Professionals receiving average bonus of 24.5 per cent of salary

Employees working in the retail and wholesale trade sector received the largest short-term incentive awards
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 11/25/2010

Workers in banking and finance are the most likely to receive a short-term incentive with 81 per cent receiving compensation, according to the 2010/2011 Canadian Survey Report on Professional & Skilled Trades Personnel Compensation from Towers Watson Data Services.  

Employees in Manitoba/Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories are the most likely to receive bonuses with 37.8 per cent and 46.3 per cent receiving incentives, respectively.

Just under one-quarter of employees in large organizations (more than 2,500 full-time equivalents) received an average incentive of 29.6 per cent compared to almost half of the employees in smaller organizations receiving an average incentive of 10.1 per cent.

Bonus and profit sharing trends
Bonus and/or other cash incentive payments, including profit-sharing and commission, averaged 24.5 per cent of salary for all salary levels combined. The percentage of eligible employees receiving a short-term incentive varied slightly among salary levels, ranging from a high of 35.5 per cent of professional and skilled trades personnel earning $100,000 or more to a low of 25 per cent of incumbents earning less than $40,000.

Industry summary
The percentage of professional and skilled trades personnel receiving a bonus and/or other cash compensation varied significantly among the industry sectors reported. More than three-quarters of eligible incumbents in the banking and finance sector (81 per cent) received incentive compensation, while less than one-quarter of incumbents in the services (24.8 per cent) and health care (4.3 per cent) sectors received an incentive payment. Professional and skilled trades personnel working in the retail and wholesale trade sector received the highest average incentive compensation at 31.7 per cent of salary, while those working in the utilities and energy sector received the lowest average incentive compensation at 4.3 per cent of salary.

Geographic summary
There were notable regional differences in bonuses and/or other cash compensation. The largest percentage of eligible employees receiving incentive compensation were found in Manitoba/Saskatchewan (37.8 per cent) and the Northern Territories (46.3 per cent); the lowest percentage of eligible employees receiving incentive compensation work in British Columbia, with 21.7 per cent receiving a payment. However, in terms of average incentive payout the opposite was true — incumbents in British Columbia received the highest incentive payments averaging 31.9 per cent of salary, while employees in Manitoba/Saskatchewan and the Northern Territories received the lowest incentive payments, averaging 16.9 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively.

Organization size summary
Employees in large organizations fared somewhat better than those in small to mid-sized organizations. In organizations with more than 2,500 FTEs, just under one-quarter of eligible employees (22.5 per cent) received incentive payments averaging 29.6 per cent of salary. Although the incentive payments averaged less than half that paid in large organizations, more eligible incumbents received incentive payments. Almost half of eligible employees (49.4 per cent) received an incentive payment averaging 10.1 per cent of salary in organizations with 300 to 999 FTEs. 

The data are based on the responses of 239 organizations encompassing 1,503 locations reporting data on 98,142 incumbents. Data are presented on a total of 50 geographic areas and 104 industry classifications.

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