Sunday, 6 Dec 2020

Bosses urged to pay workers £200 Xmas bonus to make up for cancelled parties

Workers should get a £200 Christmas bonus to make up for not having an office party this year, Rishi Sunak has been told.

Labour MP Chris Evans says the move can end a difficult year by spreading some festive cheer at no extra cost to the company.

He has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to back his plan to transfer Christmas party spending straight into their staff’s pockets.

Employers are allowed to throw a seasonal bash up to the value of £150 a head tax-deductible if it is for team-building purposes.

They can also give staff a gift worth up to £50 without incurring any tax liability, the Sun reports.

Evans wants the Chancellor to allow firms to pay staff a lump sum of £200 so they can celebrate with the family and raise a glass to the boss at home.

He said: "It would be a good way for employers to say thank you to those who work for them and make up for the odd working conditions of 2020 – not to mention the ban on office parties.

"It’s win-win for everybody. The workers would get a few extra quid, it would be a morale booster for the company and it wouldn’t cost them an extra penny."

He went on: "It would be up to the employers to decide if they want to do this of course, but it would be a good way of saving money in the long run.

"And it might just save Christmas spirit for a few people along the way."

Sunak recently extended the furlough scheme until March – as England heads into a second coronaviruslockdown.

The support equates to 80% of workers' salaries up to £2,500 a month and will be available throughout the UK during the period.

It will be reviewed in January to determine whether employers should contribute more.

Sunak told the House of Commons: "We can announce today that the furlough scheme will not be extended for one month, it will be extended until the end of March.

"The Government will continue to help pay people's wages up to 80% of the normal amount. All employers will have to pay for hours not worked is the cost of employer NICs and pension contributions."

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