Employees admit exaggerating expenses claims

It seems it's not just MPs who are on the make when it comes to expenses. Price comparison website uSwitch interviewed nearly 1,800 workers about their attitude to expenses.

It found that 16 per cent of employees admit to exaggerating their expenses. Paying for meals out for themselves or family and friends was the most common expenses fiddle. Filling out bogus taxi receipts is another. The average sum taken over the course of a year was £200.

"While the current climate is undoubtedly tougher than ever for employees, it is perhaps understandable, if not at all to be condoned, if they do succumb to the temptation to be economical with the truth when it comes to submitting expense claims," said Louise Bond from uSwitch.

But as some MPs have found, the consequences of cheating on expenses can be severe. "Employees must think long and hard before exaggerating or submitting a bogus expense claim, as it is unlikely that what some might regard as a 'harmless' indiscretion is worth losing a job over," Ms Bond said.

As well as bogus expenses, 28 per cent of those interviewed by uSwitch who had work mobile phones admitted using them regularly for personal calls.

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