Workers ‘fiddle expenses’ to the tune of £1bn
Roadside hotel group Travelodge has claimed that workers in the UK fiddle around £1bn a year on their expense accounts.
In a survey of 4,000 people conducted by the group, 22% of workers, which is the equivalent of 6.3 million in the total national workforce, “admit that they regularly fiddle their expense claims”, according to Travelodge.
The main items on which these dishonestly obtained funds were found to be spent were ’adult’ TV services in hotel rooms, alcohol and new clothes. However, more exotic uses of the money included neutering a cat, buying a pregnancy kit and a full Caribbean cruise.
On average, people dishonestly obtain nearly £15 a claim – £175 a year – but only 4% of the sample survey said they had been found out by their employers and taken to task for their behaviour.
Around 5% of UK workers “admitted using their expense account to impress the opposite sex” and 8% of businessmen “took the liberty of claiming cash for hotel adult channels”.
A higher percentage of men (34%) were likely to claim for alcohol on expenses than women (23%).
“Our research certainly highlights some outrageous flouting of expenses claims policies,” said Travelodge chief operating officer, Guy Parsons.
“But it is everyday claims that are being manipulated on a more regular basis. Extra mileage claims or the odd bottle of wine whilst entertaining can really rack up a business bill over a year,” he added.