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Any good ideas for staff Christmas party?

Entertaining staff if lockdown continues

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So far had a couple of queries from clients (those who do have staff who are not furloughed) as to whether HMRC being "kind" this Christmas re gifts for staff or some sort of entertaining if lockdown of some sort stays through December.  Via my payroll work it seems that many staff would rather just have a cash bonus even if it gets taxed but the clients are wanting to at least do some sort of Zoom or Teams toast.  Deliveroo seems to be a reasonable option.  Has anybody got any helpful ideas or been sounding out your own staff?  The clients are on tight budgets but aware that their staff have been steadily working & want to show appreciation.

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By Paul Crowley
17th Nov 2020 14:33

Give up
We have
Deposit carried forward, no idea how long for
But not unknown as flood issues last year led to delayed Christmas meals

My concern is more for the traders who may not survive

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
17th Nov 2020 14:54

Agreed, send them each a turkey and a hamper.

That's as good as cash, and a canny gift for anyone during lockdown.

Just create a staff Facebook page for staff who want to "socialise" and post pictures and send their good wishes to one another. Then you'll be able to have fun yourself editing their posts and/or deleting their efforts completely. Terrific sport!

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
17th Nov 2020 14:46

Deliveroo, zoom, a quiz night, charades, online games might all work- my daughter's work are all working from home again and they organise some sort of office event every Friday at 4.00 to try to keep some sort of team approach whilst they are not meeting, just think up something fancier for Christmas. (With a bit of forward planning even a secret Santa might work)

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By Mr_awol
17th Nov 2020 14:48

Buy them all a litre of their chosen spirit and have a Zoom meeting playing Cards Against Humanity.

First one to be sick, pass out, or expose themselves on camera gets the sack.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
By mrme89
20th Nov 2020 10:37

Or a bonus ...

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Replying to mrme89:
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By Mr_awol
20th Nov 2020 13:28

mrme89 wrote:

Or a bonus ...

That's an idea which might super-charge the evening somewhat.

I think it would be harder to reconcile with our Health and Safety, Equal Opportunities, or anti-discrimination/anti-harassment policies though. Sounds like a legal minefield to me.

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By Hugh Simpson
17th Nov 2020 14:50

Keep it light ...
Q. What is a snowman's favourite mode of transport?
A. Bi-ici/ycle.

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Replying to Hugh Simpson:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
17th Nov 2020 14:56

I'm reporting that joke!

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By Ranse
17th Nov 2020 14:52

instead of the meal , let staff suggest a good cause/charity to donate the cash to.

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Replying to Ranse:
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By Paul Crowley
17th Nov 2020 16:33

Best suggestion would be the Crown at Stratton

Leisure industry has been kicked in the whatsits by Rishi

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
17th Nov 2020 14:57

There is always that game the Queen and family plays in The Crown, I did not follow the rules (did it have any rules?) but that could work on Zoom (as could most drinking forfeit games though the risk assessments for those would be even trickier than the ones that will be needed to reopen offices post Covid)

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By memyself-eye
17th Nov 2020 15:38

The one that involved sticking a snooker chalk cube on your head and reciting gobble -A- Duke?

I'm with Maggie on that game!

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
17th Nov 2020 15:55

I thought it was a burnt cork?

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Replying to memyself-eye:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
17th Nov 2020 16:54

memyself-eye wrote:

The one that involved sticking a snooker chalk cube on your head and reciting gobble -A- Duke?

I'm with Maggie on that game!


I hope this is not a reference to a certain member of the Royal Family who stepped back from public duties recently
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By Bob Loblaw
17th Nov 2020 15:36

We've decided to go bit "outside the box" and we're having a Teams escape room. Premise is fairly simple, you fill your office with a series of dangerous obstacles that escalate in severity. Tell one junior that there's an important file they need to retrieve from the office furthest from the entrance. Staff watching on Teams will try and guide them in and out safely. It's been a bit of a pain to keep quiet as we've had to store the piranhas in the ladies toilets until it's go time. We've also gone through a few cleaners because the bear traps have taken to falling off the shelf and arming themselves. Nevertheless, I think we're in for a real treat.

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By Lisa R
17th Nov 2020 16:18

We've given everyone a choice of what drink they'd like, (lager/ale/cider/wine/soft drinks) and will have them delivered by the date we're going to do Secret Santa on Teams.
Secret Santa was a bit more complicated than usual as we had to get everyone to agree that they didn't mind their address being given out to other staff so that the gifts could be posted. The director then took all the paperwork home so that his wife could secretly "draw the names", put them in envelopes and post them out to everyone.
Just a bit worried that knowing how unorganised some of the guys are, I'm not sure everyone will get their gifts by the date or will open them early if there's not a note on it to say what it is!

We have done a couple of online escape rooms but so far I've always been on the losing team! So obviously I wouldn't recommend them ;-)

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By TessaW
17th Nov 2020 16:24

Thanks for all the suggestions - a bit concerned that the piranhas & bear traps appear to be starting hazards in the escape game; although some staff do get very fed up with the juniors.
Got one solicitor client & there are certainly enough lawyer jokes on the internet to fill dozens of crackers.

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
17th Nov 2020 16:57

Does the annual staff party allowance still apply if the food and drink are delivered remotely?

Boring old vouchers that can't be exchanged for alcohol from me.

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By bendybod
20th Nov 2020 09:29

Our local CoC are having a virtual Christmas party on Zoom, delivering food boxes to everyone who signs up so we can all share the same food, even though not physically together. I thought that was nice in terms of making it a common experience.
Possibly a post-31 January staff meal instead? Who knows.....

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By pmt1pff
20th Nov 2020 09:58

i asked our CCM if hmrc interpreted the 'annual event' exemption to mean physical attendance was required. he said yes so it wouldnt apply to a remote event. i'm not convinced mysefl but that is apparently the hmrc view. if anyone has heard different would welcome hearing about it!

there is always trivial benefits though. anything up to £50 tax free, so long as not cash/cash equivalent (careful with some vouchers). also if you had a christmas event and a new year event could in theory have two lots of £50. if clients have the cash of course.

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
20th Nov 2020 10:31

So up here effectively a bottle of scotch and a few wee heavies and the rest can be wasted on food and a couple of cans of Irn Bru for the following morning (The wee heavies can be substituted by Buckie or Eldorado according to preference)

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By Mr_awol
20th Nov 2020 13:34

is "the Buckie made me do it" still a valid legal defence against most criminal charges up there?

I always remember being somewhat surprised when my Scottish friends were talking to my friends from Devon about Buckfast at a party I'd organised - and the ones from Devon had never heard of it.

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By Cheshire
20th Nov 2020 10:58

All sounds like enforced jollity.

Bah humbug.

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By Simpleton2
20th Nov 2020 17:39

I am just going to keep it simple, a gift hamper to everyone and zoom call to say happy Christmas.

I did a zoom call Seder back in first lock down and I don't recommend including a meal, its just a bit weird eating on camera.

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