With the tax year recently completed, many businesses are now finalising their financial results and calculating bonuses for those lucky enough to have earned them. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that the average full time annual wage in Australia is around $80,000; taking into account those who make a moderate living such as teachers, office or retail workers and higher earners including IT consultants and engineers as well as those who work in mining or construction.
There are many ways an employer can show their appreciation for a job well done, such as offering employees laptops, phone plans, and even gym memberships, but recent research by a leading recruitment consultancy has shown that the most valued benefits are the ability to have flexible working conditions and a bonus. In 2014, almost one-third of Australian workers received a bonus, and while bonuses can range from as little as one percent to almost half the annual salary, for most people, the general expectation is that a bonus will be somewhere between 6% and 10% of their yearly pay. Bonus calculations differ based on industry and level of seniority; some industries such as IT, Mining and Construction have higher risks and potential for huge profits, so they have higher wage and bonus structures too.
Most bonuses are negotiated at the start of each financial year and could be based purely on individual performance such as exceeding sales targets, or they could be layered bonus structures that take into account the performance of the group or division and the company as a whole. It’s not unheard of for high level executives to be paid anywhere from one-third to half of their salary as a “bonus”, which gives them more incentive to exceed the business targets; as the company makes more money, so do the people who lead it.
If you’re in a position to negotiate your bonus, now is the time to work with your employer to set your goals for the upcoming financial year. While it’s sensible not to count on a year-end bonus when you’re planning your household budget, if you do happen to receive a windfall this month, there are smart ways to spend it. Tap into your responsible side and put some of that bonus towards clearing debt or topping up your super or savings account.
If you decide to loosen the purse strings a little and treat yourself or your family to something new, consider Gumtree, where you’ll find many cost-effective ways to treat yourself without dipping in too far, so you can enjoy the fruits of your labour and still have some left for the future.