News Release

For Immediate Release - March 31, 2008 

Worldwide ERC News Release
Worldwide ERC® media contact:
Anita Brienza
+1 301 847 3772
Worldwide ERC® member contact:
Mariam Lamech
+1 703 842 3426

Commuter Marriage in Relocations: More Frequent, But Not Recommended 

More employers are providing assistance for commuter marriage arrangements during a relocation, says Worldwide ERC®, the association for workforce mobility. In its recently published Family Issues report, Worldwide ERC®  noted that about one-fourth of employers provide assistance (in addition to that given in the relocation policy) to transferees with commuter marriage arrangements. Covering travel costs between the old and new locations is the form of assistance most typically provided.

“We define a commuter marriage as one in which the transferee accepts a relocation and moves to the new work location without the spouse. The spouse and family remain indefinitely in the old location creating a commuting situation for the couple,” said Jan Hatfield-Goldman, Worldwide ERC® VP, Research and Education. “Family concerns are one of the main reasons that commuting arrangements are requested – in fact, the two reasons most often cited by transferees are that they want to avoid disrupting their children’s education or their spouse’s career.”

Nearly three-fourths of respondents to the survey have encountered and addressed at least one commuter marriage situation that resulted from a relocation in the past two years: a significant increase from the 53 percent who reported having done so in 2003. Still, most of the relocation professionals responding to this survey believe that commuter marriage situations ultimately decrease the chances for a successful relocation.

The Worldwide ERC® Family Issues report is based on data collected in September and October 2007, and pertains only to current employees transferred within the United States, unless otherwise specified. For more information on commuter marriages and the Family Issues report, visit Resources.

Frequency of Encountering a Commuter Marriatge Situation in Past Two Years 

Worldwide ERC® networks workforce mobility professionals and HR innovators, and is the recognized industry authority on relocation and international assignments in the U.S. and major global traffic areas. Worldwide ERC® is headquartered in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, with offices in Brussels, Belgium and Shanghai, China. Contact Worldwide ERC® at +1 703 842 3400, or visit