Wed, Jan 05, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Year-end bonuses to rise

JOB MARKET Recent polls show that average bonuses will rise to 1.51 months' salary, while up to 70 percent of workers plan to change jobs after receiving their bonus


Workers can start to do their shopping for the coming Lunar New Year without worrying about being short of money, as employers plan to issue more year-end bonuses this year, according to a poll released by online human resource agent 104 Job Bank (104人力銀行).

Generally, workers on average will receive 1.51 months' salary as their year-end bonus this year, a slight increase from 1.43 months last year, the survey showed.

The survey was conducted by the 104 Job Bank from Dec. 23 to Dec. 27 last year and the bank questioned its member employers. The poll had 1,139 valid responses.

The increase reflects last year's economic upturn, said Rocky Yang (楊基寬), chairman of 104 Job Bank.

According to the survey, the banking and insurance sectors, which topped the chart last year, will retain their top spots this year with a 2.19-month-salary bonus, followed by the importers and exporters, as well as the traditional manufacturing sector's 1.65-month salary bonus. Third place went to the construction, real estate and information technology industries, where employees are expected to receive a 1.48-month salary bonus.

With companies adopting performance-based pay systems, 63.3 percent of those polled said they will grant bonuses in accordance with individual performance, while 13.1 percent plan to include the bonus as part of the annual salary.

No matter what employers' plans are, they should be prepared for large-scale personnel adjustments, as another poll released by the company showed that up to 70 percent of employees plan to change jobs, and 40 percent of them will do so after they receive their year-end bonuses.

The figure is higher than last year, when 40 percent of workers said they intended to switch jobs, Yang said. The phenomenon can be attributed to last year's strong economy, which has increased optimism about the job market.

Among the polled workers, 48.2 percent said they wanted to work in a company where they had a chance of getting a promotion, 47.5 percent said they had little chance to learn new things at their current job, while 44.1 percent were unsatisfied with their pay.

"One piece of good news for these people is that they will have a significant amount of work opportunities, as 66 percent of companies said they would expand manpower this year. But the bad news is that nearly 80 percent of companies plan to maintain their current salary levels," Yang said.

One major factor preventing employers from offering more money to workers is the new pension law that will go into effect in July, Yang said.

The new program requires employers to direct 6 percent of employees' salaries per month -- up from 2 percent -- to an individual retirement labor pension fund, which is considered an extra cost to employers.

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