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To say no to voucher instead of Christmas night out
84

Askinforabaskin · 26/11/2021 18:33

Basically I have agreed to arrange the night out for my team at work. We have a budget of £35 per head every year. Usually if you don’t attend your money just gets put into the kitty for drinks for everyone else.

Obviously last year we didn’t have a night out due to covid. So everyone got a bottle (tbh it could have been anything they wanted from the supermarket) in place of that.

This year we are having a day out (meal followed by drinks, in the afternoon so people can still get train home). Obviously due to the nature of these things not everyone can make it due to other commitments so I have had a few people say they can’t attend.

But today I had a pretty shitty phone call from a guy saying he disagreed with the night out and he didn’t want to catch covid and was demanding a voucher instead. Although I am organising it, I have no control over the money (I have purely just been contacting the venue). Unfortunately the manager who is in control of the money is off just now as his poor wife is very ill. I tried to explain the situation to the guy and that basically it wasn’t my call to make and he was rather nasty about the manager. I managed to palm him off but no doubt he’ll be back in contact soon.

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Mindareno · 26/11/2021 20:02

Absolutely blows my mind that people think that if they can’t or don’t wish to attend a social event, then they should be reimbursed for what it would have cost for their attendance. Bonkers.

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Nayday · 26/11/2021 20:02

Not all work places pay for Christmas lunches etc, but where they do I'd say it's pretty unusual for a cash or voucher alternative to be offered (unless someone couldn't attend). The invite is for a meal/event etc. Pretty cheeky to ask for something else. Last year clearly an exception as Christmas lunches etc not possible.

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TractorAndHeadphones · 26/11/2021 20:04

YANBU.
I see Christmas Do as a work event rather than a reward ; team building aspect is paramount and if too many people don’t got there’s no point.

So no point in giving people a voucher.

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ThinWomansBrain · 26/11/2021 20:04

are all these people demanding vouchers expecting to pay tax & NI on them, or assuming the employer will foot the bill? (and thus costing employer more than those attending the event).

Part of an employers' social event is to enable teams to get to know eash other better, network, etc - however misguided that aim might be.

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TractorAndHeadphones · 26/11/2021 20:05

Also to add we have a room in a pub - on a workday. People saying they can’t come ‘cuz covid’ would have been in work anyway!

I can understand if it’s a big do, then a voucher would be a gesture of goodwill as many people wouldn’t attend anyway

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Nayday · 26/11/2021 20:06

Imagine being invited to a wedding and asking if they could just send you a gift instead...

Actually - that's not such a bad idea judging by some of the wedding threads on here!

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Rose789 · 26/11/2021 20:06

We’ve been offered a set amount towards a meal or if people can’t or don’t want to attend a voucher of their choosing. Seems fairer to me.

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AllWaxedOut · 26/11/2021 20:08

I can see his point too.

Also, not everyone drinks alcohol!! Why do drinkers get a massive perk and no one else does?

He seems to be going about it the wrong way/ complaining to wrong person, but he's not completely unreasonable imo.

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bonfireheart · 26/11/2021 20:11

I do think people are using covid as excuses. My colleague has been travelling, nights out, living life as normal but refusing to come to in person team meeting in a on office that is adhering very strictly to covid rules.

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PooWillyNameChange · 26/11/2021 20:13

Gosh how petty. I work for a wonderful company who treat me really well and wouldn't expect a voucher. The whole idea is to get the team together to build rapport, surely? If someone has annual leave on a day we get cake or a free lunch we don't post them a meal deal Hmm

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Beachbabe1 · 26/11/2021 20:22

I agree with him in afraid. Why should his £35 xmas treat go towards others if he doesn't want to go? He should be given a gift or voucher for the £35. You should suggest to management a meal or gift voucher alternative. Very unfair otherwise.

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Burnmyhousedown · 26/11/2021 20:28

I think it’s something to do with tax isn’t it? If you pay for a do up to a certain amount and invite all employees then no income tax payable. I think if you say gave everyone vouchers then the employer/ employee income tax would be payable.

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Beautiful3 · 26/11/2021 20:39

I agree with him. Those who can't go should be given a voucher instead of supplementing others alcohol bill.

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DriftingBlue · 26/11/2021 20:44

He should not have been rude about it and he probably should not have said anything at all, but I agree with the employee that arranging an event just for the workers that feel safe socializing in a crowd is really insensitive. Management is potentially alienating dedicated employees with this event and that is never wise.

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TractorAndHeadphones · 26/11/2021 20:54

@Burnmyhousedown

I think it’s something to do with tax isn’t it? If you pay for a do up to a certain amount and invite all employees then no income tax payable. I think if you say gave everyone vouchers then the employer/ employee income tax would be payable.

I’m not tax lawyer but looked it up online.
A party for employees is tax- free. The £35 a head obviously to estimate the cost per employee and not that each employee will receive exactly £35 worth.

By contrast gifts over £50 and vouchers are taxable.

The company could of course offer a gift instead but I’m sure plenty would complain about that too
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5foot5 · 26/11/2021 21:22

@Beachbabe1

I agree with him in afraid. Why should his £35 xmas treat go towards others if he doesn't want to go? He should be given a gift or voucher for the £35. You should suggest to management a meal or gift voucher alternative. Very unfair otherwise.

But the Christmas party is not a right it is a perk. I would guess that a company gets a better deal with a venue the more people are going. So if they budget say £35 per head for 100 people that might give a particular meal, amount of drink etc. If only 50 decide to go the price per head might go up. If the people who don't go still expect the equivalent in money then it all costs more surely?

Also, as mentioned I think lots of people see it as also being a team building idea. If someone is asking for money instead this is kind of the opposite. I don't want to spend time with you give me the money and I will stay away.

I have worked in places where I always went to the Christmas do and some where I didn't but it would never ever have occurred to me I should get an alternative gift if I stayed home. Sounds massively entitled to me
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gofg · 26/11/2021 21:49

But the Christmas party is not a right it is a perk

Exactly what I said! This voucher business, where does it end. Person C doesn't want a meal, or a voucher, but asks for something else! You either take the perk which is offered or you go without.

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DrManhattan · 26/11/2021 22:42

Ah! The enforced fun of the work Christmas party

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QualityChecked · 26/11/2021 22:45

Whenever an employer tries to do something nice for staff there's always someone who makes you wish you hadn't bothered!

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minionsrule · 26/11/2021 23:01

Our very large organisation has always had £35 kitty for Xmas do, if you decide not to go thats up to you, you don't get the money if you choose not to attend..... why would you?
Last year because it wasn't possible to have a do they put it to the vote of a voucher for everyone or donate the money to charity.
I have declined to go this year because its a crap venue but I don't expect the money in lieu

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Smartiepants79 · 26/11/2021 23:07

@DrManhattan

Ah! The enforced fun of the work Christmas party

It’s not enforced though is it? Not for the majority. Just don’t go.
In the kind of job where attending this kind of thing might actually impact on your career prospects these kind of networking events are common and just part of your job.
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Pianojazzy · 26/11/2021 23:08

Well at my company they’ve given us all the money and it’s our choice whether to spend it on a night out with colleagues or pocket it. This is to recognise that we’re in a pandemic and not everyone would feel comfortable going out during the busy festive season.

So I totally get his point….but he sounds like a d*ck so I’d just be sure to enjoy drinking his allowance!

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Kite22 · 26/11/2021 23:15

I think it depends.
Say there are 20 of you in your Team, and you've been told "there is £700 to pay for a Christmas Meal / party", then obviously if someone chooses not to go, then they just miss out on that little perk.
OTOH, if the company have said "there is £35 per head for a Christmas 'treat' / 'bonus' {call it what you like}", then I think he has a fair point. I mean there is no reason to be rude to the poor sod who has been landed with the thankless task of organising it, but the point is right..... if the company are giving £35 to each person then it should reach each person.

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TokenGinger · 26/11/2021 23:16

He was an arse to handle it the way he did but I do see his point of view.

I think a festive treat should be accessible to all or to none. I exhaust all of my childcare options just to enable me to work, so going out in an evening isn't a possibility for me. I'd feel a bit gutted that my only chance of receiving a token gift is if I gave up my personal time and paid for a babysitter. I think it would be a very nice gesture for those unable to make it to be given a gift from the money that was set aside for them on the first place.

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Shamoo · 27/11/2021 00:05

Good grief, I cannot believe the number of people who think they should get to decide not to go to the work Christmas party and just get the money instead. 😂😂😂😂😂😂

A Christmas party is intended as a thank you, but also an opportunity for team building etc. They are tax deductible engagement activities. They should never be compulsory, but you don’t get to just pick the cash instead. My old work place did an annual ski trip, should I have got the cash equivalent the year I didn’t fancy it?! It’s threads like this that make me think MN is truly bonkers. Probably the same people who thought work should pay for their heating and electricity during Covid while they saved hundreds on their usual commute.

OP, the vast majority of work places won’t be offering a voucher to the people who decide not to go to their Christmas party! Yes some will, which is fine, but if your company don’t then you will be aligned with many others - don’t worry.

Also, he sounds like a total dick generally.

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