Employment in Hampshire County Council 2007

23. Change Of Work Base

23.1 The County Council and the Trade Unions recognise that a change of workbase might occur, for example, to enable continuity of employment or to provide work experience which could enhance an employee's future prospects.

23.2 An employee's workbase will not be changed without prior consultation and full consideration of the employee's personal circumstances.

23.3 Where a change of workbase is necessary, staff will be given at least one month's notice to enable them to make any necessary travel arrangements, etc. A longer period will be considered where there are exceptional circumstances.

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Principles

23.4 Where an employee is required by the County Council to change his/her normal work base to a location which results in:

  • an increase in the journey to work of at least 15 miles, and
  • a journey to work of at least 25 miles, and
  • an increase in travel-to-work time of at least 30 minutes, and
  • a subsequent move of home
  • he/she will be entitled to relocation assistance as defined below, subject to the conditions shown.

23.5 Where an employee is required by the County Council to change his/her normal work base to a location which results in:

  • an increase in the one way journey to work of at least 5 miles, and
  • an increase in the one way journey to work time of at least 15 minutes, and
  • a daily one way journey to work of at least 20 miles, and
  • a daily one way journey to work time of at least 30 minutes, and
  • a net additional cost to the employee
  • he/she will be entitled to travel assistance as defined below.

23.6 Where an employee is required by the County Council to change his/her normal work base to a location which results in the conditions above being met, but chooses not to move home, he/she will be entitled to travel assistance as defined below.

23.7 An employee will not be eligible to receive both relocation and travel assistance.

23.8 Where a successful job applicant meets the requirements below, and subsequently moves home, he/she may be offered relocation assistance up to the maximum level as defined in below, subject to the conditions shown. Any such assistance will be at the sole discretion of the County Council taking into account the individual’s personal circumstances and budget constraints.

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Relocation Assistance

23.9 Hampshire County Council wishes to ensure that existing and new staff who are required to change their work base and subsequently have to move home are assisted to achieve the move quickly and efficiently so that they can become settled in the new area and in their new role.

23.10 Therefore financial assistance will be provided to existing employees as shown below. Similarly, at the discretion of the County Council, financial assistance may be offered to new employees up to the maximum shown below.

23.11 It is a requirement of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) rules that to qualify for relocation relief that an existing or new employee must:

  • have to move to:
    • take up a new job with the County Council
    • continue their current job but at a new location
  • the expenses and benefits must fall into one of the following categories:
    • the employee’s sale of their old residence
    • their purchase of a new house
    • transporting the employee’s belongings to the new residence
    • associated travel and subsistence costs
    • domestic goods for the new premises
  • the expenses must be incurred or the benefits must be provided before the end of the tax year after the one in which the employee’s circumstances changed; and
  • the employee’s new residence must be within reasonable daily travelling distance of their new normal place of work, and their old residence must not be within reasonable daily travelling distance of the new normal place of work

23.12 These matters will need to be subject to discussion with management and management approval.

23.13 Consideration will be given to offering up to one-third of the benefits shown below in sections 23.20 to 23.24 for first-time buyers (subject to meeting the requirements shown above except the first).

23.14 Consideration will be given to reimbursing the reasonable removal expenses necessarily incurred in moving from rented accommodation to alternative rented accommodation (subject to meeting similar requirements to those shown above).

23.15 Where two or more employees share accommodation, any assistance will normally be split between them on an equal basis. Alternative arrangements may be applied at the discretion of the Director of Human Resources if appropriate.

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Separation Allowance

23.16 Where an employee is living in temporary accommodation while seeking permanent accommodation (purchased or rented) and is still incurring expenditure on their `old' accommodation, an allowance of up to £220 per month may be claimed, for up to a maximum of six months, as a contribution towards increased accommodation and/or travel costs.

23.17 To claim this allowance, receipts for accommodation costs must be submitted; reimbursement will be made without income tax or national insurance deductions.

23.18 To claim reimbursement for travel between old and new accommodation, a record of journeys made will suffice as a `receipt'. Where car mileage claims have been pre-authorised, reimbursement will be at the rate of 26.2p. per mile.

23.19 Any allowance paid under this provision will form part of the maximum reimbursement claim of up to £10,000.

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Costs associated with House Sale and Purchase

23.20 A contribution of up to £10,000 inclusive of VAT (less the total amount of any payments made for separation allowance) of reimbursement of approved expenses may be made, subject to submission of receipts.

23.21 Reimbursement of qualifying expenses up to £8000 will be reimbursed without deduction of income tax or national insurance, subject to submission of receipts.

23.22 Claims for reimbursement of expenses over £8,000 (up to the maximum of £10,000) should also be supported by receipts, but will be reduced by the appropriate level of income tax, in accordance with Inland Revenue regulations.

23.23 Deductions for membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme are not affected by claims or payments for removal expenses.

23.24 Approved expenses may cover:

Costs associated with selling a property, eg: legal fees, estate agent fees, mortgage indemnity premiums;

  • Costs associated with buying or renting a property, eg: legal fees, survey/valuation fees, land registry/search fees, stamp duty;
  • Costs of furniture removal, including insurance, storage charges;
  • Travelling and subsistence, which includes costs of temporary accommodation;
  • Purchase of domestic goods, eg carpets, utility service connections;
  • Costs of any `bridging' loans, relocation agency/company fees;
  • Reimbursement of stamp duty will be restricted to the lower rate, currently the first £250,000 of purchase price.

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Time Limits

23.25 The time limit for claims for separation allowance and costs associated with house sale and purchase is six months from the date of taking up an appointment with the County Council.

In exceptional circumstances, such as extreme difficulty in moving or significant personal or financial hardship, the employee's Chief Officer may extend the period for the payment up to a maximum of a further six months.

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Repayment of Allowances

23.26 All employees intending to claim under the scheme will be required to sign a Form of Undertaking and no payments will be made prior to receipt of the signed form.

23.27 The employee will be required to confirm that he/she accepts that, in the event of resignation or dismissal due to misconduct or statutory prohibition, within two years of the final payment, all payments will be repaid on the following basis:

Within 12 months of final payment

100% of all sums paid

After 12 but within 18 months of final payment

50% of all sums paid

After 18 but within 24 months of final payment

25% of all sums paid


23.28 Where an employee is dismissed on health grounds or made redundant, there will be no recovery of costs in respect of section 23.19 to 23.23.

Procedure and Information

23.29 All claims and requests should be made to the Recruitment Centre who will also advise on the working and provisions of the scheme.

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Travel Assistance

Introduction

Hampshire County Council recognises that staff may sometimes be required to change their work base where the alternative is to make the employee redundant - for example because of a site closure or reorganisation leading to a reduced requirement for staff at a particular site.

In these circumstances, financial assistance will be provided to employees as shown below to off-set increased costs.

23.31 Financial assistance will not be available to staff who choose to move to an alternative work base on any other basis.

23.32 To be eligible for travel assistance, the change of work base must result in:

  • an increase in the one way journey to work of at least 5 miles, and
  • an increase in the one way journey to work time of at least 15 minutes, and
  • a daily one way journey to work of at least 20 miles, and
  • a daily one way journey to work time of at least 30 minutes, and
  • a net additional cost to the employee.

23.33 Journey distances and mileages above will be based on the difference between the most direct, reasonable route from the employee's home to his/her current and new work base.

23.34 In calculating the net additional cost to the employee above, any increase in salary or earnings will be taken into account - ie the financial implications of the move will be considered as a "package" and any financial assistance will be provided only where there is a net loss and to the limit of that loss.

23.35 Where two or more employees share such a journey, assistance will normally be split between them on an equal basis. Alternative arrangements may be applied at the discretion of the Director of Human Resources if appropriate.

Financial Assistance

23.36 For members of staff who travel to work by public transport, financial assistance will be provided on the basis of the additional public transport costs incurred for the increased journey to work. Rail travel will be paid at standard class fare rates (taking account of season ticket rates and any discounts available to HCC employees). The payment will be based on the difference between

  • the cost of travel between home and original work base and
  • the cost of travel between home and new work base.

23.37 Financial assistance will be provided on the basis of a fixed amount per mile and based on the increase in mileage undertaken.

23.38 The amount will be calculated on an annual basis and paid with the employee's salary in twelve equal instalments. A deduction will be made for annual leave and statutory holidays where public transport season ticket rates are not applicable).

23.39 If an employee is absent for any other reason (i.e for 30 consecutive days) through sickness, maternity, paternity or adoption leave then payment will be suspended for the duration of the absence.

Payment will be made for an equivalent period at the end of the travel assistance period.

The rate will be 26.2 pence per mile.

This rate will be reviewed on 1 April of each year and amended in line with the percentage increase in the County Council's single mileage rate.

No payment will be made for additional car parking costs.

Any employee with a lease car who is eligible for travel assistance will receive a payment based on their lease car mileage rate.

Travel assistance payments will be subject to tax and national insurance deductions.

There are additional tax implications for employees with lease cars, as this will be viewed as "private mileage" by the Inland Revenue and "fuel scale charges" will apply. Income tax is a personal issue and employees will be responsible for their own tax liability.

The County Council takes no responsibility for an employee's tax liability.

Employees may decide not to receive travel assistance, but no alternative payment will be made.

Time Limits

Travel assistance will apply for two years from the date of the move to the new work base.

However, if an employee moves house or work location before the end of that period and is no longer eligible, all payments will immediately cease.

Procedure and Information

All claims and requests should be made to the Employment Practice Centre who will also advise on the working and provisions of the scheme.

If required to move workbase for a second time during the employee’s two year relocation period the relocation allowance will be recalculated.

The distance between the employee’s original workbase(workbase 1) (i.e. before any relocation occurred) and the most recent workbase(workbase 3) will be calculated.

If eligible for travel assistance this will be granted for the remaining balance of the 2 year period from the date of commencement at the most recent workbase location.

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