New Year leaving presents will cost workers £77m

Dec 16 2004 by Nic Paton Print This Article

The annual rush for the door in the New Year is likely to cost British workers almost £77 million in leaving presents, a poll has predicted.

The survey by online bank Smile has also found almost half of employees admitting they are considering switching jobs in the New Year.

More than a third - 36 per cent Ė of those questioned said they would donate £5 or more towards a leaving gift, while half, 52 per cent, said £1 would be their average contribution.

Others were more miserly in their outlook. Six per cent admitted they would only give a few coppers, while the same percentage said they would not be putting anything towards a present.

The average donation per employee for leaving presents was £2.70, said Smile.

The amount donated depended largely on how much they liked their colleague, whether they were on a higher salary and how long they had worked for the company.

The top five hates when it came to leaving gifts were: a caricature card highlighting all your bad points, a framed picture of colleagues at work, a company branded paperweight, a carriage clock and a fountain pen.

And if youíre not already exhausted by the round of Christmas parties, workers can expect to be invited to more than 13.1 million leaving parties over the next 12 months, the bank predicted.

In fact most office workers could expect to attend several leaving dos in the run up to Christmas, as a quarter of employees planned to hand in their notice before December 25, the poll found.

Smile operations director Christine Petty said: ďItís normal for people to take stock of their lives in the run up to New Year so job hunting at this time of year makes perfect sense.

ďAs the collection box gets passed around, staff should give what they feel comfortable with and perhaps a little more for colleagues who are particularly close.Ē