrator reviews the estimate to ensure that the contractor is following the most economical removal options.  The Removal Administrator completes Section III of the Removal Estimate & Authorization form, notes any changes to the original order, and sends a copy back to the contractor.
  10. The Removal Administrator records the move under the appropriate mover.  The total dollar amount recorded should not include third party charges, but should include all third party administration fees that the mover is entitled to.
  11. The Removal Administrator fills out a staff recruitment form listing the price quote from the movers and the estimated cost for flights/driving, accommodations and meals and distributes copies to the employee’s supervisor, the Finance and Administration section of the employee’s Department, Board or Agency and the employee’s removal file. 
  12. Personal travel arrangements for the employee and eligible dependants can be made in one of the following two ways if the employee is flying to the destination:
    1. the Removal Administrator arranges all travel through a local travel agency and pays airline charges with a Government issued credit card.  The itinerary can then be faxed to the employee.  If necessary, a travel advance may be issued; or
    2. employees make their own arrangements directly through an airline, providing the Removal Administrator with the locator number.  The Removal Administrator can then provide the airline's local representative with a Government issued credit card number for the airline charges.
  13. If the employee is driving to destination, no travel arrangements are necessary.  The employee is advised to keep all receipts and submit an expense claim accordingly after arrival.
  14. If the employee requires temporary accommodation on arrival at destination, the Removal Administrator books and arranges payment for the accommodation staying within the entitlement for the maximum number of nights.
  15. The Removal Administrator contacts the employee again to advise of the locator number for air travel, which moving company has been selected and accommodation arrangements upon arrival.
  16. The employee contacts the Removal Administrator upon arrival at destination.
  17. Within 30 days of arrival at the new place of duty, the Removal Administrator completes a travel expense claim (which includes the travel time when applicable). The employee is contacted to provide receipts and sign the travel expense claim form.
  18. The Removal Administrator reviews all invoices for travel, moving, storage and other services, as applicable, and authorizes payment after ensuring compliance with authorization, estimate, limits and entitlements.  Copies of all documents pertaining to the move are copied for the removal file.

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Authorities and References

Main Collective Agreement with UNW

Article 2, Interpretation and Definitions

Article 43, Relocation Expenses on Initial Appointment and

   Subsequent Moves as an Employee

Collective Agreement with NWTTA

Article B3, Removal Expenses on Initial Appointment and

   Subsequent Moves as an Employee

Article B4, Relocation and Ultimate Removal Expenses for Term Teachers

Senior Managers' Handbook

Relocations - Hire/Transfer

Excluded Employees’ Handbook

Relocations - Hire-Transfer

Human Resource Manual

Section 1213, Long Term Storage

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