A staff summer party can be a tax-free benefit

Your organisation may have an annual Christmas party for staff, but the tax rules also allow staff parties at other times of the year which are a tax-free benefit if certain conditions are satisfied.

The exemption applies to an annual party (for example, a Christmas party), or similar annual function (for example, a summer barbecue), provided for employees and is available to all employees or available to all employees at that location, where the employer has more than one location.  If the employer provides two or more annual parties or functions, no tax charge arises in respect of the party, or parties, for which cost(s) per head do not exceed £150 in aggregate. For each function the cost per head should be calculated. The cost per head of subsequent functions should be added. If the total cost per head goes over £150 then whichever functions best utilise the £150 are exempt, the other is taxable.

Who Should I Employ?

Who Should I Employ?

Hiring a new member of staff can be a leap into the unknown. Here’s our advice for putting your best foot forward.

As the founder of a flourishing small business, there will come a point where you can no longer go it alone. If you have designs on growth and success, you will need help. But hiring a new employee isn’t something you should rush.

You need to identify the right candidates, and choose the right person who fits with your company’s culture and ambition. If you get that choice wrong, it could be costly, not only in terms of money, but also time spent finding their replacement.

To reduce the risk of bringing the wrong candidate onboard, you should look to hire someone with experience working for small and growing businesses. Typically, these candidates are well-versed in working with autonomy, leaving you to do what you do best. The last thing you want with a new employee is months of handholding and firefighting.

You might think that, in order to counter this scenario, you should fish in a bigger pond and hire candidates with a big-business background. However, this can result in even more time spent coaching your new hire, as they’re more suited to an environment shaped by rules, regulations, and processes. In the early days of a small business, they’ll be expected to roll up their sleeves and muck in with a little bit of everything, and they may not be prepared to do so coming from such a rigid background.

Where to Look for New Employees?

Often there’s a temptation to skip a few steps in the search for new employees, and jump straight to advertising on one of the big job sites or working with specialist recruiters. But as a small business, this is a needless expense; one that can actually prolong the recruitment process as you’ll have more candidates to review and interview.

Your best bet for finding your first batch of employees is by tapping into your existing network. Speak with friends, family, industry colleagues, and business advisers, such as your accountant, and ask for referrals and recommendations. If someone experienced in your industry, or someone you trust, recommends a candidate, you can be relatively sure they’ll be a good fit.

And once you’ve made a few new hires, you can start an internal referral scheme to incentivise recommendations for existing employees.

Only after you’ve exhausted your network, and that of your employees, should you turn to the job sites. Even then, look to niche job boards that specialise in your industry instead of the larger sites to help you narrow your focus.

Need a Helping Hand?

If you’d like guidance in getting your first hire spot on, an introduction to someone in our network, or even a recommendation, we can help. After all, you don’t get to 130 years in business without knowing a thing or two about recruitment.

Simply fill out our contact form, or call us on 01228 534371 to get started.

Riding the seasonality rollercoaster

Seasonality is a fact of life for most hotels and guesthouses, with the possible exception of London tourist destinations and perennial favourites such as Gretna Green that enjoy year-round visitors, often regardless of the weather.

These seasonal peaks and troughs in sales throughout the year are an inevitable challenge for your hotel to overcome. But there are ways to beat the seasonality rollercoaster and plan your marketing, sales and revenue generation to beat the dips and make the most of the highs.

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