Employers urged to learn from MPs' expenses debacle and tighten up their procedures

David Woods , 13 Oct 2009


Employers have been warned to set up robust expenses procedures following the news MPs are being formally asked to co-operate with an independent audit of their expenses.

According to BBC reports, this morning Conservative leader David Cameron said if his MPs do not pay back money at the end of the expenses review they will not be able to stand again for the Party.

Cameron was talking amid rising anger among MPs over a retrospective expenses audit. Many MPs will face recommendations that they repay claims approved since 2004.

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But the Institute of Payroll Professionals (IPP) warns this will have a knock-on effect on payroll, HR and finance departments. They must have a clear understanding of the precise terms and conditions of their company's expenses policy to avoid a similar situation occurring in their organisation.

Karen Thomson, associate director of policy, research, and strategic visibility at the IPP, said: "It comes as no surprise that MPs are being asked to justify their expenses claims and possibly in some cases to repay money in a bid to restore public confidence in the Government. But would this move apply to an employee from a private organisation who has been overpaid in their expenses claims?
"Payroll departments deal with overpayments on a regular basis, due to late notification of contractual adjustments or a change of grade after the salary payment has been made. But the laws dealing with overpayments of expenses are extremely complex. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that an organisation's expenses policy is well established and clearly communicated to all staff members."


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