Procedures

Appointment Relocation Assistance - Procedures

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

The University of Queensland (UQ) provides eligible appointees with financial assistance to meet some expenses incurred where they are required to relocate to work at UQ.

An “eligible appointee” can be a new UQ staff member or an existing UQ staff member appointed to a new role that requires them to relocate their residence.

This procedure outlines the process and requirements for relocation assistance and supports the Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Policy and related procedures. This procedure should be read in conjunction with UQ’s FBT Guide.

2.0    Process and Key Controls

  1. Eligible appointees may be offered relocation assistance with the approval of the Authorised Officer.

  2. Authorised Officers are responsible for negotiating the amount with the eligible appointee, in consultation with the Head of the Organisational Unit, prior to making the offer.

  3. The type and/or maximum amount of relocation assistance must be negotiated between the Authorised Officer and new appointee and confirmed in writing in the Offer of Appointment.

  4. A request to increase the amount of relocation assistance must be specified in writing and agreed to by the Authorised Officer prior to the additional relocation expenditure being incurred.

  5. Staff members who receive relocation assistance and resign within the first two years of employment may be required to repay all or a pro-rata of the relocation assistance to UQ as determined by a Human Resources representative.

3.0    Key Requirements

3.1    Eligibility

  1. An eligible appointee must be required to relocate their residence more than 50 kilometres to take up the new appointment at the relevant UQ campus.

  2. An appointee is eligible for relocation assistance:

    • for a continuing, probationary or fixed-term Academic appointment; OR

    • for a continuing or fixed-term Professional appointment (HEW Level 8 and above); AND

    • when the appointment is for a minimum of two years.

  3. Tutorial Fellows are entitled to be reimbursed for travel expenses for the appointee only.

  4. Tutorial Assistants are not entitled to be reimbursed for travel expenses.

  5. An appointee to an Ademic position of less than 2 years, or to a Research position, or to a Professional HEW 1 to 7 position, may apply to the Authorised Officer for relocation assistance.

3.2    Relocation assistance available

The following types of relocation assistance may be offered:

Appointment type

Expenses

Academic – continuing and fixed-term (2 years+) appointments

Relocation assistance can include:

  • travel expenses1 for the appointee, spouse and dependent children under 21 years of age; 

  • relocation expenses2; and

  • incidentals3

Academic – fixed-term less than 2 years

Relocation assistance is at the discretion of the Authorised Officer.

Travel expenses are for the appointee only.

If the appointment is for one year or more, the Authorised Officer can approve relocation2 and incidentals3 expenses.

Professional – HEW 8 to 10 continuing and fixed-term (2 years+) appointments

Relocation assistance can include:

  • travel expenses1 to the appointee, spouse and dependent children under 21 years of age; 

  • relocation expenses2; and

  • incidentals3.

Professional – HEW 1 to 7 continuing and fixed-term (2 years+) appointments

Relocation assistance is at the discretion of the Authorised Officer.

Tutorial staff

Travel expenses for the appointee only.

Research

Relocation assistance is:

  • subject to the availability of funds in the appropriate research grant; 

  • dependent on the classification and duration of the appointment; and

  • at the discretion of the Authorised Officer.

  1. Up to the level of a one-way economy class airfare by scheduled airline services by the most direct route. If travel is by private means, the cost of one-way economy class air travel can be reimbursed.

  2. Eligible Relocation expenses are outlined in the UQ FBT Guide under section 10.2 Relocation expense.

  3. If relocation of residence is involved and/or employee is required to travel more than 50 kilometres to reach the place of employment, reimbursement equivalent to 5 days’ salary will be paid to cover any incidental or stopover expenses. This is considered as assessable income and is subject to Australian income tax.

3.3    Payment of relocation expenses

UQ uses a broker to manage all aspects of an appointee’s physical relocation, both domestically and internationally. UQ’s relocation broker coordinates the end-to-end relocation process directly with the appointee in line with their agreed relocation allowance and this procedure, excluding immigration assistance.

To minimise the appointee being out of pocket for relocation expenses, Human Resources arranges payment directly with UQ’s relocation broker and assigns the cost to the applicable Organisation Unit.  Any relocation expenses above the approved limit set out in the Offer of Appointment will be for the appointee’s personal account, and UQ’s broker will invoice the appointee directly for the difference. 

UQ uses a separate immigration service provider for all UQ sponsored visa applications. If an appointee chooses to use part of their relocation allowance towards visa costs, any remaining balance of the relocation allowance can be used for other relocation expenses managed through UQ’s relocation broker. Any visa costs above the approved limit set out in the Offer of Appointment will be for the appointee’s personal account, and UQ’s immigration service provider will provide payment instructions to the appointee directly for the difference.

3.4    Broker fees

Broker fees charged by UQ’s relocation broker will be incurred by the Organisational Unit. A list of services and current broker fees can be provided by Human Resources .

3.5    Repayment of relocation expenses

Appointees who receive relocation assistance and voluntarily resign within the first two years of employment at UQ, may be required to repay UQ all or a pro-rata of the relocation assistance provided.

4.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Role

Actions

Authorised Officers

  • Consults with the Head of the Organisational Unit on the amount and type of relocation assistance UQ may offer an appointee.

  • Negotiates any offer of relocation assistance with the appointee prior to appointment.

  • Ensures the Offer of Appointment clearly stipulates the amount and type of relocation assistance UQ will offer the new appointee.

Human Resources

  • Provides advice and assistance to Authorised Officers in relation to the types of relocation assistance that UQ may offer new staff members and how it should be stipulated in the Offer of Appointment, and

  • Undertakes all relocation and removal logistical activities including:

    • liaising with UQ’s relocation broker and/or immigration service provider; and

    • invoicing, payment, and journals back to the relevant Faculty and Organisational Unit.

UQ’s Relocation Broker

  • Co-ordinates the end-to-end relocation process directly with the appointee in line with their agreed relocation allowance and this procedure.

UQ’s Immigration Service Provider

  • Prepares and lodges UQ-sponsored nominations and visa applications, in consultation with Human Resources and the appointee, and in accordance with this procedure.

5.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Chief Human Resources Officer is responsible for continuous monitoring of the effectiveness, application and improvement of this procedure.

6.0    Recording and Reporting

Recording and reporting are completed in accordance with legislative and UQ requirements.

Human Resources will maintain records of relocation assistance in accordance with UQ's Information Management Policy and Procedures, and the Privacy Management Policy.

All transactions, activities and approvals are recorded via UQ’s HCMS.

UQ’s relocation broker will provide UQ with reports on relocation status and use of relocation assistance.

UQ’s immigration service provider will provide UQ with relevant reports.

7.0    Appendix

7.1    Definitions

Authorised Officer – the officer authorised to exercise the relevant HR power or function in accordance with the HR Sub-delegations Instrument.

Broker – third party provider that manage all aspects of an appointee’s physical relocation, both domestically and internationally on behalf of UQ

FBT - Fringe Benefits Tax.

Head of Organisational Unit - Management Level 4 (Group Manager) as per the HR Sub-delegations Instrument.

Relocation expenses – Eligible Relocation expenses are outlined in the UQ FBT Guide.

Travel expenses - Up to the level of a one-way economy class airfare by scheduled airline services by the most direct route. If travel is by private means, the cost of one-way economy class air travel can be reimbursed.

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury