Housing bosses have been labelled “scrooges” after residents living in sheltered accommodation were banned from buying gifts for workers.
Letters have been sent to South Tyneside Homes Housing Plus tenants letting them know any gift they buy for a staff member will either be refused or accepted and donated to a charity.
And the families of those living in accommodation wanting to show their gratitude to those workers supporting their relatives are also banned from buying presents for them.
The move has been labelled as “crazy” by one tenant who has labelled housing bosses as “Scrooges.”
One pensioner, who lives in Clayside House, South Shields, said: “I just don’t understand who they think they are to take my right away to buy someone a present as a show of gratitude for the work they do for me throughout the year.
“They are just a bunch of Scrooges.
They are a bunch of scroogesResident
“They are saying it’s because people feel pressured into giving - that’s stupid. It’s only when people are banging on your door collecting for a gift would you feel pressured.
“It’s up to the individual if they want to buy their worker a gift or not. The whole thing is stupid. It’s political correctness gone mad.
“I have lived here for almost five years and this is the first time I have seen this letter.
“I give enough to charity throughout the year, so if I want to buy someone a present I should be able to.
“I can’t remember getting anything like this in the past.”
The letters inform residents staff have been reminded of the Employee Code of Conduct and any gift offered either has to be refused or accepted on behalf of a charity chosen by South Tyneside Homes.
A spokesperson for South Tyneside Homes said: “It is touching that our residents are happy with the service they receive and want to reward staff with gifts at this time of year.
“Unfortunately our Code of Conduct for staff clearly states that staff must refuse or declare such gifts.
“The letter to residents was meant to remind our Housing Plus tenants of that so that they did not go to unnecessary expense or be offended by any refusal.
“The Code of Conduct refers to personal gifts, any such gifts will be donated to charity.
“We’d like to thank our Housing Plus residents for their continued support.”