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I live in a major UK city, and accepted a graduate job offer from a company in a tiny town 25 miles away. As it is a graduate job, I thought relocation packages are not normally offered and didn't even ask.

At the moment I am commuting by train but it costs plenty of money and takes a lot of time, and I am considering moving to the same town as my job. Not a cheap thing to do but I thought it would be a good investment in terms of saved time and money.

And then my colleague accidentally mentioned, that he asked for relocation packages before signing the contract and they gave him without hesitations (£1000, he lives a little bit further than I do). d'oh. I didn't even ask.

So my question is, is it professional / ethical to ask HR for relocation package after I started working? Because apparently the package is fairly standard in this company, and it's a cash rich, large (1000+ employees) company, not a tiny startup in early stage.

On one hand, some financial aid would be very nice as I just graduated. On other hand, I don't want to look unprofessional or anything like that for a chance to get a couple of weeks wage.

My plan was to ask HR if they do offer relocation packages (straight to the point). If the answer is no, I am not sure about any counter-argument.

Saying that 'it shows my commitment' (there are hardly any other jobs in that town) sounds a bit unprofessional. And saying that 'I know some employees of the same level as me received' might sounds like I'm into gossiping and drama (not great either).

Thanks a lot!

5

If they gave your coworker relocation assistance, they might consider giving it to you too. I will suggest how you can request them. However, for jobs like these which are far from home (between 20 to 50 miles), I have a rule of sorts which might benefit you.

Rule : Do NOT relocate for at least a month, maybe even more. Commute from home.

Reason: People can get laid off in the first month itself due to budget cuts and such. You might not like the work there and might get better offers close to home. In the first month, you get to see if there is a chance of that happening. Search this forum for posts with scenarios like these. Trust me, they can happen to anyone.

You could request for relocation like this:

Manager Borat,

As you know, I have accepted the position of scarecrow at boltok farms. I am sorry to bring this up so late, but I was wondering if you could consider offering me relocation assistance.

I live 25 miles away from office and it takes 2 hours to commute. Reducing the commute would improve the quality of my life, my productivity and would give me the flexibility to start work earlier or end it late, should the need arise.

I'd really appreciate it if you would consider offering me relocation assistance at this time.

Sincerely,
SickOfCommuting

3
  1. If you ask, you may get but if you don't ask, you don't get.

  2. You can ask for almost anything, as long as you ask in the right way. Of course, if what you are asking for is reasonable, your chances of getting it are that much stronger.

"As you know, I just started working for you. I am thinking of moving to [name the town] to be closer to the office. Is it OK if I ask you whether the company is making a relocation package available? Thanks in advance"

1

You are always welcome to ask for something like that after being hired. Ask very politely - "I heard that relocation assistance might be available and I'll be moving here for the position, is that accurate and what are the details?"

Since it was not part of the initial negotiation, however, they are entirely entitled to say "no." If they do, that's basically the answer you need to accept - unless you are prepared to risk the job entirely over it. If you find out someone else asked for more salary, or for more vacation (pro tip: once you're senior, always negotiate for senior vacation not "new to the company" vacation, it's pretty easy to get) and you didn't - well, they're not just going to give you everything everyone else asked for. It's possible that they upped your salary offer since they wouldn't have to pay relocation (very likely in smaller companies where they know they have X amount of money total to get someone regardless of what it's spent on...).

  • In the UK leave tends to be more generous and somewhat less open to negotiation. – Pepone Aug 3 '14 at 12:20
  • Fair enough. In the US it's more stingy but more open to negotiation. – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Aug 3 '14 at 12:56
0

You can ask but asking for relocation for 25 miles might raise some eyebrows - relocation is normally offered for cases where you have to move a long distance and 25 miles isn't a long commute.

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