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Meat-free expenses claims

19 February 2020

Some schools have hit the headlines this week for their decisions to offer only vegetarian meals. But would a similar approach extend to the workplace? Well, one property developer has gone down this route, requiring that all corporate entertaining, workshop catering and even staff expenses must now be vegetarian if staff wish to be reimbursed. The employer adopted the approach – after taking a staff vote on the issue – to attempt to reduce its environmental impact. This employer is not alone – American company WeWork announced a no poultry, pork or red meat approach to expenses claims back in 2018, also in a move to reduce its environmental impact.

Being told what to eat – or rather, what not to eat if you want to be reimbursed – is likely to be controversial with many employees. Importantly, here, the employer had the support of the majority of the workforce before making the change and set out its rationale for why the approach was being adopted – including how the approach was in line with its culture and values. Employers considering such an approach would be wise to secure employee engagement early on – and make sure that internal contracts and policies are consistent with the changes being considered.

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