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Checkmate – Bishop on probation

Checkmate – Bishop on probation (Last Updated On: July 28, 2015)

Bronwyn Bishop has contradicted her role as The Speaker – the chief guardian of parliamentary standards. Bishop is now caught up in a whirlwind of taxpayer-funded travel and unexplained personal expenses, forced to repay over $5,000 for a chartered helicopter to attend a party fundraiser.

Yesterday, she claimed that the she conducted “official business” when, in 2006, she travelled to a colleague’s wedding. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that it was an “error of judgement” but is not defending Bishop’s use of tax-payer money for personal gain. Abbott who attended the same wedding also claimed his travel expenses of $1,000, however immediately repaid and suggested others do the same.

The Department of Finance documents has reveled that last year Mrs Bishop led a small parliamentary delegation to Italy, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland where she spent $88,084 in a two week period. This is another example of her questionable expenses, drawing attention to excessive amounts of money spent in such a small time frame.

Bishop is on probation due to these unnecessary and excessive expenses. Further investigations are being made by the parliament’s finance team but according to Mr Abbott’s MP, Pat Conroy, “She should have resigned weeks ago”.

This is the exact reason why employers must include an expense policy in their business, that clearly outlines what is an acceptable work related expense. An expense policy should state the expectations of claiming expenses and what a reasonable expense is and what is not. An employer should treat every employee and every expense with consistent authorisation. Employees need to be aware that employers hold the right to refuse an expense claim.

Expenses that are unreasonable, unnecessary or excessive can be denied if an employer has the correct policies in place. If you are an employer and currently do not have an expense policy in your employment handbook or contract, call Employsure today on 1300 651 415.

Sourced: Sydney Morning Herald.

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