CIPD exec payout adds to demands for fairness

The furore over unfair bonus payments continues – only this time the focus is not on bankers but the HR institute’s own chief executive, Jackie Orme, for accepting a bonus payout estimated to be in the region of £60k.

Ironically, the CIPD has found itself in the unenviable position of having to justify its very own chief exec’s bonus to the HR profession, hot on the heels of the launch of its own guidelines for HR on executive pay “aimed at rising above some of the excessively heated aspects of the current debate on executive reward”. 

Back in February, Orme told Personnel Today that HR should be leading the culture change on bonuses. And most would agree with her sentiment. But now news of her own payout has sparked a row – clearly a bitter pill to swallow in light of recent CIPD redundancies, a ban on discretionary bonuses and pay freezes endured by other staff at the institute. 

Disgruntled employees are often quick to take a pop at their organisation’s leader. And debate  has been raging in Personnel Today’s community forum HR Space, with accusations that the CIPD leader has taken an “I’m alright Jack” approach and commentators questioning whether it was right to accept the payment, regardless of whether targets were met. (Join the debate at HR Space)

It’s yet another warning for HR and reward professionals to make bonus payments fair and transparent, and look to cancel executive incentives if the general bonus plan doesn’t pay out. In these tough times, demands for fairness come to the fore.