Business expense burden causing financial stress for UK’s manufacturing employees

A staggering 59% of manufacturing employees in the UK who regularly travel for business have suffered personal financial difficulties as a result of paying for expenses out of their own pocket. That's according to new research from UK fuel card provider, Allstar Business Solutions.

Of those who have paid out for on the road expenses on behalf of their employer, 64% are between £50 and £200 out of pocket on a monthly basis. For a worker on the average UK salary of £29,009 a year, this works out as between 8% and 30% of their disposable income each month1.

When it comes to forking out on behalf of their employers, more than two fifths (41%) use their own bank card to pay for expenses, with fuel and parking fees as the biggest costs on the tab (67% and 37% respectively).

When asked what they found most annoying about travelling for business, over a quarter (26%) of workers revealed that it was having to use their own money to pay for expenses. With a further quarter (22%) revealing they have actually decided to change job as a result of their employers' travel expense policy.

Expenses continue to be a bone of contention, as over two thirds (58%) of manufacturing professionals looking to their bosses to step up and take more responsibility for footing the bill before or during their business trip.

What's more, the figures reveal that 14% of employees never claim back all their expenses, with paper receipts being revealed as the main culprit for this. Half (50%) put it down to struggling to keep hold of them and a further 54% said that the process of collecting, keeping, and submitting the receipts was a cause of frustration for them.

The research of over 1,000 SME employees comes as part of leading fuel card provider Allstar Business Solutions' campaign to improve the expenses process for employees on the road.

Thore Vestergaard, SVP and MD, Commercial Cards, FLEETCOR, commented: "SME business owners are often leaving staff to pick up the bill for on-the-road expenses to claim back later through cumbersome processes. While this eases their own cash flow, our research shows that employees are feeling the strain which has the potential to impact productivity. As such, the need for a payments solution to resolve the exasperation over "pay and reclaim" expenses has never been more evident, and the Allstar Plus VISA card from Allstar Business Solutions does just that.

"A combined fuel and expenses solution, the Allstar Plus card enables those that drive for work to pay for on-the-road costs as well as other business outlays including subsistence, parking and accommodation. This offers a win-win solution for both employer and employee as business owners have visibility and control over all spending on the card, so their staff no longer have to foot the bill for expenses.

"What's more, the free interest card opens up cost-saving opportunities for SMEs. which they would usually miss out on with "pay and reclaim" procedures, by offering them access to discounts on fuel as well as rebates on mobility related services. While the added flexibility of having up to 44 days to pay the card expenses means SMEs gain back valuable processing time enabling them to focus their attention elsewhere in the business."

  • 1 Based on the UK average wage, and average wage for van drivers, with national insurance, tax and living costs deducted.
  • Research conducted by Censuswide in September 2018.
  • 1,002 respondents, all of whom work for SMEs and travel in a car/van/motorcycle for business more than once a week.

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