What do you want for Christmas? How about a six-figure bonus award?
That is just what Hilcorp employees got. The Houston-based oil and gas company gave all their employees a bonus of $100,000 (around £66,000) this Christmas for meeting their goals for the year.
It is well known that you don’t have to work in the US oil and gas industry to receive a generous Christmas bonus. The City of London is famous for bankers’ bonuses that tend to be awarded at this time of year. But, while many traders and bankers will still receive a generous Christmas bonus, some bankers have been told to expect doughnut bonuses this year.
In contrasting fortunes, international law firm Slaughter and May has boosted its bonus pay this year. Associate-level staff performing at a high level will receive bonuses between seven and a half and 15 per cent of their salary. Meanwhile, associates who have performed well can expect a bonus of between nine and 16 per cent of their salary.
According to Legal Week, this is the third year in a row that Slaughter and May have increased their bonus awards. Of course, companies will always award different bonuses to each other due to varying levels of success and different business objectives, but the trend this year has been for an overall decrease in the amount of money awarded in bonuses.
A survey carried out this year by Redshift Research revealed that 58 per cent of employers are awarding smaller bonuses compared with last year, with 53 per cent of firms planning not to give any Christmas bonuses at all. Only 20 per cent of employers plan to increase their company spend on bonus awards this year.
Many firms are electing to host a staff Christmas party as an alternative way to celebrate business success. If your employer doesn’t pay you your Christmas bonus despite high performance then you may be able to challenge their decision. If you find yourself in this position you should speak to an employment solicitor for work pay and bonus disputes and they can advise you on the best course of action to take.
Deborah Casale is an employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
At Slater and Gordon, we have years of experience advising employees in bonus disputes. If you are contemplating taking legal action over a bonus pay dispute or need assistance in your negotiations call our employment solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online.