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The power of trivial benefits in kind for employers

Ensuring that employees feel valued at work is crucial. Often, it’s the small gestures that employers can extend to their team members that make the most significant difference.

One such example of these ‘small gestures’ is the notion of trivial benefits in kind. Trivial benefits can be characterised as modest ‘token gifts’ bestowed upon staff by their employers.

Trivial benefits can range from items like chocolates, wine, gift vouchers, theatre tickets, or even a group outing for lunch or dinner.

These gifts fall within the trivial benefit parameters, provided:

The primary characteristic of trivial benefits in kind is that they shouldn’t augment an employee’s salary. They also cannot be extended as a substitute for payment.

Benefits of trivial benefits in kind

Besides enhancing employee well-being and morale, trivial benefits in kind also offer tax perks for employers.

Here are some reasons why employers should contemplate incorporating trivial benefits in kind into their workplace culture.

Boosting employee morale and engagement

Frequent trivial benefits act as continual signals to employees that their contributions are appreciated. These small tokens can significantly uplift morale, leading to increased job satisfaction and productivity.

When employees feel recognised, they are more inclined to engage proactively with their work and sustain a positive outlook towards their employers and the business as a whole.

Strengthening the employer’s reputation

Offering trivial benefits can favourably influence an organisation’s reputation, positioning it as an employer that prioritises its employees’ welfare.

This enhanced employer branding can be pivotal in attracting and retaining top-tier talent in the fiercely competitive job market.

Tax advantages

From a strictly financial perspective, trivial benefits in kind are tax-exempt, exempt from National Insurance, and don’t require reporting to HMRC. This tax efficiency makes trivial benefits a cost-effective means for employers to recognise their staff.

However, if benefits are included in a salary sacrifice arrangement, they won’t be tax-exempt and will necessitate reporting on a P11D form.

Promoting employee wellness

Trivial benefits can also promote the overall wellness of employees. For example, offering a yoga class or a fitness tracker can motivate employees to look after their physical health. Similarly, gifting a book or funding a hobby class can contribute to mental wellness.

A healthy employee, in terms of both physical and mental health, is likely to be more productive and less likely to take sick leave.

The financial outlay for the business is relatively minimal and is tax-exempt, making it a consideration well worth exploring if you haven’t done so already.

For further information on trivial benefits in kind, get in touch with us today.


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