Where an employer has provided employees with a Christmas hamper in previous years is it under any obligation to continue this practice?

If employees have regularly been provided with a hamper for several years, they could argue that provision of the hamper has become a contractual right as a result of custom and practice. This could be the case in particular if employees have come to expect to receive a hamper, and no previous indication has been given by the employer that its continued provision is not guaranteed.

Before deciding not to provide hampers, the employer should explain to its staff why it feels that it is unable to do so. Alternatively the employer might consider providing a smaller, and less expensive, hamper, having first explained to employees why this type of cutback has become necessary.