More than half of IT professionals received a bonus this year, suggesting an industry revival for bonus payments after the recession, according to a report.
Research of computer staff salaries by XpertHR found 55% of IT professionals and managers received a bonus payment this year. This is higher than pre-recession figures of 52% in 2008 and a significant rise compared to 47% in 2009 when thousands of IT workers lost bonus entitlements during the recession.
The highest increase in payments was for managerial roles, from an average bonus of 12% of basic salary paid to managers a decade ago, to 18% of basic pay this year.
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The report predicted bonuses will continue to spread to roles below managerial levels as the economy recovers.
"But with public spending cuts yet to kick in during 2011, there is now a serious danger that the economic recovery will falter and a double-dip recession take hold," the report said. Philip Virgo, strategic advisor at the Institute of Management of Information Systems (IMIS), said bonuses are common in the financial sector and some areas of the software industry.
Virgo believes outsourcing suppliers and financial services may well be using bonuses to give rapid payback for projects and non-pensionable rewards to IT staff. "A lot of companies are moving to using end-of-project bonuses as a significant part of reward."
"With the freeze on basic pay, employees are rewarded in bonuses instead," added Virgo.
Some 69% of project managers, chief technical analysts, supervisors and shift controllers were paid bonuses. 65% of IT administration received bonuses while bonus payments were made to 57.1% of systems developments staff.
Payments ranged from £4,412 for technical services staff to £13,256 for senior IT sales executives.