Should a 14 day Isolation Plan be Included in the typical Temporary Accommodation Benefit.
Relocation during COVID-19 has meant that employees relocating into Canada (be they returning Canadians, PR holders or essential workers) or between provinces have been required to self-isolate for 14 days (Ask us for our Bulletproof Isolation Plan Template). Well, when the borders open up, some form of isolation plan is likely to be part of that opening up. Should this 14 day isolation plan be included in a typical Temporary Accommodation benefit, or should it be in addition to that benefit. For instance, if a policy regularly has a 30-day temporary accommodation benefit, should this benefit remain at 30 days or should it be increased to 44 days?
Virtual Showings have been successful
All Points has been surprised during the pandemic as to the willingness of families to view properties virtually during their 14-day isolation periods and many temporary accommodation benefits have not needed to be extended. That is partially a function of the circumstances we are in (as at the time of writing). Many people accept viewings as being virtual because the circumstances of COVID demand it, but what happens when those circumstances change? What happens when economies loosen up and showing properties become more normalized (which is right on our doorstep as at the time of this writing). Will people feel that they could use those 14 days isolation period effectively to look for a home. After all, when someone looks for a home, they want to not only see the property, they want to see the surrounding properties, the streetscape and the local amenities such as stores and parks. And no offence to Google streetscape -it ain’t the same. There are going to be no easy answers in this article. Just an alert to those in Global Mobility and Human Resources, that they need to come up with a policy as to whether or not the 14-day isolation plan should result in an extension of the temporary accommodation benefit or not.
Come on Mike!
Ok, ok, what is our recommendation? We would tier this benefit. At lower tiers, we would recommend that the 14 days be included in the 30-day benefit. However, at higher tiers or for families we recommend that the 14 days be added to the typical 30-day benefit. And of course, if you have a temporary accommodation benefit that is 60 days or longer, we recommend that the 14-day isolation period be included inside the benefit. Good luck in making your decisions that are right for your company, and please feel free to ask us any questions you may have.
Oh yeah…You may have no choice but to extend and it’s all about the ports.
There may be another reason to extend temporary accommodation benefits regardless of a company’s decision to include or exclude the 14-day isolation period from the typical benefit. Sea shipments (and even air shipments) are being delayed. There have been a number of port closures entirely. Other ports are short staffed. Customs offices are also short-staffed. Every individual case is different, but we are warning our clients to be prepared for longer temporary accommodation periods (renting furniture for a permanent home may be more cost effective) and increased possibility of storage fees on sea shipments.