Bonus payments to British workers are almost back at the record levels seen before the financial crisis, according to the latest official figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said total bonuses of £42.4 billion were paid during the year to March – an increase of 2.7 per cent on the previous year and just 0.1 per cent below the peak hit in 2008.
While the average payout per employee remained steady at about £1,500, workers in the finance and insurance industry received a typical figure of £13,100, although this was £800 lower than a year earlier.
Total bonuses for the financial arena dropped by 9.6 per cent to £13.6bn, the ONS said, largely because the previous financial year had two bonus periods.
Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of jobs website CV-Library, said: “It’s not surprising that the financial and insurance sectors have not reached their pre-downturn levels as these had touched insurmountable levels in 2006-07. However, the fact that bonuses have increased in the UK as a whole paints a promising picture and it’s hoped that industries still falling behind can catch up soon.
“Bonus schemes are a proven way of incentivising and motivating staff, which has a significant impact on individuals and teams exceeding broader company goals, further contributing to business success and growth. Well-structured bonus schemes are also a great way of attracting new talent to an organisation, which is important in today’s competitive job market.”
The lowest bonuses per employee were paid in the health and social work industry, where the figures were close to zero.
Typical payouts for private sector employees came in at just over £1,800, whereas the average public sector worker’s bonus was about £100.