O Bonus, Bonus! Wherefore Art My Bonus ?

CityNews reports that a new survey reveals that, not only were bonuses down last year, but times were so hard that a number of City firms scrapped year-end payouts altogether. And some employees are even now having to face up to the fact that bonuses are off the agenda this year too - in exchange for better perks and benefits.

Financial recruiters Jonathan Wren polled 1,000 City employees, many of them probably not a little miserable, to gather data about their bonuses. The research revealed that 32% of employers had cut or abolished performance-related bonuses last year and that 50% of those surveyed got less in bonus in 2002 than the previous year.

Somewhat more worrying, however, is the fact that 19% of the companies are now offering better perks, but no bonus at all. The more common forms of additional benefits include extra holiday, overtime pay and private healthcare.

It will come as no surprise to learn that 88% of employers questionned felt that employees had unreasonable bonus and benefit expectations.

But, before City workers go running off to check into The Priory with Bonus Anxiety Disease, there is some good news. Bonuses this year are likely to be better. Jonathan Wren Managing Director, Philip Marks, said: 'It's not all doom and gloom for the industry now. Increased revenues and a lower cost base will mean that firms will have more to give to staff in bonuses this year. We fully expect bonus payments to be up between a third and a half on last year'.

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