Scrouge, Christmas and the National Minimum Wage

15th October 2015

It’s the beginning of October and although the sun has been shining we need to plan now for the financial implications of Christmas on businesses.

During the festive prologue it’s not unusual for businesses to utilise additional temporary staff to meet increased workload demands so the first thing you might want to consider is how the 1st October 2015 National Minimum Wage increase may affect your business?

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If you’ve based your costs on what was paid last year you may want to think again.

As well as the adult rate changing from £6.50 to £6.70 ...
  • The apprentice rate increases by 57p to £3.30
  • The rate for 18-20 year olds will rise by 17p to £5.30
  • Those aged 16-17 will now be paid £3.87, an increase of 8p
  • As far as we know there has been no change to the rate for Elves & Reindeer!
If your business is operating well and can afford it, you may want to consider rewarding staff with a Christmas Party of Gift.  If you do, here’s a few things to be aware of.

Employees won’t have to pay tax or national insurance on the cost of what you provide if you meet the following criteria:

  • Total cost does not exceed £150 per head per year including VAT (for all events).
  • All staff working in the same location must be invited
  • If the cost exceeds £150 per head even by just £1 the employee will be taxed on the whole amount not just the additional £1 (nasty tax man! – bah humbug!)
  • Gifts (but not cash) can be given up to the value of £50 per year.
  •  Seasonal gifts such as a turkey, an ordinary bottle of wine or a box of chocolates are deemed acceptable and will generally be treated as trivial benefits and ignored by HMRC
  •  A turkey in a hamper, or less-ordinary wines may not be considered trivial and would need to be declared.
We’re not encouraging you to embrace your inner scrouge - after all it is the season to be jolly – but we do want you to keep an eye on the kitty!

If you want more in-depth information on either of these topics just sign up to our Info Bank.

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