I'm an employee of a large multinational foreign company. That company has an office in Belgium1 (500-1000 people). Living in Belgium, my contract is actually with that Belgian branch.
For the past year and half, my company policy changed from a "we buy for you" policy to a "buy it, we refund you" policy.
Currently, for instance, I'm dispatched to the customer together with five other colleagues, I've paid my parking everyday since they introduced the policy change (15 € per day, so 300+ € per month). I'm refunded every month appropriately. The parking lot however gives a special reduction (15%) for companies with three people and more.
Recently, I've asked to follow a specific training, together with some colleagues. I was told to pay it upfront and get reimbursed afterwards. That's 2500 € per person. I couldn't pay that much at the time so I passed. The training company again offers reduction for companies.
Being a Java developer, I've asked to take part in Devoxx this year. Again, I'm told to pay it upfront. That's 750 €. I could pay it upfront, but that's money I can't count on just in case. I'm not aware of any company-specific pricing.
Also, the expense notes application is really badly done. For one month of parking tickets, it takes me between 1 h and 1 h 30 to fill everything correctly. Naturally, this is time I'm doing on work-time and I don't bill this to the customer.
As a summary, here are my problems with the expense notes policy:
Problems for me:
- My money isn't mine anymore.
- Sometimes I can't finish a month without taking from my reserve.
- I can't always pay upfront.
- There's the risk I lose my expense tickets (stolen, simply lost, mistaken for another one, etc.)
- My company has the implicit right to refuse an expense note, leaving me with money I'll never get back (it has not happened to me yet).
- Naturally I have a credit card and my expenses go on there, including my parking tickets. It's has an upper threshold. I was on holidays last year and wasn't paid back from my company so my credit card wasn't refilled yet. I was stuck there and had to ask my family for money to come back. The amount asked was less than what my employer owed me for the parking.
Problems for my company: (as I see them)
- My company pays more because I can't have the "group" option.
- People have to manually verify each ticket. For parking tickets for my small team, that's 100+ tickets per month, but it can be only 1 bill and no extra paper.
- The tickets have to be stored for a little while.
- There are extra bank transfers to each employees since each of us has to be refunded individually (yes, for some reasons, it's not on the same transfer as the salary).
- They're paying me to do all the form-fillings that someone costing less could do better (my union thinks it can be a full-time job, maybe two, for the whole company while it's 1 hour x 500 employees is more than 3 full-time jobs).
All this makes that I don't see any single advantage to that policy, yet it is forced upon me.
So far, my company is correct: they've always refunded me within 60 days.
All this makes very little sense and makes me feel extremely insecure regarding money. I appreciate all the other parts of my company so I don't really mind and leaving isn't an option (yet).
I'd like to come back to something where I can focus on doing my job and not having to fear for my money. What are my options? Is it be possible to have some arguments that would make sense for my employer?
I can't fight at the parent-company level, but I'm well connected at the Belgian branch level.
 There doesn't seem to be any
Belgium tag, and I can't create one, if needed.