5th December 2021

Employment Law Advent Calendar: Day 5

It’s the 5th of December and I can’t help but feel Santa-mental at this time of year. Take a look behind door number 5 of my employment law advent calen-deer to find out who or what is there to help employers avoid barking up the wrong (Christmas) tree.

It’s Christmas shopping.

Many employers are looking for cost-effective and morale-boosting ways to reward staff after what has been another tough year.

It won’t soot every employer to give employees a Christmas bonus and there can be some tricky issues around whether a payment of a bonus will create an expectation of, or even a legal entitlement to, future bonuses.

One way employers often rewarded their employees’, pre-pandemic, was to offer flexible working in the month of December. This allowed them to work from ho-ho-home or change their working hours to allow employees to attend, for example, school nativities, family gatherings or hair appointments. However, flexible working is now no longer considered by many to be a benefit but a necessity.

Something employers might want to consider this Christmas is giving employees some ‘free time’ to do their Christmas shopping. This could take the form of extra holiday entitlement or allowing staff to use the internet during working hours.

Employers choosing to reward employees in this way should remember to treat all employees the same and clearly communicate any changes to existing policies in writing making it clear that it is a discretionary benefit and the fact it has been given this particular year does not mean it will be given the following year (or any other year).  

Make sure you elf a merry little Christmas and contact a member of the Blackadders Employment Team working in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and across Scotland for help and advice.

Donna Reynolds, Partner
Accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Employment Law & Discrimination Law
Employment Law
Blackadders LLP



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