More than ever this year, it’s likely that you’re looking to say thank you to the staff members who have helped you through one of the most difficult years for your business to date. However, with Coronavirus still refusing to say goodbye, you may be looking for a more inventive way to hold the all important annual Christmas party.
Whilst we may all be starting to grow more and more tired with looking at our own faces through Zoom’s ever judging lens (yes, eight months later, I’m still wondering ‘is that really what I look like?’) Staying connected with your team virtually remains as important as it did back in March. So much so, that this year, HMRC have made sure that Coronavirus need not ruin your festive fun, by extending a specific exemption to hosting a virtual Christmas party.
You may be familiar with the existing rules. Broadly speaking, each year as an employer you’re allowed to splash out up to £150 per employee for annual events without any tax cost for the employee. This could be a summer party, or in this case, the end of year staff party. This £150 could cover entertainment, food and drink, accommodation, anything to ensure your staff have a good night. Whilst an overnight stay at a nice hotel is most likely off the cards this year, this £150 allowance has now been extended to include hosting virtual events.
For example, as an employer you can now organise for a virtual party to take place after work one Friday evening in which everyone is invited. You can arrange for a hamper of treats, including food and drink, to be delivered to each attendees house on the day of the party, to be enjoyed over Zoom together on the evening, up to that same value of £150.
Getting your glad rags on to sit in your home office and look at your colleagues from the neck up may not be what we’re all used to at this time of year, but the sentiment that you’re providing to your team after everything we’ve experienced together this year may just be the end of year treat they needed.
For other ways to reward your employees this Christmas, check out our earlier blog or contact Hive today for advice on how to motivate your team into the new year.