Third of the UK workers have never had a Christmas bonus, survey finds

Bosses are in danger of being branded ‘Scrooges’ after a nationwide study by Hawk Incentives found that 33 per cent of British workers have never been given a Christmas bonus by their employer

Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of UK workers are not expecting a financial boost from their employer this festive season, according to a survey by Hawk Incentives, with seven in 10 respondents believing the Christmas bonus will soon be a thing of the past.

The poll of 1,500 employees also found that:

  • Christmas bonuses have been cut by 54 per cent in the last three years, despite the £50 tax free trivial benefit;
  • 95 per cent of employees said they would be delighted with a £50 shopping voucher as a gesture of goodwill;
  • A staggering 47 per cent of staff say they’d rather have a bonus than a Christmas party;
  • Edinburgh and Plymouth are national hotspots for workplace bonuses and festive gifting.

According to the study, 40 per cent of people believe that this is down to constant cutbacks in their industry, and 36 per cent say that companies only care about profits. Almost a third of respondents believe that employers just don’t care enough to reward them at Christmas. 

According to the data, even if you are lucky enough to receive a Christmas bonus, you might not get very much. Three years ago, the average amount people received was £792: a stark contrast to the £363 expected in pay packets this year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, nearly nine in 10 workers (89 per cent) believed they deserve a bonus. On average, people think they deserve a reward of £864 – but it doesn’t appear that the value is the key factor in the reward. In fact, 95 per cent of employees said they would be delighted with a £50 shopping voucher.

60 per cent said they would be absolutely delighted to receive any "token of goodwill" from their employers – no matter how big or small – as it would show they are valued and appreciated for the work they do. Over a fifth said that if they received one it would make them work even harder.

Read the full report.

Chris Ford, senior director at Hawk Incentives, said: “This research sadly reveals that so many UK employees believe that Christmas bonuses are a thing of the past. It also shows how morale boosting a bonus of whatever size can be for an employee. Many businesses are unaware that you can give up to £50 to each of your employees, tax free, each year as a trivial benefit. High employee engagement is a constant theme we see in the highest performing businesses across the UK. A small token of appreciation at Christmas time, or any time, can go a very, very long way.

“It’s why our reward offerings – One4All, Select, Voucher Store and our Choice range (i.e. Restaurant Choice) – were conceived.  Our suite of offerings can not only be redeemed in multiple stores, but they can be branded and personalised, which means they can be an ideal Christmas gift for employees and customers alike.”