For nearly 50 years, the Atlas Corporate Relocation Survey has gathered feedback primarily from U.S.-based companies and a handful of firms in other countries. As our service has become increasingly global, the scope of our research is expanding. This year, our first survey of Canadian firms yielded 15 responses. Findings show Canada mirrors many of the major trends seen elsewhere: increased relocation volumes and budgets; declined relocations due to spouse/partner employment and family issues/ties; more diversity in assignment types; and more assistance with child care and elder care.
Fifteen professionals responded. All work in human resources/personnel or relocation/mobility services departments. Eighty percent work in international firms.
Firms Size by Salaried Employees
(Percent of Total)
- Small: Fewer than 500 (27%)
- Mid-size: 500-4,999 (13%)
- Large: 5,000+ (60%)
More Relocations Last Year, Further Increases or Stability Expected in 2015
Forty percent of firms overall and half of firms that relocate internationally saw volumes increase. Few saw any volume decreases overall or internationally. Expectations for 2015 are positive, with a third expecting more volume overall and 42% expecting increases internationally.
Budgets Finally Rebounding
Nearly half of firms reported an increase in relocation budgets and a third believe budgets will increase again in 2015.
Factors Affecting Relocation Volumes
The primary factors affecting relocation volumes were company growth (67%), knowledge/skills transfers (67%), and lack of local talent (60%).
Similar to trends outside Canada, a majority (75%) of firms saw employees decline relocation. The top two reasons: spouse/partner employment (89%) and family issues/ties (78%). Eighty percent of firms offer spouse/partner employment assistance, 67% offer assistance with child care, and 40% offer elder care assistance.
Employee Status Affects Reimbursement
As in other countries, full reimbursement of moving expenses is more likely for transferees (93%) than for new hires (57%). New hires are almost as likely to receive partial reimbursement (50%) and less likely to receive lump sums (36%). Full reimbursement is the most likely offering for transferees, followed by lump sums (50%) and partial reimbursement (29%).
More Assignment Diversity
Sixty-percent of firms say they use alternative assignments. Additionally, 60% have a formal short-term/temporary assignment policy, 40% maintain an extended business travel policy, and 20% follow a policy for long-distance commuters. Long-term or "permanent" relocations are in the mix as well: over a third of international relocations were permanent transfers. Many firms (83%) have instituted a formal policy on permanent international transfers, and 50% have a localization policy.
To learn more please visit Atlas Canada