Gifts for employees 

Gifts for employees are a lovely gesture to say thank you for their hard work, and not just at Christmas. Vouchers, gadgets, new equipment or joint events are just as good rewards for years of service as they are for the conclusion of a successful project or financial year. Employees appreciate gifts and joint events – as long as they are carefully chosen and constitute more than just a typical give-away. Anyone wanting to please their employees can make use of certain allowances for tax-free gifts. The article explains what you need to consider. 

Showing appreciation

According to the "Job satisfaction 2017" survey, employees particularly value appreciation, feedback and interest in an employee as a person. Of the more than 1,000 people interviewed for the survey, 97% would like more appreciation at work. Regular and honest feedback was cited by 98%, while 98% also want a boss who takes an interest in them as individuals.

The aforementioned qualities are often neglected in daily business. Which becomes a problem for employers if the lack of recognition of achievement evolves into a lack of motivation and less willingness to perform. The success of the company suffers as a result. In addition to regular feedback meetings, words of praise for a job well done or for successful completion of a project are very motivating. 


Even small tokens can show appreciation and are suitable for all sorts of events. Companies can draw on certain allowances to give gifts that are subject to reduced or no taxation. 

If you want to congratulate your employees on personal occasions, such as weddings or birthdays, you can give tokens of appreciation worth up to the tax-free limit of 60 euros per occasion. If the value of the gifts exceeds this amount, the entire amount becomes taxable. 

Personal occasions include: 

  • Birthdays
  • Passing exams  
  • Years of service 
  • Retirement
  • Promotion
  • Engagement
  • Wedding, silver anniversary, golden anniversary
  • Birth, baptism, starting/graduating from school
  • First communion, confirmation

Although Christmas gifts are not classified as personal occasions, they can be purchased using the monthly limit of 44 euros for non-cash benefits. This is only permissible, however, if the limit for non-cash benefits has not already been used for other benefits in kind, such as season tickets for public transport.

Non-cash benefits also include vouchers that can be used in a certain shop. Petrol vouchers, for example, restaurant vouchers or credit cards with 44 euros prepaid. Please bear in mind that any residual credit balances may not be paid out. Gifts of money are subject to the same taxation rules as regular wages. 


Gift ideas for employees

There are numerous ways to show appreciation to employees. Try team events as a surprise to reward the whole team. They strengthen the bond among the team members and are fun. 

Live escape games are nowadays a common feature in most major towns and cities. They involve shutting several people in a specifically themed room. As they work their way through an adventurous story, they must analyse objects and solve puzzles.  Generally, the objective of the group is to finish all the tasks within a specified time to win the game. Which requires creativity, team spirit and speed. Group events, such as a high rope course or joint cookery course are fun and foster team spirit.


How to organise tax-free company outings

Employers can also use a tax-free allowance of up to 110 euros for company outings. Anything above and beyond this amount is subject to taxation. Two company outings or company parties can take place each year. The 110 euros per employee can be spent on:

  • Travel 
  • Restaurant bills and food 
  • Entrance tickets 
  • Venue rental costs, music and other artistic performances 
  • Gifts (up to a value of 60 euros) 

Home-made cards for birthdays or anniversaries

Whether a colleague is celebrating an anniversary, birth or birthday, they will be delighted to receive a small token signed by the rest of the workforce to mark the personal occasion. Here's how to make an easy greetings card yourself: 

Material for the card;

Use what you like: Colourful cardboard, newspaper or even gift wrap.

How to go about it:

  1. Cut the paper into evenly sized bits, roll them up and glue the rolls. (TIP: Wrap the paper around a pencil to get the right shape.)
  2. Use a hot glue gun to stick the rolls to the card.
  3. Cut out little flames. Sparkling paper creates a great effect!
  4. Write something affectionate underneath the candles: And your home-made personalised card is ready. 

Hope you enjoy trying!