Thu, Nov 29, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Average year-end bonuses to improve slightly: survey

GROWING OVERHEAD:104 Job Bank’s Stanley Hua said that new labor rules requiring higher overtime pay and more days off has made firms less generous

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Most local firms plan to distribute year-end bonuses equivalent to 1.11 months of salary, slightly better than last year, as corporate earnings improve, but higher labor costs limit the pace of adjustments, a 104 Job Bank survey released yesterday showed.

That was the second-lowest level in the past five years, better only than last year’s 1.1 months, as firms continue to absorb overtime pay and other compensation required by new labor rules, the online job bank said.

About 93 percent of firms intend to give their employees year-end bonuses based on earnings this year, a 104 Job Bank communications official said.

Bonuses are usually distributed by year-end or ahead of the Lunar New Year, they said.

Nearly 78 percent plan to pay year-end bonuses similar to last year’s levels, while 11.2 percent aim to raise the sum and 11.1 percent want to pay less, the survey found.

“Personnel costs, earnings performance and other considerations all come into play when companies set bonus numbers,” 104 Job Bank senior vice president Stanley Hua (花梓馨) told a media briefing.

Higher overtime pay and more days off have prompted employers to be less generous, Hua said.

Financial institutions topped the survey with bonuses averaging 1.83 months, followed by semiconductor firms at 1.5 months, the survey found, after polling corporate remuneration committees last month over the Internet.

The chemical and petrochemical sectors followed with bonuses equivalent to 1.33 months of salary, it showed.

Restaurants and hotels fared the weakest, as 18 percent indicated that they would abandon the practice this year, it found.

An increasingly crowded field has made it difficult to make money and companies had to tighten belts, the communications official said.

For next year, only 38.9 percent of firms intend to raise wages, compared with this year’s 40.2 percent, as many turn conservative about their business outlook, the survey found.

Planned raises averaged 3.65 percent, compared with the 4.09 percent observed this year, it showed.

Electronics firms offered the highest compensation at NT$760,000 (US$24,588) per year, followed by knowledge-intensive companies with NT$730,000 per year, the survey found.

Annual pay was lower at firms in the service industry, with compensation totaling NT$590,000, the survey said, adding that hotels proved the biggest drag with annual compensation of NT$510,000.

Nearly half of respondents, or 48 percent, said they expect business to remain flat next year, while 32 percent had negative views and 20 percent were upbeat.

The wage outlook was brightest for companies involved in computer software development, financial product sales and semiconductor production, the survey showed.

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