PwC: UK employees prefer cash as Christmas bonus

24 December 2014 1 min. read

Employees in the United Kingdom and Ireland prefer a cash bonus over spending more time with their families this Christmas, a survey by advisory firm PwC shows. 

According to a newly released research by professional services firm PwC, UK employees prefer a small cash bonus over spending more time with their family this Christmas. “Our research highlights that cash is still king this Christmas as employees overwhelmingly place a higher value on a small amount of extra pay above all other benefits - even extra time off with their families this Christmas," says John Harding, Partner at PwC.

The remarkable finding by the accounting and consulting firm is based on a survey among 2,423 working adults above the age of 18. Asked for what type of bonus they would value most this Christmas, an additional pay of £250 turns out to be the most popular (57%). The option of spending more time with family is far less popular as only 10% prefers to receive two extra days of annual leave. This option is mostly chosen by people working in financial services and professional services.

Working during Christmas

Other bonuses chosen are a tax-free voucher for their favourite store (10%), a £1,000 bar tab for them and their immediate team (4%), a tablet computer (5%), a Christmas hamper worth £250 (4%), and a free dinner and drinks for them and three others (2%). Around 2% of people chose to donate the money to charity.

According to Harding, companies should consider preferences from employees, such as small cash pay over options that are tax free, when drafting their HR policy. “The fact that people opted for extra pay, which will ultimately be taxed, rather than a voucher of the same value but tax free shows that people value certainty and control most when it comes to workplace benefits. Employers should consider what it is that their workers will really value. More targeted employee benefits could actually end up saving many companies millions of pounds a year on benefits that their people do not value.”