I'm in such a dilemma now. A little background of this department. There are 2 teams in this department. I'm a team leader for team A, and there's another team leader for team B.
Both of teams are reporting to the same manager, and this manager reports to a senior manager.
What has happened is that 1 staff member in team A, and 1 staff member in team B were nominated to go off for a training away from base. And they both basically hitched a ride with someone else, i.e. them not driving.
They both came back, and have filed for mileage claims. Team B employee's claims have been approved by their team leader, and I have told my subordinate that I will reject her claims on the basis that she didn't drive and did not incur any additional cost. Subordinate queried on the unfairness. Why team B employee claims got approved while hers didn't.
Escalated this case to the manager, manager contemplated rejecting my subordinate's claims as well, but she has also escalated this to our senior manager (SM).
Surprisingly, the SM is with the idea that it's the employee's entitlement to claim. Even though we all know that my subordinate didn't drive at all. The direct quote is:
Ethically it is wrong to approve but its the staff's entitlement to claim.
I have checked the same with HR (without naming names of course) and they are in agreement that an approver shouldn't approve the claims if they are carpooling and didn't drive.
Told my manager that I will not approve, and she said to approve. Told her I don't wanna get in trouble with HR, so I suggested that I delegate the approval flow to her. She doesn't want it, basically told me off by saying:
If HR query, I am the one who gets the hit.
A bit puzzled with her. Wants to reject but subordinate queried why the team B's staff claims got approved.
I'm in an ethical dilemma. What should I do?