An investigation into the cost of getting work by Protected.co.uk shows that Brits spend an average of £5,000 per year getting to work and buying work-related items – before they even get through the front door of the workplace!
Amongst the expenses, transport was (unsurprisingly) the biggest expense, with those working in big cities the hardest hit. In some cases, the full £5,000 was spent on commutes alone. Mark Hall, a spokesperson for Protecting, said “Workers pay out hundreds of pounds every month [on transport to and from work], usually to find themselves standing on a packed peak-hours service, paying peak-hours fares”. This may seem extreme, but the findings discovered that even the average worker can find themselves paying into four figures for buses – and even more if they drive!
Of course, Liftshare helps businesses set up carsharing schemes for their staff – with Great Western Hospitals helping their employees save over £182,000 across a year! Even if your employer doesn’t have a bespoke scheme, you can register your trip on Liftshare.com and see if anyone else in your area is heading your way. As a driver, you’ll receive a contribution toward petrol costs (without affecting your insurance), and as a passenger, you’ll find an option that’s normally cheaper than public transport.
These costs hit new starters the hardest – particularly if workers are coming off of benefits, or are only entering a part-time or zero-hours contract. Protecting said of this, “Nobody tells you how much you’ve got to pay out just to get up to speed with your colleagues. It’s a difficult one for new employees to come to terms with. Can you imagine spending ten pounds to get to work, only to be told there’s nothing for you when you get there? It hardly seems fair, yet this hidden cost of trying to hold down a job is reality for far too many people in the UK”.
Other expenses were sundry, including clothing, food, tea breaks, car parking, and haircuts.
How much does it cost you just to get to work? Have you been able to find ways to cut back on these expenses? Let us know at @Liftshare, or in the comments.
Photo credit: Wikimedia
Author Lex Barber