Policy statement 

The University of York aims to recruit the highest quality individuals. This policy is intended to support departments in this aim by providing financial contribution to the costs new employees incur when they have to relocate nationally or internationally.


The policy applies to staff appointed to positions at grade 6 or above, on an open ended or fixed term contract of two years or more, and who have to relocate their main place of residence in order to take up the appointment. Staff employed at grades 1-5 are not eligible as the University would normally expect to recruit from within the surrounding area.

Relocation expenses of 10% of your gross salary (excluding allowances) or up to a maximum of £8,000, can be claimed.

Qualifying criteria

If you are a new starter moving to York, the University may pay some of your relocation expenses. You can apply for relocation expenses if your appointment meets all of the following qualifying criteria:

  • The contract of employment includes the relocation expenses paragraph. (if your contract does not include the relocation paragraph, please check with HR Services to confirm your eligibility)
  • The contract of employment with the University must be at grade 6 level or above on an open or fixed term contract. Excluded are atypical appointments (such as Marie Curie contracts) which incorporate a mobility allowance and are not entitled to relocation expenses under the policy.
  • The duration of the contract of employment with the University is no less than two years.
  • The costs incurred by the employee are as a result of the moving their permanent residence in order to take up the position.
  • The move of permanent residence is as a result of the employee accepting the position at the University (ie the move was not pre-planned by the employee regardless of whether the position was offered and accepted).
  • The old residence must be outside a 40 mile radius of the new work location, which is deemed to be a reasonable travelling distance.
  • The new residence must be within a 25 mile radius of the new work location.
  • The new starter must need to move home to take up an appointment with the University.
  • There is no other source of funding assistance available to the employee via a grant or where included in the annual remuneration, through a partner or other member of their household. (If there is alternative funding available or has been claimed from any other source as a result of their move to the area then funding from the University will not apply.)

Claims should be made in a timely manner to qualify for payment.

  • Any claim should be completed within 12 months of the appointment date.
  • All claims forms must be submitted within three months of the expense being incurred by the employee. (Multiple claim forms can be submitted by the employee during the process).

Once the qualifying criteria have been established the following is a list of permissible claims. This list is not exhaustive and is subject to change by the University or through legislative updates.

Permissible claims

Payments for relocation expenses are treated as part of an appointee's earnings for Income Tax and National Insurance Contribution purposes. However, the first £8,000 is exempt from Income tax and NICs. These are subject to HMRC rules which may be found at https://www.gov.uk/expenses-and-benefits-relocation/whats-exempt

The University's policy has permissible costs which may be reimbursed. These are approved and agreed at the University's discretion and may not include all the categories of costs outlined in the HMRC rules.

The permissible costs are outlined below.

Professional service costs associated with the sale of the old residence and purchase of the new residence:

  • Solicitors fees in respect of the sale and purchase
  • Search, survey and property equity fees
  • Valuation fees
  • Land registry fees
  • Estate agents fees
  • Letting agency fees (for short-term temporary accommodation only)

Transporting of the employee's belongings to the new residence:

  • Moving normal household effects within or into the UK
  • Temporary storage of domestic belongings for a period of up to three months
  • Insurance of domestic belongings during transit and whilst in storage

For travel and accommodation associated with the move the University will reimburse the following:

  • The reasonable travel costs for one visit by the employee and spouse/partner (only) to visit the area to locate a new residence, including the costs for the employee and spouse/partner to spend up to three nights bed and breakfast accommodation (up to the value of £90 a night including breakfast or £85 a night without breakfast)
  • The cost of a single journey for the family to travel from the former residence to the new one. This should either be direct mileage from the old to the new residence or the cost of single economy rail travel
  • Where the employee is relocating internationally, in addition to the relocation expenses, a claim for one way economy class or equivalent airfare for the employee and their immediate accompanying family
  • For short term temporary accommodation costs, these can be reimbursed in exceptional circumstances for a maximum period of up to three months, when:

  • The employee is able to evidence that they have dual property commitments as a result of the relocation
  • They are agreed in advance by the recruiting manager and HR Services Manager
  • The employee is actively looking to purchase a permanent residence
  • The short term accommodation is within 25 miles of the University
  • Costs incurred once the employee has commenced employment with the University - whilst waiting for the new permanent residence - will be paid

Non-permissible costs

The costs that the University will not cover are non permissible costs. The following list is for those non-permissible costs that will not be reimbursed by the University. (This list is not exhaustive and expenditure should be checked for validity before commitment to the cost is made.)

The following costs associated with the purchase or sale of a property:

  • The payment of mortgage or housing subsidies if the employee moves to an area of higher cost housing
  • The interest payments on the mortgage for the employee's existing home
  • The cost of disconnection and reconnection of utility services
  • The redirection of mail
  • The mortgage arrangement fees
  • Council tax charges whilst the properties are empty
  • The compensation for losses incurred on the sale of the property or personal belongings
  • Refundable rental deposits/security/advance rent or other refundable payments
  • The cost of rent within the employee's new permanent residence

The following costs associated with transportation and/or storage of goods:

  • The separate removal of individual items
  • The removal of motor vehicles, livestock or domestic animals
  • The separate removal of work related equipment e.g laboratory items, files and cabinets, books, musical instruments or computers other than those owned personally (the employee would normally seek financial assistance from the relevant department for reimbursement towards specific work related costs)

The following costs associated with travel and accommodation:

  • First-class travel costs
  • Overnight stays not related to the purchase of a permanent residence
  • Overnight stays that do not meet with the criteria above
  • Visa applications and associated costs with the application

Costs for the purchase of new carpets, curtains or appliances for the new property.

Administrative process

Requests for payment of relocation expenses must be submitted to HR Services using the relocation expenses form. In order to comply with financial regulations the University will not accept photocopies of itemised receipts and/or any statements or payment slips in lieu of receipts.

All claims and any reimbursements made are done so on the understanding the employee will remain at the University for a period of two years or more. Should the employee voluntarily leave the University within two years of commencing employment, they will be required to repay a proportion of the reimbursed expenses. The amount to be repaid will decrease by 1/24th for every month of service completed.

If you have any questions about a claim for relocation expenses, please contact HR Enquiries for clarification prior to committing to the expenditure.


Document control

  • Last reviewed: 31 December 2019