Car firm spends £175,000 on Spanish breaks for workers

A car dealership in the south west of England has invested around £175,000 to give all of its employees a free luxury Spanish holiday every year.

The innovative move reflects an increasing trend in the UK, where employers are being forced to look beyond purely financial benefits to increase staff morale and loyalty.

Research from consultancy Watson Wyatt shows that elements of reward that boost employee commitment have a bigger impact on an organisation’s bottom line than increasing basic salary.

The Wellington Motor Group, a Nissan and Renault dealership in Somerset, is offering staff a week’s holiday in a designer-style villa, including flights, for up to four people.

The benefit, which is open-ended, is not based on performance, and all staff who have been employed for more than a year are put into an annual draw to decide the week they can go to the villa.

The company, which has a turnover of £36m, has set up the perk for 48 staff at its branches in Wellington and Taunton. The cost of flights alone to the company is around £24,000.

Michael Finn, group managing director at Wellington, said: “We wanted to give all the staff something unique to make them feel valued.

“We came up with the idea of buying a villa in Spain. It’s in an absolutely fantastic place with lots to do, and the feedback from everybody who has been there has been tremendous.

“We do actively encourage people to take their holiday so that they are rested and come back to work with enthusiasm.”

Service manager Sarah Batch-elor, who holidayed at the villa earlier this year, said: “It helps with staff morale and working as a team. We all like to work hard and play hard, and this gives us time to relax.”

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