Businesses hoping to pay staff £200 instead of a Christmas party

Christmas toys might be rationed in the UK
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RISHI Sunak is being asked to allow bosses to pay their staff a £200 bonus instead of having a Christmas party this year, a Labour MP claims.

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In a letter to Sunak, Chris Evans detailed how the Chancellor could help businesses treat employees to a ‘few extra quid’ at no cost to themselves.

At present, companies can throw a tax-deductible festive party worth £150 a head if the event is open to all employees and for team-building purposes.

They are also allowed to give a tax-deductible gift of up to £50, such as a bottle of wine or Christmas dinner. Christmas parties are likely to be banned this year, with England currently in a second national lockdown until at least December 2.

Even when the most severe coronavirus restrictions are lifted, the rule of six is expected to remain for the duration of the festive period.

Evans is requesting that businesses be allowed to transfer the money into employees’ pockets, as a thank you and to ‘make up for the odd working conditions of 2020’, The Sun reports.

He went on, ‘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.

‘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.’

On Saturday, November 7, a further 24,957 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK, while 413 deaths from the virus were recorded. Ministers have hinted at what Christmas will look like this year, but no official government guidance has yet been formed.

Last week Environment Secretary George Eustice said families would be banned from ‘coming together in large gatherings’ if necessary.

Asked whether police would break up parties taking place he said, ‘We want people to live and have Christmas as close as possible to normal. It’s a really important family time, we understand that.’


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