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British Workers skim a billion off the top via fraudulent expenses claims

British Workers skim a billion off the top via fraudulent expenses claims

MPs might be in hot water over their elaborate expenses at the moment but new research has revealed they aren’t the only ones living the high life on other people’s money. Cheeky British workers are swindling their bosses by over a £1 billion a year on spurious expense claims including plastic surgery, a new car, a diamond engagement ring, escorts, council tax, a honeymoon, Viagra and even a goat.

Findings also revealed workers are embezzling their employer’s money to add a touch of glamour to their homes in the name of work. Respondents admitted buying furniture, home entertainment, refurbishing their homes with a new bathroom, kitchen, gym and even wallpaper and paint to spruce up their homes.  

Listed below are some of the other outrageous claims highlighted in the Travelodge research:

  • New motorbike
  • Private number plate for a BMW
  • Hiring a private investigator to find evidence to start divorce proceedings
  • Pet hamster called Barry for the office
  • Lapdancers
  • £1000 hair extensions
  • A new garden shed which was converted into an office
  • Charity donations
  • Luxury holidays to Africa, USA and Europe
  • Dancing lessons.

The budget chain survey of 3000 British employees identified the typical worker pockets an extra £17.00 each month that they claim. This means claimants make an extra £204.00 a year through dodgy expense claims, totaling a whopping £9,078 over a working lifetime.   

Guy Parsons, Travelodge chief operating officer, said: “In today’s climate, companies cannot afford to splurge workers on ridiculous non work related expense claims which is costing bosses over £1 billion a year.

“Even tweaks on everyday claims such as taxis, mileage and the odd bottle of wine can really rack up a business bill over the year. With the new financial year fast approaching this is the ideal time for employers to adopt a low-cost culture, starting by reviewing their expenses policy first.”  

The top three expense scams exposed by respondents were:

  • Ask for extra taxi receipts and use them to claim back false taxi transport
  • Add extra mileage when submitting an expense claim
  • Use a cheap restaurant to entertain a business client and use an expensive restaurant for personal use. When submitting the claim use the expensive receipt

Further research findings identified 43% of British workers believe swindling expense claims is a legitimate way of making extra cash and 45% of people said all their colleagues are ‘doing it’. Of those polled, 84% said they didn’t feel guilty about inventing claims.

More men at 22% have used their expense account to wine and dine the opposite sex at prestigious restaurants in contrast to just nine per cent of women.

Despite rampant claims fiddling, only eight per cent of employees have been caught and sacked for fiddling their expenses. A shocking 60% of managers have let their team members get away with making a false expense claim.



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