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The Expense Report Dilemma: Dutch Workers Leave Millions Unclaimed, Fear Being Seen as Stingy

83 euro

Dutch employees are far from thrilled about the hassle of submitting expense reports to their employers for reimbursement, mainly due to the fear of being perceived as penny-pinching. Research indicates that on average, workers forego €83 per person in annual expense claims, resulting in a massive advantage of €328 million per year for employers.

Youth Leave the Most Money Unclaimed

Interestingly, when compared to other age groups, it is the younger generation that tends to leave the most money unclaimed by failing to submit expense reports. Fintech company Pleo surveyed 1,042 Dutch workers to arrive at these findings.

The survey revealed that Dutch employees, on average, leave €83.30 per person unclaimed in expenses, giving employers a substantial financial advantage of over €328 million annually. These figures are based on the fact that employees have to advance an average of €1,237.20 per year in business expenses, but not everyone submits enough claims to recover the entire amount.

Youth Aged 18-35: The Highest Financial Loss

Among all age groups, individuals aged 18 to 35 face the highest financial loss due to unclaimed expenses, reaching €191.70. Moreover, they also shoulder the highest monthly burden of €194.20 in advance payments. Employees aged 35 to 50 miss out on €80.30 annually, while those aged 50 and above neglect to declare an average of €42.60 in business expenses. Additionally, this older demographic only has to front an average of €72.70 per month.

Fear of Being Judged Hampers Youth from Declaring Expenses

The study also uncovered that young employees often refrain from declaring expenses due to the fear of being labeled as stingy. Out of all respondents, 22% admitted to avoiding claims for small amounts, with this figure rising to 32% among young workers. Factors such as work overload and misplaced receipts or claim forms were cited in one out of five cases as reasons for neglecting expense reports.

Expense Reports Cause Stress Among Younger Employees

The research further highlighted that employees aged 18 to 35 experience stress when fronting expenses. A notable 30% expressed concerns about being unable to pay their own bills, with one in three occasionally withdrawing money from savings or other accounts to cover employer expenses. Additionally, 37% of young workers deemed advance payments outdated.

Frustration with the Expense Report Process

Collecting receipts proved bothersome for 24% of respondents, while filling out expense report forms correctly and completely proved even more exasperating. Although two-thirds of employees claim to receive sufficient guidance on submitting expense reports, they still find the process cumbersome.

Eilika Regenbrecht, Country Manager for Pleo Netherlands, emphasized that young employees are financially vulnerable, yet paradoxically, they leave the most money unclaimed. She also noted that missing receipts can disadvantage employers, leading to reduced opportunities for VAT reclaims.

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