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Corporate Relocations

All You Need To Know About Relocating Your Employees

March 2023

Are you thinking about relocating your employees to the UK? Or maybe you’re an employee who has been offered a job which includes moving to the UK from abroad? If that applies to you, then this comprehensive article about the corporate relocation is for you! 

Read along to find out what the process entails – from the job offer, through visa, to settling-in and accommodation support.

What is employee relocation? 

As an employee thinking about relocating to the UK, and in the process of securing a job that would allow one to do that, it is worth having a brief discussion as to what employee relocation actually entails, and the employers’ reasons for sourcing international talent. 

To start with, corporate relocation is a standard business practice, which allows employers to diversify and optimise their workforce. In other words, it’s a global talent acquisition. The goal for the employer is to move the employee, their family and their belongings from Location A to Location B quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. 

Employers either do that to relocate their existing employees, as they are already accustomed with the company culture and know-how, or to facilitate new hires to strengthen their international talent in a given location. 

The latter is particularly important for people eager to relocate to another country, and seek a new job there.

Contract of Employment & Relocation Clauses

Any employment is governed by a contract of employment between the employee and the company, which sets out the roles, responsibilities and benefits that the job entails. If relocation is involved, the contract of employment should and often does also contain clauses relating to the relocation arrangements. 

Typical terms of an employment contract include the following: 

  • the length and type of the contract – full time, part time, fixed term, indefinite term; 
  • employee roles and responsibilities, including expressly stating the tasks the employee will be expected to perform; 
  • remuneration, bonuses and benefits attached to the role. The relocation package will usually be included, subject to any negotiation with the employer; and
  • employment termination clauses – including the notice period, payment in lieu of notice clause, garden leave or any restrictive covenants (for example, non-compete clauses).

When relocation is also a part of the employment contract, particular arrangements will also be included in the contract which might entail things such as: 

  • the costs of the disposal of their current property in the old location as well as costs of an acquisition of a new property in the new location, irrespective of whether an employee (or a member of their family relocating with them) is a home-owner or a tenant;
  • the cost of the transfer of belongings; 
  • travel expenses, including preliminary visits to the new location;
  • travel expenses for the employee’s family;
  • temporary accommodation;
  • any subsistence costs incurred as a result of the relocation; and
  • cultural and acclimatisation support.

Relocation Costs 

Relocation involves services of many providers and the costs can quickly mount up. Our research indicates the following cost are typical when it comes to relocation: 

Legal fees: depending on the visa requirements and the original location, it can range between £500 to £2,000 per person. 

Removal service: depending on the current location and the new destination, the prices start at £300 for domestic UK relocation and can go up to even £10,000 for long-distance international relocation.

Property search: depending on the employee, their needs and what the property market is like in the new location, it can be as high as £1,200.  Attention – Repit offers tech-enabled comprehensive property search service which halves this cost to £599. Click here to find out more.

General destination guidance and support: this cost is usually within the £150 to £450 bracket. 

The contract of employment will specify who bears the relocation costs and the level of support provided by the employer. If those costs are split between the employee and the employer, the contract will also detail the split to ensure clarity of obligations between the parties. 

There are three main ways the relocation costs are usually dealt with. 

Option 1: The employer chooses the relocation provider and bears all of the relocation costs. 

Option 2: The employer gives an employee a set amount of money to cover the relocation expenses but it’s up to the employee to arrange the process. The employee can choose services and providers. 

Option 3: The employer gives an employee the money to cover their relocation expenses, together with a list of services the money is meant to cover. The employee must report back to the employer to show they are sticking to the list. 

Furthermore, when a foreign national comes to the UK for employment, they may be eligible to get their travelling costs in addition to £8,000 of removal expenses tax-free.

Aleksandra Pitula
Photo by @cferdophotography

Foreign Nationals – Visa Requirements 

Visa requirements can be complicated so we summarised some of the most common visas below. 

However, for detailed advice we encourage you to contact our partners GetPassportTo who are specialists in the field of Home Office requirements to enter the UK. If you’re a Repit customer, you are eligible for a £100 discount on GetPassportTo services. Use the promo code REPIT to automatically get a discount. 

The code is valid until the 5th of April 2023. After that date in order to get the discount – mention this article to the manager at GetPassportTo before making the payment.

Sponsor Licence

If you’re relocating a foreign national to the UK for work, they will need a visa. In order to be issued a visa, they must present a certificate of sponsorship. This certificate can only be issued by an employer who is a holder of a sponsor licence. It is not possible to receive any of the visas discussed below without this certificate. 

UK Visas 

There are four main types of visas that allow employees to relocate to the UK. 

These are: 

UK Expansion Worker Visa – suitable for workers who are coming to the UK to work in a company that has not started operating in the UK yet. 

Senior / Specialist Worker Visa – suitable when an employer with an established presence in the UK wants to relocate their current employees from an overseas branch.

Skilled Worker Visa – allows foreign employees to come to the UK to work for an employer who has been approved by the Home Office to hire foreign employees.

Scale-up Worker Visa – allows employees to come to the UK to work for a fast-growing business for a minimum period of 6 months.

The requirements of each are summarised in the graphic below. 

Arriving in the UK

Irrespective of the arrangement with your employee as to who bears the costs of relocation, there are four key elements of a successful relocation: 

  • Finding suitable long-term housing – whether renting or buying; 
  • Finding short-term housing – for example a hotel to stay in for the duration of the process of obtaining long-term accommodation
  • Transfer of belongings – including transporting pets, arranging storage until permanent housing is found, accounting for transfer of belongings of a spouse and children; 
  • Acclimatisation support – including opening a bank account, applying online for National Insurance Number, registering with a GP Practice or registering for school if children are involved.

The four key elements are the crucial part of any corporate relocation and that is the particularly challenging part of the process – as well as something Repit specialises in. Enquire today.

If you as an employer are planning to rent for your employee and require help with the renting process, we recommend you check our other articles dealing with: 

Once your employee has relocated, it might take a bit of time for them to acclimatise and adjust to life in the UK, particularly if their family has relocated with them. 

As an employer, you should allow the employee enough time to settle in, introduce them to their new colleagues and team members, and potentially also assign them a mentor to help them navigate the first few months in a new environment.


Hopefully the article has helped to shed some light on how the process of relocation looks like. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Repit and we will be more than happy to answer any queries. 

To keep up to date, subscribe to our corporate relocations mailing list.


Aleksandra Pitula
Social Media Manager

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