New research from UK gift card company One4all shows that a third of HR managers in the UK are concerned about their incentive and reward budgets, and could be putting hundreds of millions of pounds at risk by purchasing unregulated products.
The UK gift card employee benefits sector is worth over GBP1bn, with many businesses choosing gift cards as a form of reward and recognition for their staff.
Incentives play a vital role in leveraging business performance and are a key part of any HR department’s strategy. However, despite legislation being in place to protect the funds held on gift cards, compliance is not mandatory and this is a growing concern for many HR managers.
A consequence of this is that very few retailers have opted to bring their single-retailer gift cards within the scheme. This could result in millions of pounds being lost if a retailer collapses, as high-profile casualties like HMV and Jessops have shown.
In the UK market, only multi-retailer gift cards such as One4All offer the full protection because they are regulated under the European Union Emoney regulation, which require ringfencing of client’s funds in case of collapse of card issuers, and is underwritten by the Bank of Ireland. However, in a recent YouGov opinion poll, commissioned by One4all, 91% of respondents admitted to being unaware that regulated gift card options were even available.
Regulated products like the One4all gift card bring clear benefits to HR departments, giving them the reassurance that they won’t be left out of pocket in the event of a retailer collapsing.
One4all Managing Director, Declan Byrne said: “Multi-retailer gift cards like the One4all gift card, are a fantastic way to reward and incentivise staff as they offer such a great choice to employees. They also offer security to any HR manager that their investment is protected, but only if they choose a regulated product. If they don’t, they risk losing millions of pounds of their budgets and potentially damaging relationships with their employees.
“Our research gives a strong message to the industry that greater consumer protection is needed in order to maintain confidence in the gift card market and this is something we are pushing for across both the business and consumer markets.”
Any HR managers concerned about this issue can join a free webinar hosted by an expert panel including Declan Byrne, managing director of One4all, Craig James, Non-Executive Director of Prepaid International Forum and Joe Harvey, Head of Crew Sales for Tourvest Duty Free UK.
The panel will share their expertise across the subject areas of Social Impact, Relevance and Choice in the context of delivering a common sense Employee Reward Card programme for your business – for more information click here www.one4allrewards.co.uk/webinar
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