Should employees give up their expectation of bonuses?

It’s not something we all get, but the prospect of receiving a bonus in your pay packet would be welcomed by most.

And let’s face it, in today’s climate of financial woe, we need all the help we can get. But workers at Air India have gone on hunger strike for three days to protest against plans to cut their pay.

 In terms outlined by the cash strapped airline, employees would lose half of their productivity-linked incentive payments.

And it’s not just the Indian airline workers that are up in arms about their bonus payments. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he will impose tough rules on bankers receiving bonuses and has urged other G20 countries to do the same. Earlier it emerged that BNP Paribas had set aside 1 Billion euros for possible bonuses after a recent rise in profits, hence President Sarkozy’s clampdown.

So in the current economic climate, should employees give up their expectation of a bonus? Is it fair to expect continue to receive money above your salary when so many people are out of a job? And if you’re just doing your job, why should you receive a ‘performance-linked’ bonus?

18 Responses to “Should employees give up their expectation of bonuses?”

  1. 1 Dennis Junior
    August 26, 2009 at 11:52

    Yes, I think that employees for the time being; should give up the expectation of getting bonuses….

    =Dennis Junior=

  2. 2 Janis Riga, Latvia
    August 26, 2009 at 11:57

    I think even if the market system creates problems, there is no other better system out there. Especially in private business it is only the decision by the enterpreneurs how much and in what way they pay to their employees. I don’t think governments should have anything to do with that. As far as state owned companies are concerned – bonuses only create problems. I think it is much better to have a clear and publically known sallary, than smaller sallary and unclear and uncontrollable bonuses.

  3. 3 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 26, 2009 at 12:16

    Bonuses should be given up for a period of time because paying them in certain industries is unsustainable.

  4. 4 patti in cape coral
    August 26, 2009 at 12:41

    My company is not giving out bonuses this year, and did not give them out last year. They aren’t on par with banker’s bonuses, but they certainly help during the holidays. I don’t mind this, I’m just as happy not to be losing my job as so many others. What bothers me is that despite not giving the employees their bonuses, the company has been able to replace all the copiers in the building, even though the old ones were in good working condition, and they still had a Christmas party, which I saw the catering bill for, and it would have paid for our bonuses. A lot of employees were disgruntled about that.

  5. 5 Dennis Junior
    August 26, 2009 at 13:52

    In certain industries (jobs), employers should be able to receive the bonuses if they are able to get them from the bosses (owners and companies)….

    =Dennis Junior=

  6. August 26, 2009 at 17:03

    At the time when many are out of jobs and many more losing jobs by the day, I suggest to the few who has got source of income to bear and forgo the bonuses. It is just a sacrifice till the economy can find it’s steps.

  7. 7 Bert - USA
    August 26, 2009 at 17:08

    Depends what the bonus is. In some companies, for certain employee categories, the bonus is essentially the entire remuneration for the employee. In other companies or other employee categories, the bonus is truly that — an added “gift” for a job well done, or to distribute unexpected profits back to the employees, or other such.

    If using the latter definition of bonus, of course they should be suspended in hard times. No unexpected revenues means no special freebie to employees.

    On the other hand, for exceptional contributions from a few employees, or when the “bonus” is actually someone’s entire income, then they shouldn’t be suspended.

  8. 8 Tom K in Mpls
    August 26, 2009 at 22:33

    If a company wants to loose performance, they can give up performance bonuses. Very simple. In a bad economy the conditions might not exist to make goals. In that case the company comes out even or worse and we hope the employee isn’t holding too much debt.

    Now if the company finds they have been running on a skewed business model that no longer fits, it is time to renegotiate everything. The employees need to realize this. Everything changes all the time, and it isn’t always good.

  9. 9 Dennis Junior
    August 26, 2009 at 22:48

    I think that most high-level jobs (e.g.) managers and senior staff should semi-give up the idea of bonuses for a time-being…..

    =Dennis Junior=

  10. 10 T
    August 26, 2009 at 23:33

    Sarkozy has the guts to actually try and do this. Obama on the other hand is surrounded by many “advisors” who helped to create this global depression. Guess who’ll never act?

  11. 11 James Ian
    August 27, 2009 at 06:30

    I don’t expect anything in the workplace except work, If I get a little something extra in the mix fine, but if not that’s fine too. I’m just happy to have a job I enjoy and can make a living at.

  12. 12 scmehta
    August 27, 2009 at 06:40

    President Sarkozy is absolutely right and justified in his action and proposal. Are we so insolently and heartlessly selfish as to demand/claim extra benefits, in the present dismal economic environment, wherein, besides the downturn faced by most of the world, millions of people are or rendered jobless? Do never forget that it was primarily because of the bungling and mismanagement of the Banks and other financial institutions that the “credit crunch” took place; Do they expect rewards/ bonuses for their previous misdeeds or just because the economies have just about started to look up?
    But, in the case of Air India employees; the government/management may be justified to suspend all kind of perks/bonuses till the airline come out of the red and go well into the green, nevertheless all sincere and urgent efforts must be made to pay full salaries to all the employees.

  13. August 27, 2009 at 21:44

    Bonuses are not the right of all worker, they are the rewards of hardworking employees. Ordinarily, why would I give up expectation for a bonus if I have worked hard to deserve it.

    I think bonuses should be expected, and they serve as incentive that could drive employees to greater productivity.

  14. August 28, 2009 at 19:51

    This is another ethics question. But in ANY business, ethics, if not adhered to voluntarily, must be regulated.

  15. 15 Cyril Ord
    August 30, 2009 at 23:17

    Bonuses are the ruination of mankind! They are a deliberate ploy to cheat the system! Why on earth should anyone be paid a bonus for merely carrying out their duties? The answer is obvious; supervisors are not up to the task of ensuring that their subordinates give value for money. This deficiency works its way up all the way to the top! Worse still, it works its way sideways, with peer to peer comparisons, so finally nobody actually does what they are paid for unless they receive a bonus!

  16. 16 John in Germany
    August 31, 2009 at 13:20

    The extreme High Bonuses paid to executives should be stopped completely. The Salary paid must be enough, surely we must do our best at all times, not just when a million Dollars are waiting arround the corner.
    Thousands of normal people are forced to the bread löine by the Greediness of Some of the operators in the Finance World. Many companies could not wait to pay back the debts to the Governments, so as to be able to pay Big Fat Cat Bonuses again. Where did the money come from all of a sudden?. Here in Germany Employees get a Christmas bonus which is probably 1 months pay, and a holiday bonus the same. Many have had to accept the loss of these bonuses to keep thier jobs. The fat cats are trying to get away with no losses, and the Bonis return. Some of These people have no character, nor Decency as far as i can see.

    Sad-Bad-Greedy-Old World
    John In Germany

  17. August 31, 2009 at 14:00

    Bonuses earned should be paid. Those not earned should not.

  18. 18 vijay k pillai
    August 31, 2009 at 19:44

    Culture of bonuses for employees make sense if the company make a profit and distribute the profit equitabley if the economy overall is in upward trend. To emplyi someone when the company rescued by tax payer from going bankrupt and ingore the plight of the tax payer when they linger over the fact that as a result of such rescue make every citzen say in uk burdened with 20000 pounds at birth as reported some time recently, it is simply beyong belive and taking unsuspecting tax payer for ride.

    My query to this question lead me to an answer from an invetment banker was that unless govt legislate to prevent employment based on bonuses as part of package , this practice is hard to enforce and it must be left to the ethic and morality of the bank or company concerned.

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