An increasing number of British businesses would like to regularly reward their staff but feel limited by budgets, according to new research. 

However, fewer than one in ten employers are aware of the government allowances that would allow them to make the tax-exempt awards, allowing them to more regularly give small rewards to boost staff productivity and morale.

A survey of 1,500 UK workers and business leaders by One4all Rewards, as part of a campaign to raise awareness of HMRC’s Trivial Benefits Allowance, revealed that 83% of British bosses would like to give regular bonuses and rewards to their employees in a bid to boost employee morale, motivation and loyalty.

More than half (53%) of British business leaders said that they do not currently give their employees non-performance related benefits because the business does not have enough budget and cannot afford them.

In April 2016 HMRC made changes to workplace benefits rules to allow businesses to benefit from the exemption – reducing tax and National Insurance Contributions charges. However, only 10% of businesses are currently making use of the tax exemption on trivial benefits.

Just over a fifth (22%) of UK businesses are aware of the tax relief available on trivial benefits, with only 11% planning to make use of them before the end of the current tax year.

Despite the relatively small sums involved, the survey showed that receiving this kind of benefit would improve workers’ morale (48%), make them feel more loyal to the company (35%) and even motivated to work harder (31%).

What’s more, 62% of workers said that rewards in the form of a gift voucher or card which allows them to choose their own reward, would have the biggest impact on their attitude towards work.

Almost half (47%) of UK workers stated that they would most appreciate a bonus or reward not linked to their performance at Christmas, 32% would like to receive a bonus after a particularly busy period at work and 26% on their birthday.