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Blog  »  Decemeber 2013  »  Christmas Bonuses - Blog
Dec 13

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Christmas Bonuses

Christmas is a time for giving! As such, many employers use it as opportunity to give back to their employees for their hard-work and contribution throughout the year. Done correctly, bonuses can be an excellent way of motivating and engaging staff.

However, over the last number of years companies have found it increasingly difficult to be able to afford bonuses. This year Eason bookstores has deferred paying Christmas Bonus to over 800 staff in an effort to reduce costs.

Companies, who have paid bonuses for many years and then stop, need to do so cautiously, as the bonus may have become an implied term of the contract of employment. As such, stopping bonus payments could be seen as a breach of contract. Easons itself is in deep negotiation with Siptu regarding their bonus payments.

One way to protect the company against this is to have a clear written statement on bonus payments in the contract of employment. The statement should clearly state that any bonus payments will be non-contractual, or at the very least, clarify that the Company reserves the right to amend the structure of the bonus scheme.

Employers should bear in mind that, monetary bonuses will be taxable, however employees can receive one non-monetary gift per year up to the value of €250 which will be exempt from PAYE/PRSI.

Possible options for utilising this benefit include:

  • Vouchers: these generally include:

OneForAll Gift Vouchers
Restaurant Vouchers
Supermarket Vouchers

  • A turkey or ham 
  • A case of steaks
  • A team lunch

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