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Coronavirus: UK businesses to spend 12% less on rewarding employees this holiday season

Saleha Riaz
·2-min read
Most UK business will be doing something to reward their staff, with a virtual Christmas party, a physical gift and a bonus the top choices. Photo: Getty Images
Most UK business will be doing something to reward their staff, with a virtual Christmas party, a physical gift and a bonus the top choices. Photo: Getty

Most UK businesses are planning virtual Christmas parties, gifts and bonuses for staff this holiday season and are expected to spend an average of £225 ($300) per employee — 12% less than they did this time last year, a survey revealed.

Just 18% of firms said they are likely to spend as much per employee this coming Christmas, if not more in a survey of 500 business owners by gift company Hampers.com asking how they plan to treat their staff this festive season.

A third (32%) of businesses said they were planning to spend less on employees because they were “trying to be careful with company funds” and 30% said it was due to not having a Christmas party this year.

However, 91% stated that they will be doing something to reward their staff, with a virtual Christmas party (68%), a physical gift (62%) and a bonus (35%) the top choices.

When looking into the average costs per employee, a bonus is the most generous gift, with the average bonus standing at £150. A virtual Christmas party is calculated to cost around £75 per employee and a physical gift would cost on average £60.

READ MORE: UK retail prices fall as festive season gets underway

When asked roughly how much they had spent on these things in 2019, the average amount per employee was found to be £257.

Patrick Gore, managing director of Hampers.com, noted the company has been “pleasantly surprised by just how many corporate orders have been placed. You couldn’t blame a company for cutting costs this Christmas, possibly even considering not gifting or treating their staff, but a small token can go a long way in making employees feel appreciated, especially after the year we’ve all faced.”

The report also noted that companies are making an effort to reward their staff.

“While many businesses may be facing financial concerns, decision makers and company owners are still conscious of treating, rewarding and thanking their staff — possibly more now than ever,” the report said.

Meanwhile, a recent study found that the average UK household will be spending over £100 less this Christmas than in 2019 and 2018.

The national average spend figure for 2020 is £419.19, according to the research by McCarthy & Stone. This is almost £150 less than 2018 and 2019 where the average spends were £560 and £567 respectively.

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