The House Hunting Trip (HHT) is meant to provide an employee with the opportunity to secure suitable accommodation at the new place of duty.
The HHT should result in most moves being door-to-door, hence considerably reducing the cost for interim accommodation, meals, and incidental expenses and eliminating unnecessary storage in transit costs.
Employees who plan to re-occupy a previously occupied residence or who have already secured accommodation or who have been assigned an "Official" Crown-owned or leased accommodation associated to special functions are not entitled to a HHT. However, entitlement exists for a destination home inspection trip (DHIT).
4.2 Authorization/Business Travel
Before proceeding on an HHT/DHIT, prior approval must be received from the receiving manager/relocation co-ordinator. An employee who is relocating to a new post (including Isolated Posts) where a viable market exists is eligible for an HHT. Employees are deemed to be on business travel for the normal duration HHT (5+2 days). Annual leave/compensatory time off may be used for extended periods.
4.3 Savings from a Shorter HHT and Incentive for Staying Over a Saturday
Employees may schedule their HHT in order to benefit from provisions that enable them to transfer funds into their Personalized Fund. See section 3.4.2.c.
4.4 Travel Time
4.4.1 Total travel time shall not exceed two days, except when distances and/or connections are such that the total return journey cannot be accomplished in that period. In such cases, additional travel time shall be authorized by the Departmental National Coordinator and those expenses shall be paid from Core.
4.4.2 However, additional travel time and related expenses, resulting from the employee selecting a different mode of transportation other than that which would normally have been used, will be funded from the Personalized Fund.
4.4.3 Annual/compensatory time off (authorized leave) will be used for these additional days.
4.5 Travel Status
Reimbursement of allowable HHT expenses for transportation, accommodation, meals and incidental expenses shall be paid as if the employee or spouse or common law partner, or both, were in travel status in accordance with the Travel Directive.
- Only one incidental expense shall be paid per family.
4.6 Funding Overview
The benefits outlined in this section are funded from both the Core Fund and, if need be the Customized/Personalized Funds as follows:
|HHT: Accommodation: 5 + 1 nights; Meals: 5 + 2 travel days; Incidentals: 5 + 2 travel days||Employee and Spouse or common law partner.||Children and/or Extended Family; HHT extends beyond 5 + 1 nights because no appropriate accommodation is found|
|Extended HHT (Family issues): Accommodation: up to 2 days; Meals: up to 2 days; Incidentals: up to 2 days - see 4.08||Employee, Spouse or common law partner, Children and/or extended family. Accommodation and meals.|
|Extended HHT (Finding elder care accommodation): Accommodation: up to 2 days; Meals: up to 2 days; Incidentals: up to 2 days -see 4.08||Employee, Spouse or common law partner, Children and/or extended family. Accommodation and meals.|
|Destination Home Inspection Trip (DHIT): Accommodation: 2 + 1 nights; Meals: 2 + 2 travel days; Incidentals: 2 + 2 travel days - see 4.19||Employee/Spouse or common law partner (one person only)|
|Rental Car mid-size car only||6 days(HHT); 3 days(DHIT)||Upgrade/costs over Core funded from Personalized funds only.|
|Return Transportation||Employee and Spouse or common law partner||Children and/or Extended Family|
|Telephone Calls||Local/long distance - business calls only||No reimbursement for calls home|
|Dependent Care - 7 days||Actual expenses within IRP limitations||Expenses for extra HHT/DHIT days and above Core funding.|
|Boarding of Pets||Actual expenses|
|Commuting on HHT||Kilometric expenses for 5 days|
4.7 Duration of HHT
An employee or spouse or common law partner, or both, may be authorized a HHT of up to 5 days (5 nights) duration at the new location. The total duration of the HHT shall not normally exceed 7 days (6 nights) total, inclusive of travel time.
- An employee who has taken an HHT, and who subsequently decides not to relocate, shall not be required to reimburse the department for the cost of the HHT.
4.8 Extended HHT
Employees may use funds from the Customized/Personalized Funds to extend the duration of their HHT by up to 4 days as follows:
- Family Issues - a maximum of 2 days for locating day care, school, and/or making specialized medical arrangements; and/or
- Finding Accommodation - a maximum of 2 days to find suitable accommodation (other than principal residence) such as elder care facilities.
4.9 Additional Travelling Expenses for Children/Extended Family
Employees who wish to have their children/extended members of the family accompany them on a HHT may do so by utilizing funds from the Customized/Personalized Funds.
4.10 Hotel/Motel - Occupancy Principles
The number of rooms that an employee shall be entitled to while proceeding to the new location is based on family size. The following table outlines the room entitlement by family size:
- Family size of 1 = 1 room for 1 person
- Family size of 2 = 1 or 2 room(s)
- Family size of 3 to 5 = 2 rooms
- Family size of 6 or 7 = 3 rooms
- Family size of 8 or more = 4 rooms
4.11 Accommodation Cost
- Employees will be reimbursed actual and reasonable commercial lodging expenses within the average range found in the PWGSC Accommodation Directory: http://www.hcrd.gts.gc.ca/ehcd_e.htm
- Employee and/or Spouse or common law partner - 6 nights maximum inclusive of travel time
- Employees and/or Spouse or common law partner - up to an additional 4 nights
- Children and extended family - up to a maximum of 10 nights
4.12 Meals and Incidentals
Employees shall be paid the daily meal allowance in accordance with the Travel Directive meal rates per person per day plus only one incidental allowance per family unit per day as follows:
- Employee and/or Spouse or common law partner - 7 days maximum inclusive of travel time
- Children and/or extended family - a maximum of 11 days of a meal allowance for each dependant
- Employee and/or Spouse or common law partner - a maximum of 4 days
Employees shall be provided with the most practical and economical return transportation from the place of duty to the new location for each authorized person as follows:
- Commercial transportation - Employees and spouse or common law partner; or
- Private Motor Vehicle - expenses reimbursed in accordance with the kilometric rate established by the NJC Travel Directive. Where it is practical, an employee may travel to the house-hunting destination at the end of a regular workday or on weekends.
- Commercial transportation expenses when travel is authorized - Children and Extended Family.
- All travel via a commercial carrier shall be arranged by the third party service provider with the Government's contracted travel services.
- There will be no reimbursement from either Core or Customized Funds for travel arrangements made outside of this contractor.
4.14 Local Transportation
To conduct house hunting/home inspection, an employee may be reimbursed the following:
Car Rental - Mid-size car (HHT/DHIT)
- Up to a maximum of 6 days (HHT) or
- 3 days (DHIT) reimbursement of actual and reasonable mid-size car rental expenses
- Actual and reasonable gas expenses
- Parking and toll charges for 6 days (HHT)/3 days (DHIT)
- Car rental expenses in excess of Core - Upgrades and longer periods
Private Motor Vehicle (HHT/DHIT)
- Actual mileage driven calculated at NJC Travel Directive kilometric rate
- Parking and toll charges for 6 days (HHT)/3 days (DHIT)
4.15 Telephone Calls
- The cost of telephone calls and faxes related to the house hunting
- Receipts should be provided if available.
- No "calls home" will be reimbursed, as the cost of telephone calls home is included in the incidental expense allowance.
4.16 Dependent Care
The costs associated with dependent care as a result of the HHT shall be reimbursed in accordance with the Travel Directive.
Employees shall be reimbursed for dependent care costs additional to any existing dependent care arrangements, based on a maximum per day/night as follows:
- Actual and reasonable dependent care expenses up to a daily maximum of $35 Canadian, per household, with a declaration; or
- Up to $75/night
- Up to 7 days.
- Expenses beyond Core are subject to availability of funds
4.17 Boarding of Pets
An employee shall be reimbursed actual expenses from the Customized/Personalized Funds for the boarding of household domestic pets while on HHT.
4.18 More than One HHT
- An employee may take more than one HHT.
- Costs in excess of the Core 5 days must be funded from the Customized/Personalized Funds.
- Exceptional cases are to be submitted to TBS for approval.
4.18.1 Once accommodation has been secured there is no entitlement to subsequent HHT. An employee who re-occupies a previously owned home will be required to reimburse all HHT related expenses (less DHIT trip expenses), and any credits to the Personalized envelope.
4.19 Destination Home Inspection Trip (DHIT)
Employees who plan to re-occupy a previously owned residence or who have already secured accommodation or who have been assigned an "Official" Crown-owned or leased accommodation associated to special functions are not entitled to an HHT. However, entitlement exists for a home inspection trip. Employees who qualify for a DHIT are entitled to:
- Return and local transportation (employees or spouse or common law partners)
- Up to 2 travel days
- Up to 2 days at destination (3 nights accommodation, 3 days meals and incidentals), to conduct inspection or to finalize arrangements for school or for elder care
- Spousal expenses
4.20 HHT On Arrival at the New Location
Where no HHT was utilized in advance of the departure/Report date, an employee may be reimbursed from the Core Fund reasonable HHT expenses such as dependent care/car rental, while occupying Interim Accommodation at the new place of duty.
An employee may claim the above expenses, however, it shall not increase the amount of Interim Accommodation, Meals and Miscellaneous Relocation Allowance (IAM&MA) which would normally have been authorized.
An employee unable to take a HHT because of operational requirements and who has not secured a residence prior to departure date shall proceed to the new location and will be authorized up to 15 days IAM&MA from the Core Fund. Expenses for childcare and a car rental may also be reimbursed if necessary. However, the 15 days of IAM&MA shall not normally be extended. Any extensions to IAM&MA shall be administered in accordance with Section 5.