Jobs Guru: Claim may cost firm


Dear James, 

MY job involves taking out clients a lot and we are able to claim the costs back on expenses. 

I’m close to another woman on my team and when we were out drinking after work last week she got drunk and told me she often goes out for dinner with her boyfriend or her other friends and claims it back as expenses. 

I feel this is wrong and the company shouldn’t be subsidising her social life. Should I tell our boss? 

Libby, Beds

James says: 

I’m not surprised this makes you feel awkward. Your friend should not be doing this and she has put you in a difficult spot. 

My advice is that, no, you shouldn’t tell your boss. I’m not, however, suggesting you do nothing at all about your friend’s behaviour. I think you need to speak to her. 

You need to be quite clear with her that A) what she is doing is wrong and B) that she has made life difficult for you by “confiding” in you about this. 

I would tell her that, for now, your policy is going to be very much one of “I know nothing!” but you are hoping she will stop these illicit activities and not incriminate herself any further than she has done already. 

You can tell her that you’re saying all of this for her own good – because she will of course get caught eventually. It’s just a matter of time.

Top tip:

Taking matters to your boss can make things worse. Try to revolve situations yourself and escalate it only if you have to.

Got a question for James? You can email him at and follow him on Twitter: @jamesinnes

James Innes is the author of a number of best-selling careers books. They can be found here. He is also the founder of The CV Centre.


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