Public sector best behaved, younger staff most dishonest about claims
One in five staff think it is OK to fiddle expenses because they believe long hours aren’t properly remunerated, according to a survey by YouGov for expenses management firm Concur.
A survey of 2,130 UK adults revealed that people see expense fiddling as a legitimate way of supplementing their salary if they believe they are underpaid.
Around one fifth also said they believe an employee is entitled to fiddle claims if they ‘don’t feel they are fully reimbursed’ for all the costs they have incurred on behalf of their employer.
Mileage is the biggest area of potential expense fiddling, with over one in four (26%) judging it acceptable to exaggerate expense claims when the ‘mileage rate paid by the employer doesn’t cover the actual car and fuel costs’.
David Vine, senior director at Concur, said, "Although a tough economic climate – not to mention the January blues – are probably big factors, it’s still disappointing to see that attitudes towards expense fiddling remain so casual. The data shows that businesses can’t afford to take their eye off the ball. Expense management solutions not only help companies avoid outright fraud, they also eliminate the grey areas that can lead to claims being exaggerated."
The study identified young people and students as the groups most likely to condone expense fiddling. One in four (28%) of those aged 18 to 24, and one in three students in full time education believe that it is acceptable to exaggerate expense claims by up to 10%, and in some cases by even more.
For older people this figure is much lower, at around one in six (15%) of those between 45 and 54, and one in eight (12%) for the over 55s.
"It’s never been more difficult for graduates to land a job out of university than it is right now," said Vine. "Our study shows that young people who finally land their dream job are at risk of jeopardising it because they are unaware of the seriousness of expense fraud."
The report also found that only around one in twenty (or 6%) of employees in the public sector have fiddled an expense claim in the last year, compared with one in eight (13%) in large (250 – 749 employees) enterprises; and one in seven (13%) in the voluntary sector.
What do you think — can companies afford to pay slightly inflated expenses claims, particularly if staff feel they are not properly remunerated for work they put in? Would you ever inflate an expenses claim? Drop us a comment below the line or tweet the author.