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Majority of staff ‘would prefer cash to a Christmas party’

ServicedofficeBENews801669842

Forget the Christmas party – most workers would rather just have the cash, according to new research.

A study commissioned by MetLife Employee Benefits has found that over two-thirds of employees would opt to have the equivalent spent on them added to their wage packet instead, if they had their say on the matter.

Attitudes on the issue differed depending on the age of the worker, however, even in the youngest age group of 18 to 24-year-old, 65 per cent said that they would rather keep hold of the cash instead of putting on their party hat.

MetLife UK’s employee benefits director Tom Gaynor said: “Christmas parties can be great for morale and rewarding staff for their hard work throughout the year but it does seem as if most staff would rather just have the money.

“In any case, bonuses or cash payments have to be taxed – while employers can spend up to £150 a head on Christmas parties without employees having to pay tax. Workers probably are better off enjoying the party,” he added.

Another benefit of a company holding its own Christmas party is the effect it can have on staff morale, with many employees still looking forward to and talking about plans for the big night well in advance of it actually happening. It could be argued that this would not be the case if it was replaced with an equivalent cash alternative.

One reason why staff may generally feel fed up with the Christmas period could be down to the fact that many are forced to use up their holidays as businesses closes for festivities. According to the survey, a third of employees have to book days off because of their organisation temporarily shutting up shop. Among small and medium enterprises, that figure increases to 50 per cent.

Three out of every five workforces are set to be treated to a Christmas party this year, with employees based across offices in London the most likely to celebrate the festive season together.