In addition to the compensation and benefits considerations, a global employee mobility program will provide the employee and any accompanying family with information on the support they provide regarding home country assistance and host country mobilization. Understanding what benefits and services are provided during the relocation process goes along way in helping the employee feel confident in a plan that protects their home country investments, while paving a road for a faster, more seamless move.

Home Country Assistance

Property Management

Unless the employee is being localized or moving permanently, most employers do not help with selling the home country residence. Instead, best practice is to offer property management services throughout the assignment. This may include rental management or vacant home maintenance. Some employers will claim all or a portion of the rent received to offset the host country housing costs if the home is rented during the assignment.

Best practice to include in: Long-Term Assignment Policies

Home Sale Assistance

Companies usually do not offer home sale assistance unless the employee is being localized in the host country or moving permanently. A tax-protected BVO home sale benefit for U.S. outbound employees is best practice. Direct reimbursement of home sale closing costs is standard for employees outbound from other countries.

Best practice to include in: Localization and Permanent Move Policies

Lease Cancellation

For assignees who rent in the home location, most companies will offer lease cancellation assistance to cover any penalties imposed to break the lease.

Best practice to include in: Long-Term Assignment, Localization and Permanent Move Policies

Home Country Automobile Disposition

Home country automobile disposition benefits include loss on sale reimbursement for selling a car or penalties related to early termination of a lease. The loss on sale amount is determined by the difference between the published, current value of the vehicle and the sale or trade-in price obtained. This benefit is typically limited to two personal autos.

Best practice to include in: Long-Term Assignment, Localization and Permanent Move Policies

Long Term Household Goods Storage

Long-term household goods storage will be required if the assignee is renting out their home, utilizing the property management benefit for a vacant property or if they opted to break the lease on a rental. The storage facility should be climate controlled, and restrictions should apply to what can be held in storage. Delivery out should occur within 30 to 60 days of the end of the assignment and the family’s return to the home location.

Best practice to include in: Long-Term Assignment Policies

Mobilization to the Host Country

Final Move

Final move benefits are for the assignee and family members who are also relocating. Transportation benefits typically adhere to the corporate travel policy and include meals and hotel accommodations, as necessary. The benefit should cover transportation to the host country and, if applicable, transport back to the home country upon repatriation.

Best practice to include in: All International Policies

Temporary Accommodations

Best practice is to provide furnished living accommodations until the household goods shipment arrives and the leased property is move-in ready. The standard benefit is 60 days between the time the household goods are packed (departure) and until they are delivered to the destination. Depending on the status of the assignee’s home country property, temporary accommodations might be needed upon repatriation as well.

Best practice to include in: Long-Term Assignment and Permanent Move Policies

Household Goods Shipment

The household goods shipment is a standard benefit when going on assignment and repatriating. It can include air, sea or land shipments of household possessions. Short-term assignments are allotted a small (500 lbs.) air shipment or coverage of excess baggage. Depending on the length of time in the host location, extended business travelers might be offered coverage for one or two extra bags. Long-term assignments and permanent moves usually include an air shipment and a sea or land shipment.

Allowances for both shipments depend on the size of the family. For example, a family of two might be allotted 750 lbs. for the air shipment and a 20-foot sea shipment container. On the other hand, a family of four is likely to be allocated a minimum of 1,000 lbs. for the air shipment and a 40- foot sea shipment container. Assignees who are localizing are also typically offered a sea shipment if they left anything behind in long term storage in the home country. The coverage of long-term storage at home typically ends upon the localization date. Repatriation household goods shipments are the same as allotted when going out on assignment.

While not yet considered best practice, some companies offer a furniture allowance in place of a household goods shipment. This can reduce costs, speed the transition and allow assignees to rent or purchase furnishings that better suit their destination housing.

Best practice to include in: Short- and Long-Term Assignment Policies, Localizations and Permanent Moves


Learn more in this Global Mobility Policy whitepaper!

Read this whitepaper on Global Mobility Policy Trends, Design and Best Practices that will help you to assess your global mobility policies in light of current realities.

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