Almost one-third of UK employees were not paid a bonus last year despite the value of bonuses in Great Britain surging to a record £46.4bn. Figures published this week by the Office for National Statistics showed the amount paid out in bonuses increased by 6.5%. The rise meant the average UK bonus increased to slightly more than £1,600 in the year to April 2017. 

Missing out.

However, a Randstad survey of more than 6,000 UK employees revealed more than half (57%) of them were paid up to £1,000 while 30% said they weren’t paid one at all. At the other end of the scale, the recruiter’s survey found 10% of respondents opened up a bonus of £5,000 or more.

Private sector bonuses amounted to £45.7bn, dwarfing the £650m paid in the public sector, the ONS data showed, while workers in the financial and insurance industry were handed the biggest bonuses (£14,770).

The smallest payouts came in health and social work where employees earned close to zero. Other industries that saw growth included administrative and support service activities (by £539 million, 25.0%) and construction (by £434 million, 27.5%).

Annual average bonus per employee (selection)

  • Finance & insurance - £14,770
  • Information & communication - £4,300
  • Electricity, gas &water supply - £1,900
  • Construction - £1,600
  • Engineering & allied industries - £1,400
  • Retail trade & repairs - £1,100
  • Administrative & support service activities - £1,100
  • Transport & storage - £900
  • Public administration - £100
  • Education - £100
  • Health & social work - £0 

Money not everyone's priority.

Randstad UK CEO Mark Bull said: “Bonus pots often tell us how well industries and the overall economy have performed over the past 12 months so it’s encouraging to see a variety of sectors reporting higher bonuses.

“There will be little surprise that finance and insurance lead the way - contributing £15bn overall - but despite the 10% growth, we are some way off the pre-crisis level.”

He added: “Money is not everyone’s top priority but we know from our own reports that remuneration still matters. As well as their pay packet, candidates, we interview also value job fulfilment, training opportunities and increasingly a work-life balance.”  

Survey results.

How much was your annual bonus for 2016/17?

  • Did not receive one (2,002 votes, 30%)
  • Up to £1,000 (1,775 votes, 27%)
  • £1,000 - £2,500 (1,571  votes, 24%)
  • £2,500 - £5,000 (624 votes, 9%)
  • £5,000+ (636 votes, 10%)

    6,608 votes in total