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Wife's employer playing games with cards and expenses

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OK, here's one for you.

 

My wife works in sales for a multinational. She travels extensively around the UK & Ireland and frequently clocks up business travel and accommodation expenses in excess of £1000 per month. He salary is modest and after tax etc. she takes home about £2100 per month.

 

The company have issued her with an AmEx card which is in her name. This account, in her name, needs to be paid off at the end of every month. This means that from her £2100 take home on average £1000 is immediately paid to AMEX, if it is not then the card is frozen and she ends up having to fund expenses herself.

 

The problem is that her employer pay her expenses up to 2 weeks after the AMEX bill is due to be paid. We are STILL waiting for November's expenses to be paid.

 

Because of the increased expenditure around Christmas she was unable to afford to pay the November AMEX bill so AMEX cancelled her card and reported her to her employer for paying the bill late.

 

She is now being investigated by her company accounts team for paying her company credit card late. She is continuing to rack up expenses doing her job.

 

so - just to recap - she frequently racks up expenses that average around 50% of her take home, these are paid on an company AMEX card in her name which she has to pay off every month. Her employer usually don't settle her expenses claim (which is submitted promptly and in accordance with their rules) until 2 weeks AFTER the AMEX bill needs to be settled.

 

In December, they didn't pay her expenses at all which resulted in her November and December AMEX bills not being paid (she has received no expense payment since November.

 

Her employer now has the BRASS NECK to be investigating her use of the company credit card because she is unable to pay the bill.

 

Over the next 3 weeks she has to again travel and will require around £1000 to fund this trip. She is asking me if I can lend her the money so she can go (it is an essential part of her job).

 

I run a small company and am a one man business, I am beyond angry that she is expected to bank roll their business for 2 weeks out of every month and even more angry that they have not yet paid expenses going back to NOVEMBER. despite them being signed off and approved by the company's SAP system. Their tardiness has resulted in her company credit card being revoked and not they are expecting her (me) to bankroll their business for another month.

 

Just to recap - this is a multi national, blue chip business. They have not given any reason why the expenses are late, both her manager and the one above her are utterly spineless in chasing to find out what the issue is. HR don't want to know.

 

I am cynical enough to recognise that being an American business, their fiscal year ends in December. I have no idea whether or not others have had their expenses delayed but because my wife's 'patch' is the largest (Scotland North of England, Ireland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden whereas her colleagues would be 'North London') her expenses are significant because they constitute such a large chunk of her pay packet. It might be that they have simply decided to delay payment of expenses over 'x' because it was year end and management bonuses were at stake.

 

In the face of this I am beyond frustrated. My advice to her is to simply refuse to carry out any further business travel UNTIL the company settles its outstanding expenses, re issues her AMEX card, cancels the 'investigation' and wipes her personnel record clean and agrees to pay her expense claim BY THE END OF THE MONTH they are occurred. However, because the company is going through 'restructuring' she is terrified of losing her job. we have fought about this as I am disinclined to fund the next 3 weeks which I see as bank rolling another business which I am not prepared to do when I am forced to cut my travel. I have told her that as far as I see, she doesn't have a job because this sort of existence is simply not worth it.

 

Is there anything that we can do other than downing tools (which I still think is the only way to go with this)?

 

Personally I am inclined to pay my wife the money she needs to fund the business and then, once her expenses claim is in, pursue her company through the invoice system, which they won't pay and which I can then escalate to the FD by hitting them with a winding up order - I can then explain why I have invoiced them.

 

any other ideas how to confront this despicable behaviour - (all the more disingenuous because she was the only one in her team to actually make target last year)?

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I think your Wife does need to speak to someone at the company - it is grossly unfair that she has been put in this position.

 

This is something I experienced at a company I worked for many years ago. They expected me to pay for travel/accommodation and then I would have to submit an expenses claim - which would be paid up to 2 months later.

 

Again a similar situation to your Wife - I was to travel late November and knew I wouldn't receive expenses until January/February of the following year, leaving me short over Christmas. OH put his foot down and said No, no more.

 

So I had to speak to my Manager and tell him that he would need to find someone else - it was quite a surprise when he said that they would give me the cash there and then and from that point they gave me an upfront payment that I would then just need to submit receipts / expenditure summaries to accounts and they would just keep topping up the kitty!

 

I am sure others will have more suggestions during the day.

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If it is possible try to arrange an overdraft facility with your bank. Each month use the facility to pay off the Amex. However, ask the bank to notify you of the monthly overdraft charge and then add this amount to your monthly expense claim. It would be an expense incurred solely as a result of their business and I think they would have difficulty refusing to pay. I would be tempted to email HR of your intention and see what their reaction is.

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I think geoff's solution sounds like a good one.

 

When I had to claim expenses in arrears, I was given a cash float at the outset to offset what I had to pay off on a card.

 

Is that a possibility for your OH?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Is she employed by the US entity or is it a UK limited company? How long has she been employed?

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