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Relocation Assistance Upon Appointment Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Western Sydney University seeks to attract high quality staff and recognises potential staff may be located anywhere in the world. The aim of this policy is to have relocating staff settled as quickly and efficiently as possible and the University has a range of relocation and settlement mechanisms for this purpose.

(2) This policy provides for reimbursement of relocation expenses to eligible appointees, within a maximum amount on an individual basis as determined by the University.

(3) The policy applies to appointees relocating from outside Australia, inter and intrastate but does not apply to appointees relocating from within an 80km distance of any University campus.

(4) Visiting and Adjunct appointments or casual employees are not covered by this policy.

(5) The policy should be read in conjunction with the Delegations (Administrative) Policy, the Procurement Policy and the Travel Policy.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(6) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. Dependents refers to:
    1. Children of the appointee or the spouse who reside with the appointee or the spouse and who are either under 18 years, or who are 18 years or older who are full time students; or
    2. Immediate family members of the appointee or the spouse who are elderly or who have a disability and the appointee or the spouse is the primary care giver, and who reside with the appointee or the spouse.
  2. Appointee refers to a person that has been offered and accepted a position at the University but has not yet commenced employment.
  3. Spouse refers to a married spouse and a de facto spouse, including same sex partners.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(7) The University may make reasonable contributions to actual expenses incurred by an appointee relocating to the University. Any contributions will be limited to a maximum amount an appointee may be reimbursed for their relocation expenses for all categories listed within this policy.

(8) The University determines relocation assistance on an individual basis. Relocation assistance arrangements within this policy are not entitlements.

(9) The approving delegate may limit the University's contribution to an amount that is less than the maximum provided in this policy.

(10) In exceptional circumstances, the Vice-Chancellor and President may approve payments in excess of the amounts provided in this policy.

Eligibility

(11) An appointee on an ongoing contract or a fixed term contract for a minimum of two years is eligible for relocation assistance with the exception of those applicants where relocation is from within an 80 kilometre radius from any University campus.

(12) In exceptional circumstances, an appointee on a fixed term contract of less than two years duration may submit an application for relocation assistance to the relevant Dean, Director, Vice-President, or Deputy Vice-Chancellor who may approve payments under this policy.

Conditions of Payment and Refund

(13) Any money paid as relocation assistance is deemed to be a debt to the University that can be recovered. A statement to this effect will be included in the letter of offer.

(14) An employee who receives relocation assistance payments under this policy is required to enter into an agreement to remain in the employment of the University for a period of two years, or if the employment contract is for a period of less than two years, for the period of the contract, or else be liable to refund payment to the University. A statement to this effect will be included in the letter of offer.

(15) Where an employee who has received relocation assistance payments ceases employment at the University by resignation or other lawful means during the period of the agreement, the appointee must refund the relocation assistance payment made to them or on their behalf, on a proportional basis. Employees who cease employment prior to serving 50% of the two year period, or 50% of the contract period if less than two years, are required to reimburse 100% of the payment. Those serving 50% or more of the two year period will pay a pro rata amount calculated as follows:

Sum payable by staff member ($A) = [(24-a) x b] / 24
Where a = months of service before resignation effective and
Where b = total costs incurred by the University

(16) Note: Where the employment contract is for a period of less than two years, both figures 24 in the above formula should be replaced by the number of months of the actual employment contract.

(17) The Vice-Chancellor and President may waive all or part of the refund requirement where some extraordinary pressing personal circumstances of a compassionate nature necessitates that the employee resigns, e.g. serious family illness.

(18) The maximum amount an appointee will be reimbursed for all categories listed within this policy is detailed in Table 1.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Management of the Reimbursement Process

(19) The Relocations Consultant within the Office of Human Resources (HR) manages the processing, payment and reimbursement process and is available to give advice and support to appointees and the relevant appointing unit.

(20) All quotes must be submitted by the appointee to the Relocations Consultant who will seek approval from the relevant Dean, Director, Vice-President, or Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

(21) All expenses should be submitted to the Relocations Consultant for payment upon arrival at the University. The University will only reimburse expenses limited to a maximum amount as outlined in this policy and upon evidence of actual receipts.

(22) Where the University agrees, arrangements can be made to pay companies direct for significant relocation costs i.e. removals, flights and accommodation, otherwise reimbursement will be paid on the approved quote, upon evidence of receipts. Contact the Relocations Consultant for support and advice.

(23) In exceptional circumstances, the appointee may request that the University makes payment for the item instead of the appointee seeking reimbursement. Requests outlining the special circumstances must be in writing to the relevant Dean, Director, Vice-President, or Deputy Vice-Chancellor via the Relocations Consultant. Appointees relocating from overseas should be aware that in many cases it is difficult for the University to make payment for international services.

(24) Delegation for relocation assistance payments is in accordance with financial delegations outlined in the Delegations (Administrative) Policy. All relocation assistance payments are made from the hiring unit cost centre.

Part B - Payment Amounts

(25) The amount of the relocation payment is determined on the basis of the appointee's location. The maximum amount an appointee will be reimbursed for all categories listed within this policy is detailed in Table 1.

Table 1 - Maximum Payable for Total Relocation Assistance

From New Zealand and South Pacific Maximum (inclusive of GST)
Appointee AUD $7,000
Spouse + AUD $2,000
Dependent/s + AUD $750 for each
From South East Asia and North East Asia
Appointee AUD $9,000
Spouse + AUD $3,000
Dependent/s + AUD $1,000 each
From Rest of the World
Appointee AUD $15,000
Spouse + AUD $4,000
Dependent/s + AUD $1,000 for each
From Interstate (VIC, SA, QLD, NT & WA)
Appointee AUD $3,500
Spouse + AUD $1,500
Dependent/s + AUD $500 for each
From NSW & ACT (excl. within 80kms of any University campus)
Appointee AUD $2,500
Spouse +AUD $1,500
Dependent/s +AUD $500 for each

(26) Where an appointee's spouse has also been offered a position at the University, and is an appointee defined in this policy, the combined support for the two appointees will not exceed the maximum amount for one appointee plus one spouse (as outlined in this policy) plus 15%. Payments for dependents will be made in addition to this and can be claimed only once. Payments should be spread over the relevant cost centres.

Example of relocation allowance is calculated as follows:
Appointee at $15K + Spouse at $4K = $19k x 15% = $2,850 + Dependent at $1k = $22,850 Total

Part C - Items and Expenses

Immigration: Visas and Associated Fees

(27) The University may contribute to the cost of personal application fees only for University sponsored visa applications for the appointee, the spouse and dependents under the 457 subclass Temporary Residency visa and or ENS 186 Employer Nominated visa for Permanent Residency. The University will not contribute to costs associated with character and police checks, skills assessments tests, IELTS English Proficiency tests and medical examinations.

Travel (air, rail or car)

(28) Where the University agrees, it may reimburse expenses for one form of travel only i.e. air, rail or car.

(29) The University will reimburse expenses for one-way economy class air travel for the employee, the spouse and dependents from their place of residence to Sydney by the most direct route.

  1. Domestic Air Travel - The University may arrange flight/s for applicants relocating within Australia only through the University's Etravel system. Contact the Relocations Consultant for support and advice.
  2. International Air Travel - The appointee should seek three documented quotes from three different airlines and send the quotes to the Relocations Consultant for approval. In general, the University will only contribute towards the lowest fare. An appointee who does not wish to accept the lowest quotation automatically accepts responsibility for any costs incurred above this amount. Reimbursement will be paid on the approved quote, upon evidence of receipts.

(30) The University will reimburse reasonable expenses for car travel including petrol and mileage and reasonable incidental costs whilst in transit for the appointee, the spouse and dependents from their place of residence within Australia to Sydney by the most direct route. Reimbursement will be paid on evidence of actual receipts.

(31) The University may also contribute to reasonable incidental costs as outlined below for an appointee, the spouse and dependents whilst in transit and upon evidence of receipts:

  1. meals and accommodation costs as a result of connecting flight times which are not covered by the airfare;
  2. transfers to and from the airport at both the point of embarkation and at arrival destination;
  3. personal travel insurance.

(32) The University may make a contribution towards car hire and insurance costs for up to seven calendar days upon arrival. Reimbursement will be paid on evidence of actual receipts.

Shipment of Household and Professional Effects

(33) The University may contribute to reasonable costs of the relocation of personal and professional belongings for the appointee, their spouse and dependents from their main residence to Sydney and the University. Reimbursement for associated expenses must be supported by three quotations as outlined below.

  1. Actual volume of goods transported by air of sea (i.e. 25-28 cubic metres, the approximate size of a standard 20 foot shipping container);
  2. Packing and unpacking of personal belongings;
  3. Transit insurance at the value the appointee nominates;
  4. Destination charges including customs and clearance costs;
  5. Delivery to residence;
  6. Storage costs where applicable.

(34) The appointee will make all arrangements for removals and should seek three documented quotes from three different providers and send the quotes to the Relocations Consultant for approval. All quotations must include all details as outlined above. In general, the University will only contribute towards the lowest price. An appointee who does not wish to accept the lowest quotation automatically accepts responsibility for any costs incurred above this amount.

(35) The University may contribute up to $2,500 for the relocation of a personal professional library of books and papers and/or academic/research equipment, not included in the above quotes. The contribution can be towards air freight or unaccompanied baggage where these items are essential and required upon commencement of duties. The appointee will make all arrangements for removals. The appointee should seek three documented quotes from three different providers and send the quotes to the Relocations Consultant for approval.

(36) Where the University agrees, arrangements can be made to pay the removals company direct on the approved quote otherwise reimbursement will be paid upon evidence of receipts and on the approved quote. Contact the Relocations Consultant for support and advice.

Storage

(37) The University may pay 100% of reasonable actual storage costs of household and personal effects for a period of up to four weeks after arrival and up to 50% of storage costs for a further four weeks. The appointee should make their own arrangements. Reimbursement will be paid upon evidence of actual receipts.

Vehicles

(38) The University will not contribute any amount towards transporting a vehicle from overseas but may contribute towards the cost of transporting one vehicle for domestic relocation from Western Australia and the Northern Territory only. The appointee will make all arrangements and should seek three documented quotes from three different providers and send the quotes to the Relocations Consultant for approval.

Pets

(39) The University may agree to reimburse up to AUD$5,000 towards the cost of relocating family domestic pets (e.g. dogs, cats, caged birds) from other states/territories and overseas as permitted under the Australian Government Department of Agriculture guidelines. It will not make any contribution to relocating livestock (e.g. horses, goats, cows, donkeys, alpacas). The appointee should seek three documented quotes from three different providers and send the quotes to the Relocations Consultant for approval. The appointee should make their own arrangements. Reimbursement will be paid on the approved quote upon evidence of receipts.

Initial Set-Up and Accommodation and Meal (food) Expenses

(40) Accommodation: Where the University agrees to provide relocation assistance it may contribute 100% of reasonable costs for short stay accommodation for a maximum of four consecutive weeks upon arrival. During this time the staff member is expected to make arrangements to procure permanent accommodation. Reimbursement will be paid on evidence of actual receipts.

(41) Meals: The University may agree to reimburse 50% of the total costs of reasonable grocery (food only) expenses for the first four consecutive weeks after arrival for the appointee, spouse and dependents. This includes the claim of a one-off house and kitchen (pantry) set-up. The University will not contribute to costs incurred during business hours on weekdays nor will it reimburse expenses for alcohol, toiletries and incidentals. Reimbursement will be paid on evidence of actual receipts.

(42) Initial Set-up expenses: The University may agree to reimburse up to a maximum of $3,500 towards reasonable costs associated with the initial set-up whilst the appointee is awaiting the arrival of their household goods and effects. This may include the hiring and or purchase of incidental household items and include electrical items, for example:

(43) NB: The University will not reimburse for expenses for mobile phones, laptop and computer equipment, music and stereo equipment or game consoles including games. Reimbursement will be paid on evidence of actual receipts for purchases made only after the appointee has arrived in Australia.

  1. linen and manchester, kitchen items, furniture etc.
  2. white goods, fridge, TV etc. where it is not appropriate to relocate household items from parts of the world.
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Section 5 - Guidelines

(44) Nil.