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Staff are not just for Christmas

Posted on 11th December 2023 - What's trending?

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By James Pinchbeck, Marketing Partner

In the run up to Christmas many business directors, owners and managers will hopefully have or be looking at potentially sharing in the festive spirit through making gifts to their staff and/or even having a Christmas party. 

A bit like family and friends gifting, the nature or choice of a gift will mostly likely be based on what might have been given in the past, even the same gift each year along with affordability of the same.

To a great extent when it comes to businesses the decision as to what they give their staff may in part be pre-determined by the tax treatment of any gifts. Certainly HMRC have made this easier, in that gifts made to employees up to the value of £50 will not be subject to any tax consequences.    Perhaps then there is no surprise that often the choice of gift is a store or merchandising voucher to the value of £50.  Such an approach is not to be sniffed at as it is an easy decision for a choice of gift in terms of the employer’s choice and employees’ preference. 

Typically, as the festive season approaches many will be enjoying the annual staff Christmas party.  Again, the HMRC have made an exemption and a generous one at that. Providing a number of criteria are met, a spend of up to £150 per head can be made on the Christmas party. Such spend is exempt from both Income Tax and National Insurance and the fun doesn’t stop there! The £150 per head also applies to all attendees, so partners and spouses can be included.

The festive season all too often comes and goes in a flash, even though you wouldn’t though think it on the run up to the big day.  Whilst the thought and goodwill of a seasonal gift and party will bring a glow to hopefully all, the time of year is also one when we reflect or give more time to think of others. As we go from Christmas to the New Year our thoughts invariably turn to the year ahead and perhaps then to thinking about what else we could do to acknowledge, reward, praise and even support team members. Such an approach doesn’t necessarily have to come at a cost or be determined by the tax implications. 

At Christmas it can be the case, that we rack our brain to come up with a gift for a relative or friend that we don’t see or really know that well, when really what they would have valued better was some of your time and interest in them.

Perhaps then we can all look to 2024 to take time out to not only think what we could do to support our colleagues but also show we really value them. Something that may involve us taking more time for them, doing something specific or personable, even unique, to thank and support them. With busy lives and the rapid pace of life there is a real danger, that a bit like Christmas, when we buy a present it will do with little thought just to tick another off the gift list, we don’t give enough thought and time to recognise the importance and value of our colleagues.

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