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What is a BONUS actually for?

(43 Posts)
MawtheMerrier Fri 05-Aug-22 08:59:04

I used to think that if a company did really well and business or profits exceeded expectations because of its staff, employees were given a bonus. Or perhaps individual staff or a section of the company dealt well with exceptional circumstances , in todays parlance, went the extra mile?
And I had no problem with that.
But Thames Water? Really?
Read in the DT a few minutes ago
THE water boss in charge of a mothballed emergency plant was given a £500,000 bonus last year, annual accounts reveal, as the company faced questions over its drought readiness.
Sarah Bentley, the chief executive of Thames Water, received a £496,000 bonus, almost double her previous year’s performance-related payout.
On Wednesday, Thames Water faced questions from authorities and regulators after The Telegraph revealed that a £250 million water plant built to protect nearly a million Londoners from drought was currently switched off
I’d dock her salary (which is not insubstantial) - not give her a socking great bonus for yet another administrative cock-up .
And it’s not just the desalination plant which seems to have been an expensive doomed idea rom the outset…
The company was forced to revise down the output of the plant by a third after regulators found it was unable to produce reliably clean drinking water as a result of its location.
But Thames Water yesterday faced questions over its failure to fix the problem in time for the driest July on record
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is understood to have spoken with Thames Water and urged the company to fix the issue in time to help avoid shortages during the looming drought
“Sadiq has already demanded Thames Water ‘up their game’ following a series of burst water mains that have seen millions of gallons of drinking water lost,” a spokesman said.
Think on, when you are reminded to turn the tap off when brushing your teeth tonight, or watch your garden turn into beige carpet.

Lucca Fri 05-Aug-22 09:03:31

I am constantly sickened by this culture of overpaying “executives”. A bonus seems to be paid out regardless of performance or achievement. They may as well just make it part of the whopping great salary to,start with,

Jackiest Fri 05-Aug-22 09:11:02

Not sure but I think bonuses are taxed differntly or maybe the NI is different.

Chewbacca Fri 05-Aug-22 09:21:49

I am constantly sickened by this culture of overpaying “executives”.

Me too. Whilst paying themselves vast salaries, perks and "bonus" payments, they offer their staff 0.38p per hour pay rises I'm looking at you Amazon It's utterly sickening.

Daisymae Fri 05-Aug-22 09:36:39

It's really in keeping with what's happening up and down the country. The incredibly rich get richer. Meanwhile water rationing in the horizon because of a lack of investment in the infrastructure and climate change which seems to have come as a complete surprise.

MawtheMerrier Fri 05-Aug-22 09:42:27


Not sure but I think bonuses are taxed differntly or maybe the NI is different.

@ Jackiest,I didn’t ask “Why are they given?” but “What are they given FOR ?”
(Saving tax or NI is just another sickening tax dodge especially under the circumstances.)

Jaxjacky Fri 05-Aug-22 10:08:58

Generally they are given for exceeding your work related targets as detailed in your yearly appraisal. As a Chief Executive I’d expect at least one target to increase profit, if that’s happened, hence the bonus.

Septimia Fri 05-Aug-22 10:21:05

People in high-powered jobs don't need bonuses, they earn excessive salaries in the first place. The people "at the coal face" are the ones who need the bonuses.

RichmondPark1 Fri 05-Aug-22 10:44:35

"FTSE 350 chief executives are expected to collect 63 times the average median pay of workers at their companies"

"43 bosses of FTSE 350 companies received more than 100 times as much as employees’ average salary in 2020"

MaizieD Fri 05-Aug-22 11:30:52

It's not just the utilities bosses. It's everywhere

Bonuses in the City of London's financial and insurance sector are growing six times faster than national wages, analysis by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has uncovered.

The findings reveal that bonuses in the sector grew by 27.9% over the last year, compared with growth of 4.2% for UK wages during the same period.

This saw the average bonus in the finance and insurance sector rise from £3,146 in the first quarter of 2021 to £4,021 in the first three months of this year, while average monthly pay increased from £2,315 to £2,413.

The research – which is based on figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – suggests City bonuses are now at the highest level since records began, despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

They were 2.4 times larger than the average worker’s basic monthly pay in March 2022, and higher than wages in every other sector, other than mining and quarrying. Overall, City bonuses in March were worth a total of £5.9bn.

It's a result of making 'money' the be all and end all of individuals' and companies' objectives instead of viewing as a tool to facilitate exchange of goods and services.

Aveline Fri 05-Aug-22 11:35:55

I entirely agree. What on earth are these companies and organisations thinking? It can't be right to offer these huge bonuses to officers who have presided over large losses and crass inefficiencies.

JaneJudge Fri 05-Aug-22 11:41:54

I know I'm getting a bonus now monthly is I exceed my expected workload at work, which I am doing daily at the moment. I get a living wage anyway but I don't know, I felt it was a nice recognition of the fact I am 3 times more productive than my work colleagues half my age. BUT I AM NOT AN EXECUTIVE of a failing company - so I agree with you

Aveline Fri 05-Aug-22 12:18:51

Well earned JaneJudge.

paddyann54 Fri 05-Aug-22 12:45:50

It always angered me that the bankers still got bonuses after the crash caused by ...the bankers who had already been bailed out by public money

Dinahmo Sat 06-Aug-22 15:35:44

Bonuses are taxed in the same way as someone's salary - ie via PAYE.

I'm critical of the amount paid out in bonuses, especially when a company is not performing well. I think that many people forget that without the workers any company would be unable to make the profits that they do and that this should be remembered when the workers ask for a payrise.
Amazon's 38p per hour is outrageous.

Grantanow Mon 08-Aug-22 11:27:54

People at the top get bigger payouts because they make the related decisions or are close to those who do. People at the bottom don't make those decisions and are distant from those who do. It isn't much related to job performance as where they are in the pecking order. The Tories will never reform this for obvious reasons.

Drawinggran Mon 08-Aug-22 11:33:51

Some companies give a bonus at a specific point in the year. This discourages the talent to jump ship mid way, they’ll want to stay until the bonus is in their bank account, by which time they may have changed their minds about leaving. Usually happens in law firms and accountants.

Cossy Mon 08-Aug-22 11:35:08

Rightly or wrongly “bonuses” now represent many things. If part of a financial business normally is a “carrot” to get more business in, in some companies it represents a share of profit, or it could be personal representing outstanding work. More and more though they seem to part of CEO’s massive salaries, simply paid to retain them. I agree with you and think many “bonuses” in many businesses are utterly obscene especially in our current economic situation

Chardy Mon 08-Aug-22 11:36:45

MawTheMerrier I agree completely.
Bonuses used to be a few thousand, now they're measured in parts of a million or even millions.

Not one of our rivers is pollution-free, but water bosses get massive bonuses.

An absolute farce.

Rosina Mon 08-Aug-22 11:40:44

My OH worked in commerce and was paid an annual bonus - not huge, not every year and of course taxed, and this did not make up for the hours of unpaid overtime he and the rest of the staff did to keep the show on the road. The senior staff were given staggering bonuses - why I don't know as they seemed to be bomb proof from redundancy. The huge bonuses that top executives of industry receive are wrong when the company is not thriving or doing its best for the nation.

jocork Mon 08-Aug-22 11:44:44

I only ever had a bonus once. The school I worked at was judged 'outstanding' by Offsted and all staff got a £50 gift card - at least I assume we all got the same. The day it was given I had a puncture on my way home so mine went on a new tyre! When the head teacher heard he said "You can't spend your bonus on a tyre!" I don't think he realised how little some of us were paid! I was just relieved I had the means to get a new tyre at all!

maddyone Mon 08-Aug-22 11:53:49

I agree with every comment on this thread. It seems all normal people feel the same way but we are powerless to do anything about it. No one can deserve half a million pounds bonus, on top of a very generous salary. I don’t know what the answer is to this problem. Government won’t tackle it, who will?

Nannapat1 Mon 08-Aug-22 12:04:15

Totally agree with all you say.

katy1950 Mon 08-Aug-22 12:06:04

The old saying still rings true the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and this will never ever change

Gwenisgreat1 Mon 08-Aug-22 12:10:42

I have a man working in the house just now, the work was supposed to be one days work. He came across problem which he fixed, he is sorting out a load of problems we've had with the house since moving in. I shall be giving him a bonus, because he deserves it!