UK employers hold back on Christmas bonuses and gifts
16 December 2016
The majority of companies are celebrating Christmas by hosting company-wide parties or Christmas lunches, however there will be fewer Christmas gifts, bonuses or additional time off for staff this year.
Research from XpertHR about the Christmas and New Year working arrangements of 252 UK organisations has found that whilst the majority of companies are celebrating Christmas by hosting company-wide parties (50.8%) or departmental Christmas lunches (47.2%), there will be fewer Christmas gifts, bonuses awarded or additional time off for employees this year.
Employers plan to spend an average of £93.33 and a median of £50 per employee on their Christmas celebrations – a figure which hasn’t changed significantly since the last time XpertHR conducted this survey in 2012/13, when the median spend was £42.82.
However, fewer than one in five organisations (17.9%) will be offering employee gifts this year compared to 21.1% in 2012/2013 and just 18 employers will award Christmas bonuses, with no increase in payment planned compared with last year.
Although the majority of organisations will close for Christmas Day (82.1%) and New Year’s Day (77.4%), employees looking forward to additional time off may be disappointed, with only one in eight (12.3%) employers planning to offer this benefit over the 2016/17 festive season.
Also, just over half (51.2%) of employers require employees to be on standby or available for call out, not including those that are covered by standby or call-out arrangements, and almost a quarter (23%) said they will require some employees to work on the Christmas and New Year bank holidays.
Whereas traditionally employers that expected employees to work during Christmas and New Year tended to award bonus payments, XpertHR has seen an increase in the number of companies offering time off in lieu instead.