Relocation Committee

The National Joint Council (NJC) is pleased to announce that the NJC Relocation Committee has completed the cyclical review of the NJC Relocation Directive.

The new NJC Relocation Directive is effective April 1, 2009.

The Executive Committee wishes to thank all members of the Relocation Committee for their commitment in this important review.

You are invited to consult the Q&A's which are posted in the "What's New" section of the NJC website: http://www.njc-cnm.gc.ca/s24/s27/d435/en.

The new directive is available on the NJC website: http://www.njc-cnm.gc.ca/directive/nrd-drc/index-eng.php. Further detailed information on the changes to the Directive is also available via the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hr-rh/gtla-vgcl/index_e.asp.

HIGHLIGHTS OF CHANGES

General

Organization

The NJC Integrated Relocation Directive – IRD has been re-named the NJC Relocation Directive.

New definitions have been inserted and existing ones updated to reflect the current structure of the public service.

Sections XII – Newly Appointed Employees to the Public Service and XIV – Executive Group (EX) and Governor In Council Appointees (GIC) – Relocation Provisions, which were not under the NJC's jurisdiction, were removed from the Directive.

Definition of "Dependant" – The definition has been expanded and now includes "a person who resides outside the employee's residence and for whom the employee has formally declared a responsibility for assistance and/or support".  Note: A formal declaration may be either a signed statement by the employee or a legal document.

Definition of "Employee-requested relocation" – The definition has been changed to reflect the fact that existing employees will be treated, at a minimum, as well as initial Appointees. Both groups will be reimbursed up to $5,000 for relocation costs (12.1.2(b)).

Part II – Administration

Post Authorization – 2.1.1 – This section has been made more flexible by allowing the Departmental National Coordinator to post authorize relocation expenses incurred up to 30 days prior to the registration of the relocation, in exceptional circumstances. Previously, such post authorization could only be provided by the Program Authority at TBS.

Submission of Final Expense Claim –2.2.2.10 – The time frame during which this expense claim must be submitted has been increased from 30 days to 90 days.

Time limit for receiving relocation reimbursement – 2.13 – The time limit for receiving reimbursement for relocation, starting from the date of registration of the relocation, has been reduced from 2 years to 1 year. As previously, employees may request an extension based on exception circumstances. The words "Such request shall not be unreasonably denied" have been added.

Part III – Relocation Entitlements

Customized Fund – 3.4.1 – The "Homeowner" section of 3.4.1.1 Chart Element #1 (Customized Funding Formula) – Real Estate Commission has been amended and now includes a maximum reimbursement of $5,250 (applicable taxes excluded) with the greater of $1,000 or 35% of the commission.

Part IV – House Hunting Trip (HHT)

Room Reduction Incentive – 4.11 – A new incentive has been added to the Directive which transfers $50 per night to an employee's personalized envelope when s/he uses less than his or her hotel room entitlement, based on family size. This incentive applies to all situations when hotel rooms are used (i.e.: House Hunting Trip, Travel to New Location, Temporary Accommodation, and Interim Accommodation).

Part V – Interim Accommodation, Meals and Miscellaneous Relocation Allowance (IAM&MA)

60-Day Interim Accommodation – Short Notice/Change of Status –  5.6 – A new section has been added to address the needs of employees who must relocate on short notice, or who are already working at the new location (for example, in Travel Status) when relocation notification is received.

Part VI – Travel to the New Location

Special Needs during Travel to the New Location – A new paragraph has been added to the Purpose of Part VI – Travel to the New Location, to allow for a caregiver to travel with the family if necessary. It reads as follows:

"An employee with a special needs dependant may require the assistance of a medical or care attendant during travel to the new location. Costs associated with the attendant's round trip, including travel, meals and accommodation will be funded through the Customized Envelope. Commercial travel arrangements shall be made through the Government Travel Service."

Part VII – Rental Accommodation

Weekend Travel Home –  7.9 – The title of this section has been changed from "Weekend Travel Home Every Two Weeks while on TDRA" to "Weekend Travel Home while on TDRA", to reflect the reality that such travel home can be taken at any time within the entitlement schedule.

Part VIII – Sale of Home

10% Home Sale Assistance – 8.3 – The new entitlement has been added to Part VIII – Sale of Home. Employees may be reimbursed the difference between the appraised value of their home and the actual selling price, if the latter is lower. The maximum reimbursement shall not exceed 10% of the appraised value, or $15,000, whichever is greater. The appraised and market value are to be determined by a certified appraisal as per the provisions under the IRP contract and the Directive.

Part IX – Purchase of Replacement Residence

Mortgage Default Insurance (MDI) Premium – 9.17 – The wording of this section has been changed to ensure that an employee will be reimbursed the cost of MDI in one lump sum, whether s/he pays the insurance in one lump sum or in installments to the bank.