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What would you do, regarding work expenses

(40 Posts)
shteiner Thu 21-Mar-19 12:52:47

I need to be in a certain european destination for a couple of weeks work over the summer. At my workplace we have to fill in forms before with an estimate of costs and then they see if they think the quoted amount is reasonable, you then get the amount.

I quoted £400 for the flights as I was going to have to fly from a regional airport. They approved this, so I have £400 to play with for flights. My work schedule changed so I can now fly out of a London airport (much cheaper).

Do I still get the cheapest flights, or say sod it, they’ve alotted me the money and book nicer flights or hope to upgrade to business.

grumiosmum Thu 21-Mar-19 18:48:46

Choose a more convenient flight for you, but don't upgrade to business class.

strathmore Thu 21-Mar-19 18:41:54

If this is a business trip why is everyone appalled that she would fly business?

because BA club europe from london city isn't any different from economy? The planes don't have the empty seat.

itbemay1 Thu 21-Mar-19 18:39:35

I'd go city deffo, so much easier and why should you travel and mess about for work if you've got the budget go with the easiest option, they haven't asked you to find the cheapest etc!

ForalltheSaints Thu 21-Mar-19 18:38:31

Flying with an airline that will cost you less and is not run by one of the worst CEOs around is almost a no-brainer. It also shows you in a good light to have looked to save money.

I would not make a work trip if I was forced to fly with Ryanair.

Princessmushroom Thu 21-Mar-19 18:35:20

Why don’t you just ask someone at your work what they think you should do rather than risking your job?

HollaHolla Thu 21-Mar-19 18:24:11

I work for a University. We also have to justify, put it through a portal, get manager sign off, etc. There’s no alcohol or room service paid back, and no extravagance refunded at all....

HuckfromScandal Thu 21-Mar-19 15:52:30

Don't do it.
Just don't.

Regardless of policies and procedures it can be seen as fraud.
Book a reasonable, and hand back any surplus money.
Unless you feel losing your job is worth an upgrade.

Expenses fraud is gross misconduct

thecapitalsunited Thu 21-Mar-19 15:47:33

Doesn’t your employer need receipts to claim back the VAT?

ZippyBungleandGeorge Thu 21-Mar-19 14:57:01

I work for a government organisation and our expenses are gone through with a fine tooth comb, we can only book travel through a specific portal which rejects anything if there's a cheaper option without you justifying it unless it's co signed by a very senior staff member. eg I wanted a hotel that was £15 a night more than the cheapest because I was 8 months pregnant and had severe pelvic pain and the cheap hotel was a mile and a half up a very steep hill from the office I was based at that week. It was approved but had to go through process, both hotels were under £100 a night including breakfast.
Are you an academic? The only other person I know with that kind of expense set up is a researcher for a university

babysharkah Thu 21-Mar-19 14:36:00

What an utterly bizarre way to run an expenses system. So you could essentially budget for say a grand, spend 500 and pocket the rest?!

BarbaraofSevillle Thu 21-Mar-19 14:32:11

I doubt very much that a government organsation would work like that, more likely to make you fill in eleventy million forms to demonstrate why the travel is necessary, what the carbon footprint is, why you can't do it as a video conference, which is the cheapest route, even if it isn't the most time efficient, whether the travel plan is 'safe' and if you are going somewhere 'not safe' have you had all the appropriate training and innoculations.

No way on earth would we be able to say 'just give me £400 for the flight and I'll sort it out myself' grin.

Merryoldgoat Thu 21-Mar-19 14:20:29

Is this a government organisation you work for?

If it is I'm starting to understand why the UK's finances are in a mess...

confused

roses2 Thu 21-Mar-19 14:17:09

Is this a government organisation you work for?

froufroufoxes Thu 21-Mar-19 13:48:24

Yes I agree the expenses system is unusual but within that it doesn't feel like she's doing anything wrong. She's not expected to pay the excess back.
Surely it's more unethical to pocket the cash than use it for its intended purpose?

BarbaraofSevillle Thu 21-Mar-19 13:42:18

I think people are more appalled by the company expenses policy, which appears to have huge scope for abuse and getting into a mess with the tax office.

And it's probably only a minority of businesses who pay for business class flights, especially short haul.

froufroufoxes Thu 21-Mar-19 13:38:47

If this is a business trip why is everyone appalled that she would fly business?

badlydrawnperson Thu 21-Mar-19 13:35:37

We don’t need to produce receipts, we just get sent the chunk of money we estimated it would cost.

As others have pointed out - that's going to cost you a lot in tax (unless you're an MP of course).

MRex Thu 21-Mar-19 13:26:55

You'll get taxed on the expenses if you're given random amounts like that, which could get expensive. You might prefer to have them pay exact amounts, can you ask if they'll do that?
Fly BA from LCY at a decent hour, it's not worth business class for short haul.

Purpleartichoke Thu 21-Mar-19 13:25:19

So if you underestimate the expense, you are out of pocket on work travel?

Noonooyou Thu 21-Mar-19 13:24:29

I agree, really strange way to do expenses! How are you supposed to guess everything?! Flight costs vary SO much!

Sparklesocks Thu 21-Mar-19 13:19:27

My workplace is happy to pay for ‘reasonable’ travel costs, so if City airport was closer to me they’d pay the extra for BA – it would probably even out when you compare the costs of travelling to a regional airport from home, but they wouldn’t allow me business class for short haul as that’s not reasonable. If I sneakily tried to put Business through I’d most likely getting a bollocking or worse.
I would just give them a heads up, it’s not worth risking potential fallout. Even if getting business class for short haul isn’t explicitly banned in the policy, they’re probably assuming you’ll make sensible choices with company money.

Hahaha88 Thu 21-Mar-19 13:18:54

Upgrade to business class? Ok enjoy that flight cos I doubt you'll be sent on anymore when your employer finds out

BarbaraofSevillle Thu 21-Mar-19 13:17:35

Your company expenses policy is very strange. We get the cost of the flight whether it is £40 or £4000 and I would have thought most places would do it that way.

Allowing you to guess the amount and they just give you the money is madness.

OhDiddums Thu 21-Mar-19 13:13:21

I would just book decent flight times incase there's any questions asked later on.

elessar Thu 21-Mar-19 13:11:30

What a strange way to do expenses! So if you got a £60 return flight you can just pocket the rest? That seems like very poor business practice.

Personally I would fly with a decent airline from a convenient airport, even if it cost more. But I would consider it piss taking to upgrade to business or to use the money for something not directly related to the travel.

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