Businesses was wasting £120 million on unused or unwanted gift cards given to employees, according to a study by Gift Cloud.

The survey of more than 2,300 workers found that nearly two-thirds (63%) have received a gift card from their employer. But 41% of those said they never used it. A third said it was for a store they didn't shop at, 32% said they forgot about it and 28% said it was lost or damaged.

Gift Cloud also found that the average value of gift cards was £15, giving an estimated total of £120 million spent on them.

According to the poll, when asked what gift they would most appreciate from their employers, the top rewards and gifts were ‘a cash gift’ (35%), ‘a bottle of bubbly’ (21%) or ‘an extra day's holiday’ (17%).

Greg LeTocq, the founder of Giftcloud, said: “The results of this study are sadly no surprise for us, as shocking as they may seem. For British businesses to have lost £120 million on plastic gift cards is simply ridiculous. There are so many ways to prevent this, such as offering employees a gift or reward from a selection of retailers that's more relevant to the recipient, to naturally offering a digital version that is far less likely to go missing.

"In many places you can now also purchase multiple-location gift cards which aren’t specific to one shop or retailer, increasing the chance of it actually being used and the employee appreciating the gift they’ve being given.”