Part 8: Staff support and well-being expenditure

Controlling sensitive expenditure: Guide for public organisations.

Public organisations can provide for staff support and well-being in various ways. The resulting benefits should be to both the organisation and the staff.

A public organisation can decide to make payments to meet its "good employer" obligations – for example, well-being payments for preventative health screenings, eye tests, and prescription glasses. An organisation can decide to meet costs for less specific purposes that generally contribute to a good relationship between it and its workforce or among its workforce. For example, an organisation can contribute to a social club or a sports team representing the organisation.

However, a public organisation also needs to be aware that payments for staff support and well-being could be seen as paying for what are ordinarily a staff member's personal and private expenses. This could be seen as additional remuneration for the staff member. In those circumstances, the organisation needs to consider the implications for such matters as tax liability and relevant employment agreements.

Financing the activities of a social club

Public organisations may sometimes make a monetary contribution to a social club, either in the form of an all-purpose grant towards the club's annual budget or as a grant or subsidy for a specific event.

It is important that there is a justifiable business purpose for any contributions to a social club. This purpose would typically be connected with organisational development and staff well-being.

We expect contributions to social clubs to be prudent and reasonable in terms of the benefit obtained by the organisation. The social club activities for which the subsidy is given should align with the principles listed in paragraph 2.4.

Sponsorship of staff

Staff taking part in an activity that is not part of their job, such as a sporting event, may be sponsored by their organisation through the provision of, or payment for, goods or services (for example, a t-shirt or an entry fee).

Sponsorship should have a justifiable business purpose, which could include publicity for the organisation and its objectives or organisational development. The cost to the organisation should be moderate and conservative. We expect sponsorship to be transparent and supported by a robust policy.