2.1 Authorization

2.1.1 The employer has the responsibility to authorize a relocation and to ensure that all relocation arrangements are consistent with the provisions of this Directive.

  • The authorization shall be in advance in writing;
  • The employer shall authorize the CRSP in writing to provide IRP contracted relocation services to the employee referred;
  • The CRSP is not authorized to reimburse any expenses that are not covered by this Directive, or expenses that are over and above the established contractual rates of this Directive;
  • In exceptional circumstances, the Departmental National Coordinator may post authorize relocation expenses incurred up to 30 days prior to the date of registration with the CRSP. In post authorization cases of more than 30 days, the approval of the Program Authority at TBS is required.

2.1.2 The employer shall not be responsible for such expenses, unless and until the relocation is subsequently authorized and the employee may be ineligible for some entitlements.

2.2 Responsibilities

2.2.1 Employer Responsibilities It is the responsibility of the employer to reimburse the employee's actual and reasonable relocation expenses (via the CRSP) within the limits of this Directive. The employer must advise the employee being relocated not to proceed with any relocation-related activities prior to initial consultation with the CRSP. The employer shall refer each employee to the CRSP immediately upon issuing the authorization to relocate. User departments/agencies are to assume the program delivery costs in accordance with the approved fee-for-service schedule. Departmental employees who recommend, authorize, interpret, process payment, review and audit expense claims/entitlements shall be familiar with both this Directive and the NJC Travel Directive. Departmental managers who authorize relocations must work closely with departmental relocation authorities to ensure that:

  1. no inappropriate funding/relocation commitments are made to employees;
  2. the correct pre-authorization process is followed; and
  3. no employee starts a relocation without having had the contracted counselling from the CRSP. The Departmental National Coordinator, specifically identified for this program, is required to issue approvals in certain areas of this Directive.

All requests for reimbursement that fall within the intent of this Directive, but whose special circumstances have not been specifically addressed, must be forwarded through normal channels directly to the designated Departmental National Coordinator, head office. The employer shall, via the CRSP:

  • ensure that the timing of the relocation, and the travelling associated with it is planned to minimize disruptions to family life, and to minimize the costs to the employer;
  • ensure that accommodation of employee needs is provided to the point of undue hardship;
  • verify and approve relocation expense claims before reimbursement. The employer shall, in consultation with the CRSP, initiate the removal of household effects, by forwarding to CRS a completed "Requisition for Removal Services". CRS will provide the employee with a copy of "Removal Instructions", which provide a detailed summary of the employee's and the mover's responsibilities concerning the removal of household effects. The employer shall provide the relocating employee and spouse or common-law partner, if applicable, with the necessary leave to carry out all activities related to the relocation. The employer shall provide instructions and/or advice in writing, either through the CRSP or directly, when requested by an employee.

2.2.2 Employee Responsibilities

The employee shall: Read this document and consult with the CRSP prior to engaging in any relocation-related activities. Obtain written authorization within the proper delegation framework prior to incurring any relocation expenses; employees proceeding with relocation related transactions prior to authorization or incurring expenses beyond those allowable under this Directive will be personally financially responsible for such expenses and could be disqualified from participating in this Directive. Be aware that an employee may forfeit eligibility for some or all the provisions of this Directive if he/she signs contracts (realtor, lawyer, appraisers, pre-sale, etc.), or has been reimbursed directly by the employer for relocation related expenses. Ensure that an "arm's length" relationship exists when selecting service providers. Ensure that any rebate from the service provider be paid to the Receiver General of Canada, if the Government of Canada pays for the fees charged for those services. Follow instructions and/or advice on the relocation process, given by departmental personnel and the CRSP. Require that the instruction and/or advice be provided in writing, when the employee feels that it contradicts this Directive. The employee should then consult with the Departmental National Coordinator for clarification on the instruction and/or advice provided. This is very important because expenses resulting from misinterpretation or mistakes will not necessarily be reimbursable. Be aware that refusing the instruction and/or advice of the Departmental National Coordinator, when this instruction and/or advice does not contradict this Directive, could result in relocation problems and additional personal cost. Inform the employer or its suppliers of his/her needs that may require accommodation. Submit within 90 days after the date of the employee's arrival at the new place of duty, or the date the dependant(s) arrive, whichever is later, a complete relocation expense claim with necessary supporting documentation as required by this Directive. At the end of the relocation process, if an employee has received funds that should not have been provided, the employee must make full restitution immediately upon notification, to the CRSP.

2.2.3 Contracted Relocation Service Provider (CRSP) Responsibilities

The CRSP shall: Provide services as specified in the contract and in this Directive. Establish contact with the referred employee within 48 hours and confirm personal information and counselling dates as per the contract. Advance funds to the employee immediately prior to the house-hunting trip or the movement of HG&E.

2.3 Receipts

2.3.1 Where reimbursement for authorized expenses is sought, the employee is expected to submit receipts for the expenses incurred.

2.3.2 In exceptional circumstances, where the employee certifies that a receipt was lost, accidentally destroyed or unobtainable, a personal declaration may replace the receipt.

2.4 Spousal relocation

2.4.1 If an employee with a spouse or common-law partner is relocated, and the spouse or common-law partner is also an employee who is relocated to the same location, this Directive shall apply as for an employee and spouse or common-law partner and not as two separate employees.

2.4.2 If the two employees are employed by two different departments, prior arrangements for departmental cost sharing may be made in accordance with the established principles of responsible management of public funds.

2.4.3 Time-off with pay shall also be granted to the spouse or common-law partner who is also an employee.

2.5 Advances

2.5.1 An employee shall be advanced funds (via the CRSP) to assist in meeting personal expenses incurred in the relocation such as a house hunting trip (HHT), travel and interim accommodation.

2.5.2 To ensure that the employee has full use of the proceeds of the sale of the former residence, the employee may also request an advance of an amount equal to the calculated real estate and legal fees. This amount may be issued directly to the legal firm, provided that a written offer of purchase has been received and subject to the residence being listed through a licensed real estate firm. Such advances may be made in accordance with the Accountable Advances Regulations, and shall only be made immediately prior to the date the funds will be required.

2.6 Employer-requested Relocation

2.6.1 Employer-requested relocations are relocations within Canada, including employee relocations that result from staffing actions except on initial appointment.

2.6.2 When an employee requests consideration for a transfer to a different location, a relocation which may eventually result from that request may be an employer-requested relocation as outlined in section 12.1.2.

2.7 Employee-requested Relocation

2.7.1 In an employee-requested relocation assistance shall be provided in accordance with Part XII.

2.8 Initial Appointment

2.8.1 Relocation provisions for appointees to the public service or other persons who are not employees before they are authorized to relocate at public expense are found in the Integrated Initial Appointees Relocation Program (IIARP), which can be found on the TBS website (https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/travel-relocation/addendum-initial-appointees-relocation-program.html).

2.9 Expense Claims

2.9.1 An employee claiming relocation expenses must submit a detailed and itemized account, in the form required. The claim must conform to the following requirements:

  1. the account must be submitted within 90 days after the date of the employee's arrival at the new place of duty, or the date the dependant(s) arrive, whichever is later (but within one (1) year);
  2. the claim shall be supported by receipted vouchers for each item in the claim except: kilometric allowance, expenses for taxis under $10, expenses for meals and miscellaneous incidental expenses, and amounts paid for accommodation other than in commercial establishments;
  3. the claim shall be supported by any other information required; and
  4. the claim shall be signed by the employee, certifying that all the amounts claimed have been paid.

2.10 Cancellation of Relocation

2.10.1 The employer, via its CRSP, is authorized to reimburse an employee for expenses incurred when a relocation is cancelled by the employer for work-related reasons that are beyond the employee's control in compliance with this Directive.

2.10.2 Upon official notification of cancellation, it is the responsibility of the employee to terminate any arrangements in process except for the removal of effects or the move of a mobile home, which the employer will terminate through the CRS.

2.10.3 Reimbursable expenses will vary according to the stage of the relocation. Reimbursable expenses are those which in the opinion of the deputy head or senior delegated officer, are reasonable in the circumstances, not exceeding the limits prescribed in this Directive. Normally, little expense is involved until the employee disposes of a principal residence. As an example, an employee renting accommodation may have terminated the lease and may be unable to retain the accommodation; or an employee owning a principal residence may have sold it and may be obliged to vacate. In the latter case, although the employee may be able to have the sale set aside by agreement with the purchaser, a real estate fee may be payable. In either case, when the employer is satisfied that the employee must vacate the accommodation, a local move of household effects shall be authorized, along with incidental relocation expenses in the appropriate amount. The employer will reimburse an employee for a wide range of incidental expenses related to a relocation. The expenses must be directly attributable to the move, must be clearly reasonable and justifiable, and must not upgrade the financial position of the employee. The incidental expenses must be supported by receipts, the reimbursement of which is subject to judgment by the recommending authority that the expenses are within the intent of the provision and are reasonable in the circumstances.

2.10.4 Reimbursement of payments made for rent in advance (see Temporary Dual Residence Allowance [TDRA]) of the move, or for legal fees on purchase of a principal residence, may also be authorized.

2.11 Relocation while on Travel Status

2.11.1 If an employee is authorized to relocate while in travel status at the new place of duty, such circumstances shall change the status from travel to relocation. If the employee is eligible for assistance such as TDRA, it shall be approved. The assistance shall start the day following the effective date of written relocation notification.

2.12 Departmental Controls

2.12.1 Specific directions shall be incorporated in departmental procedures as follows:

  1. the specific relocation provisions arranged for an employee-requested relocation for personal reasons (see section 2.7) shall be placed on the employee's relocation file; reimbursement shall be confined to the terms agreed to, and shall be subject to the limitations of this Directive;
  2. the pre-authorization to travel "Travel Authority and Advance" form, shall be completed prior to the move and placed on the employee's relocation file;
  3. when an isolated post is not involved, a record of all time extensions authorized, and of long-term storage approved shall be placed on the employee's relocation file.

2.12.2 If the employee's employment with the federal government terminates for any reason during the relocation, the expenses incurred following the date of termination of employment are not reimbursable under this Directive.

2.13 Time Limits

2.13.1 There is a one (1) year time limit to receive reimbursement on a relocation from the date of registration with the CRSP. Based on exceptional circumstances, employees may request an extension by submitting a business case to the Departmental National Coordinator who shall forward the submission with their recommendation to the Program Authority at TBS for approval. Such requests shall not be unreasonably denied.