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UK bonuses have hit record high of £46.4bn, says report

By Ben Woods

The value of bonuses paid out in the UK has reached record heights as finance firms dished out bigger awards to staff.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that total bonus payments jumped 6.5% to £46.4bn in the year to March, the highest level since records began in 2001.

The amount was underpinned by a 9.7% rise in the value of payouts from the finance and insurance industry, which made £15bn worth of awards over the period.

Despite the hike, financial bonuses failed to return to their pre-crisis peak when the figure hit £18.4bn in 2008. The ONS said finance and insurance firms paid out the highest average bonus per worker at just shy of £14,770, while the health and social worker pocketed the lowest amount at close to zero.

Phil Sheridan, senior managing partner at recruiter Robert Half UK, said the jump in the value of bonuses reflected the battle for talent throughout the labour market. He added: “A jump in bonus payments received in high-growth industries including financial services, reflects the war for talent in which we’re currently engulfed.”

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