In the days when I worked, on a handful of occasions I recommended various people I supervised for a bonus. This was always in recognition of extra effort, or added responsibilities, or acting up, etc. As a result, the people concerned received a bonus for the year, of £500. I reckon this was both justified and a reasonalble reward for putting in the extra mile, as it were. One year I submitted a request for two people to receive a bonus, but didn’t hear anything back, and the bonuses were not granted. I think that my boss ignored the submission.
A while back, an email came round where I worked inviting submissions for bonuses. Supervisors could submit suggestions for staff to receive a bonus, and these bonus suggestions would be reviewed by an appropriate committee, and it also made it possible for individuals to suggest a bonus for themselves. I did the latter, making a case for myself in recognition of having initiated external project fuding amounting to £.5 million in a twelve-month period, and in recognition of having put a great deal of extra effort into raising the funding for the projects – finding publishers and other institutions to be partners in the projects, conceiving the projects and writing the bids, etc.
The submission was successful, and my bonus was £1,000 which I thought was fine. After deductions for tax, etc, there was enough to buy a reconditioned Edwardian light fitting for our front room with the money.
I think that bonuses like that are completely justifiable. They reward, and encourage, extra effort.
What is NOT acceptable are bonuses of hundreds of thousands, or sometimes millions of Pounds awarded to people in industry and banking, for essentially doing the job they were employed to do in the first place. The share price goes up, or money is made from investing other people’s money somewhere, and those employed to manage these things are given massive bonuses. When the share price goes down, or investments don’t do so well, they don’t pay back money, do they?
Is it the fault of the pension funds, who are often the largest shareholders in such companies, and who seem to do little to control or curb the massive bonus payouts?