Bonus payments have bounced back after the recession, with billions of pounds being paid out, according to a report today.
An analysis of official earnings figures by pay research specialists Incomes Data Services showed that large payouts in the finance and manufacturing sectors during February and March helped to maintain payments during the 2011 bonus season at a level similar to that recorded in 2010, when an estimated £22 billion was paid out.
Bonuses this year have been at a similarly high level to 2010, especially in financial and insurance firms, with payouts averaging over £900 a week, said the report.
The highest bonuses were in the finance and business services sector where a small proportion of staff receive very large bonuses and have a disproportionate impact on the picture for bonuses across the whole economy, said IDS.
Bonuses in construction firms were £44 a week on average in March 2011, compared with £67 a week in March 2010, while in manufacturing, bonuses averaged £80 a week in March 2011, similar to a year ago.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "This analysis confirms that the City's unique heads-we-win, tails-you-lose bonus system is back.
"As millions of workers are forced to endure an historically tight income squeeze, caused in part by the huge mistakes of our finance sector, bankers are back enjoying huge bonuses like nothing has changed.
"Ministers need to stand up to this culture of bonus-driven short-termism to prevent it causing even more damage to our economy."
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