Want to work in London? It'll cost you £3,561

British workers spend £66.9bn each year on costs related to their jobs, according to new research from Santander. And Londoners are the worst off of the lot.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Have you been operating under the illusion that you get paid to work? Ha! Well, you do, but your pocket takes a hit too. This is according to new research from Santander which shows that British workers are paying billions each year for the luxury of going to work.

Whether it's travel costs, childcare overheads, or buying lunch, working is an expensive business, with the British labour force spending 12% of their annual income on costs incurred because of work.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest outgoing is travel. Full-time staff are forking out an average of £865 per year to get to work. Those who drive to work spend £927 a year on travel, with £829 spent on fuel, £65 on parking charges and £32 on tolls/congestion charges. And for an extra bit of trivia, the average distance travelled by full-time commuters who drive to work stands at 3,144 miles per year.

Those who use public transport to get to work, however, spend slightly less money at an average of £782 per year. That is, unless you live in London where above-inflation fare rises have just come into effect. As a result, Londonders are spending a total of £3,561 for the privilege of working, making the capital the most expensive place to land a job in the UK. The least expensive place to work in the UK is the West Midlands, where the total costs associated with work come to £1,668 per year.

Child care is also a massive outgoing. One in five workers in the UK pay for childcare, spending an average of £3,632 per year each. And workers gotta eat too, unfortunately. All those shop-bought sandwiches and morning coffees really add up. On average, UK workers outlay £410 on food and drink per year that they wouldn’t have to spend if they weren’t at work.

They also spend £153 on work-related personal grooming, £142 on work phone calls they don’t claim back, £83 on work clothes, £27 on computer equipment and £18 on items such as stationery. This rather contradicts recent claims that Brits are claiming more than their fair share back on expenses...

Note to self: take a packed lunch to work tomorrow, expense those receipts, and get up two hours earlier to attempt the exhasting - but free - eight mile walk into work...

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