An increasing number of bosses within the retail sector would like to regularly gift their staff but feel limited by budgets, according to new research.
However, only 12 per cent of retail employers are aware of the government allowances that would allow them to give tax-exempt gifts, allowing them to more regularly give small gestures of goodwill to boost staff productivity and morale.
A survey of 1,500 UK workers and business leaders by One4all Rewards, as part of a campaign to raise awareness of HMRC’s Trivial Benefits Allowance, revealed that 82 per cent of retail bosses would like to give regular bonuses and tokens to their employees in a bid to boost employee morale, motivation and loyalty.
66 per cent of retail business leaders said that they do not currently give their employees non-performance related benefits because the business does not have enough budget and cannot afford them.
In 2016 HMRC made changes to workplace benefits rules to allow businesses more flexibility to benefit from the exemption - reducing tax and National Insurance Contributions charges. However, only 6 per cent of retail businesses are currently making use of the tax exemption on trivial benefits.
The research revealed that 12 per cent of retail businesses are aware of the tax relief available on trivial benefits, with only 13 per cent planning to make use of them before the end of the current tax year.
Despite the relatively small sums involved, the survey showed that receiving a gift of this kind would make them feel more loyal (48%), improve retail workers’ morale (44%) and even motivated to work harder (28%).
What’s more, 64 per cent of retail workers said that tokens in the form of a gift card which allows them to treat themselves to a gift of their choice, would have the biggest impact on their attitude towards work.
More than a third (39%) of retail workers stated that they would most appreciate a gift not linked to their performance at Christmas, 35 per cent would like to receive a gift after a particularly busy period at work and 33 per cent on their birthday.
Alan Smith, UK Managing Director of One4all Rewards said, “there is lots of potential for retail businesses to offer non-performance related gifts to their staff under the latest HMRC changes to the workplace benefits rule.
“The changes to the workplace benefits rule have been introduced to help businesses similar to those within the retail sector we surveyed, who have limited budgets to treat their employees.
“We can see from the research that only a small proportion of retail businesses are currently making use of the tax exemption on trivial benefits, and only 13 per cent of retail bosses are intending to make use of the tax exemption before the end of their tax year.”