18% of employers expect a decrease in the number of bonus payments

59% of employees expect the number of bonus payments rewarded to employees to change

Just under one in five (18%) respondents expect the number of bonus payments paid to employees will decrease, according to research by Paydata.

Its survey of 170 human resources, finance directors, and reward and compensation specialists, also found that while almost three-quarters (74%) of employers are still offering a bonus scheme, 41% expect that the number of bonuses paid to employees will stay the same.

The survey also found that just over a quarter (35%) believe that it is too early to tell how the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic will affect bonuses, while 6% think that the number of people receiving bonus payments will increase.

Additionally, only 4% believe that their bonus payment sizes will increase compared to when respondents were asked the same question in autumn 2019, 15% expected an increase and nearly half thought they would stay the same. One-third (34%) believe that the size of bonus payments will decrease, 17% believe that it will stay the same, while under half (45%) think it is too early to tell.

One in twenty (5%) said they do not predict a pay review being held in 2020, while 14% say that it is too early to predict whether pay reviews will take place in their usual month this year.

Over half (56%) of employers expect a pay review to be driven by external relativities, while 41% predict this will be driven by high-performing people. A further 40% believe that internal activities may impact this.

In terms of the gender pay gap, 70% of employers now measure this. Even where organisations were not obligated to report, many have said that they wanted to be vigilant and aware. The reporting legislation has spurred the number of respondents publishing data up from 3% in 2016, to 70% in 2020.

Tim Kellett, director at Paydata, said: “Employers have had to address extraordinary challenges since March of this year.  Since the last global recession of 2008, Paydata has observed a cautious level of pay increases, which have stayed around 2%.

“Pay increases had buoyed to 3% on average over the last couple of years, but now we are seeing respondents are evenly split with 40% offering 2% and 42% offering a 3% increase.”

“A significant number of pay awards (up to 56% were largely already agreed and being implemented before Covid-19 (Coronavirus), therefore most have proceeded as planned. It will be interesting to see the impact the pandemic has on pay awards over the next twelve months, especially when pay budgets will not be eased by the furlough scheme and 52% of businesses expect revenue to decrease.”