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The majority of UK bosses are making employees cough up for their own Christmas parties, and many are even cancelling them altogether, according to new research.

76% of workers are being made to pay for the annual office knees-up, according to a survey of 2,009 UK workers by incentives and benefits provider, One4all Rewards.

However with 1 in 3 employees confessing their company isn’t even having a Christmas party this year, those who have to contribute to the cost should count themselves lucky.

The data shows 1 in 3 (32%) workers believe a Christmas party is the least their employer can do to show gratitude for their efforts, and a further 1 in 5 feel it is only acceptable for a company to not throw a Christmas party when it is in dire financial circumstances.

And almost 1 in 2 feel they shouldn’t be asked to pay for the annual work get together.  While Christmas parties may seem like a frivolous activity, the impact cancelling them altogether can have on morale and perception of the business is significant.

1 in 3 workers say it would make them feel as though their employer did not value the workforce, while 13% would question how financially secure the business was.

1 in 10 would be likely to think twice about taking a job there over another one that does offer Christmas parties, and the same amount would even consider looking for a new job if their work party was cancelled.

Declan Byrne, managing director at One4all Rewards, said: “Many employers may feel that Christmas parties are the last thing a business needs to be spending time organising at what can often be one of the busiest times of the year. But not having one at all can have hugely negative effects on employee morale, staff retention and the atmosphere in the workplace. It can also make a company an undesirable place to work, which can make recruiting new members of staff difficult.

“Over time, workers have come to expect their employers to do something to commemorate the festive season and the work that has been put in over the past year, and they are more likely to be surprised to learn that a company is not having one.

“However, this doesn’t have to involve costly nights out or trips away. In smaller businesses, or when budget is too tight, simply putting on a few free drinks and nibbles for everyone in the office, or having a simple lunch out, is better than nothing and will help to reinforce how much the business values their contribution.”

Employers within local or national Government  are the most likely to make their staff go without a Christmas party, with 48% of those in this sector saying their company is not having one this year – closely followed by those in transportation (42%) and leisure and travel (43%).

Local or national Government employers are also the most likely to ask staff pay for their Christmas party, with 97% of workers in this sector being made to do so. Healthcare (84%) and education (85%) came in second and third.

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