Six in 10 white-collar workers took home a cash bonus last year, worth on average 13.8% on top of basic salary.
The Survey of Employee Benefits and Additional Payments, published on XpertHR Job Pricing and carried out by Personnel Today’s sister organisation Celre, reveals that bonuses at board level last year were typically worth more than one-third of salary.
But there is a clear link between seniority and size of bonus, and for professionals without management responsibilities, payouts were on average worth less than one-tenth of salary.
Despite perceptions that people working in financial services take home disproportionately large bonuses, the survey also shows that payments were greatest in relation to take-home pay for employees in IT services (23.9%) and retail/distribution (16.8%). Financial services employees took home an average 14% on top of basic pay.
Bonuses were smallest (typically 3.4% of pay) and less common (awarded to just 3.2% of staff) in the public sector.
In addition to bonus payments, the survey analysed recruitment and retention issues, employment conditions including holiday entitlement and working hours, and other employee benefits.
Despite rising unemployment and increasing numbers of companies making staff redundant, the survey found that three out of four employers (74.1%) were still experiencing problems recruiting the right people.
Recruitment difficulties were particularly acute among IT staff, and were most commonly blamed by employers on competition from other organisations (77.8%) and the need for specialist skills (72.2%).
Six out of 10 employers (61.1%) also experienced employee retention problems. Competition from other employers (75.5%) was again the most common reason cited, but significant numbers also blamed poor salaries (47.1%) and a lack of career opportunities (46.1%).
The survey also found that flexible working initiatives were in place in a majority of organisations, with nearly eight in 10 (78.6%) having homeworking arrangements for at least some employees, either on an occasional or permanent basis.
Job-sharing schemes were on offer to at least some employees in nearly half of all companies, and staff were able to work flexible hours at a similar proportion.
The report's findings were based on a survey of 210 organisations and 45,081 employees.