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Press releases

BRITISH WORKERS SWINDLE £1 BILLION ON EXPENSES EACH YEAR CLAIMS INCLUDE LUXURY HOLIDAYS, DANCING LESSONS, NEUTERING A CAT, PREGNANCY KIT

27th Feb 2007


Crafty British workers are ripping off employers to the tune of a billion pounds a year, according to new research revealed today. Twenty two per cent of British workers (6.3 million) admit they regularly fiddle their company expense claims.

The survey conducted among 4000 UK British workers by Travelodge identified the typical worker pockets an extra 14.60 every time they claim which is on average once a month. This means employees make an extra 175.20 a year through dodgy expense claims, totaling a whopping 7,796 over a working lifetime.

Almost a third of men (27%) will claim more than they have spent compared to just under a fifth of women 18%

A smug 46% of British workers believe swindling expense claims is a legitimate way of making extra cash and 59% of people said all their colleagues are "doing it". Just seven percent of those polled said they feel guilty about inventing claims.

One in twenty British workers (5%) admitted to using their expense account to impress the opposite sex whilst eight per cent of businessmen took the liberty of claiming cash for hotel adult channels.

More than a third of men (34%) have claimed for booze on their company account compared to less than a quarter (23%) of female workers. However 42% of female workers have admitted to claiming expenses for new clothes and accessories.

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

Extravagant holidays to Monte Carlo, Paris and New York
Neutering a cat
Hamster for son's birthday present
Services rendered by a "lady of the night" whilst abroad
Pregnancy kit for a one night stand
Masonic door knocker
Collectable stamps for personal collection
Dancing lessons
Family trip to Disney World
Luxurious Caribbean cruise
Gucci watch
Used wife's receipt to claim a USA flight - she worked in a different company
New furniture for the house
Condoms
New wardrobe of clothes after wife threw respondent out of the house

Despite rampant claims fiddling, only a mere four per cent of employees have been caught out by their bosses. A devious eight per cent of those polled said they would purposely add more to their monthly expense claims if their boss was annoying them.

More than three quarters of employees use their own personal money for work expenses with only 12% having the privilege of a company credit card.

Guy Parsons, Travelodge Chief Operating Office said: "Our research certainly highlights some outrageous flouting of expenses claiming policies 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 the year."

The top ten most popular claims are for:

Petrol
Train tickets
Food and drink
Car parking
Hotels
Mobile phone bill
Plane tickets
Wining and dining clients
Newspapers
Laundry

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Shakila Ahmed
Travelodge PR Manager
Direct line: 01844 35 8638
Mobile: 07802 702 499

Notes to editor:

The research was conducted by Onepoll.com amongst 4000 UK employees and desk demon

29, 000, 000 figure from the National Office Statistics.

The average UK working lifetime figure is 44.5 years:

Calculations:

29,000,000 workers in the UK

22 confess to fiddling expenses equivalent to 6,380,000

Average person over claims by 14.60 a month

14.60 x 12 months per year 175.20 per year is claimed per working person

175.20 a year x 6,380,000 working people 1,117,776,000 per year

175.20 x 44.5 working years 7,796.40

Travelodge offers a Barclaycard Business Visa Corporate Card, which makes it easier for a business to be able to manage their employee's overnight accommodation costs. There are no extras, such as room service, laundry service or mini bar charges that encourage staff to waste additional money.

Travelodge has 300 hotels throughout the UK, rooms available from 15 per night

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