Mon, Dec 22, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Corporate big wigs set for fat end-of-year bonuses

SEASONAL PERKS Lesser lights will not be so lucky, but a study of Taiwan's employee bonuses shows that most workers will be better off than they were last year

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

High-ranking officers in a handful of foreign financial institutions in Taiwan will receive year-end bonuses of 24 times their monthly salaries, said James Lin (林志沛), deputy manager of Bestech Capital & Holdings (亞太基金).

A job bank survey conducted between Dec. 2 and Dec. 15 found that the finance sector will see the fattest end-of-year pay packets

"The average bonus figure is 1.46 times the monthly salary, which is 0.13 more than last year," said Yang Ken-cheng (楊肯誠), chief operating officer of the job bank. "The finance sector, which tops the bonus chart, averages out at about 2.56, followed by the trading sector's 1.85 months and the business service sector's 1.84."

According to Lin, private banks in Asia have performed well. "Private investment banks are relatively prosperous in Taiwan," said Lin. "These banks offer secure and personalized investment services to high-end clients and have been very popular."

A sample survey was conducted by 9999 Job Bank, which included phone interviews with 3,150 enterprises within 21 industry sectors.

According to the survey, half of the surveyed enterprises show signs of profit reduction, but 85 percent of the enterprises surveyed will still give out bonuses.

"There are two ways to calculate bonuses. Forty-eight percent of the companies surveyed use full salary figures as their basis of calculation while 46 percent use base salary figures," Yang said.

Yang said that technology firms normally calculate employee bonuses using their full salary figures. Using the other method, base salary figures are given to employees with some extra cash thrown in.

According to the survey, the restaurant and entertainment sector and the tourism sector were pushed to the bottom of the chart as business was deeply affected by the outbreak of SARS this year.

Year-end bonuses in the tourism sector average out at about 1.07 times monthly salary, while the restaurant and entertainment sector averaged out at about 0.94, which is the lowest figure among all surveyed sectors.

Employees in the mass communication business, including the media and advertising industries, will get an average of 1.3 times their monthly salaries.

In addition to year-end bonuses, company-wide dinner celebrations are also highly anticipated by employees.

According to the survey, 91 percent of enterprises will hold year-end dinner celebrations and 50 percent of enterprises will offer raffles and entertainment. For instance, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp will hold three large celebration dinners and have Taiwanese pop diva Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹) perform.

"The increase in average year-end bonus figures from the year before indicates that enterprises are optimistic about next year's economic outlook," said Wayne Shiah (夏瑋), executive secretary of Taiwan Human Resource & Outsourcing Association.

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