Q1. Is it important to read and understand the NJC Relocation Directive prior to commencing a relocation?
A1. YES – relocating employees are responsible for ensuring that they understand their entitlements and obligations under the Directive. Lack of understanding is not a reasonable excuse for failure to properly apply the Directive.
Q2a. What is the significance of the change to the definition of "dependant"?
A2a. The definition now includes a person who does not live with the relocating employee but for whose care and support the employee is formally responsible. A formal declaration of this responsibility is required and may take the form of a signed statement or affidavit by the employee or a legal document such as power of attorney, custody order, Canada Revenue Agency recognition, etc.
This change recognizes changing family demographics and responsibilities.
Q2b. In the funding overview table contained in Part VI of the Directive, you refer to "other dependants"? Are they different from the list found in the Definitions section?
A2b. No, "dependants" simply refers to the dependants found in the Definitions section (c). We refer to them as other dependants to make a distinction between them and the employee, the spouse or common-law partner and the children, whose benefits are reimbursed from different funding envelopes.
Q3. What is the significance of the change to Employee Requested Relocation
A3. While the definition itself has not been changed substantially, employees will now no longer have to negotiate relocation expenses but will be reimbursed their costs in accordance with new Part XII of the Directive.
Q4. What is contained in Part XII?
A4. This part describes the relocation entitlement for employees in employee requested relocations. The circumstances that may result in a relocation being deemed employee requested have not changed. Such relocating employees are now eligible to receive up to $5000 from customized funding, based on receipts. Expenses that may be covered include, but are not limited, to house hunting trip, interim accommodation, movement of household goods and effects, etc.
There is no reimbursement or assistance for sale or purchase of a home.
Q5. I note that the time frame to complete a relocation has been reduced from two years to one year. Are there any circumstances in which this time frame may be extended?
A5: Yes. But it is understood that an exceptional circumstance must be an event or situation that is not directly attributable to the employee, but which prevents him/her from completing the relocation within the new time frame. For example, the Program Authority may consider a medical situation as an exception.
Q6. Can a relocating employee retain financial or other cash incentives from any of the service providers that they will utilize during their relocation?
A6. Many companies offer incentives to attract clients. Some of those incentives take the form of cash while some are issued as credits to be applied towards purchases. If the Employer has paid, either directly or indirectly, for the service, the employee must turn over the cash incentive to the Crown (Receiver General of Canada). For example, the government of Canada will pay for the real estate commission out of the core envelope as per the established corporate rates (IRP). To close the transaction quickly, the real estate broker offers a cash rebate. You must reimburse that rebate to the Receiver General because the expense was paid by the government.
Q7. How is the new Hotel-Motel Room Reduction Incentive calculated?
A7. Throughout the Directive there are sections where relocating employees are entitled to hotel-motel accommodations. The number of rooms allowed is based on the number of people traveling. For example, a family of 4 is entitled to 2 rooms. With this incentive, if a relocating employee uses less than the allowed number of rooms, that employee will receive $50.00 per night which will be added to their Personalized Fund. Please note that this $50 per night has nothing to do with the number of rooms reduced.
Q8. Am I entitled to the incentive if I occupy a hotel-motel suite?
A8. No. Another change to the directive is that employees who are entitled to 2 or more rooms, based on the number of family members traveling, can choose instead to occupy a suite. This will be funded out of the Core Fund. The $50.00 per night room reduction incentive is not payable under any circumstances when a suite is occupied.
Q9. I have a special needs child who requires a care attendant at all times. At the time of my relocation, can the attendant travel with us to the new location to assist in the transfer of my child's care to the new attendant?
A9. Yes, the relocating employee may claim the round trip travel costs, including meals and accommodations for the attendant. Incidental expenses, however, shall not be claimed or reimbursed. Travel arrangements are to be arranged through the Government Travel Service.
Q10. What is 10% Home Sale Assistance?
A10. An amount of money reimbursed to an employee who sells his or her principal residence at origin for an amount that is below the appraised value.
Q11. What is the maximum payment and how is it paid out?
A11. The maximum reimbursable amount is 10% of the appraised value up to $15,000. This amount is to be paid out to the relocating employee from the Core Fund. Any amount over $15,000 can be paid out of the Customized-Personalized Fund, depending on the availability of money in those envelopes and is subject to Canada Revenue Agency rules.
Q12. Can I accept an offer to purchase below the appraised value?
A12. Yes, however, if the amount offered is less than 95% of the appraised value, the approval of the Departmental National Coordinator is required. The Contracted Relocation Service Provider (CRSP) will coordinate this approval process which should take no more than 24 hours.
Q13. What is the change in the Mortgage Default Insurance Premium?
A13. The MDI Premium shall now be reimbursed in one lump sum. Also, the premium is now only required where the mortgage is for 80% or more of the purchase price.
Q14. I currently pay this premium to the bank on a monthly basis. Will this affect how I am reimbursed?
A14. No, a relocating employee will be reimbursed the premium once, in a lump sum, regardless of whether the employee paid the premium in one lump sum or pays on a monthly (or other time) basis.
Q15. I have noticed that the sections on Relocation of Initial Appointees and EX/GIC Relocations are no longer part of the Relocation Directive. Do they still exist and where can I find them?
A15. Yes, they still exist but they are no longer part of the directive. The section can be found at the following links: (http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/TBM_113/iairp-prinefp_e.asp#1.01, http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hr-rh/in-ai/2008/0526_e.asp, http://publiservice.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hr-rh/gtla-vgcl/menu-reloc-reinst_e.asp).