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Employees admit exaggerating expense claims is acceptable

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A third of UK employees think it is acceptable to exaggerate their work expenses, compared with a quarter six years ago.

A survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of expense management provider GlobalExpense, has revealed that 30 per cent of all employees who claim, or have claimed, expenses at work admit to exaggerating their expenses, whilst 41 per cent of those see nothing wrong with increasing expense claims by up to nine per cent. And six per cent believe it is acceptable to increase a claim by 50 per cent.

“Employees are clearly becoming far more cynical towards their employers and feel entitled to cheat on their expenses if they think the company isn’t paying them their dues,” said GlobalExpense managing director, David Vine. “Businesses need to act quickly to stop this rot before it becomes an ingrained culture, not least because the sums can add up to millions of pounds lost to fraud.”

He added that employees need to be better informed about the organisations’ expense claim rules and these should then be enforced. “There is no need for every employee to be treated as untrustworthy, but a sizeable minority are systematically bumping up their expense claims and generally contributing to the development of a culture of petty theft that can become very damaging.”

Reasons for employees exaggerating expense claims included: when the employer doesn’t reimburse all the costs incurred by the employee; if they are not paid a fair salary; and if an employer is slow at reimbursing expenses.

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