In this season of giving, it makes good sense for businesses to buy each staff member a thoughtfully chosen Christmas gift. It is only fair to reward staff for their hard work all year and to help make their holiday time extra special. A well chosen gift, shows employees they are valued and as we all know, happy staff are the greatest assets of the company.
Does your business make the most of corporate gift giving? Are you aware of the tax rules such as the £50 ‘Trivial Benefit’ rules?
How can you give a useful gift that will appreciated even by staff that you might not know that well?
Can the business buy a gift, that will bring benefits both to the employees, the business, and the environment?
Let’s start with the benefits of corporate gifting, before looking at the rules and moving onto corporate gift giving ideas. We aren’t going to hold back. Christmas time is the best time to help people go green and to make good environmental choices. However there is a lot of ‘tat’ on the market, most of which is mass produced in China and which is detrimental to the planet. We are hoping to steer you in the right direction and most important to help you find eco gifts, without the ‘greenwash’ that your staff will love.
Why You Should Buy Your Staff / Employees a Christmas Gift
It is widely recognised that staff who are valued in every way – such as being given gifts by the business are happier and work harder in the business. Giving gifts, increases staff moral, job satisfaction, motivation, loyalty, retention, productivity and it always feels good!
For the business, qualifying gifts are tax deductible under the HMRC Trivial Benefit rules and in the grand scheme of things, gifts under there rules cost the business very little.
What is a Trivial Benefit Gift?
A trivial benefit is a gift or £50 or under purchased by any type of business for any member of staff on a celebratory occasion. In some cases employees can receive multiple benefits in a year.
Or, if you are a company director of a limited company holding all the shares, the company can buy you (the director) a trivial benefit gift of £50 up to 6 times per year on special occasions. It could be your birthday, the anniversary of the company formation, Christmas or its equivalent, Mother’s Day, Valentines etc.
At Natural Spa Supplies, we take this idea further and suggest that a well chosen ECO gift could help companies undergo their ‘green transition’ and provide wider commercial and environmental benefits.
A Trivial Benefit is tax deductible, so the cost of £50 or less will be offset against the company income like any other company expense.
Be warned, if you give a gift valued over £50 then it is no longer a Trivial Benefit, but a Benefit in Kind – this does incur additional tax liabilities in the same way that wages do – National insurance liabilities, pension, holiday pay etc fall on both the employee and the employer in the normal way. That’s why the £50 gift which qualifies as a trivial benefit is so popular – it shows thought and generosity, but keeps things simple for your business and the accountant.
Examples of Trivial Benefits
- A Gift of £50 or less including VAT
- A Voucher with cannot be redeemed for cash
Examples of What Is Not a Trivial Benefit
- A voucher which can be redeemed for cash
- A reward for performance or future performance
- Where gifts are specified in a work contract as a type of renumeration
- A membership or a subscription
Please check with your accountant and HR team to make sure that you understand the rules for your business!
The Etiquette of Corporate Gift Giving
With corporate gift giving the presumption is always top down – The gift is given by the employer to the member of staff.
The employees receive a higher value gift than they give back. The employee does not have to give a gift back and when they do, it is always expected to be much lower in value to the gift they received.
So the employer might spend £50 on gifts for each staff member, and each staff member might give their boss something in value from £5-10? Or the staff member might just say a heartfelt thank you.
How Much Should You Spend on Corporate Gifts?
Unless you have previously given larger gifts, if you are uncertain what to spend, or if this is your first time, we suggest spending £50 on each staff member and nearly every business can afford this.
What Are Typical Corporate Gifts?
I did some online research, looking at companies which specialise in Corporate Gifts … and I met with disappointment. This is what kept coming up:
- Branded office supplies – surely the business should buy their own office supplies and not give them as a gifts to staff!
- Branded clothing – if a business wishes to see their staff in corporate clothing they should buy it as ordinary expenditure and not disguise it as a present!
- Food and confectionary – a lot of people prefer to select their own food and many people have food allergies and intolerances.
- Promotional products of bamboo and plastic which are clearly made in China – undermining our own economy and showing no imagination.
- Alcohol – once it is consumed, it will probably be forgotten about.
Choosing a Meaningful & Memorable Corporate Gift
Have can you get gift giving right? It is difficult enough to choose gifts for our family members, but deciding what to buy a member of staff can be even more difficult because we don’t necessarily know them as well. Perhaps they have allergies, they don’t drink alcohol or they are dieting?
We have thought these dilemmas through for you and have created some sets of eco gifts that are sustainable and really useful to everyone.
More so, we believe that our eco gift selection can bring positive environmental change and positive cultural change back to your organisation. Our premise is that if you give eco gifts to your staff, they will bring their new eco knowledge and enthusiasm into the workplace, helping the company to maximize it green potential. It is the companies that have a clear green agenda who will thrive as the green economic transition takes hold.
Corporate Eco Gift Suggestions
We have put together four eco gift kits which we feel will be appreciated and used by staff members. We believe that going green is everyone’s responsibility but when you can give a gift which helps your staff to go green, it really does help.
Here are four eco gift ideas which will appeal to all types of people.
1/ An Eco Explorer Box
In this box we have included some of our most popular and influential eco products. We anticipate that every product will impress and inspire your staff member.
2/ Healthy Water Box
An amphora with care kit to make tap water healthier and tastier. Ideal for staff working from home. Pets and plants prefer amphora water too! Vegan friendly
3/ Natural Skin Care Kit
Everybody loves to have great looking skin and with many jobs having public facing roles, and with so much emphasis on social media, having mastery over the skin is easy to achieve day after day, with our expert selection.
4/ A Spa at Home Hammam Kit
Let your staff transform their own home into a spa with professional grade spa products. Staff who spend a lot of time on their feet such as nurses, care workers, gardeners, farmers, will really appreciate this eco gift. Vegan friendly.
Ordering Your Staff Eco Gifts
Gifts build relationships and offer shared experiences.
You might be planning a grand eco gift opening at an office party, to give staff member gifts to take home or ask us to deliver a gift to each member of staff.
You can buy direct from the website or if you prefer email us with a list of staff members and we will go from there. Just be sure to get ahead of the Christmas postal rush!
Check That The Gift Has Been Received
Check that the recipient has received the gift before the big day! After Christmas, check that they have used it and ask them how they found it. Also ask them to let you know if any of the eco products or eco thoughts would be useful in the business…
Remember to remind your accountant about your gift giving so the purchases can be assigned the right way on your tax return.
Finally be proud of your business for being a force for good and keep the eco buzz going!