20 May 2021
Relocation can occur for many reasons. Whether a location is shutting down, you are restructuring your business, or you simply require a single employee in a different workplace, it’s a major change for the individual(s) it affects.
For this reason, it’s important you get the process right. A major part of this process is the relocation letter. But what is it, how do you write one, and what do you need to include? You need to be aware of the different relocation rights that employment law entitles to your employees.
We’ll go through the different ways you can relocate employees and what happens if this isn’t feasible for them.
What is an employee relocation letter?
This is a note from you to the employee informing them of the intended move. As a result, you should provide adequate notice of the move.
Before they receive their employee relocation letter from an employer, there are some steps you should take first. Breaking this down, you need to answer a few questions:
- Will we try to relocate employees to a new location?
- If yes, what is our budget?
- What allowance can we afford to give the employees?
- For those who aren’t relocating, how will we manage the redundancy process?
Once you have answered all of these questions, there is one final check you need to make:
Do the affected employees have a mobility clause?
This will determine whether you have a contractual right to move employees. If you do, the move will be easier. However, moving an employee without a mobility clause isn’t impossible.
What to include in a letter to employees about office relocation
When you write a company relocation letter to employees, you need to tick certain boxes. Here are the main ones:
- Duration: Is this a temporary move, or a permanent one? If only temporary, how long will it last?
- Notice: When is the move taking place? How much time does the employee have to prepare?
- Incentives and assistance: Are you offering payments to help the employee move location? If so, what are they and how will they receive these benefits?
- Agreement: Do you and the employee both agree to the terms of the move? If yes, sign here as an acknowledgement of this
What if the entire office is relocating?
If an entire workplace is moving or shutting down, that means all employees will feel the impact. As a result, you should tweak your office relocation letter to employees to reflect this.
In this scenario, select certain individuals as part of a planning team. All members of this team should receive advance notification and a breakdown of their responsibilities.
We’d recommend a minimum of 3 months to plan the move and notify everyone. You should adjust your schedule based on the number of employees you have and the severity of the move.
For example, if you are moving to a location that is only a few miles from the current location, the move won’t have that much of an impact on your employees’ ability to get to work. If you’re moving halfway across the country, it will require a lot more time as staff may want to move or may need time to find new employment.
Other than the above factors, there isn’t much else you need to change in your business relocation letter to employees. Just make sure you give the letter in adequate time and accurately reflect the nature of the move. Any inconsistencies may cause a claim of constructive dismissal.
What is an employee relocation request letter?
There are some scenarios that may lead to an employee requesting a transfer. This may happen if the individual is happy in their current company but must move for personal reasons. Or, there may be issues at their current location, and so request a transfer.
This may not be viable in your business if you only have one location. However, if you do have multiple offices or workspaces, then it would be a good idea to highlight this process to employees within their handbooks or contracts.
Typically, it is best for the employee to broach the subject with their line manager or HR representative first. This way, they can be advised as to the best way to approach the subject, and you have knowledge of the desire to move in good time.
Although not absolutely necessary, you may ask the employee to make their request in writing so you have a record of it. Then, you must at least consider the request, even if you ultimately reject it.
If you’re uncertain whether you’ll be able to accommodate the move, conduct a meeting with the employee to discuss adjustments and how things will work moving forward. Communication is key.
Sample relocation letter for employee
In this section, we’ll provide you with an employee relocation letter template. It’s important to note that this letter will be generic and should only be used as a base for your own letter. As each situation is different, you’ll need to customise the document to fit your purposes.
Download our Relocation letter to employee sample below
Expert Support on relocation rights with Croner
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