If you buy your employees a seasonal gift such as a joint of meat, a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates, then this would be deemed ‘trivial’ and therefore, there are no reporting requirements and nor would any tax or National Insurance be triggered.
However, if your gifts are more lavish than the examples above- say a hamper or a case of wine- then the cash equivalent must be taxed via the payroll, form P11D or a Pay As You Earn Settlement Agreement (PSA). With the first two options, tax and National Insurance will be triggered and will be deducted from the employee. However, with a PSA the employer agrees to settle their liability.
Gifts and entertaining is a fairly complex area, as it can have tax, National Insurance and VAT implications. Please feel free to contact your local TaxAssist Accountant if you would like to discuss this further.