It’s that time of year when (good) employers are looking to treat their staff. Peter Crush looks at the various choices available to them, from the small to the large.

HELEN XMAS REWARD

Reward Type: PARTIES

Who: Various providers

What: It’s the stereotypical Christmas event, complete with photocopier antics, unwise liaisons, and staff telling the boss what they really think of them. However, data reveals that with the economy on the rise again, parties are back in favour. Last year, Smart Group, a provider of Christmas parties, saw a 30% year-on-year rise in the number booked.

What’s the deal? The government kindly allows the expense of a Christmas party to be tax-deductible up to £150 per head. However, go over this by just a penny, and none of this amount can be deductible at all, so employers need to precisely calculate what all of their total costs are likely to be. The average spend is now £101 per person (source: Smart Group), which is up 5% on 2013, and up 28% since the end of the recession. It’s never too early to book your venue. Half of Christmas parties are booked between July and September.

What you can get for £150 per head: The Glasgow Science Centre is running its Stars Are Out parties from December (email christmas@glasgowsciencecentre.org); HospitalityLine offers a range of events, from ‘Midnight in Monte Carlo’, to the ‘Bloomsbury Big Top’ and the ‘Vegas Christmas Party’ events; while Alton Towers has its own Christmas corporate party planners.

Reward Type: SUBSCRIPTIONS

Who: Red Letter Days (and others)

What: The festive holiday not only gives staff time to recharge their batteries, but also enables many to catch up on their interests, and get renewed inspiration to kick off the New Year as they intend to. Specialist firm Red Letter Days has recognised this fact by this summer launching a new subscriptions channel to its growing repertoire.

What’s the deal? Red Letter Days features 36 subscription packages, starting from £20, including membership to the Craft Beer Club (monthly deliveries of beers from micro-breweries from all over the world); BBC magazine subscriptions (to the likes of Top Gear and Gardeners’ World); and membership to coffee, chocolate and curry clubs.

What they say: Bill Alexander, chief executive of Red Letter Days, says: “Employers thinking about how they can thank their staff at the end of the year can find it difficult to get something memorable that isn’t too expensive. A subscription is affordable; the gift also spans across the year which means employees will feel recognition for their work for longer than a one-off cash bonus.” He added: “Don’t give cash as a Christmas reward. It’ll only get lost by being spent on presents for someone else, or on a utility or food bill.”

Reward and House of Fraser for Business are running an exciting campaign in the countdown to Christmas, inviting you to 'get creative' with your staff rewards.

For all of those subscribed to the magazine – look out for Reward’s next issue, and a special delivery from House of Fraser, landing on your desk soon…

It’s not too late to get yours…sign up for free now!