Nearly a quarter (22%) of British workers regularly fiddle their expenses, according to new research by budget hotel group Travelodge.
A survey of 4,000 UK workers revealed that, on average, employees over-claim on their expenses by around £15 per month, equating to around £175 a year.
Men were the worst culprits, with 27% admitting to the scam, while the fairer sex remained less likely to rip of their employers, with only 18% on the fiddle.
Nearly half (46%) of those questioned believed swindling expense claims was a legitimate way of making extra cash, while just 7% said they felt guilty about inventing claims.
More bizarrely perhaps, were some of the bogus claims Travelodge's research discovered had been made. They include a pregnancy kit after a one night stand, condoms, neutering a cat, a hamster for a son's birthday present, a Masonic door knocker, dancing lessons, a Gucci watch and a family trip to Disney World.
Guy Parsons, Travelodge chief operating officer, 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 10 most popular claims highlighted within the research were:
- Train tickets
- Food and drink
- Car parking
- Mobile phone bill
- Plane tickets
- Wining and dining clients
By Emily Manson