More than half (53%) of employer respondents cannot afford to provide non-performance-related benefits because their organisation does not have sufficient budget, according to research by One4all Rewards.

Its survey of 1,024 UK employees and 476 UK employers also found that 10% of employer respondents are currently making use of the tax exemption on trivial benefits. Trivial benefits are defined as those where: the cost of providing the benefit does not exceed £50 (or the average cost per employee if a benefit is provided to a group of employees and it is impracticable to work out the exact cost per person); the benefit is not cash or a cash voucher; the employee is not entitled to the benefit as part of any contractual obligation, including under salary sacrifice arrangements; and the benefit is not provided in recognition of particular services performed by the employee as part of their employment duties.

The research also found:

  • 83% of employer respondents want to give regular bonuses and rewards to their employees in order to boost morale, motivation and loyalty.
  • 22% of employer respondents are aware of the tax relief available on trivial benefits, and 11% are planning to make use of them before the end of the current tax year.
  • 48% of employee respondents believe that receiving trivial benefits would improve their morale, 35% say it would make them feel more loyal to the organisation, and 31% think receiving these benefits would motivate them to work harder.
  • 62% of employee respondents feel that a gift voucher or card which allows them to choose their own reward would have the biggest impact on their attitude towards work.
  • 47% of employee respondents say that they would appreciate a bonus or reward which is not linked to their performance at Christmas, 32% would like to receive a bonus after a particularly busy period at work, and 26% would like to be given a bonus or reward on their birthday.

Alan Smith (pictured), UK managing director at One4All Rewards, said: “There is lots of potential for British businesses to offer non-performance related benefits to their staff under the latest [HM Revenue and Customs] changes to the workplace benefits rule.

“The changes to the workplace benefits rule have been introduced to help businesses similar to those we surveyed, which have limited budgets to reward their employees. We can see from the research that only a small proportion of businesses are currently making use of the tax exemption on trivial benefits, however, 11% of UK bosses are intending to make use of the tax exemption before the end of their tax year.

“As Christmas was highlighted as the top season [employees] would like to receive a benefit, now is the perfect time for business leaders to consider making the most of the tax exemptions on non-performance-related trivial benefits.”