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20 Dec 2023

The best benefits selection for Christmas

Here are Zest’s top Christmas benefit recommendations to help support employees as they celebrate during this year’s festivities

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With a few holiday-related puns and topical song lyrics to keep you on your misel-toes, we’ve looked under the tree and pulled out a number of benefits options that employees should consider this festive season, as well as what employers can do to reward colleagues.

Travel scheme

December can be an expensive month. So how can you save a few quid in 2023 and offset the cost of travelling until the new year? Simple, by signing up to the travel scheme benefit.

According to a survey by eBay Ads UK, one in five UK consumers plan on spending the festive period on holiday, with 19% heading overseas.

Whether you’re hiring a car to see family, booking a hotel to avoid staying at the in-laws or plotting a last-minute flight to discover your own Fairytale of New York, you can request the value of your trip in the form of an e-voucher. What’s more, you’ll spread the cost over 12 months, making a 12% tax and National Insurance saving.

Tech scheme

One of our favoured employee Christmas benefits is the popular tech scheme.

Employees can spread the cost of their latest gadgets across monthly payments and save up to 12% on National Insurance contributions. 

Discount platforms

Not ‘wrapped up’ your Christmas shopping just yet? Don’t panic, your employee discount platform could save you up to £1,000 a year, with discounts and offers from the UK’s most popular retailers.

Providers often run competitions too, meaning you can win fantastic prizes throughout the year.

Charitable giving

Christmas is certainly a time for giving, and we should all take a moment to consider those less fortunate than ourselves.

Payroll Giving or Give-As-You-Earn is a popular benefit offered by many employers to encourage colleagues to support local charities through their salary.

After selecting your chosen benefactor, a donation amount is deducted from an employee’s pay before deducting tax. You can also split the amount between more than one charity. Should you choose to give donations directly via a standing order/direct debit, the charity will be able to claim Gift Aid as long as you’re a UK taxpayer.

Employee Assistance Programme

While many settle down to open presents, some employees may be dealing with problems inside and outside of the workplace that makes the festive period a difficult time to comprehend.

The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a confidential support hotline that offers support to individuals who need it most. For those that are struggling, it can be a shining light in what can be a difficult time of year.

The gift of giving

Corporate Christmas gifts for employees are becoming more and more popular. Employers are choosing to offer more than an office party and perhaps a festive end-of-year bonus as a thank you, some are also considering alternatives that can add to the festive spirit.

The holiday hamper

Christmas gifts for employees in the UK could provide you with a never-ending list of perks and presents. While benefits are no longer a one-size-fits-all approach, bulk Christmas gifts for employees can prove valuable. Christmas gift hampers for employees is one way to make December a little more jolly, without the need to tailor each individual present.

Extra holiday

We know not every day can be the 25th December, but there’s no reason we can’t let the celebrations start a little earlier. An extra day of additional leave to make preparations for the big day a little less stressful is a welcome benefit for employees. 

Sustainable Christmas gifts

At Christmas, giving can be much more valuable than receiving a present. After all, it is a time for giving.

According to Employee Benefits, employers are looking into ways they can contribute to those less fortunate. This can include dedicating a tree to an individual that offsets carbon, ActionAid’s give a goat campaign, where African farming families can receive a goat to help improve their food security, and an introductory mini ecosystem workshop, where participants can learn about terrariums and natural ecosystems while building their own.

Are Christmas gifts for employees tax deductible?

You may wish to give your employees a present – a Christmas hamper, a bottle of wine, or a nice box of chocolates. As long as it costs less than £50 a head, it won’t be taxable. If the gift exceeds this value, it will need to be reported to HMRC and will be taxable under the normal Benefit in Kind rules.

In partnership with Zest

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