Research from Christmas party supplier, Best Parties Ever (BPE), reveals that 68 per cent of companies are not aware of the tax relief associated with holding an annual party for employees. The research conducted by the company comes as it unveils additional sites and new themes and dates for the 2013 Christmas party season.
“Our survey shows that companies still need to be educated on this issue,” says MD of Best Parties Ever, Tim Stevens. “An office Christmas party is one of the most tax efficient ways of rewarding staff, with a £150 tax allowance per head and no national insurance contributions.”
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) annual Reward Management Survey 2013 shows that a Christmas lunch or party is one of the most common benefits provided to employees; and nearly half of companies surveyed by Best Parties Ever said it was extremely important for them to hold an office Christmas party, citing boosting staff morale, bringing the whole company together and rewarding staff as the three main reasons.
“The last few years have proved challenging for everyone in the wake of the recession and budgets being slashed, but there is a quiet confidence returning and a sense of optimism with companies seemingly more open to the idea of a party than previously. Enquiries as a result are surprisingly robust and the company has received its best level of spring enquiries for many years, with provisional bookings up 22 per cent on this time last year,” says Stevens.
“Over recent years we’ve seen companies opting for smaller departmental functions as opposed to large scale ’all company’ parties. However, the number of large booking enquires we’ve received is up on the previous two years, which would suggest that while value for money naturally continues to be an important factor, employers are recognising the need to build relationships and create a sense of community across their organisations,” he adds.
Best Parties Ever says one of the biggest trends it has seen this year is a return to live music. With the majority of clients asking for a live band above singers and dancers, the company has incorporated this entertainment into more than half of its sites to meet demand. This year the company will be operating 20 sites across the UK, introducing three other venues to its portfolio – Lydiard Park in Swindon, Beeston Hockey Club in Nottingham and Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
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