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9 November 2020, 10:22 | Updated: 9 November 2020, 10:30
An MP has told the Chancellor that businesses should be paying their workers a £200 Christmas bonus this year.
An MP has said businesses should pay their staff a £200 bonus instead of having a Christmas party this year.
Labour politician Chris Evans wrote an open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, insisting that bosses can spread some festive cheer at no extra cost to their businesses.
At the moment, employers are allowed to throw a tax-deductible Christmas party up to the value of £150 a head, if it is for team building purposes.
They are also allowed to give a gift of up to £50, such as a bottle of wine or Christmas dinner, which is also tax-deductible.
Unfortunately, work bashes look to be banned this year as England is currently on a nationwide lockdown, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also have their own coronavirus restrictions in place.
So instead, Mr Evans has said the Chancellor should put this money straight into staff’s pockets and allow firms to pay a lump sum of £200.
He said: “It would be a good way for employers to say thank you to those who work for them and make up for the odd working conditions of 2020 - not to mention the ban on office parties.
“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.”
Meanwhile, it looks like large gatherings will have to wait until next Christmas, as the rule of six is thought to stay in place past the restrictions which are currently in place.
Last week Environment Secretary George Eustice said families would be banned from ‘coming together in large gatherings’ if necessary.
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.
“It’s too early to say though exactly what restrictions will be in place by Christmas and obviously if we do need to have restrictions in place and prevent families from coming together in large gatherings, if that’s necessary to control the virus, that’s what we’ll have to do.”