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Relocation and Removal Expenses Policy

All grants are at the discretion of the University and are not as of right. Please check your contract of employment for eligibility.

1. Policy Statement

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

We offer two levels of reimbursement dependent on the employee’s contract of employment. 

2. Scope

Removal Policy: This policy applies to staff appointed to a position at Grade 7 or above on a permanent contract or to a fixed term position of two years or more, and who have to relocate their place of residence in order to take up the appointment.

Relocation Policy: This policy applies to Chair and Senior appointments (Grade 10 and above where applicable) following approval by the Director of HR in consultation with Divisional Heads.

Relocation and/or Removal reimbursements are only awarded where the intention is to permanently move residence in order to fulfill the position.

Staff employed on grade 1-6 are not eligible as the University would normally expect to recruit from within Durham and the surrounding area. This policy only applies to the removal of the domestic effects from the applicant's current home to their new home. Where applicable, reimbursement of any costs relating to the removal of office or laboratory equipment, or other work related items to Durham University are at the discretion of the recruiting department. Please note that the payment of recruitment premia does not form part of this policy .

3. Scope of Financial Assistance

Removals: A maximum grant limited in value equivalent to approximately 1 x net monthly income for UK moves/2 x net monthly income for International moves.

Relocation: Actual and reasonable relocation expenses (supported by receipts) will be reimbursed up to a maximum of £8,000; this may be extended in exceptional circumstances to £10,000 at the discretion of the Director of Human Resources in consultation with Divisional Heads. Anything higher must be approved by RemCom.

Payments for relocation and removal expenses are treated as part of an appointee's earning for Income Tax and National Insurance Contribution purposes. However, the first £8,000 is exempt from Income Tax and NCIs. To qualify for tax relief, the relocation must be complete by the end of the tax year following the year in which the new post was taken up.

4. Allowable Expenses

Removal - within Great Britain and Northern Ireland

• Costs of one removal of the employee's household furniture and effects (including insurance) from their previous residence to a new residence.

Note: If furniture and effects are removed to store, the grant will be limited to the cost of one removal, to or from store, whichever is greater, and storage costs will not be met.

Removal- from overseas
• Generally a grant limited in value to a proportion of the full cost of shipping the employee's household furniture and effects to a new residence.

For Academic staff the new residence is expected to be within 1 hour travelling distance of the University.

Note: No travelling expenses for the employee or his/ her family will be made.


Relocation (please check eligibility - Grade 10 and above only)

Relocation payments will only be made where the employee's new residence is within reasonable daily travelling distance of their new, normal place of work, and their old residence is not within reasonable daily travelling distance of their new, normal place of work.

The following costs and expenses will be allowable charges against the approved grant:

  • Legal costs: i.e. solicitor's fees, stamp duty, land registry fees etc, relating to the sale of the employee's present residence and purchase of new residence, including abortive purchase costs if reasons for failure to complete are deemed reasonable.
  • Estate Agent's costs: e.g. fees and advertising costs.
  • Survey costs: bank or building society requirement plus private survey.
  • Bank/ Building Society charges: redemption of old loan/ mortgage, arrangements for new loan/ mortgage or transfer.
  • Travelling expenses: travel and related expenses in respect of visits to Durham for the purpose of seeking a new residence.
  • Accommodation costs: costs of temporary accommodation when the employee is unable to relocate immediately for good reason.
    Note: This is restricted to a period of no more than 3 months. We will cover short term temporary accommodation but not part-rental agreements eg 3 months of a 6month tenancy.
  • Storage costs and removal to/ from store: re household furniture and effects.

Note:The following items are not covered by the removal and relocation policy;

  • Mortgage Guarantees
  • Accommodation Deposits
  • Van Hire Deposits
  • Meals and subsistence are not reclaimable

5. Claims Procedure


• Please complete the  Removals Expenses Reimbursement Form and forward to the Relocation Manager along with three quotes.

• The Relocation Manager approves one of the quotes and the Applicant is informed by email.

• After the removal is completed, the Applicant forwards the completed form and final invoice to the Relocation      Manager's office with instructions as to where the payment is to be sent.


• Please complete the  Relocation Expenses Reimbursement Form and send along with the receipts/invoices and an overview of the requested expenses to be reimbursed to the Relocation Manager.

6. Repayment of Removal/ Relocation Grants

Should an employee leave the University's service (except in cases of redundancy) within 24 months of commencing employment with the University, they will be required to repay a proportion of the reimbursed expenses. The amount will decrease by 1/24 for every month of service completed.

In the case of repayments relating to relocation grants, abortive purchase and temporary accommodation costs will be excluded from the repayment calculation.

Repayments will, if necessary, be deducted from the salary or other monies owing by the University to the employee.

7. Fraudulent claims.

An Applicant should only apply for reimbursement of expenses owed to them under the terms of the above policy. Any claims found to be misleading or fraudulent will be dealt with within the Disciplinary Regulations.