Scots workers spend £2,000 a year on job-related costs, reveals survey

The average British worker spends one pound from every eight of their disposable income on costs relating to their job, new research shows.

Expenses related to work such as food, travel, childcare, equipment and clothes, cost the average Briton £1843, with Scots spending even more, according to the study by Santander.

Scotland’s workforce spent an average of £1,966 a year, compared to the worst hit in London, at £3,561 a year. Workers in the West Midlands incur the lowest costs at £1,668.

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The study shows that employees across the UK spent the bulk of their work-related earnings on commuting, forking out an average of £782 a year on public transport. . Drivers spend more, with £829 going on fuel, £65 on parking. The other £32 is made up from congestion charges.

The survey found those who pay for childcare spend an average of £592 per year. Some are forking out up to six times that amount, with one in five workers who pay for childcare spending £3,632 a year on childminders and nurseries.

Lunch and snacking sets the workforce back £410 each per year, with a further £142 spent on work calls not claimed on expenses, £27 on computer equipment and £18 on stationery.

Employees shed more money by spending an average of £153 on personal grooming, £83 on clothes and £77 on colleagues and clients.

Alan Mathewson, chief executive of Santander Cards, said: “When these costs are broken down it’s easy to see how it all adds up and there are a number of small changes people can make to their day-to-day routine to reduce these costs, such as car-pooling with colleagues or making a packed lunch instead of buying food from food outlets every day.”

But Harry Donaldson, GMB Scotland secretary, said the pressure on workers had further implications, by squeezing available spending on retailers and limiting economic growth.

Citizens Advice Scotland said their clients continue to struggle, and work-related costs can often add to the burden and the temptation from payday loans.

A spokesman for Citizens Advice Scotland said: “Having a job does not necessarily mean you are financially secure.

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“This rising cost of living is one of the main reasons for the increase in the numbers of people taking out payday loans, which many people have to do just to keep on top of the household bills. But the trouble is that some payday loans have massive interest rates …this leads many into unmanageable debt.”