Top Ways to Manage and Track Policy Exceptions
Top Ways to Manage and Track Policy Exceptions

Top Ways to Manage and Track Policy Exceptions

Mobility Trends and Hot Topics

Published: Feb 24, 2022

Costs continue to be a top mobility program priority and proactively managing and reducing relocation policy exceptions helps drive savings for corporate programs.

Regardless of how up-to-date, generous, and reflective of company culture one’s policy may be, employee exception requests should still be anticipated. The most prevalent benefit areas NEI clients granted exceptions for in the calendar year 2021 included:

U.S. Domestic Top 10 Exceptions Granted                                 

  1. Household goods – 28.05%                                                     
  2. Temporary living – 23.91%
  3. Misc. expense allowance – 5.69%
  4. Final move – 5.47%
  5. Return trips – 5.41%
  6. New home closing costs – 5.08%
  7. Lump sum – 3.75%
  8. Storage > 30 days – 3.09%
  9. Lease termination – 2.71%
  10. House hunting – 2.21%

International Top 10 Exceptions Granted

  1. Temporary living – 31.07%
  2. Final move – 15.06%
  3. Housing – 7.94%
  4. Return trips – 6.67%
  5. Household goods – 5.34%
  6. Visa & immigration – 5.04%
  7. Auto assistance – 3.36%
  8. Furnishings – 3.23%
  9. House hunting – 2.29%
  10. Education – 2.11%

* Percentages represent the type of exceptions granted as a percentage of total exceptions.

Recognizing frequent exception categories can help uncover where the highest dollar amount of exceptions are from, what the most employee “noise” is about, and what adjustments may be needed. Naturally, while granting exceptions demonstrates company flexibility, helps move offer acceptance rates, and aids recruiting and retention efforts, they can create additional costs to the program.

The Exception, Not the Rule

NEI teams use a proactive approach for each unique relocating employee’s concerns as it’s the most effective way to manage exceptions. Our Account Executive – the employee’s advocate and single point of coordination from start to finish – provides thorough policy counseling to help maximize relocation benefits within company guidelines and eliminate exceptions. Account Executives remind employees that their a lump sum or Miscellaneous Expense Allowance -- sometimes called an “Exception Allowance” -- is designed to cover items outside policy as many may not grasp the costs associated with their relocation.

As done with many clients’ permission, NEI can approve appropriate exceptions up to a certain dollar amount without involving the client. If required, client routing of exception approvals is readily available as a part of NEI’s online relocation authorization process. At the time of authorization, client pre-approved exceptions can also be noted up front in the “Comments” section of the authorization sent to NEI -- an efficient process for obtaining appropriate approvals prior to initiating a move.

NEI’s streamlined online exception process routes employee requests to designated client approvers after a move has begun. Requests contain the circumstances, justification, cost impact, recommendations, and any previously approved or denied exceptions.

Tracking, Reporting and Improving

Exceptions are reported and can be sorted by policy, benefit category, cost category, authorizer, type, period, average costs, and total costs, giving our clients complete information on exceptions. All expenses and exceptions reports can be viewed online and are defined as:

  • Exceptions Approved with Cost Impact: Details exceptions that are approved with an additional cost impact and provides benefits above the normal policy.
  • Exceptions Approved without Additional Cost Impact: Provides details for each approved exception, but has not added to the move costs.
  • Exceptions Denied: Supplies details of each denied employee exception request.

In unique cases, some exceptions may result in lower overall costs -- such as approving rental assistance to current homeowners who don’t wish to purchase in the new location or permitting additional labor for a weekend goods delivery that helps avoid storage costs.

Making Adjustments

All exceptions are analyzed to determine if policy changes are merited. During program meetings with NEI Client Relations Managers, exception trends are reviewed and evaluated along with a client’s current policies. Policy recommendations will be discussed based on this analysis to ensure program goals are met and employee satisfaction remains high.

NEI is pleased to provide best practice policy trends, recommendations, and exceptions guidance for each client on these topics to help you attract, retain, and relocate employees. Please contact your NEI representative to discuss this or other topics at any time.