An increasing number of British businesses would like to regularly reward their staff but feel limited by budgets, according to new research

Pleasant little thing

According to research by One4all Rewards, fewer than one in ten employers are aware of the government allowances that would allow them to make tax-exempt awards, allowing them to regularly give small rewards to boost staff productivity and morale.

The survey revealed that 83% of British bosses would like to give regular bonuses and rewards to their employees in a bid to boost employee morale, motivation and loyalty.

More than half (53%) of British 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 April 2016 HMRC made changes to workplace benefits rules to allow businesses to benefit from the exemption - reducing tax and National Insurance Contributions charges. However, only 10% of businesses are currently making use of the tax exemption on trivial benefits.

Just over a fifth (22%) of UK businesses are aware of the tax relief available on trivial benefits, with only 11% planning to make use of them before the end of the current tax year.

Employers should also note that if they want to attract and retain top talent, an attractive benefits package is an important factor for a younger workforce. A study from Bupa found that 51% of workers under 25 valued a strong reward package over a pay rise.

Receiving this kind of benefit goes a long way to boost morale and productivity. Nearly half (48%) stated it would improve morale and increase motivation to work harder (31%). Loyalty towards the company would also be improved (35%).

What’s more, 62% of workers said that rewards in the form of a gift voucher or card which allows them to choose their own reward, would have the biggest impact on their attitude towards work.

Almost half (47%) of UK workers stated that they would most appreciate a bonus or reward not linked to their performance at Christmas, 32% would like to receive a bonus after a particularly busy period at work and 26% on their birthday.

Alan Smith, UK Managing Director of One4all Rewards, said: “There is lots of potential for British businesses to offer non-performance related benefits 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 we surveyed, who 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 workers 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.”