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Late expenses payments costing UK workers £2.1bn

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Employees in the UK are losing an average of £45 per year through bank charges incurred while chasing unpaid expenses. Across the UK's 46 million workers, this equates to about £2.1 billion.

A survey of 2,000 workers, conducted by Access Group, suggests 46% have suffered financial hardships while waiting to be reimbursed. More than one in ten (13.5%) have had to cut back on food and other essentials while waiting to be paid, while 8.6% have fallen into arrears on their rent or mortgage.

Another 8% have turned to a payday loan company to tide them over until their employers pay the expenses owed. Almost half (40%) of employees admit to losing receipts for expenses, meaning another collective lost income of £512.5 million per year.

Access Group sales director Jon Jorgenson told HR magazine dealing with expenses in a timely manner can be a quick win for employers looking to improve the engagement of their staff.

“It’s a simple business process that can contribute to happy and engaged workers,” he said. “By keeping employees happy we find they are more open to company ideas and changes.”

Jorgensen said he didn’t believe it was acceptable for employers to delay paying back expenses. 

“Paying for goods or services upfront out of their own pocket, only to be reimbursed later by their employer, is a reality for the majority of workers in the UK,” he said. “Now it transpires millions of hard working people are being left out of pocket by delays in payment.”